Spiritual Element

S P I R I T U A L   E L E M E N T 

We are speaking about radical shifts in both our values and consciousness, of reclaiming our humanity, and that will take feeding our souls through the dark nights.

Yes, we are talking about a Revolution (or as native activist and poet John Trudell astutely pointed out an Evolution) – of Values and of Consciousness. Which brings up the often hushed notions of Spirituality, of conquering with a deep-seated sense of Love. Many long-standing activists firmly admit that, over the years, finding their own spiritual nourishment has been paramount in the sustainability of their work. So, if we're in this for the long haul, what will feed our souls through the dark nights? This becomes important at a time when confronting our fears and acting in the face of uncertainty can feel so overwhelming and isolating.

PeaceUp has strong roots in the Unitarian Church community -- a church that hosted some of our first meetings and to this day remains one of our most active and supportive volunteer base. Clearly, ours is a unique dynamic as the first waves of support following Tim’s action came from his fellow Unitarians. However, there is something to be said about sacred spaces and a shared spiritual practice -- whether that be through a church or honored community rituals, like singing together or doing restorative breathing exercises to start meetings.

Each one of us has a unique soul gift to bring to the social change canvass – and synergy stems from how we honor that in one another. Also essential is how we respect each other’s limitations – remembering that none of us were born tireless. A wise man once said, “what you're doing is enough because it has to be.” The work that we do is emotionally draining enough, without adding on a layer of guilt over not being able to do everything all the time. The notion of self-sustainability is a vital one, and a lesson that activists often encounter along their path. All of which requires us to practice the art of radical listening, guiding one another to the answers each of us hold.

Kevin LeBlanc, a dear friend of PeaceUp’s, once told us that trauma alters us permanently and thereby propels us to new levels of consciousness. We all felt this, while watching our brother and beloved friend get hauled off to jail. The question now is how will our movement translate despair to effective change, as we fight to reclaim our humanity?

OUR CHALLENGE TO YOU:  Modern spiritual teachings like Eckhart Tolle or Paulo Coehlo are becoming household names because they speak to a basic consciousness: that of being interconnected. Embracing the concept that we “are all part of the blanket,” what practices can your community adopt that recognizes our interdependent relationships -- to each other, to the planet we inhabit and to future generations?


Video Collage of February 28th, 2011

Many thanks to Ian Wittenber. Please consider visiting his site and sharing this video from there.  Music by Bethany Yarrow.

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PeaceUp's Solidarity Songbook

This is the songbook PeaceUp used at Tim DeChristopher's trial, sentencing, and a variety of other events. For free digital recordings of some of these songs, visit music.peacefuluprising.org.