All Posts By

Anne Yarwood

No. 15 – Staying Awake

By | Wake Up

In the struggle to oppose hate, and to replace it with fierce love and compassion, it’s necessary ─ though often or usually stressful ─ to remain awake, watchful, hopeful.

One way to remain awake and hopeful is through the arts. Below there are links to six pieces of artistic creativity. All contain music, and all contain elements of drama and theatrical performance.

The countries of origin include France, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom and United States.

Transformative power

An illustrated talk (about 20 minutes) about the power of music to transform lives, yours, mine, everyone’s – HERE 

Light in dark times

A sermon in December 2018 beginning and ending with affirmations of Bono’s song There is a Light, written after the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 –  HERE

Happiness – and watch out !

Animated film (about four minutes) that takes a wry look at doomed searches for well-being, fulfilment and bliss somewhere apart from where we actually live – HERE 

Strictly inclusive

TV celebration of inclusive choreography, everyone but everyone special, November 2018 – HERE 

Joy in the public square

That famous dream of shared humanity and world community, adopted as the anthem of the European Union – HERE

I didn’t die, says he

‘What they forgot to kill went on to organise’, the unending a luta continua onwards and upwards to justice , and to positive peace – HERE 

Hold On

If there is a light
We can’t always see
If there is a world
We can’t always be
If there is a dark
Now we shouldn’t doubt
And there is a light
Don’t let it go out

Hold on, Hold on.

Bono 2017

 

Read More

Trained to Hate

By | Blogs

Emotional correctness is about communicating compassion and mutual respect, not only with your words but with your intent and tone. I’m still an ardent fan, but I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to practise, catching myself slipping into anger and swimming in hate.

Especially in the last few years.

I was sort of trained to hate. Before I became a television commentator, I worked for fifteen years as a community organiser, fighting for policy reform on issues like lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, health care, criminal justice and immigration.

Right-wingers were my enemies, and I hated them.

… Donald Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States of America made my blood boil. I couldn’t believe the level of hate he so readily and proudly spewed against Muslims, women, immigrants and African-Americans.

I remember feeling dumbfounded when George W Bush was re-elected in 2004 … I may not have consciously categorised Bush voters as less than human, but I certainly thought they were less than American and certainly less than me – less smart, less understanding and, ironically enough, less compassionate.

I didn’t think any of that was particularly hateful.

I just thought I was correct.

  • From The Opposite of Hate: a field guide to repairing our humanity by Sally Kohn, Algonquin Books 2018, pp 1-2.
Read More

No. 14 – Civil Society

By | Wake Up

The size of the THIRD SECTOR globally and its relationship with UK GOVERNMENT –

  • Global Civil Society has mushroomed into global workforce of 350 million professionals and volunteers. If this workforce were a country, it would be the third most populous …. following China & India.
  • World Economic Forum :- ”Closing space for civil society reduces the chances that these challenges will be effectively addressed’’ – HERE
  • World Economic Forum – “5 challenges for Civil Society in the 4th Industrial Revolution “ –  HERE 
  • UK HMG Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published first Civil Society Strategy for fifteen years. Proposes Third Sector be increasingly involved in design of public services: view NOT supported by general public  HERE 
  • Charities Aid Foundation notes the SPACE between Government and the charitable sector is being shrunk, with implications for the latter’s reduced critical and championing role. The Third Sector role is predominantly “speaking ON BEHALF of the disadvantaged’’ – HERE 
  • UN special Rapporteur MAINA KIANI ( 2011- 2017), UN Human Rights Council visited UK 2013 and 2016. Noted that businesses received markedly more favourable responses from HMG than the Third Sector, particularly application procedures.
Read More

Grenfell Tower, June 2017 – Ben Okri

By | Blogs

I could not get that burning tower out of my head. Bearing witness seemed the only thing to do. Three days after the fire I made my way there. Many years ago I used to live nearby and the tower was always in my periphery. I saw photographs of the dead before I saw the tower itself. Their faces were everywhere. They stared out from the undeniable reality of their lives. They were alive when those pictures were taken, alive like you and me. There were pictures on ordinary white paper, with their names below, sometimes their ages, and then the word MISSING. At that time their families still hoped they would be found. Seeing those faces on the wall, faces that were fresh with life, faces that were serious with a sense of the insurmountable problems of life, faces of a young couple that showed them happy and in love—I was quite overcome. Even before I had walked a few yards, I was already fighting the tears.

