How we can do activism and be an activist in our own way

Activism in Another Way

In the traditional sense, I don’t like to think of myself as an activist.

I have never been into activism, and for as long as I can remember, I have despised discussing or debating anything political.

I suppose that can be interpreted as my white privilege, but it’s also driven by my desire to not get into confrontational and intense conversations with anyone.

I just don’t like getting into it with people. I don’t like the way it feels so I choose to stay out of most political or polarizing conversations.

It’s why I write a blog with comments turned off.

It’s not that I don’t care, or I don’t want to get involved, or that I’m being lazy – in fact, that’s not, for the most part, why anyone chooses not to be a traditional activist.

There are different ways to activate than the traditional path of activism that involves protesting, signing petitions, and posting about political events.

There are other ways to turn a tide beside traditional activism as we know it.

Traditional activism is needed, without a doubt, but the truth is that we need people addressing the issues we care about from multiple different angles, and in multiple different ways.

We need change to happen at many levels.

The only way change can happen at many levels. . . is if it happens at many levels.

I’ve spent a long time thinking about activism, as the idea of it has been shoved in my face over and over again these past few months.

It’s hard to ignore the posts and calls to action that demand you STAND UP and DO SOMETHING.

And if you don’t, risk being called out for not using your voice in the way someone else wants you to use your voice.

Truthfully, it felt wrong and not in alignment with who I was as a person. But, then I felt guilt and fear of public perception if I didn’t use my platform to be more activating.

I worried what others would think. If I didn’t feel called to go to Standing Rock, or to participate in any number of protests, did that make me a bad spiritual person? Should I have been lending my medicine to these causes in the way everyone was telling me to? Should I be blogging and sharing about polarizing issues more than I already was?

If I wasn’t standing up and using my voice in this specific, prescribed way, as a spiritual teacher, was I failing?

Then, I thought about this blog and my purpose here in this time and space.

I am here, my mission, the reason this blog exists, is to teach people how to heal themselves using the principles of shamanism.

I provide tools for personal healing and growth, as do many spiritual teachers.

Isn’t the path to personal healing and growth where this all gets healed?

Personal pain and fear are the places from which this projected pain and fear arises.

Raising our voice and protesting is one way to activate, but when do we consider that there are alternative ways to activate?

There are thousands of people out there, right now, who aren’t in the streets and who aren’t organizing political movements, but they are caring for or providing support to someone who is hurting.

It could be themselves, and they could be healing their own pain and fear.

Or, it could be that they are providing support and pathways to healing for others.

This blog, for example, provides pathways for healing to about 135,000 unique visitors every month.

Activism can happen in many ways.

It doesn’t have to look like what you think it should look like. It might not even look like anything at all.

But just because you don’t see a person talking, posting, or sharing about what they’re doing, doesn’t mean they aren’t doing something to help.

If we want to see real change, it has to happen at multiple levels.

Starting from within, at the individual level, is truly starting from the ground up.

I leave you with this point of reflection.

If you look down into the dirt and can’t see ants working underground, does that mean they aren’t working?

 

xo,
Sarah

 

Footnote:

This article is by no means meant to be a dissuasion from activism, but rather, to raise the point that we don’t all have to enact change in the same way and that there are many ways to reach similar goals, even if some are not as overt as others. If you are called to social, racial, and political activism, PLEASE follow that path because help is needed in this area. We all have a responsibility to do something and to use our voice. We all have a responsibility to make our world a better place. Talk about the things you see and don’t like. Share your opinions. Start a blog. Start a podcast. Be a part of something greater. So long as you do something. It’s our job to find the path and message that resonates with us and do that. And lend our voice to that cause, whatever that may be. 

My cause for the last 4 years has been to make it so more people know about shamanism, to strip away the taboo, and to make it a household practice – so that everyone can heal the pain that causes intolerance, hostility, discrimination and so many more injustices. I have faced many dissenters and openly hostile critics. I have been called a scam, a phony, arrogant, a disgrace to the ancestors, and so much more. But this is my cause. Is it political or one of the major issues facing the country right now? Not by common standards. However, what I teach, I believe, helps people to be more compassionate and understanding, and less hostile, angry, and intolerant. With any success, as it spreads, we can move towards a more compassionate and understanding world where all people and paths are respected. This may not be your thing, but we all have a thing. You have to do something. I didn’t write this blog post to give you a pass. I understand that some may take this post to be a demonstration of white privilege, and at the same time, I know some of my readers don’t believe in white privilege or have never heard of it. It exists. And after writing this post an organization, Showing Up for Racial Justice, was shared with me. They are all about bringing white people into the struggle for racial justice and educating without shaming. I encourage you to check them out