Embrace Your Inner Activist

Photo: Cindy Trinh, Activists of New York, activistnyc.tumblr.com


“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” ~ Elie Wiesel

I have a challenge for you, dear readers – I want you to embrace your Inner Activist.

If you seek a more spiritual life, or a more balanced or mindful one then it is not enough just to practice self-care, meditate, eat healthy, do yoga or pray and think that’s all you need to do. As someone who is moving to a more conscious way of being it is also important to use your voice and your actions in order to create to a better world.

Follow your passions, contribute your energy, act!

What do you care about? Bigger things like global warming, plastic use reduction, clean energy, racism, gun control, equality for all, safe food, clean water and air, social justice, access to education, health care, families, elder care, human rights, animal rights, saving wild spaces and species? Smaller things like protecting an old tree from property developers, saving your local library, recording oral histories from elderly community members, teaching migrants to read and write, stopping a local beach from eroding, cleaning up your local waterways, petitioning for public toilets to be installed at the park near you, getting disabled or pram-friendly access for public transport, making drinking fountains available in the inner city. People like you have changed the world, because they cared and because they dared to become involved.

There is no time to stand by and wait for someone else to fix things. We need to stand up for the things that we value and speak out against the injustices, inequalities and issues that go against our values.

Your voice matters. Contributing to the conversations and actions that can change the world matters. Please don’t think that someone else will fix things. Don’t count on governments, politicians, big business and global organisations. Real change always comes from grass-roots movements, from many people adding their individual energy to create momentum and progress and measurable outcomes.

Many of us were brought up to believe that it is rude to speak up, to make waves, to make others uncomfortable or to rock the boat. We’ve been taught that it’s better not to get involved, not to make ourselves a target, not to ruffle feathers. And that’s how injustice and inequalities flourish. Indifference and lack of action are actually a silent condoning of the things you fail to speak up about or act upon. Of course, I advocate personal safety always! But if it’s safe to speak up then do so.

Define what activism means for you. For some people it is speaking out, literally. Joining rallies and protests or blockades or affirmative action groups. For some people it’s writing letters or sharing blog posts or social media. For some people it’s becoming involved with a local group whose values match your own and adding your energy to their existing work. For some people it’s starting their own local group or action. Or maybe you’ll be a solo activist – picking up trash and putting it in the bin, planting trees, reusing and recycling, finding meaningful ways to put your beliefs into action. Every dollar you spend has a voice too, in the energy company you choose or the food you buy. Let your dollars be more aligned with your values.

Can’t find the courage yet to use your voice? That’s okay. Support a person or group whose voice you believe in. Follow them on social media. Give financial or other support if you can. There are already so many good people in the world doing great work. The more you look and realise that’s true the more hopeful you’ll become.

Being an activist is simply being a good citizen of the world – one who cares about the community around us and the planet that sustains us. We are the change that the world needs. It’s us! No-one else is coming to save us or our planet. The power is already in you. I urge you to use it, just as Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old Swedish climate change activist is doing:


Biggest hugs and love, Nicole ❤ xx

Letter Writing Challenge – Week Two

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
~ Charles Dickens

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
~ John Holmes

 

Welcome to Week Two of my Letter Writing Challenge. For six weeks, every Monday, I am posting a theme and ideas, and asking you to pen a short (or long!) letter to someone, and then pop it in the post or otherwise deliver it to them.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your favourite pen or writing implement
  • Writing paper, cards or postcards
  • A small crystal or stone
  • Between five and thirty minutes each week to sit down and write your letter.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

Read the instructions through once, and then complete the activity.

This Week’s Theme :  The Letter of Support and/or Encouragement

Start by holding your crystal or stone in your hands. Close your eyes, and build an energy of gratitude in your heart. Feel your heart swell with emotion. Pour that energy of gratitude into the crystal and then continue to sit in meditation for a minute or two longer. Open your heart and then think about a person who could really use a kind word, some support or encouragement right now. It could be a public figure, a friend, a family member, or someone in your community. They might be going through a hard time , or they might be reaching out to do something that is pushing their boundaries. Trust that the person you think of first will be the right person for today’s activity.

Once you have been guided to a person, sit for a further minute and be open to words, images or feelings that might help you with your letter.

Now take out your paper and pen and write to them. Pour your feelings of support or encouragement onto the page. Know that you’ll find good words, and that your words will help them, and let them know that someone cares.

You could use a note card, a postcard, or a piece of paper. Go with what feels right to you.

Remember to sign your name when you are done.

Life can be an uphill climb sometimes. Knowing that someone is standing in support of us can mean the world.

Here are some suggestions for people who might benefit from your kind words:

  • A new parent
  • Someone going through an illness
  • Someone whose efforts or sacrifice made a difference to you or to the world
  • A person who is studying
  • A public figure you admire who is working to bring about change
  • Someone who has lost a friend, a partner, a child, a pet
  • Someone who is learning something new
  • Someone coping with loss
  • A person who has made a mistake
  • Someone starting a new business
  • Servicemen and women
  • Volunteers
  • Someone with a really big goal
  • Someone who is starting over
  • A person who is ending something
  • A person in changed or challenging circumstances
  • An immigrant or new arrival in your country or town
  • Someone who has achieved something to be proud of
  • Someone who tried, and failed

When your note is finished, post it off, hand deliver it, or leave it where you know it will be found and read.

If it is not us who will encourage and support, then who?

Happy Writing!

Lots of love, Nicole xx

 

PS: If you want to share what you’ve done, pop over to our facebook page and say hi, and share away!

Missed the start of the Challenge?

You can go back and catch up here:

Letter Writing Challenge – Week One