We can’t address every problem, but we can do something.
How often do you think to yourself, if only I had more time or money or support…I would donate my time to the local animal shelter, start a yoga class for people in need, figure out how to be of service in the refugee crisis.
When we feel an impulse to do something for a cause or a crisis, and then, we decide to ignore the impulse, or sooth it with an indirect action—for instance, recycling our plastic bottles rather than dealing directly with our pain point of the refugee crisis—we turn off an energetic hose that provides us all with the sustenance to grow and transform.
By reaching outside of our personal life to support a cause that is bigger than our day-to-day problems, we build a bridge that connects us to ourselves and to humanity.
Change happens when we bridge the gap between our individual self-experience and our social involvement.
Here are ways to begin to channel your energy and your voices, and to nourish the larger system that we’re all connected to:
Pick a cause. Begin by asking yourself if the issue you are stirring about is the one you are willing to go to bat for. Remember, none of us have the energy to take on every cause out there, but narrowing down one issue that you care for will pave the way for an actionable route—it will give you a beginning and a destination point.
Be a role model. Making time for a cause is not always easy, especially if you have kids or loved ones to provide for and take care of. There may be a tug-o-war inside of you feeling there’s not enough time to do both, well. We’re not suggesting that you sacrifice your loved ones for the cause, but when you step up to the plate and volunteer your time away from your loved ones, it not only becomes a transformational experience for your activist spirit, but it helps you and those around you see what is possible in themselves and in the world.
Stand in your center. When you place yourself closer to the center point of a cause—rather than watching from the sidelines—something comes alive within you. Your gifts rise to the occasion, even if we think we have nothing to offer. Being out of your comfort zone gives you an opportunity to learn more about who you are.
“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.” – Joseph Campbell
Whenever you feel a swell of energy rise up from the center of your being, try not to shut that down. In fact, this is the best time to consider honing in on and using your unique gifts.
When we rise up to meet what is stirring inside of us, and then, use it to become the change we want to see in the world, we give our families, our loved ones, the world, and ourselves an opportunity to transform.
By: Jen Ross and Jessica Boylston-Fagonde
Instructors of Give Rise to your Voice and Be the Change