Inner resilience and climate changeWhy we need to practice self-care in order to save our world

By Mary Sage

Several years ago, my young daughter and I joined a community conversation here in St. Anthony Park about what small steps we could take locally to respond to climate change.

Soon after, we started attending monthly meetings of Transition Town–ASAP. We are deeply committed to our neighborhood and appreciate the active engagement of people having real conversations about regenerative practices.

One of those practices is cultivating “inner resilience.” As climate change pushes our society to improve the tenacity of our built environment, food and energy systems and local economies; we also need to build our inner resources so we can respond to these times.

Along with that, we can also attend to how we relate to one another and get along while doing the important work of systemic change.

The national Transition US organization—of which our local group is a part—has an Inner Resilience Network open to all. The group offers a monthly Connection Café where participants can get supported in a caring environment, learn how to listen more deeply and link arms in conscious activism. For offerings and more information, visit

As a local wellness practitioner, I’ve aligned my work with the practice of inner resilience and I would love to invite you to begin within.

To quote the late peace warrior Thich Nhat Hahn, “Everything can begin with you. You are the foundation of any change that will happen in your society.”

The skills we will need to really change the world involve being able to relate as conscious citizens and to communicate constructively, even when we don’t fully agree.

Inner resilience for the greater good

Inner resilience can be summed up as our mental, emotional and physical capacities to respond and adapt to the world around us. Its roots are in self-awareness, regular healthy lifestyle habits and a feeling of being able to bounce back after a stressful event.

Disruptors to resilience are unresolved trauma, unrelenting stressors or unmet basic needs.

In my practice, clients regularly express anxiety, ongoing stress and a questionable readiness to meet the demands of life. Prolonged periods of uninterrupted triggers can lead to stress related disease, decrease in social activities, loss of work or income and feeling caught in a spin cycle of worry.

To restore our wellbeing requires some dedication and regular recharging. The answer is to begin within.

When we expand our a sense of capacity, we are more likely to want to be involved, make good choices and help someone in need. We feel more clarity, purpose, readiness and connection. We can be the change we want to see in the world.

Here are a few self-care practices to build your inner resilience:

• Start tuning into your body: physical sensations, emotions and mindset

• Strengthen the relationships that matter most to you; try deep listening

• Explore your own sense of purpose in the world: Has it changed?

• When you’re ready, find ways to serve that purpose and reach out to others who share it.

With more personal resilience, we can weave the fabric of our community to be more aligned and can strengthen our resolve to change the future for the better. By building skills around self-care, including open hearted dialogue, we become resilient and support others in doing the same.

As one of my teachers says, “What we do for the one, we do for the all.”

Get clear about your own significance and importance here. What will it take for you to be at full capacity? We need you and each other to make the changes! 

Mary Sage is a multi-passionate wellness coach, therapeutic bodyworker, meditation teacher and SAP neighbor. She can be found some days at Healing Elements, 2290 Como Ave., teaching Inner Resilience-style classes.

2 Responses

  1. Sydney

    “[W]e also need to build our inner resources so we can respond to these times.” What great wisdom Mary Sage!

    Thank you for these reminders that outer work like systemic change and climate justice is most successful when were also tending to our inner work.

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