This project was born out of the seedling of an idea that Eshana Bragg had about bringing the fields of ecopsychology and the practice of activism closer together to share their gifts with each other. In her article Activist Ecopsychology, Eshana advocates the need for “ecopsychological activism” or a joining of the fields of ecopsychology and activism in order to address the pressing global environmental issues we face. She introduces the ‘three steps to changing the world’ – Stay Awake! Connect! and Act! – and also suggests that a collaborative toolkit of ecopsychological processes is needed to help people take those steps (2014).
Our toolkit seeks to fill that gap and bring the two necessary and valuable fields of ecopsychology and activism together to help people create change in the world in a way that also brings psychological health. The idea has been incubated, reborn, and reincarnated several times by Eshana and Rachel and is now an online toolkit designed specifically for young adults to help empower, connect and motivate them/us to action.
The term “Joyality” was created by students of SIT’s Sustainability and Environmental Action study abroad program after experiencing an ecopsychology workshop with Eshana. It is a play on “spirituality”, acknowledging that the idea of “spirit” or “god” or the supernatural doesn’t work for everyone. At the heart of all of these is the universal human desire for purpose, for meaning, for belonging, and for joy.
The Joyality online toolkit was originally created over a period of five weeks at Foresthaven, a magical rainforest sanctuary and retreat center in Maclean, NSW, Australia as Rachel’s Independent Study Project for SIT.