We are in a time where waking-up, stepping-up, speaking-out, joining groups, calling legislators, marching, and letter writing are necessary in order to rise above the corruption that is bubbling up to surface.
The veil of lies, exploitation, and evil has been lifted. We can choose to stay ignorant and live in apathy or we can choose to wake-up and take positive action. I choose the latter. To me that’s the new Sexy. It is no longer acceptable or cool to ignore and look the other way.
Most people know they need, and want, to take positive action but don’t know where to begin or what to do. We must begin asking ourselves, what do I value? What do I stand for? What concerns me, my family, my community, and the world at large?
Right now, pause and make a list.
Once you find out what is most important to you, ask yourself: What am I doing in my life that is in line with my values? What else can I do?
A lot of people are waking up. A lot of people are also freaking out, full of rage and anger. This attitude does not help unless we turn that energy into positive action. If you find you are lacking the motivation to take positive action read this article.
In my country, Venezuela, we have a saying that goes: “No hay mal, que por bien, no venga.” Which means: “There is no harm that comes without any good.” I say: All is in perfect order, and everything happens for a reason.
Spiritual Activism is necessary right now more than ever. Spiritual Activism comes from the heart, not just the head. It is compassionate, positive, kind, fierce, and transformative. It focuses on what we are for, more so than what we are against. Rooted in an understanding of interdependence, and working to end suffering for all beings, including our opponents.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ~ Mother Theresa
Here are some resources to begin flexing our citizen muscle and start taking positive action. Use the negative energy that bubbles up when reading and watching the news about what is happening here and around the world, and transmute those negative feelings into positive energy.
The intersection between consciousness and politics
The way we think reflects on how we feel.
All that we share, restore hope in humanity
How to turn anger into compassion
Long one and oh so good! I specially love the last 16 minutes.
How to create change?
Let's focus on solutions
What kind of change maker are you? Take the quiz!
Now learn to flex your citizen muscle
Have you been to the White House website? Take some time to research and read through.
Here are the current elected officials making decisions for us. Contact them regarding issues that concern you.
Reach your local government. Find out when the meetings are and show up, this is the work.
Turn your passive participation into active resistance. Facebook likes and Twitter retweets can’t create the change you want to see. Calling your Government on the phone can. Make your voice heard.
Right now these national values are being compromised
1. Environment (Our Global Home)
2. Equality (Racial, Gender, Religious)
3. Education (Our Children)
4. Agriculture (Our food)
5. Health Care (In case of emergencies)
Below are 12 keys of spiritual activism adapted from a group called Humanity Healing.
1. All Action MUST be based on Compassion
When championing a Cause, the mindset must be altruistic, and the motivating emotion must be positive. Spiritual Activism is an action for the benefit of something, not against something.
“When you have a pro-peace rally, I will be there.” ~ Mother Theresa’s response to a question about why she did not attend an anti-war rally.
2. Compassion flows from the understanding of the Connection between all living beings
We are all connected through our shared Humanity. When you learn to see that our differences are superficial and our similarities manifest, sympathy (or worse, pity) gives way to compassion. Our actions shift from one of “us helping them” to one of “for the good of All.” e become One.
"The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another." ~ Thomas Merton
3. Compassion must be applied with Wisdom
There are more Causes that exist than an individual or group can be involved with. It is important to choose your causes carefully. Learn to Act instead of React.
“That is true wisdom, to know how to alter one's mind when the occasion demands it.” ~ Terence
4. Apply synergy and teamwork to accomplish goals
Synergy is the process where two or more actions combine to produce an effect greater than the sum of its individual parts. Like ripples in a pond, spiritual actions combine and build on each other to magnify an effect beyond what each could do individually. Whenever possible, team up with others to acquire a multifaceted and more holistic approach.
"The whole is greater than the sum of the parts." ~ Unknown
5. Spiritual Activism is the pursuit of service for the good of all, not for the advancement or benefit of individuals or selected communities
The mindset behind your actions must be noble, holistic, Universal and non-partisan. Be mindful that ego and self-service have no place in Spiritual Activism.
“Common folk, not statesmen, nor generals nor great men of affairs, but just simple plain men and women, can do something to build a better, peaceful world. The future hope of peace lies with such personal service.” ~ Henry Cadbury
6. Pursue Integrity, Honesty and Dignity in the conduct of your Actions
Embrace Mindfulness in the application of your activities and be aware of how your actions may be perceived by others. Machiavelli’s “The ends justify the means” has no place in Spiritual Activism. If our methods are not noble, our results will not be either. Practice Spiritual Transparency, allowing negative energies to bypass your system without harming it.
“Integrity is doing the right thing even if no one is watching.” ~ Unknown
7. Do not defame your detractors or those who doubt you
A confrontational approach leads to a defensive reaction. Approach others with Openness and Compassion in your heart. Build on the commonalities between you instead of focusing on the differences. As much as possible, detach yourself from the results of your actions. Aspire to always be a Peacemaker.
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
8. Raising another up raises you up as well
Helping another becomes a form of self-love as well as an expression of outward love. This becomes an upwardly spiraling cycle of increasing awareness, connection, compassion, involvement, capacity, and back to increasing awareness.
“Compassionate action involves working with ourselves as much as working with others.” ~ Pema Chodron
9. Learn to listen to your heart and not your mind
You mind may only see the problem. Your heart will always feel the solution. Learn to act with Faith and cultivate a loving perception when facing collective problems.
“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
10. Search out viable and sustainable solutions
Seek out solutions that maintain or restores the dignity of individual human and their communities. The goal of Spiritual Activism is to raise another up, not make them dependent.
“Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.” ~ Jesus
11. Do not judge yourself simply by the results of your actions
Maintain a sense of detachment as to overall results. Embrace mindfulness as you intentionally diminishes a judging attitude while keeping watchfulness on the gates of your heart. The ultimate goal of Spiritual Activism is to unconditionally raise the understanding and support of Humanity, with no exceptions. This achievement is larger than any individual. While individual projects can be completed, the sum is so much greater than its parts. Learn to see yourself not on where you have reached, but on the Path; you are traveling. There is real fulfillment in just being called to serve humanitarian and spiritual causes.
“ The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
12. Let Metta be the motivation for your Actions
If you cultivate Metta (the practice of loving-kindness) in your heart, you will succeed. The Intention that is the motivating force behind your actions is paramount. Start from a position of pure and altruistic Love.
“A positive future cannot emerge from the mind of anger of despair” ~ HH, the Dalai Lama
“Kindness in giving creates Love.” ~ Lao Tzu
May this post inspire and motivate you to cultivate positive change in your life, and may that internal change pour into the world. If you have other resources you feel people can use please share them in the comment below. If you liked this post pleas considering sharing it. Thank you.
In metta (loving-kindness)