Regenerative Culture: Post-Rebellion Blues

Getting 'back to normal' isn't always easy.

This period of rebellion has been both a growthful and challenging time for us Rebels. We had to face disproportionate and illegal use of violence from the police in Madrid, while we bravely remained peaceful cutting off traffic in Villaverde's bridge. We shared strong and intense emotions: belonging, impatience, excitement, delusion for what it could have been and a sense of empowerment for what we have successively done.

A regenerative culture and regenerative action cycles are what can support this movement to sustain its work and to develop resilience in the face of the emergency. Reflection & learning are all part of the process of regenerative care and it there is much work to be done.
We want to come back through the action with stronger basis, united against the climate and ecological breakdown.

Our means are our creativity, adaptability and resilience: we are all engaged in the mission of raising the alarm and remembering what it truly means to be humans as part of Nature.

Caring human beings in front of the Ministry of Ecological Transition

We acknowledge that many communities are already living on the front lines of the climate and ecological emergency. These communities are already living a regenerative and resilient response in the face of the challenges, as the waters and temperatures rise. There is much to be learned from these communities and the cultures that are living on the front lines of the climate and ecological emergency.

Practical next steps

The impacts of an action, both positive and negative, can have long-lasting and wide reaching effects on the individuals involved. The action doesn't end when you leave the site and go home; there could be social implications with court cases, family or workplace issues. Simultaneously, the emotional journey can unfold in subtle ways. People may feel isolated, alienated or estranged, filled with self doubt or even shame. The extent of the impact may not be apparent in the immediate aftermath of the action, and often can build over time if it is ignored.

Long-term involvement in emotionally demanding situations is easier to cope with when you have a way of being with and processing the emotional states that the situations evoke. Taking time to rest, reflect and recover after big actions is essential to processing these feelings and avoiding burnout, especially with the potential for more sustained and frequent attrition actions. Buddies, anchors, affinity group support, talking circles, and other ways we can resource ourselves. Exercise, time-out, nature, mediation, yoga, spending time with loved ones, can all support. Self-care is not selfish. Only by taking the time to refresh and renew ourselves as individuals can we collectively bring our best to future actions and ongoing commitments.

The Cycle of Regeneration

There is much to be learned from the cycles of nature and the patterns of the days and years. The Regenerative Action Cycle has been created from observations of these natural cycles and developed through indigenous wisdom and regenerative cultures. It is a way for us to plan, act, process and reflect in ways that are connected to a rhythm and cycle, bigger than ourselves.

The Regenerative Action Cycle invites us to:

  • Take care of ourselves and connect with our anchors as we return home (Afternoon/Late Summer)
  • Celebrate and share stories in small gatherings (Sunset/Autumn)
  • Accept, debrief, feedback and honour the emotions raised by our actions (Dusk/End of Autumn)
  • Rest, reflect and dream new visions (Midnight/Mid-Winter)
  • With gratitude, come together again to develop new ideas and intentions (First Light/Beginning of Spring)

This then leads into the next steps for future actions:

  • Creating teams, training for actions. (Sunrise/Mid Spring)
  • Practical Preparation, Pre Arrest prep etc (Mid Morning/Beginning of Summer)
  • The Action – (Midday/ Height of Summer)

Illustration: the regenerative action circle

Expanding Circles of Support

We are cultivating a culture in which we are invited to explore and empower our inner and collective resourcefulness. We can learn to draw on our own wisdom and learnings to be able to support ourselves and each other. We can do this through creating experiences of connection and safe spaces in which we are able to express ourselves and be heard and held.

The expanding circles of support are:

You – Connect to yourself and your needs.

Your buddy – Find someone who you can share support with.

Your local/affinity/working group – connect as a community

Local trained support – resourcing ourselves through trained support and input.

XR Regenerative Culture – resources and services to support local regenerative culture advocates and individual activists. Check out Rebel's Rehab: yoga and meditation class on Fridays (free for Rebels!) :)

Connection, Gratitude and Celebration

Connection is one of the foundations of a Regenerative Culture. We live in an interdependent web of life; connecting with this web of life is the most natural, yet often most forgotten, aspect of what it is to 'be'. It is essential for us to realize our potential as a species, characterized by our capacity to experience and express kindness, compassion and love in abundance.

Being grateful roots anything we do in an awareness of interconnectedness to all the causes and efforts that preceded us. Gratitude is a humbling process that helps us both diminish the limitations of our limited self and understand ourselves as a part of something bigger. Some people keep diaries or photo journals, or just a few moments of silent or vocal reflection at the start and end of every day.

Come together to celebrate in whatever way your community enjoys.

After the action we celebrate in a real spirit of brotherhood: we acknowledge that all of us we need the care of the other.

Don't forget to thank those who have supported you; your families and loved ones, partner groups friends and communities, for the support they have given.