Jumping into Spirit: exploring the territory of spirituality and social activism

The other day I wrote a post for a blog I write with my dear friend Olivia Sprinkel: Dancing All the Way. Until recently, I’ve tended to think of that blog as a personal one and this blog as a professional one. Now I fully accept that this is a false divide, given that Dancing All the Way and See & Connect are both blogs rooted in physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual awakenings. And I’m in the mood to not only write about Spirit in this professional space, but also to write about spirituality and start looking explicitly at the relationship between spirituality and social activism/social change.

I used to be somewhat reluctant to bring spirituality and social activism/social change (which I’ll just refer to as social activism) together explicitly. Why?  Because talking about spirituality can be a door-closer for some activists/changemakers. People become uncomfortable around reference to it because they associate it with religion and/or God and they feel that social activism is best done through a secular bent. Or it turns people off because they associate spirituality with light and fluffy thinking – thinking that is a flimsy foundation for the change we must create with respect to building different social, economic and political systems.

I began to dabble, dip a toe in the water, joining up spirituality and social activism by writing about Spirit. This seemed a less controversial connection to make because of how easy it is to link Spirit to the words inspire and inspiration. What social activist/changemaker doesn’t want to be inspired or inspiring? I started capitalizing Spirit to bring it out more, because I think it is so important. In writing about Spirit in relation to inspiration, I found it easy to avoid linking it with spirituality.  I also consciously tried to keep from writing about Spirit in ways that seemed too ‘woo-woo’ as I often label it – new agey, hippy, talking vaguely and too much about ‘energy’, etc.

Now I’ve come to a point in the path where I feel it is time to jump – to jump into the territory of sharing honestly what I’m working with personally and professionally when it comes to Spirit and spirituality.  I’m inclined to build on the definition of Spirit I put out in March by drawing from what I wrote last week in Dancing All the Way. So, here I go.

What is Spirit?

When I talk about Spirit I am referring to energy that we all carry inside us – this energy is innate. One of its roots is the energy that created the universe – literally. I can’t explain it myself, but I’ve heard a few times from scientists that we have this energy inside us and I believe it (for example, Neil deGrasse Tyson – What we are).  This is pure creative energy.  I also think we innately carry energy that generates compassion (here’s where the woo-woo starts). Do I have proof? No. But I think of Spirit as these energies inside us – creativity and compassion. Next, I think of Spirit as containing a particular type of wisdom. This wisdom is intuition. By intuition, I mean the wisdom we all carry that is bigger than our own individual experience. It has its roots in our collective consciousness (more woo-woo) and is entwined with creativity and compassion.

I think Spirit – this vibration, this energy – connects us all; it is like a current running through us. This current – the creativity, compassion and wisdom – is infinite.  Spirit charges us up to love, connect, merge, expand (just as the universe is expanding).  

Next post, I’ll look at what spirituality means to me. Then I’ll explore what happens when we combine Spirit and spirituality together with social activism. In the meantime, the questions lingering on my mind are: “In what ways does this notion of Spirit resonate with you?” “How can each of us connect with Spirit – with our innate creativity, compassion and intuition?” “Why would you/we want to connect with Spirit?”


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