Sasha Daucus has been an active member of Radical Joy for Hard Times since 2012 and has hosted Global Earth Exchanges every year since then. For the 2017 GEx she rallied people in her hometown of Doniphan, Missouri, including government officials, to create a “Mural of Hope” in a public place as an act of resilience and empowerment after severe flooding had torn through the town that spring. She is a member of the RadJoy Earth Ambassadors. Sasha is a retired midwife, a professional herbalist, and a teacher of the Avatar Course. 
 
Here Sasha shares her reflections about why attending to hurt places helps us to move beyond grief.   
When I am sick, I want my friends to remember me , support me and care for me, but I don’t want them to carry my woundedness in their hearts! I want them to see me as a whole person even during a difficult time, not draw back and turn away and not to see me only as wounded.
To me this is what we are doing with Radical Joy for Hard Times, and I believe it is why people feel so good after doing the practice… they honor and respect the place in its fullness and not just as “wounded place”. That’s the Radical Joy part.
One of the things I learned from relating to my brother who had schizophrenia was that he was not his illness. When his symptoms were extreme it could be hard to remember that, but as someone who loved him, I was amazed to notice that, even through extreme displays of the illness, I could feel my brother and I could feel my love for my brother. I felt that this was one of the things that I did for him, to see him as a person and not as his illness. This was not just good for him, it was amazing for me as well. To me this is the heart of the practice of Radical Joy.
I believe that neglectful ways of dealing with the places we are attending to fall into the category of losses that are hard to grieve and as a result perhaps we do carry them in our heart longer. But for me the practice of RadJoy and the Global Earth Exchange aim to help people grieve and move that grief out of our hearts and to integrate it in a way that leaves more energy and joy— Radical Joy in Hard Times.

Trebbe Johnson
Trebbe JohnsonFounder
Trebbe is the author of The World Is a Waiting Lover and 101 Ways to Make Guerrilla Beauty. Her new book, Radical Joy for Hard Times: Finding Meaning and Making Beauty, will be published in Fall 2018 by North Atlantic Books. Her articles about people’s emotional and spiritual relationship with nature have appeared in Orion, Sierra, Ecopsychology, The Ecologist, The Nation, Harper’s and other magazines. She lives with her husband, Andrew Gardner, in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a region currently under exploitation by natural gas companies.

Image Credit:

  • Mandala Sasha Daucus: Sasha Daucus

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