So here’s a term: Spiritual Activism. The Numinous’ Ruby Warrington says this is “less about fighting against the system, and more about putting all (our) energy and ingenuity into creating a new way of seeing and doing things; a way that works for everybody.”
This is an interesting way to look at how we can do our part; it’s less focused on tearing down and more focused on building up. Both are important, and we need people focused on each, but all of our individual ways of “being the change” are totally different.
Personally, this concept resonates with me right now. This year has called me to start living with more intention on the daily and consider how I can be a more health-giving, support-giving part of my local community. Here are some ways I think we can take action from a spiritual place in Toronto.
Commit to listening and learning. Whether it’s a protest, march, documentary, book club or class, it’s important to stay open, listen and embrace feeling uncomfortable – that’s a sign of learning. There’s a time for listening to our inner voice (for self-awareness), a time for listening to our tribe (for empowerment), and a time for opening up to unfamiliar territory (for learning and boundary pushing). Toronto has SO MANY ways you push your boundaries at any given time. Take a look at Toronto Activist Calendar if you want to get involved with a group or an event.
Prioritize staying connected IRL to the people who keep you feeling empowered and productive! Creating or staying connected to a change-making crew allows me to feel as though I am part of a force, and it gives back to me what I give to it. Here’s a roundup of organizations that accept volunteers or communities you can join to support causes in Toronto.
Make things. I know that when I make things and support makers, I help create the culture. This can be as simple as taking a class or workshop at a DIY space like The Shop (1139 College St.), The Make Den (1244 Bloor St.), or Brainstation (460 King St.) where you can learn to use power tools, sewing machines, silkscreen presses and internet code. DIY more, live more aligned with your values, transfer your skills and teach others.
Support your local media-makers. For me, finding an active, creative tribe online that I resonate with has been a key part of my personal growth. It’s about finding other people who are using their voice and taking that inspiration and alchemizing it into our own authentic message. Starting or contributing to a blog / podcast / social media presence is a way we reaffirm our ability to affect change. When we support media makers and participate in making media, we partake in a powerful energy exchange.
Be your best self every day. When we commit to being our best selves, we benefit the greater good. Carl Jung thought that in order for there to actually be a better world, everyone has to start individuating (or, integrating the inner self and outer self). When we’re “whole,” we are mature, responsible, and promote freedom and justice and have a more solid understanding about the workings of human nature. Being, and fully accepting who I am, leaves me less distracted, more open, energetic, and a better part of my community.