Acknowledgement – FT 8 June 2018

Read More

Don’t Worry About a Thing

By | Blogs

Three Little Birds

PLEASE CLICK ON BLOG PIX OR BLOG TITLE TO SEE THE VIDEO LINK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYi5aW1GdUU

Don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright

Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying’, (this is my message to you)

Singing’ don’t worry ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Singing’ don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright

Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Sayin’, this is my message to you

Singin’ don’t worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh
Every little thing gonna be alright, don’t worry
Singin’…

Bob Marley

Read More

No. 12 – Mac Macartney

By | Wake Up

Mac Macartney, international speaker, leader, and founder of the community at Embercombe. We were enormously privileged to have him speak at Festival of the Dark, and moved by how he – a secular speaker reflecting on Darkness – was welcomed in to St James Roman Catholic church by Father John. All Father John needed as reassurance was that it was a positive invocation to live mindfully, with care for our Earth. That then put it in line with Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment; the Pope had asked parish priests and parishes to spread the message of care, and so we were welcomed in. And thus Mac was able to weave his stories of love for the Earth, and our responsibility as spiritual beings to live with care for ourselves, within care for our community, within care for all of our connected environment.

Excerpt from Mac’s talk

 

 

Read More

Outrider Anthems’ Festival of the Dark

By | Blogs

Last year saw Outrider Anthems’ Festival of the Dark unfold in Reading. With a small team, we brought over 24 diverse events to the town, hoping to stimulate a shift in consciousness. It became apparent this would be subtle rather than seismic, and indeed most major cultural, political, religious and corporate bodies shunned or ignored the festival. And yet, it was powerful.

To use a yoga anaology, it’s all about ‘micro-muscles’, deep internal muscles not reachable through dynamic exercise and obvious stretches. So one sits in almost complete stillness, focussing on small micro-movements. It feels slightly foolish, disappointing; how much more satisfying to be panting after a few hearty rounds of Salute to the Sun. Yet if one is attentive, the deep workings can be felt; if one envisions the movements, they make sense.

For those feeling overwhelmed by noise, despair, rage, preaching, and shouting for desperate action, exercising of the deep internal spiritual muscles through yoga, meditation, breathwork, gardening, stillness, then hone one for the power of dynamic action.

Read More

No. 11 – Wake Up to and shout aloud…..facts about Factory Farming

By | Wake Up

Head of Compassion in World Farming, Philip Lymbery states :

“There is a desperate need for joined-up action on Industrial Farming if we are to avoid a catastrophic impact on Earth”  – READ HIS ARTICLE HERE

IN ORDER FOR HUMANS TO BE ABLE TO BUY LOW COST MEAT – Interrelated conditions exist :-

  • In UK there are 1,674 intensive factory farms. Average space per. chicken 25cm x 25 cm. 94% chickens raised for meat in these conditions.
  • About 1/2 European antibiotics are given to livestock to combat infection & to enhance rapid animal growth. Infection spreads rapidly in factory farms.
  • Dutch scientists estimate 1/3 to 1/2 of antibiotic resistance in humans is due to infections originating in agriculture.
  • Poor working conditions for Farm Workers in factory farms: bacterial infections, cross contamination, excessive lines’ speed, exploitation, low wages
  • 5 privately owned firms control the new MEGA FARMS:- Faccenda, Moy Park, Cargill, 2 Sisters, Banham Poultry .They supply cheap meat to Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrison, Asda, Macdonalds, Nando,

Refs:-

 

Read More

Goat Yoga

By | Blogs

Goat Yoga is ‘big’ in the US apparently; rapidly gathering enthusiastic joiners in the UK. From the imaginative response to her own challenges, Lainey Morse 45, from Oregon, has brought happiness to scores of people.

One such Goat Yoga class was featured by Kate Humble on her BBC Programme endorsing small- scale new ‘farm’ projects.

Another series of classes is promoted by Dartington Dairies ; an offshoot of Dartington Hall inspirations, over many years. ( The Dartington Trust founded in 1925 by Dorothy & Leonard Elmhirst is well worth researching as a transformative heart- land for thousands of visitors seeking inspiration around the arts, social justice and sustainability. ”It attracts people with big ideas who want to transform the world”).

And the facts: Petting animals releases stress-reducing hormones including serotonin ; there’s a similar effect from yoga practice.

Read about Goat Yoga – HERE – Goatyoga

Dartington Trust  – HERE – Dartington Hall

 

Read More