The Inner Activist is doing the work I deem necessary in this world. I am a firm believer in being the change I want to see in the world, and my experience has shown me that everything is an opportunity for growth. I am excited to take on the role of Outreach & Engagement Coordinator for the Inner Activist, connecting social change makers to leadership development skills in order to amplify their impact in the world.
The Inner Activist speaks to two areas of my life that I am most passionate about – inner development and activism. From a young age, a fury burned inside me for many causes, from sweatshops to animal testing, whaling and war. This drove my interest in the social sciences and the research topics I pursued during my M.A. studies – environmentalism, sustainable development, indigenous movements, and gender equity.
When I think of the Inner Activist, I reflect on the times in my life when I would have greatly benefitted from this program. In moments of passion, anguish or acute anger at the injustice in the world, I have found myself clashing with others’ interests. In turn, I felt betrayed by their callousness, fuelling yet more anger. Sometimes these situations led to great misunderstandings, causing more harm to relationships than good in the world.
The causes I chose were often David and Goliath in nature, so after what felt like one long battle, I was left deflated, burnt out, my passion and motivation waning. My fellow activists often commiserated. Sometimes due to financial constraints and lack of appreciation from the people we were fighting alongside, they would momentarily threaten to go over to “the dark side” or concede to a scholarly life or otherwise subdued existence. Others ended up in trouble with the law for civil disobedience, leaving them disillusioned and jaded.
In those moments, how I would have given anything to take an Inner Activist course to explore my motivations, identity and personal history, reignite my passion and refine my communication skills!
Although personal work has been an interest of mine for the past 15 years through a variety of programs including Nonviolent Communication, the Artist’s Way, Vipasanna meditation, yoga and others, over the past five years, I have made my personal growth a priority. It has been life changing.
Last year, during a leadership course, I had an ‘aha’ moment. I was reflecting on a profound experience I had as a young girl that changed the direction of my life. The death of my mentor at the hands of a hate crime had turned my world upside down. Reflecting on that time during this course, I realized this experience had also sparked my sense of justice. Going through this process of reflection gave a previously painful memory a place and purpose, showing me that even our greatest sorrows can be the birthplace of passion and growth.
I am a huge advocate for the power of group work like that which happens during Inner Activist programs. It can be transformational, empowering, and enlightening. Connections made during retreats can last a lifetime! I hope you will consider joining me and the Inner Activist in 2016 for one (or more!) or our three leadership programs. Feel free to reach out to me anytime if you have questions, or just want to chat.
Happy New Year!