Hello and welcome. My name is Denise Rushing and I am passionate about transforming human structures and systems for a better world. I write about social and spiritual leadership, permaculture, storytelling and living the New Story. If you want to bring about community and cultural change, you have come to the right place.
Get inspired. Stay inspired. #Resist
Here's the thing--we need to BE STRATEGIC with our energies because overwhelm and cynicism can lead to despair, and indeed this is the objective of the rapid-fire actions coming our way. Shock and awe.
First, recognize that we are in a marathon, not a sprint and we need to develop our personal capacities to act quickly, strategically and with passion & force.
Here is what I am doing personally so I can go the long haul:
(1) Extreme self-care. This means maintaining a sense of humor, tending to mental health and my physical, spiritual, emotional energies. (Sometimes I need to go on a media diet and get offline to regroup);Connecting with others rather than staying isolated--including marching for strength, solidarity and community;
(2) Focus on my work to make a difference in one main thing--in my case climate change solutions including solar energy, soil, & community resilience;
(3) Take regular political action on items I care about--the most effective of these is to CALL elected officials on the phone a couple of times a week to encourage, support or weigh in; Indivisible has a good weekly action list for this.
(4) Reach out. Offer support and encouragement to those whose #resist work inspires me;
(5) Kindness--Conduct random (ideally anonymous) acts of kindness;
(6) Deliver my message. My message is this:
Get inspired. Do what you need to do to stay inspired. Act from deep LOVE. You are on the right side of history. Spring is coming.
I loved my high school Civics class. We studied the checks and balances to power that the US founders enshrined in the constitution. We studied the Bill of Rights. This class took place the year Richard Nixon resigned and when the rule of law triumphed. Because of this, I knew that our system of government was stronger than any one person. We could count on the rule of law and the structure of our democracy to ride out tough times.
Recently, we have experienced failures of these checks and balances--when key individuals chose party over country. As the failures happen, I realize that the erosion of the institutions and the failure of the constitution is what troubles me the most.
Here is my short list of the three most heart breaking of these:
Adapted by the Pachamama Alliance from a presentation at Schumacher College, Totnes, England by Will
Keepin of the Satyana Institute, Boulder, Colorado, this provisional set of “principles
of spiritual leadership” provide the beginning of a collective inquiry into how we can
apply spiritual teachings and wisdom in the work of global citizen game changers.
(1) The motivation underlying our activism for social
change must be transformed from anger and despair to compassion and
love. This is a major challenge for the environmental movement, for example. It is
not to deny the legitimacy of noble anger or outrage at injustice of any kind. Rather,
we seek to work for love, rather than against evil. We need to adopt compassion
and love as our foundational intention, and do whatever inner work is required to
implement this intention. Even if our outward actions remain the same, there is a
major difference in results if our underlying intention …
"Entrenched interests use
despair, confusion and apathy to prevent change. They encourage modes of
thinking which lead us to believe that problems are insolvable, that
nothing we do can matter, that the issue is too complex to present even
the opportunity for change. It is a long-standing political art to sow
the seeds of mistrust between those you would rule over: as Machiavelli
said, tyrants do not care if they are hated, so long as those under them
do not love one another."