Reconciliation fatigue: Taking care of ourselves

By David Kline, CO CCL State Co-Coordinator

I recently had the opportunity to take a CCL workshop based on Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone’s book Active Hope. In two hours, the workshop toured the framework Macy pioneered: from gratitude to recognizing our climate-driven grief and pain, to seeing with new eyes, and finally, carrying that vision into practice. It was only on reflecting about it afterwards that I realized how much I had needed to stop and recharge. I felt better, more prepared to tackle the next bit of advocacy work.

On the second day of the November Conference, I had a chance for another pause to recharge, in the Opening Hearts and Minds with Evidence-Based Communication Techniques workshop, which created a powerful synergy between a set of personal resilience techniques and a refresher on motivational interviewing. Again, I came away with more energy and optimism. A recording of the workshop, and the rest of the conference, is available here:

Many people I know in CCL are so committed to the work that they might not stop to ask themselves whether they’re getting burned out. Perhaps, like me, you’re one of them. So I invite you to take a minute — right now — to check in on your own level of burnout in your climate change work. No need to write it down or tell anyone. Great. Now read on.

A group of CCLers recognized the need to support people in dealing with burnout some time ago. In response, they organized the Resilience Building Action Team. This team, which organized both workshops mentioned above, offers many resources that volunteers can draw on when they feel the need.

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If you’re looking for ways to step back, recharge, and gain perspective on your work as a climate change advocate, here are some possibilities.