bring your woo-woo to the protest: a seeker's guide to spiritual activism
I have often felt that my woo-woo (spiritual) and activist sides are two completely different parts of myself. Two different aspects of my personality, not integrated.
Allowing my woo-woo side to take over at the expense of my activism has never felt right, especially in the current world and political climate that we live in.
I can’t be all love and light, all good vibes and manifestation, with no substance...and neither can you.
I’m passionate about meditating on a peaceful world, bettering myself to better the collective, and sharing spiritual healing tools with people who need them.
But those practices seem awfully empty when they’re not combined with concrete, in-this-world action like protesting. Calling representatives. Feeding the hungry. Making calls. Voting. Donating. Using your social platforms, your dollars, everything you have to do the most good and least harm.
Here’s the thing: spiritual practices are about co-creating with the Universe. Meditating on collective healing and calling my representatives. Donating and clearing my own karmic shit to be the clearest possible vessel for change.
It matters how we show up in the world and how we show up in our activism. We get to decide what matters to us and then we have to follow through on those promises. The ends do not justify the means.
I believe the world needs us as activists, to show up as spiritual beings...and that the world needs us as spiritual beings, to show up as activists.
It is clear that the current ways of activism in the world don’t work. Instead they bring us polarity. Division. Separation. The need to assure ourselves that we are right and others are wrong.
It’s not working. Our world is hurting.
What I have come to understand is that your spiritual practice is your activism, and your activism is your spiritual practice. They are not separate; they are one. They just need to be combined.
Throughout the book, I invite you to think about these questions, inspired by the amazing spiritual teacher, Jillian Turecki:
How do I want to feel?
How do I want people to feel around me?
What will I do to feel the way I want to feel?
What will I do to help people feel the way I want them to feel around me?
For me, I want to feel inspired, curious, open, peaceful, connected, present, and free.
What do I want people to feel around me? Inspired. Curious. Open. Peaceful. Connected. Present. Free.
The answers are the same, because when I think about them in the context of my activism, they don’t change.
Let’s create change in a way that makes us feel the way we want to feel, and that makes other people feel that same way. That is activism from a place of healing.
The principles shared in the book will help you do just that. They will help you discover what you can do to feel the way you want in your activism, and what you can do to help people feel the same way.
My reiki teacher once told me that when we give reiki, we receive reiki. As such, what we give, we receive. What we teach, we learn. What we give to the world, we give to ourselves. As within, so without.
That’s why a one-sided approach to creating change, whether it’s a spiritual one or an activist one, has never felt right to me, and I believe that’s not the way real, sustainable change can be created.
If you have been stuck in a one-sided approach, I feel you. It’s easy to laugh at Trump memes of him looking like a Cheeto, pile onto the bandwagon of people saying nasty things about other people, and feel righteous about your beliefs.
But what I want to share with you in this book is that it is always possible to begin again by doing the things that are aligned with the truest, deepest parts of you.
This book is based on the principles of non-judgment and love, which I’ll explain in the next few sections. It walks you through each of the yamas and niyamas, an important part of yoga philosophy. This will bring you back to love and non-judgment, and integrate your activist and spiritual sides for real alignment with who you truly are.
These principles can be applied to anything from leafleting or phone banking, to conversations with your family on Christmas, to dealing with that person from high school who always comments something about loving meat and guns on your Facebook articles.
This book uses a variety of healing tools, including tarot, journaling, meditation, tapping, ritual, and mantra to help you work through each of these principles.
These tools, which I explain more in the book, aren’t just here for us to use to get a lot of likes on Instagram. They’re here for us as medicine. To help us go deep in order to heal ourselves and to heal the world. Let’s use them.
However you practice activism, the world needs you to show up as your highest self for it.
In that spirit, I'll leave you with a mantra: Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. May all beings be happy and free, and may our thoughts, words, and actions contribute to that happiness and freedom.