Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

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17 Jun 2009

Mary-Jayne Rust on the ‘Resilience of the Heart’

Aha!  A picture of Mary-Jayne giving her talk!  Thanks to Mike G....

Aha! A picture of Mary-Jayne giving her talk! Thanks to Mike G....

Mary Jayne Rust is an ecopsychologist and psychotherapist.  At the 2009 Transition Network conference ‘Transition Everywhere’ event, she gave a talk called ‘Resilience of the Heart.  It set out to address the following;

Crisis has the potential to transform our hearts. This is a great gift. What might help us to be open hearted and resilient as we live through testing times? How do we build inner resilience, as well as resilient communities, so that we can endure and resolve conflict? What are the steps we need to take to find a different way of relating to ourselves, to each other and to the earth?”

You can download the pdf. of the entire talk here.  Many thanks to Mary Jayne for the talk and for permission to post it here.

I couldn't find a picture of Mary Jayne giving her talk, so here is a picture of the stage just before she went on....The picture of the hall just before Mary-Jayne’s talk that some commenters (below) objected to….

Comments are now closed on this site, please visit Rob Hopkins' blog at Transition Network to read new posts and take part in discussions.


Brett Snelson
18 Jun 7:35am


I am grateful for this talk it was really inspiring.

I was really excited to hear in your talk about unconditional listening and compassionate communication. These are important to me and central to my understanding of cultural transformation and eco-psy healing. Listening without judgement is the only way out of the sandbox, and onward toward collaborative and creative communities, full of diversity (resilence) and love.

“Observation without judgement is the highest form of intelligence” – Krishnamurti



zita cox
18 Jun 8:02am

I am pleased to see a picture of the large number of people waiting to hear Mary Jane speak. However I would have liked to see along side this a picture of the speak, preferably on stage but if that could not be “found” then a photo taken at another time.
I find it disturbing that the only woman speaker of the night was not photographed at the time and is represented by a picture of an empty stage. With all the discussion about a lack of diversity in the recent film this image of a woman being represented by an empty stage speaks loud and clear.
If your intention is to be inclusive and respectful of people other than white men some awareness of how you speak through images as well as words needs discussion and thought.

Tree Staunton
18 Jun 8:06am

What a strange sight to see an empty stage rather than a picture of the only woman speaker at the event…..and the polite and cool comment about Mary Jayne’s contribution struck me in contrast to the write ups of all the more ‘factual’ deliveries. What is being said here? That alternative politics has no space for psychological or personal reflection? Well. I thought we had moved beyond this in the 80’s but here it is again. Marginalisation of women, of the inner life, and reflectiveness; a split between inner and outer, doing and being….all the same problems that got us into this mess in the first place. what a disappointment!

18 Jun 11:35am

How wonderful to see the Transition Conference including this subject. I really appreciate being able to read Mary Jayne’s full talk and take time to ponder and integrate it.

What a shame we didnt have time to share questions and answers after her talk, when there was plenty of time for the other speakers who were speaking about things we already talk about more often.

It would be great to get a picture of Mary Jayne here rather than an empty stage, not least because of the conversations around diversity that are taking place around the film, and the content of her talk, as well as her being a woman, speaks directly to this.

It seems this is a new frontier in our transition culture, and I can see it opening the doors for more and more people to find their way into the heart of making the change happen.

thank you Rob and Mary Jayne for posting this here

19 Jun 4:22pm

Just to come back on the ‘why no photo of Mary-Jayne’ and the statements that the fact that there is no photo is somehow an indication of male bias here… I took very few photos myself at the conference, and I certainly couldn’t take any at that event, as I was onstage for all of it. I had to rely, when trying to find pics for this article, on what I could find in the Flickr albums that other people had posted, and I couldn’t find one of Mary-Jayne talking. Hence, I thought that rather than posting a stock pic off the web of her, I would post something that more gave the sense of the atmosphere of the event. That’s it really… anyway, Mike Grenville has, as a result of these conversations, sent me a picture of her giving her talk, so I have replace it… (see above)….
thanks all…

Jane Buttigieg
19 Jun 7:22pm

The Transition movement has never struck me as having a male bias…what a load of bunk! If any groups are marginalised, it certainly ain’t us women! Just look at us here in Bristol, where we seem to outnumber the men. Why, I’m even a woman myself!

Tree Staunton
20 Jun 9:03am

It is great to hear from Jane that she does not experience any marginalisation of women in the TT movement and that they are in the majority….that would mean that the fact that there were more male speakers at the conference was not representative of the number of people involved, and if it were there would be mostly women speakers? The silent majority?
It feels important to add-when we talk about a MASCULINE bias it does not necessarily mean MALE. This is one to watch for all of us. Losing sight of how to work, live, eat, manage our resources and relationships in a sustainable way is a feature of the loss of balance with regard to the inner life and ‘feminine’ values and qualities (in the Jungian sense rather than a gender) and over egging of outer /masculine. ‘Doing’ sustainability and ‘being’ in ‘right relationship’ might describe two necessary poles we need to pull us through this mess..and being in dialogue, respecting each others’ opinions and values is part of a sustainable future, rather than replicating the political power games which lose sight of what’s important. So thanks for dialoguing everyone.