This may be a recent realisation for you, or you may always have known this to be true, somewhere in your mind and heart.
But whether new or old, this knowledge has left you with a question, one which feels more urgent by the day:
What can I do about it all?
Whether the ‘all’ that distresses you most right now is racism and white supremacy, sexism and misogyny, dis/ableism, homophobia and biphobia, transphobia, religious bigotry, classism, vast and growing wealth inequalities, or the inexorable progress of climate change, it’s easy to feel disempowered and helpless in the face of so much injustice and harm, happening every day.
Even reading the list in that last paragraph might leave you feeling that way. (I know I feel close to despair reading it — and I’m the one who wrote it!)
I would guess that you’re already trying to do your bit: supporting campaigns like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo with your social media posts or even street actions; interrupting racist, sexist, dis/ableist etc. ‘humour’ and commentary in your day to day interactions, when you feel able; reducing, reusing and recycling, where facilities exist.
But engaging with the world and what is happening right now — all the harm that is being done, often in our names — is hard and it’s painful.
You often feel like you can’t ever do enough.
You’re worried about doing it wrong, and even fear you might be doing more harm than good.
You lose confidence in your ability to choose which action to take or what words to use.
You hate confrontation and fear conflict, and don’t know how to tackle it when it comes up.
You often feel overwhelmed and have to step away, then feel guilty for taking care of yourself when all of these issues feel so damned urgent.
Sometimes, you feel alone and confused. You yearn for support, nourishment, and above all community, but can’t seem to find it, or feel like you have to leave parts of yourself behind to be accepted when you do.
All of us who are engaged in work for social and environmental change feel these things.
We are firm in our commitment to doing what we can, when and where we can, to move the world towards justice, love, and liberation. But often we don’t have access to the emotional support, anxiety-free learning, and deep inner nourishment that would empower and enable us to be clear, confident and joyful in our activism.
That is why the Resilient Activists Learning Space exists.
Resilient because taking action for social justice is often psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually challenging and demanding. We will spiral inward, with courses and programmes to nourish and resource ourselves.
Activists because inner work is not enough: we need to take our work out into the world if we are to bring about the changes we desire to see. We will spiral outward, with courses and programmes to develop practical skills for working with others to bring about change.
Learning Space because we come together to share and learn skills, resources and aptitudes, to try them out, and to find out what works and what doesn’t in our particular circumstances.
What’s on offer?
Through a series of core classes, we
- work with our place in the world and in social structures;
- enter into our stories, our bodies, and our energy
- connect with human and more-than-human support;
- learn together, as peers;
- become present, where we are, with all that we hold: our blessings, burdens, joys and challenges
- face our responsibilities as members of society, as co-creators of culture, and as a part of the web of nature, together.
All without dogma, without judgement, and with as little appropriation as humanly possible.
Who is offering it?
I’m Elinor Predota. That’s me, in the picture on the left. I’ve been learning my way as a resilient activist since I was seven years old, when my parents took me to my first environmental rally.
I have a long and wide-ranging background in activism, community development, spiritual counselling, ritual work, and both formal and informal education. My work centres around the magic of creativity, of relating across difference, and of becoming alive to all that is present within and without us, here and now.
I’m a spiritual counsellor and coach, a storyteller, poet, singer and artist, a spoonie, an anarchist, an intersectional feminist, a mystic, a geek, and a queer, genderfluid, bisexual Witch.
I am fascinated by stories: the stories we tell each other, and the stories we tell ourselves; those stories that we know we are telling, and those that we don’t.
I believe that until we are aware of our stories, we cannot change them; and until we change our stories, we cannot change the world.
While initially all of the material on offer in the Resilient Activists Learning Space is mine, as the space grows, I intend to bring other teachers on board, to expand the perspectives and resources available.