Activism & Healing
What ignites your feelings of activism? Human rights, the environment, species extinction, reproductive rights, wealth distribution, underserved populations?
Many of my colleagues and practitioners are active in efforts for sustainability, environmental protection and climate change, racial and social justice, indigenous rights, women’s health issues, historic preservation and other important causes. Every ounce of energy contributed to serving the planet, its wildlife and people is well spent.
Yet for every activist practitioner I know, I can identify multiple inactive practitioners, who are concerned about the state of the world, but not engaged in making a difference.
I’m calling out inactive practitioners. Not in a shaming way, in an inviting way.
Consider this: activism is an extension of your practice. It’s not a direct correlation, but in truth, the behaviors of an activist match the behaviors of a practitioner.
As a Practitioner, You:
Advocate for conscious connection and sponsor evolution.
When your clients need to see the link between what they do or don’t allow themselves to feel, you help them connect, so they can make informed, conscious choices to evolve.
As an activist, you work to educate people, to modify behavior, take action and operate consciously, mindfully.
Stand for and speak the truth.
When your clients struggle to let go of being defined by their story, you stand for and speak to the truth of Who They Are.
As an activist, you stand up, rise up, speak truth to power. Your voice joins others who also speak the truth, generating the energy to reverse the paradigm or shift the dynamics to allow effective solutions to emerge.
Hold space for evolution and emergence.
Your clients may not always step immediately into their intentions and walk unwaveringly toward the life they want to create. You hold space for them to find their path and act in concert with their intentions.
As an activist, you must hold space for and model evolution. You’re forever and always holding space for others to rise up, join the cause, step in and act as change agents.
Truth be told, your activism is needed. Your causes need the clarity of your voice, vision and knowing. They need the alignment between intention, attention, energy and action that you apply day in and day out in your life and practice.
You need not take to the streets and march or attend rallies and protests. Your activism might not include volunteering on local committees. You are not required to stand on a pulpit and preach.
Here’s what the current political and social climate has shown us:
- Signing a petition means absolutely nothing. Petitions are mailing list generators for the organizations that circulate them, and little else.
- Speaking out on social media preaches to your choir. It doesn’t have meaning unless you are acting on what you share.
- Mobilized marches have little impact. They feel good, but generate no active evolution.
What gets the most impact and response these days is:
- Writing to federal and state senate and congressional leaders, speaking to the issues you care about and demanding specific action. Your individual letter is not likely to sponsor a change. It’s a collective effort, and your letter matters.
Consider taking the time to generate one letter on one issue and mail it weekly to your congressional and senate representatives. Demand specific action.
Emails are proven completely ineffective. Invest in stamps, please. Yes, it can actually be the same letter, mailed weekly, perhaps with a handwritten note at the top of the page that says, ‘this is the third, fourth, nineteenth week in a row that I’ve mailed you this letter’.
Representatives act when there is a wellspring of feedback. They need to hear from their constituents to take action on causes that carry big stakes. Sad, but true.
- Make a few phone calls to your representatives weekly to demand action on the causes you support. Again, when you use your voice, you join others pushing on those in authority to make change, to take action.
You can stop there, with a weekly letter or a few phone calls. And, of course, you’re encouraged to do more. Can you:
- Donate the proceeds from one client session each month to a non-profit, a candidate, a program that inspires your commitment?
- Walk into your Senator or Congressional leaders’ offices and speak to one of their aides about the change you’d like to see in the world?
The Power of Practitioners
If you take a passive stance because you believe that your client work is enough, I invite you to think a little deeper. You are serving people who can afford to pay you, or a small segment of your community who access your good work through your pro bono or pay-what-you-can options. That’s service, but it’s not activism.
The tides can turn when enough people move coherently to action. As practitioners, you know that energy flows where attention goes. You know how to advocate, speak the truth and hold space for evolution. You can be an energetic and active model for change.
If you’re already active in your community, advocating for change, evolution, right action, so much gratitude to you. If you are not currently active, the invitation is extended to you.
As Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘Do what you can with what you have where you are.’