From Environmental Activism to Light
By Sama Morningstar
For several years in my early twenties I was
involved in environmental activism. I was enamored with Edward Abby, Deep
ecology, Earth First, and the Ruckus Society. I went to camps out in the mountains to
learn how to climb trees and camp out in them to prevent loggers from cutting them down. Julia Butterfly was my hero.
During those years the things that inspired me
were different than most of the other activists. I connected more deeply with
the activists that had a mystical connection with the forest. I remember one
speaking about the Ancient Redwoods being a “Climax Ecosystem”. This described
my experience of
the energy of elation and bliss that I felt when visiting the Redwoods.
I was also drawn to the activists who had a deep
commitment to non-violence. I knew that if we abandoned our commitment to
non-violence, then we had lost the greater struggle towards a less violent
One of my most poignant experiences
as an environmental activist in No.
California was the summer I participated in a mass sandbagging line to
protect a home from
being destroyed by landslides, the
result of logging operations.
We were handing sand bags down a line of activists
a quarter mile long to the uphill side of the house. There were police officers
in riot gear blocking the freeway entrances at the base of the 101 overpass
that our line passed under. As I walked past these officers to take my place in line, a rainbow came
down and touched the ground right
in front of them. The activists walking by noticed this and started drumming
and cheering. The officers didn’t understand what was going on.
I felt just as elated and blissful in this moment
as I ever have in any climax ecosystem. This one act of helping the local people in a tangible way completely changed the
climate in the area from one of animosity and distrust between activists and
locals to one of collaboration. This shift, I feel, was instrumental in bringing an end
to major logging operations in the area while
there were still some old trees left standing.
This experience was also instrumental for me in my development as a healer.
I got to see that what felt right and true to me, an approach of non-violent
collaboration and heartfelt compassion takes us much farther in the long run
than confrontation and combat. This represents the overall shift in paradigm that we
are going through as human beings.
Each of us has the potential to experience
ourselves as a “climax ecosystem” and live a life of ecstasy. This is why we are drawn to unaltered ecosystems still in their
The truth is, however, that this
original state is available to all of us, no matter where we are or what is
happening. As soon as we realize our true nature of love and compassion, all of
life becomes an opportunity to express and experience unconditional love.
This does not mean that we just sit around and do nothing, simply smiling and blissing out while our fellow humans wallow in pain and destruction. On the contrary, for as we
wake up to our potential, it becomes more and
more clear what our highest purpose is and we have the energy and resources to
serve that purpose effortlessly and blissfully.
I spent many years after my experiences with
Environmental Activism cultivating my inner resources and discovering my
highest purpose. How was I to work towards healing in the world? What I
discovered was that whatever unhealthy patterns I have in myself will be recreated in any endeavor I attempt to achieve on the outside. So I retreated for 15
years into a reclusive yoga ashram
in the forests of Northern California. My focus there was to heal the
destructive patterns that were ingrained in my personality that were making me
physically ill and sabotaging my life in all areas. I got to the point in my
process that this focus on the negative patterns had served its purpose and was actually starting to backfire. What we focus on becomes stronger. So I
began to focus on the positive dreams I have for myself and the world. This was
similar to the shift we made as activists. We stopped focusing on the police officers and they were showered in rainbow light as we
carried those sandbags up the hill and saved that house!
Now any painful patterns that come up for me are
showered in rainbow light! I get to focus on Light, Love, and
Healing. In my healing practice, I continually remind myself and those I work with of the simple universal truths that
are unchanging, unwavering, constant. Together we take the
steps necessary to love ourselves
exactly where we are while at the same time playing with improving our lives to reflect the
infinite love that is our true nature.
lives in the beautiful city of Long Beach. She is a Certified Massage Therapist, Universal Life Minister,
Yoga Instructor, Birthing from Within Childbirth Preparation Mentor and Birth Doula. You
can find her at www.lightspirit birthdoula.com and facebook: www.facebook.com/sama.morningstar,
www.facebook.com/lightspiritbirthdoula, and on