The Superpower of the Evolutionary Activist

 It’s not surprising that both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi talked about “evolutionary activism,” without using those words. It’s a new articulation of an ancient concept. It has been around as long as humans have lived with an intention to bring greater freedom, dignity and honor to all of life. It’s about living with the commitment to serve the expansion of love, and the awareness that the entire world is an expression of one unified energetic field of love. All forms of suffering and injustice occur when humans act out of alignment with this truth.

Perhaps the most accurate description of evolutionary activism was offered when MLK said,

“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

In my 30 years of spiritual study and growth, and over 2 decades of work in movement building and leadership training, I’ve experienced MLK’s observations continually. We’ve seen time and time again great power summoned to resist and squash efforts for justice, and it often succeeds. But it is always just a matter of time before the collective consciousness evolves to a place where the injustice can no longer sustain itself – where the power of love prevails. Whether it is civil rights and race equality, gender equality, and now the movement to extend civil rights to the natural world, we can see the clear progression toward greater honoring and a greater expression of justice.

This progression is the “evolutionary impulse” driving what we have observed since we’ve had the capacity to observe life on our planet. This impulse is toward a greater and greater expression of complexity, fairness, inclusivity, beauty, creativity, compassion – all the many expressions of love. Whenever someone acts to create healing in the direction of one of these expressions of love, there is a kind of superpower in the action.

That is why so many people have felt the profound truth in Gandhi’s words, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” This is the central principal and superpower of evolutionary activism. It is committing to a path of passionate self-awareness, and taking on the daily adventure of healing whatever is in the way of embodying whatever expression of love you are intent on bringing forth in the world.

It is unfortunately very possible to force change in the world through power. Every day we see the power of the concentration of money and influence in the hands of a very few individuals. But while this kind of power can create great destruction in the world, it has never been able to overcome the superpower of love. My greatest experience of security comes from this awareness. No matter how dark things get, light can overcome the darkness when the tiniest match is struck. And even the smallest act offered from integrity with love has evolutionary ripple effects we are only beginning to grasp, given our still new understanding of our quantum reality – our innate connectedness. This is evolutionary activism, and it resides in each of us.


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These are days…

Recently a friend and I were singing our mutual favorite 10,000 Maniacs song on hike, “These are days to remember…we are blessed and lucky.” And I am continually aware of how challenging these times are, and yet how grateful I am for the presence of mind and resilience that my mindfulness practices have anchored in my experience.

Take a moment to sit quietly and allow yourself to be grateful for those things about yourself that you can truly count on. What can you trust about yourself – for sure? You might write a bit on this in your journal. This is a powerful way to get in touch with your love of yourself. Just bring to mind what you can count on in you, and how good it feels to be able to trust that – and see if you can feel the love expanding within.

You can certainly experience this as just a warm fuzzy, “Isn’t that nice.”  But there is more to this practice than meets the eye. Your success in life, whether in relationship, or professional, or physical, will be in direct proportion to your love of yourself.

I’m not talking about achievement. Because it is definitely possible to achieve significant things and have gobs of self-loathing going on – yes? I’m talking about the greatness that comes from enduring, mutually fulfilling, joyful, authentic, self-expression. That is the gold in life.

If you are curious what transformational coaching could open up in your life, I whole-heartedly encourage you to contact me for a complimentary exploration session. You just might have an experience of life beyond your wildest imaginings to gain.

Peace inside, peace outside.



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Your civic voice.

I thought I’d share a Letter to the Editor I submitted in January, when I was joining my fellow townspeople in preparing to vote on whether to allow a proposed development on a key piece of the town’s land.  A lot of times we think our voice can’t possibly make a difference, or that what we have to share isn’t anything new, etc. But all these ways that we keep ourselves silent are becoming increasingly deadly. Your community, and your world are shaped by what you give voice to – or by what someone else does in the face of your silence.  And all you need to do is speak from the heart.

“In thinking about yes or no on VCR, I find myself looking beyond this piece of land, this town – to the larger context within which this decision exists.

2011 contained the largest number of climate disasters of any other year in recorded history. All those monitoring the state of the planet say it is well past the time we should be pulling out all the stops to bring our planet into balance that will allow for life to continue.

I wonder how many times we need to hear this, how much suffering we need to endure, before we will acknowledge that our every choice decideds a future that includes all life on the planet, or life for none.

In the native American Okonagan tradition, when community decisions are made someone is designated to speak for the land. In this case I wonder what it might say. With the amount of expertise in this valley – from the efforts of Colorado Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, Sustainable Settings, CLEER, CORE, Solar Energy International, Aspen Center for Environ Studies, Rocky Mountain Institute (and there are many others that complete this list) – I imagine the land to say, “You know what to do to live in harmony with the land. Listen to your very best thinking and create something that will inspire the world.”

Is that a fancier grocery store with a few green bells and whistles to allay the creeping feeling that we are selling out future generations so we can have more choices of food trucked and flown in from far too far away? I shudder at the thought of my children saying, “Really? A third of the world lives on less than a dollar a day and you want “a more complete shopping experience?”

When we have every indication that even an incremental rise in global temperatures means death for those living in other parts of the world, and we are quibbling about paving over more green land?

Is the best we can do a fast food restaurant and gas station convenience store where our youth can fill up on diabetes inducing snacks and loiter among the tabloids?

Really, are we not capable of better? I believe we are. In fact, during the many years of deliberation on this development we have gotten savvier, more clear about our strengths and needs. We are much closer to something that future generations will celebrate us for. But I don’t believe we are there yet. And I don’t believe we have to get pressured into saying yes to this latest iteration of the development just because we’ve been at it for “long enough” and we’re being told no one will want to do business here if we don’t say yes.  That is a response from fear and lack – not from wholeness. Not from our collective brilliance.

Sometimes, like now, no is yes.”

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