Patti Gora-McRavin - Responding to trauma has been at the heart of Patti’s life work. First, as the director of a local battered women's shelter and rape crisis center, and later, when she experienced the dangerous reality of smoke from agricultural burning threatening the life of her son who had serious asthma. Patti got to work.
Agricultural burning in the region had killed dozens of people outright. Working in a foundation set up specifically to deal with air quality ( to stop uncontrolled crop residue burning in her area), Patti worked long and tirelessly with other concerned people to win new state rules and regulations concerning agricultural burning. She testified in Washington, DC and rode tractors in the fields with farmers -- she is comfortable just about everywhere and loves people, even those with whom she has a disagreement.
In the midst of this very public transformation, her husband was diagnosed with cancer and died in just 4 weeks, leaving her widowed with 2 children to raise, a foundation to run and in terrible shock. The trauma of his sudden death was emotionally paralyzing and in an attempt to get back a emotional equilibrium, she moved into the practice of yoga, breath-work, meditation, EFT and Reiki as alternatives to the heavy medications which were recommended by physicians that would have reduced her ability to remain emotionally connected to her young children. (It must be noted that this women has a crazy/wicked sense of humor and it has been suggested she give up activism for Stand-up Comedy but during this time period, laughter was not easily come by.) She recently participated in a "50 states for Clean Air" lobbying event coordinated by Earth Justice, the American Nurses Association, the Hip Hop Caucus, National Council of Churches and Physicians for Social Responsibility which urged Congress to stop rolling back EPA's authority to regulate clean air and is currently consulting with Russia on their Clean-air issues.
Patti once dreamed that an old Buddhist Monk whom she greatly respects gave her a potato as a gift. A potato? Yes. In French the potato is called in translation: Apple of the Earth…in short, earth knowledge/wisdom. And that is what Patti brings to us, earth wisdom. She knows the damage done by disconnection from the literal roots of our beginnings and occasionally will write on healing gardens.