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5 ways I Live Regeneratively While Grieving

My heart has been especially heavy right now. There is so much going on. In my own little corner of the world we have dealt with deaths in the family, feelings of loneliness and isolation, and the struggles of every day adulting. In other parts of the world there is war, genocide, and starvation going on. With political genocides and environmental disasters, it seems like the world is on fire and can leave me heavy with grief and shut down with hopelessness. It can often feel like there is nothing we can do to make a difference, life is hard and what is the point in even trying. Whenever I feel like this, it tends to feel silly to even bother with my reusable sandwich bags and compostable sponges. However, I have to remember something very important. We must hold on to hope, faith and trust for a better future. That may seem really hard to do, understandably, but every time I look into my children's eyes, see their smiles and hear their laughter I am inspired to plant the seeds that will grow a brighter future. I have a deep belief in something bigger than myself and all I can do is lean into that belief and do my best every day to help build a better future.

Studies show that many Indigenous Tribes here in the United States used fire as a method of cultivating the land. Fire initiated new growth and supported not only the tribes but the wildlife as well. A quote from explains "Yosemite itself was routinely burned to clear underbrush, open pasture lands, provide nutrient-rich forage for deer, and to support the growth of woodland food crops to feed and sustain what was once a large and thriving Indigenous population." I use this as an analogy, our world feels like it's burning because it is, the burning down of an old way of doing things to make way for a new way of being. It's a time to make a stand for something real, stand up against injustice, stand up against the abuse of power, abuse of land, and mistreatment of all things living. The systems that we rely on every day is built upon exploitation of land and people. It is time for these systems to be dismantled and instead built upon symbiotic relationships between each other, and nature. This dismantling and rebuilding may seem impossible to achieve. It's not something that will happen in simply one generation. When thinking of this, I can easily find myself overwhelmed. So I try to break it down like this.

  1. This is too much for me to fully understand and comprehend. My belief in a Higher Power is integral to staying sane every day and showing up for myself and my family. I personally do not belong to one religion or tradition, but I find that daily prayer helps me maintain trust that things will eventually be okay and that I do not have to make sense out of every little thing. I don't know everything, I don't want to know everything and thats okay. Somethings in life will always remain a mystery.

  2. I can help plant the seed for change but I likely won't live to see the fruits of my labor. While this can be somewhat depressing, I choose to focus on helping my kids see the world through a different lens and supporting them in the ideas they have. I have to have faith for a better future. I continue to have conversations around what our future can look like, and try to keep listening and learning. You don't have to be a parent to listen to our youth, what they care about, and what bright ideas they have.

  3. We will not get through this without community. Believe me, I know sometimes it's easier said than done. I live in my hometown and often feel like an outsider who can't fit in anywhere. Being in a community requires time, energy, and vulnerability. It means showing up authentically and participating. It means hurting and healing. All of which can be hard and scary, but it will be necessary to lean into community when we don't have our usual systems to sustain us.

  4. I take baby steps. One day and one moment at a time. I give myself grace and everyday hold the intention to do the best I can. That is quite literally all I can do, my best. My best looks different everyday, but I can sleep at night knowing I don't give up. Living regeneratively is a lifestyle, not a destination.

  5. Allow myself to grieve. There's so much that has broken my heart. Close deaths in the family, the hurt of my past trauma, the hurt of human suffering and death, the hurt of the Earth and wildlife being exploited. There is much in our world that hurts my heart and causes grief, anxiety and depression. Grief is not linear and I find that I move back and forth through all of the stages depending on the day or moment. Grief never really goes away but I'm learning to walk with it everyday.

I hope this helps and resonates with you. Life can be hard and complicated these days, but if we stick together, stand up against injustice everywhere, and continue to commit to doing our best everyday, the future will be bright!

Thank you for following along on our journey and if you ever want to chat I'm always down for a good email chain, feel free to email me at

-Jamila O. Edwards

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