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Slow Living Activism

September 11, 2020

I’ve been thinking more on activism: ‘definition: activism is the use of direct action to achieve an end, either for or against an issue’. Perhaps this time in quarantine offered space for considering how it’s possible to be deeply immersed in activism without burnout. Initial thoughts agree with the consensus – what’s needed is bursts of activism & then deep rest, but I still wonder if this leads to an emotional cycle of boom & bust, elation & depression, of competition & ego? A few years ago I started using the words Slow-Living Activism on here to try to encapsulate a slightly different way. I appreciate that this might read like an oxymoron, which it is because I’m coming to the conclusion that the only way forward is to not exist on the side of activism or inaction, but to find a way to embrace the whole at all times. What does this look like? Selling 95% of possessions was an active protest against our culture’s obsession with accumulation of stuff. Of course I still buy new things, there’s just a lot less of them. I choose not to own land or property, to use minimum resources within our alternative lifestyle. None of these actions have been quick to happen & new lessons present themselves often. I’ve had to accept that this openness in wanting to show that living with less can still be joy-filled means some people presume I’m just on an extended jolly. I’ve learned to live with that. Some years there’s more activism than others; I do as much as I can emotionally handle, but this concept of Slow-Living Activism is taking hold more & more as I search for ways to enact real systemic change within my limited sphere. Slowly, year-on-year, deeper connections are being made with the land, the ocean & all the creatures & plants we share this planet with, so that as I step outside of our obsession with linear progress, timeframes & calendars, I discover a deep peace within (& without) & the strength to do more work, to lean in & once again search for new connections for activism. There is nothing more beautiful than giving your whole life over to a cause & finding that it can still be joyful, that each day unfolding can be utterly sublime. #slowlivingactivism

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