Inner Transition Coordinator, Claire Milne, shares about Transition Network’s new workshop offering support for those feeling the edge of burnout.
When we think of mounting inequalities, eco-systemic collapse, runaway climate change and the resulting mass displacement of people from their homelands and loved ones – the challenges we face can seem insurmountable. No matter what we do, it never seems to be enough. Transition, it seems, requires such immense and relentless effort that the self-care necessary to sustain oneself long-term can feel like an unaffordable or self-indulgent luxury.
Sustaining Resistance: Empowering Renewal
Prior to taking up the role of Inner Transition Coordinator for Transition Network I spent three years working for Ecodharma, a land-based community and education centre in a wild and remote part of the Catalunyan Pyrenees. I spent much of this time living off grid in this small intentional community and working as the part of an international facilitation team developing and delivering 10 day residential workshops called Sustaining Resistance: Empowering Renewal. We also shared Train the Trainer workshops to support people to offer these workshops in their own communities and countries around the world.
During this time I had the privilege of spending time with hundreds of passionate, committed and exhausted activists* (many of whom were involved in Transition) who had somehow found their way to this wild and remote Catalunyan valley intent on discovering more sustainable, resilient, creative, transformative and nourishing ways of engaging in the world. Hearing about the countless projects, campaigns and direct-actions that these peaceful warriors of the heart are involved in was humbling and inspiring in equal measure. These wise souls had travelled from all across Europe and beyond, such was their commitment to finding a more sustainable approach to their life’s work and passion.
For many participants this was their very first deliberate and conscious pause to reflect on their activism – to celebrate their successes and pay attention to the toll it has on their health and wellbeing and ability to fully participate in the world. During every workshop we would hear the most incredible diversity of experiences ranging from various innovative Transition projects through to people risking their lives in the most humbling and awe inspiring direct-actions. This melting pot of activists coming together with burnout and exhaustion as their common currency never failed to develop the most touching and tender of bonds between them.
It was always palpable from the outset of each workshop just how much relief participants felt simply being surrounded by others who were openly sharing their sense of exhaustion; their fear of not knowing how to return to a sense of wellness; and their anxiety around not being able to be involved without getting overwhelmed and taking on too much. Time and again participants would share about how challenging they find it to say ‘no’ and how much pressure they feel to do increasingly more and more.
* I use the term ‘activist’ to describe anyone involved in social and ecological justice and renewal work. It is a complex and sometimes controversial term which I feel needs reclaiming on many levels. What’s more, it can be our overattachment to an activist identity that leads to burnout . This is something we explore within these workshops.
Space to reflect, rest and replenish
From Burnout to Balance: Co-creating cultures of collective and self-care is a new Transition residential workshop offering a nourishing space to reflect on and explore personal resilience and sustainability through the co-creation of cultures of collective- and self-care. We draw on ecological/systems thinking, embodied holistic-participatory learning, nature connection, Process Work and the Work that Reconnects to explore the causes of, and tools for addressing and avoiding burnout and disillusionment. As well as offering a space of reflection and rest, From Burnout to Balance shares practical methods for engaging in the inner and interpersonal transition that outer Transition is contingent upon.
The workshop will include:
– Practices of of collective- and self-care
– Changing behavioural patterns that cause burnout
– Building group dynamics that support sustainable activism
– Avoiding disillusionment/staying inspired
– What is ‘enough’?
Does this resonates with you? Have you felt or do you feel on the edge of burnout? Do you long to return to a sense of wellbeing and vitality that supports hearted connection with yourself, others and the world around you? Are you hungry to discover insights and skills to support you to come into more healthy relationship with your Transition work?
Organising a workshop near you
If you would like to talk to us about organising a workshop specifically for your group or in your community, region or country please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this more.
Claire Milne will be co-facilitating From Burnout to Balance in England at Ragmans Lane Farm in the Forest of Dean from 28 – 30 October please be in touch for more information and/or to book a place.