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Member Spotlight: Patty Kay

Pachamama Alliance • 22 July 2019

Patty is a Game Changer Intensive Moderator. You can learn more about Patty on her profile page.

Where do you currently live?Patty Kay

I was born, raised and still live in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I’ve lived in Dallas, Baton Rouge and New Orleans but I’ve never felt of any place as home but here. Lake Charles is known as “the sportsman’s paradise” but I’ve always considered this place as a tree lover’s paradise. And it’s a great spot for birdwatching. The “Creole Nature Trail” is close at hand where you can walk with alligators. (Don’t pet them though!)

We’re home to a multitude of oil and gas refineries which are the basis of our economy. Yet, Lake Charles has won the cleanest city in Louisiana numerous times. It’s beautiful here with a lot of thanks to our Team Green that focuses on city-wide recycling as well as beach clean-ups. We have a small nature park here where various groups are dedicated to maintaining gardens of native plants and indigenous insects.

What are some ways you like to spend your time?

I was mostly educated in Catholic institutions from elementary through graduate studies where my focus was Eco-theology. I’ve been hugging trees since high school! My love of learning stems from my education where I learned to appreciate knowledge for its own sake. So now I read and take online courses for entertainment because I think learning is fun. 

I’m a retired accountant. Spirituality and ecology have always been welcomed respites from the daily grind of number-crunching and deadlines. Now have time to pursue those interests more deeply.

Currently, I’m in the process of constructing a Tiny House using what I’ve learned to make myself a down-sized, green retirement home.

My area seems resistant to any talk of climate change. While I’ve tried to promote Drawdown as an umbrella to address the issue, I’m finding numerous projects here are doing the work but are unwilling to coordinate under Drawdown. So now, I participate in several groups hoping to get “in” enough where my contribution can be a little more than participation.

How did you first connect with Pachamama Alliance?

I first heard of Pachamama Alliance on Facebook where the invitation to "Awaken the Dreamer" intrigued me. I tried the online program about 5 years ago. Later, I got an email asking me if I'd like to try the Game Changer Intensive. Since I enjoy online courses, I went for it and I've stayed with it. I've volunteered to Moderate several courses after I went through it as a participant a few times.

What is a memory or experience with Pachamama Alliance that stands out for you?

My being sparkled when I first heard of an organization dedicated to an “environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just” world and that immediately made me interested in learning more about Pachamama Alliance. It has felt like homecoming!

Brian Swimme was an adjunct professor in my graduate program for pastoral studies where his book “The Universe Story” and his book with Thomas Berry, “The Dream of the Earth” were required reading. I’ve treasured those books and have found Pachamama Alliance to be true to that sort of thinking.

Mind you, “Eco-Theology” was a term used 20 years ago. The point being that my spiritual fulfillment comes from the work I do with my local groups, my volunteerism with Game Changer Intensive, and the studies I engage in.

What is something you are proud to be doing in service of an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet?

I write small monthly columns for my church’s bulletin and for a local newsmagazine featuring goings-on in Drawdown hoping to get more people interested. So far, I’ve only gotten nibbles. Sometimes I feature things happening locally, sometimes I feature an interesting project I’ve learned of happening elsewhere.

I participate in beach and park clean-ups and regularly recycle. I help politically by writing and calling my representatives (their numbers are in my speed dial.) Locally I’ve helped with voter registration and help to organize events such as protests at migrant camps and delivery of signatures to our state and federal representatives.

Right now, in addition to studying “The Journey of the Universe,” I’ve connected with Sue Blythe and her wonderful “We” program. And this is happening while I’m watching my tiny house going up.

What is something that you would like to see change in the world in the next 10 years?

I dream of a day when we don’t look at news in search of bad stuff but instead see all the good things happening all around us. Maybe then fewer bad things will happen! I subscribe to Yes! Magazine, Kosmos Journal, DailyGood, Sustainable Human, Uplift, Skeptical Science and the Teaching of Thich Nhan Hanh. I meditate in the mornings with the Center for Action and Contemplation and go to bed with Matthew Fox’s daily musings. I would like the whole world to be all about peace and love and compassion. My prayer is that humans quickly evolve in order to survive.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

I encountered Pachamama Alliance while I was still recovering from a stroke. In a way I still am. But my being today can be totally credited with my association with Pachamama Alliance.