Water time is upon us again. The darkness extends longer into the day, the cold air pervades our houses and contracts our bodies. Snow and ice fall and cover the...
I am totally stuck right now, what is the average citizen going to do about the state of the world’s affairs? As I watch the horror show of the current events unfold in front of my face, I ponder the use of my energies. What would actually help at this time? And what is effective and useful work? Activism, Prayer, Revolution, Apathy, Denial, Community building, Ignorance, Self-foolishness, Entitlement?
“I think this is the most urgent political task. Never before have we had to work politically with so much integration of our own psyches into the political process. We don’t have the luxury of just doing politics, of just doing good works on the outside and not living them on the inside, because anything superficial won’t hold.” From “When the Heart Speaks,” Deena Metzger interviewed by Elizabeth Good, April 1984 issue of The Sun Magazine.
Real Self-work is one answer. Adjusting, not only the philosophical/ intellectual understanding of change, but the visceral knowing of change inside your own self and what that feels like inside your skin. It means lifting the veils of shame, conformity, duality and expectation from our own eyes. This is not something that is done once, it is practiced on a daily basis. It is a grass root effort to extend a hand of kindness to a neighbor, not because we look down upon them and feel ourselves as better. But because we believe that we are all made of blood and bone tissue and we know in our hearts is acceptable to be different. We need to come from a non-judgmental place.
We know that people adapt slowly and that the price of changing a pattern is very high and painful. There are no easy outs and quick fixes within this process. Being a vector of movement comes at the expense of false securities, it needs dedication and devotion.
“When we do nonviolent action, we approach it in a spirit of openness to the human beings we’re going to meet. That’s the point in doing it. It may be the police or the guards who suddenly realize they maintain that (system) and decide not to participate.”
From “Reclaiming the Dark, Starhawk, interviewed by Howard Jay Rubin, August 1983 issue of The Sun Magazine.
The results of true self-work and the subsequent actions within our social spheres can make waves. Waves that will ripple through, in and around, planting positive seeds of movement. The plants may take a long time to grow. Notice the two quotes above were written in the 1980’s and their messages are more poignant then ever, 30 years later. Change is often a slow process.