This may be a recent realisation for you, or you may always have known this to be true, somewhere in your mind and heart. But whether new or old, this knowledge has left you with a question, one which feels more urgent by the day:
What can I do about it all?
Whether the ‘all’ that distresses you most right now is racism and white supremacy, sexism and misogyny, dis/ableism, homophobia and biphobia, transphobia, religious bigotry, classism, vast and growing wealth inequalities, or the inexorable progress of climate change, it’s easy to feel disempowered and helpless in the face of so much injustice and harm, happening every day.
Even reading the list in that last paragraph might leave you feeling that way. (I know I feel close to despair reading it — and I’m the one who wrote it!)
I would guess that you’re already trying to do your bit: supporting campaigns like #BlackLivesMatter with your social media posts or even street actions; interrupting racist, sexist, dis/ableist etc. ‘humour’ and commentary in your day to day interactions when you feel able; reducing, reusing and recycling where facilities exist.
But engaging with the world and what is happening right now — all the harm that is being done, often in our names — is hard and it’s painful.
You often feel like you can’t ever do enough.
You’re worried about doing it wrong, and even fear you might be doing more harm than good.
You lose confidence in your ability to choose which action to take or what words to use.
You hate confrontation and fear conflict, and don’t know how to tackle it when it comes up.
You often feel overwhelmed and have to step away, then feel guilty for taking care of yourself when all of these issues feel so damned urgent.
Sometimes, you feel alone and confused. You yearn for support, nourishment, and above all community, but can’t seem to find it, or feel like you have to leave parts of yourself behind to be accepted when you do.
All of us who are engaged in work for social and environmental change feel these things.
We are firm in our commitment to doing what we can, when and where we can, to move the world towards justice, love, and liberation. But often we don’t have access to the emotional support, anxiety-free learning, and deep inner nourishment that would empower and enable us to be clear, confident and joyful in our activism.
That is what Resilient Activists is about.
Resilient because taking action for social justice is often psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually challenging and demanding.
Activists because inner work is not enough: we need to take our work out into the world if we are to bring about the changes we desire to see.
At Resilient Activists we take the double spiral
as our working pattern
We spiral inwards, nourishing and resourcing ourselves:
we enter into our stories, our bodies, and our energy;
we connect with human and more-than-human support;
we become present, where we are, with all that we hold: our blessings, burdens, joys and challenges;
We spiral outwards, developing skills for working with others to bring about change:
we work out our place in the world and its social, economic, and power structures;
we own our responsibilities as members of society, as co-creators of culture, and as part of the web of nature;
we discern our visions for a better future, and align our decisions and our actions with that vision.
We do all of this together, both through one to one work, and in group learning and development.
Who's offering it?
Hi. I'm Elinor.
I'm the founder of Resilient Activists.
(My pronouns vary, but el/el/els always works.)
I’ve been learning my way as a resilient activist since I was seven years old, when my parents took me to my first environmental rally. Through my experience of chronic illnesses, I've learned a lot about what it takes to take care of myself so that I can keep taking action.