Africa was completely and utterly fabulous. It was the trip of a lifetime and I wouldn’t change a thing. I could write a book about my two-week experience on safari in Tanzania.
It was AMAZING.
Get a load of these pics!
At times it was surreal. Deep, wild, emotional. Being this close to animals in their natural habitat was beyond anything else I've done in my life.
I came home from Africa with stars in my eyes, refreshed, and alert even after a 41-hour trip home.
I left again after two weeks.
First to Manitou Springs, Colorado, to be in a circle of 13 women from all over the country… the Green Women’s Leadership retreat.
We came together with our hearts wide open to learn about the climate crisis and how each one of us can make a difference. We talked, we cried, we connected and we realized just how desperate things are in the world. We each made a commitment to our own self-care so that we can be up for making a difference in the world.
Each woman in this group will have a project in their own community. We will be connecting and educating ourselves to be ecologically literate and understanding the threats to the health and integrity of the earth's natural systems. The world needs women now to lead, teach, create and find solutions to the challenges that our planet and communities are facing.
After this intense, phenomenal week, I traveled to Georgia, back to my roots, to the small town where I grew up. I reconnected with my 3 siblings. We laughed and told stories about our past. We walked on the farmland of my grandparents. We told stories of our past and connected as only people who grow up in the same family do.
When I returned home from these trips, I realized I needed time to just be...to let it all sink in. I felt unfocused and overwhelmed.
There was so much.
First in Africa, with incredible visual stimulation everywhere, with seeing nomadic tribes who live today as they have hundreds of years ago. Seeing poverty and at the same time viewing breathtaking scenes on safari and seeing all the animals I've only ever seen in National Geographic or at the zoo...it was mindblowing and impossible to take it all in.
And then at the retreat, facing the hard truths that our world is completely a mess and that it’s worse than what we can imagine, holy cow. I already knew. But I didn't want to know much more about climate change because I felt helpless and I didn't know what to do.
I signed up for this year-long program of green women to be involved. Because I knew that it's time now. Time for women to step up and lead.
I asked myself…how are Africa and the changing climate and my going back to my roots all related? When I’m working with clients, I’m always asking them how things in their lives are related.
Africa: I went to the continent where humankind was born. I saw the indescribable beauty of the earth and its animals and people. I talked to women in tribes who, (through an interpreter) asked if we had walked there from where we lived, who would have never seen an airplane, who had not a clue how old they were, and who would have probably never have seen a book.
A short time later, I sat in a circle of powerful, caring women in Colorado, discussing how we could make a difference. And I thought about the women in Africa and wondered what their concerns are. I imagined it was mostly centered around what they might get to eat that day. And I thought we owe it to those people that live completely off the land as hunter-gatherers to save the earth.
The world needs women now to step up, to thrive, to be empowered, and to be fully engaged in finding solutions to the many challenges that our planet faces.
In Tanzania, I wept when I saw giraffes walking across the dry lake bed. Deep emotion welled up inside of me seeing this one of a kind scene. And I thought, what if one day the animals don't have enough water to survive? What if my grandchildren never get to see this? What if these animals become extinct?
In Colorado I wept when we talked about the problems of the earth.
I felt complete despair because I didn't want to face the truth...that we're screwed. The world as we know it is changing before our very eyes. On top of all this, I had no idea what my role would be in how to change things.
Slowly, I shifted during the retreat as I listened to each woman.
No one really knows the answer, it's complex, but when we women come together we can use our wisdom and creativity to make a difference. I realized I’m not alone in my despair or how to change anything.
I know most people do care about Mother Earth and what is happening. I realize that are so many people like us coming together trying to find answers, not to mention the scientists and researchers who are frantically searching for answers. What I realized is that everyone has to come together and know that in their own way they can make a difference.
I am committed to making a difference and I invite you to come with me on this journey of being "green," of choosing to be aware of what can be done, even if it's just small things.
Here are some ways that you can make a difference right now, today:
One last thing for you to know:
I’ll be offering upcoming online retreats for the holidays and for the new year. These retreats are designed for you to go deeper into yourself, use ritual, journaling, and it will help you put yourself first through the busiest time of the year.
My next retreat is my Winter Solstice Online Retreat December 21st.
Go here to sign up: Jo's online Winter Solstice retreat
Choose to make yourself a priority and join us. This time of the year doesn't have to be frenetic and crazy. It can be nurturing and restorative with deep meaning.
If you've been on my Best Year online retreats, in the past, you know the value in taking the time to review the year and then set your intentions for the next.
Make 2020 Your Best Year There are 2 choices this year - January 11th and January 19th.
Vision board retreat February 1, 2020 (more details to come)
What you can do now: Go outside and soak up some nature. Savor your life and get involved.
Isn't this little warthog cute? I learned that they bend on their knees to be closer to the ground to eat because they have short necks and longer legs.