The new, new counterculture

The new, new counterculture is shifting our focus

From dialectical to cooperative

From material to spiritual

From critical to creative

From confrontational to compassionate

The new, new counterculture does not forget the old ways, but rather incorporates them into a greater whole.

How have you experienced the new, new counterculture in your work and in your life?

L3: Be Quiet and Listen

When DJ Kool Herc founded Hip Hop, he realized that people came alive during the breaks – the momentary gaps in the music he played as a DJ. When finding any rhythm, the quiet spaces where there is an absence of sound, light, or matter is often what defines the tenor of the movement from moment to moment.

When we are still and quiet, beauty and peace have the opportunity to emerge. In our stillness, life’s true meaning is revealed.

Listening to our hearts, other people, and nature leads us to deepen our understanding, acquire knowledge, and grow in our wisdom. Listening is the process of accepting and absorbing what is offered to us and allowing it to melt into our being so that we are transformed. When we listen, we resist the urge to control and commandeer conversations and activities; instead, we allow everything around us – divine energy, nature, our friends and family – the opportunity to infiltrate and influence every aspect of our lives.

We live in a loud, busy world where it is easy to get caught up in a frenetic pace chasing after multiple ideas and things. Sometimes, we forget what we are looking for or, if we remember, we forget why it was important to us in the beginning. Give yourself the gift of time to reflect on your motivations, desires, and purpose to add meaning to your daily routine and to ensure that your actions are aligned with your deepest values.

Silence creates the space needed for new ideas to blossom. When we constantly think, do, and react, the creative process is suffocated. Silence and stillness provide the energy needed to invigorate inspiration and innovation. Your composed countenance will have a calming effect on all of the people around you, too!

There are many ways that you can find quiet time within your daily schedule. Start and end the day with a few minutes of meditation or prayer. Connect with nature by gardening, hiking, or birdwatching. Allow yourself a break when you are working – a real break. Pause and take some time to reflect during or after meetings before making important decisions. Take time to smell the literal and figurative roses.

Be still. Be quiet. Be open. Set a new pace in your life – one where you can feel your soul emerge in the breaks.

Leader: Sun or Nebula?

When I left my job as an executive director, I went from being a sun — albeit of a microscopic universe — to a nebula. I thought I would feel liberated, but I felt a bit lost at times. Through entrepreneurship, I am loving the freedom of creative expression and learning to honor the accompanying mysteries and complexities of life. In my nebula heart, all things are possible.

Your Help is Needed: Progressive Dictionary

The Fruition Coalition is launching a new Interactive Progressive Dictionary on The Activist’s Muse in 2013. In progressive activism, and life in general, we use so many words with multiple, implicit meanings. The purpose of this project is to clarify and articulate the many ways that we interpret the words that we use in our work.

Here’s how it works:

* A reader submits her or his selected word and definition using the online survey

* The word and definition is selected for inclusion on the blog

* The word and definition is posted on the blog along with the name and institutional affiliation of the person who submitted it

* Readers post comments to affirm, contest, or add to the original definition

* The original author and others respond to comments, creating an interactive dialogue about how we understand words.

Please click on this link to participate! Some ideas for words to get us started might be: progressive, activism, power, community, leadership, politics, etc…but feel free to choose your own word.

My Coloring Book

Professors have often criticized my writing by reminding me that I need to unpack ideas. My writing tends to be dense, leading to grey, shaded areas that await discovery and illumination.

I like to think of this blog as my coloring book. I present a framework of ideas which you can color in using the palette of your thoughts, experience, and emotions. Each rendering is unique, yet united by a common understanding. Your picture adds new dimension to mine.

I welcome your questions to clarify what I mean, but I also love to see your interpretations and extrapolations of the ideas in The Activist’s Muse. I would like this blog to be a dialogue resulting in a community mural of progressive social change.