By Jelelle Awen
Seeking knowledge about current world conditions that contribute to an overall sense of impending collapse is important. It’s a necessary phase that provides a growing sense of urgency, like putting kindling on a fire before you light it. The kindling could be scouring the internet for alternative news sources, reading social critics who provide a more radical and controversial viewpoint such as James Kunstler or Thomas Lewis and connecting with like-minded people in online and local transition communities to receive validation for your growing certainty about collapse coming. The sticks pile up and grow as your mind deconditions from cultural conditioning and seeks to separate from the group mentality that is so pervasive in our culture.
But, then what? You’ve got a nice pile of kindling going but it isn’t actually keeping you warm. When are you going to light the match? When are you going to start throwing logs on to get your fire really going? Lighting the match is about actually taking action, doing something in response to all that you’ve learned about collapse and are digesting with others. For us, lighting our match was about initially assessing if where we were living was going to provide us with the four essentials of survival: the logs of our fire, if you will, and then, taking action to find our sanctuary. We asked ourselves some hard questions, including if where we were living in British Columbia, Canada near the city of Vancouver on a coastline that is only accesible by ferry was really the sanctuary we wanted post collapse? Due to its high cost of living pre-collapse, short growing season, cold winters, and the significant impact that post collapse life would have on the people there (we imagined a lot of looting and panic), the answer was ‘no’. There is fresh water there and perhaps more chance to survive related to climate change, but, for us, the need for warm climate that provided a long growing season and less reaction after collapse from local people outweighed all that.
Once we decided that we weren’t staying in the same area and needed to leave as soon as possible, the match was lit to begin researching a place to go with a warmer climate. We decided on Mexico because we could drive there by car; we were more familiar with it; it has very fertile land; and the infrastructure collapse will be much less jarring than in western cultures. Quite quickly we found the ranch here, a 700 acre ecovillage about two hours from Puerto Vallarta with hundreds of fruit trees already planted there and multiple natural spring water sources. Solid infastructure has been built there for many years, including extenstive water pipelines to every house and trees. There is a community kitchen and bathroom/shower building, plus two large palapas which would allow us to host groups, couples, and individual retreats. We also liked that it wasn’t a community based on a guru or religious belief system, but was about individual lot and home owners living in a community that offered the potential of collaboration without a set expectation around it.
The ranch provided the most essential logs for our survival fire post collapse: shelter, fresh water, fresh food (the fruit trees plus organic food we would grow ourselves), and safety (being in a remote location that has good challenges in traveling easily to it.) With the potential of being at this ranch and feeling the logs of survival taken care of, we lit the match and began our exodus journey from Canada to Mexico, which I describe here.
The point of this article is that it feels as if more and more people are becoming aware of collapse and are in the kindling gathering stage. But, if they do not take action and light that fire and find those survival logs, all of their knowledge won’t mean anything when collapse happens and, sadly enough, they will perish along with those who never saw it coming at all.
Taking action is scary. Very scary. This is why parts of people debate endlessly about which place to go to without actually going anywhere, (if they decide that they can’t stay where they are, which is of course the ideal decision if the four ‘logs’ of survival are available). We feel strongly that the winter of this year and going into spring of next year will bring some major changes to the industrial world, economic and political systems especially. This is based on research but, also, it is based on our own intuitions and guidance from the Divine. For those who don’t feel or experience Divine guidance, I imagine that it’s hard to get what I am saying. But even if you don’t, I am urging you to take action based on your own instinct then. And start taking action immediately, way before collapse makes it so much harder and maybe even impossible to do so. Basically, stop talking about it and do it.
Yes, there will be fear and anxiety. There was and still is for us, even as we are now in the final stage of moving onto the ranch and hoping to begin planting seeds in the next few weeks. We’ve spent many years of focus on our emotional and spiritual healing, which I feel does make it easier for us in some ways. But, even with that, I feel that anyone can move forward from where they are and begin to find their sanctuary and making their way there or creating it out of what they have. Living ‘as if’ collapse is coming brings a purpose and momentum to life even if it is years before the ‘official’ collapse of industrial society actually happens.
We have already experienced so many gifts from making this life change, from living ‘as if’ collapse could happen any moment. We have left a cold and dreary climate to a warm one that doesn’t have frost or snow. We have increased our knowledge immensely of native plants, edible weeds and flowers, making our own soups and cleaning projects, living off of solar, etc. all of which makes us feel more empowered rather than dependent on the ‘grids’ to provide for us. As a community, we’ve increased our sense of collaboration, trust, and love with each other- even as we’ve had issues to sort out at times along the way. For me, as a healer and teacher, I feel a renewed sense of dedication to what I feel I am here to bring the world because I am even more deeply living my message with integrity. I am ‘walking my talk’, which is rare in the world of spirituality and emotional healing. I also feel more surrender into accepting that my form of service may come more in growing vegetables than in serving others.
We have thought of our own survival first, and yet, as healers for many years, we want to offer what we’ve experienced, learned, and drawn to ourselves with others.
Jelelle Awen is co-creator and facilitator of the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life. Go here to connect with Jelelle on facebook. Visit the SoulFullHeart website for more information about virtual sessions with her.