Activism without reactivity–the key to staying the course

There’s a huge difference between being activated/reactive and being awake and effective. You don’t need to fan the flames of righteous indignation or fear in order to stay awake. Becoming over reactive, winging yourself up, may create a temporary feeling of power, but it reduces your effectiveness. This is as true in civil discourse and political action as it is across the breakfast table.

You can use your awareness of the difference between being activated and being grounded to help you stay the course over the long term rather than riling yourself up, spinning out, and burning out.

Two Kinds of Not Knowing: Confusion and Wonder

The ability to simply not know is key to having new thought. I first learned of not knowing from Charlie Badenhop of Seishindo. From him I learned of the importance of engaging with not knowing with an open mind, heart, and body. To not know in this way invites wonder–a very different thing from the style of not-knowing typified by confusion.

When we experience not knowing as confusion, the aperture through which we perceive possibilities shrinks. When we simply don’t know in a state of wonder, it is as if we are expanding the aperture through which we perceive both external and internal, material and metaphysical reality. We have new thoughts. We see new connections.

Reflection versus rumination

Reflection and rumination are very different styles of thinking. Rumination is locked in the past, a chewing over and reliving of old feelings, thoughts, and experiences. Reflection may begin with an existing concern–even a deep grief–but it faces outward rather than inward. Reflection is infused with wondering, with curiosity, and with the hope of a new thought. What we need now is new thought, and if we hold our concerns with open minds and hearts, it will come.

Pin It on Pinterest