01 Feb Is it time for a Spiritual Rebellion?
Hands up who else feels helpless and frustrated about the state of the world?
Hands up who is fed up with feeling helpless and frustrated?
Well I have good news for you.
You may be feeling the spirit of rebellion, and spiritual rebellion might just be your route to freedom.
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion”. Albert Camus
In October 2019, I found myself in a state of helplessness and despair. The world seemed to be going to shit. Little did I know back then how much worse it was going to get.
I felt helpless to influence the desecration of my home planet or get my voice heard about political and social issues that mattered to me. I felt powerless. I was left wondering whether there was anything I could do.
Mindful Outrage and the Call to Action
As a teacher of self-compassion, mindful awareness and spiritual inquiry, I saw that I could feel into the helplessness, not turn away from it, and face into the abyss. As I dropped down into the feeling, what came forth from the darkness was utter outrage and an urgent call to action. Initially I wanted to move against incompetent, self-serving politicians and ruthless wealth accumulators, but I cannot fight these people. And going on a march just isn’t my thing.
Yet I had this energy rising up in me. The urge to right wrongs, to fight for freedom and justice, to resist tyranny and assert my own sovereignty. Then it occurred to me that while I could not use this energy to save humanity from its own shadow, I did have another option. I could rise up against internal tyranny. The inner critic, the painful patterns of coping, the powerful internal forces that keep me imprisoned in my own history. I felt defiant. I was feeling the spirit of rebellion.
What is rebellion?
I got curious about the nature of rebellion. The dictionary describes it as ‘the action or process of resisting control, authority or convention’. That made so much sense to me. Rebellion is frustrated energy rising up to meet whatever is in the way of its freedom.
It is clear how this energy can propel some folk into active defiance in the world, drawing attention to suffering and injustice. Petitioning, protesting, campaigning. Perhaps these passionate souls are responding to their inner call to action. Perhaps they are outraged by the injustice of coercion, manipulation, neglect, marginalising, victimising, gaslighting, abusing, threatening, shaming, berating, judging, criticising, humiliating. These are just causes indeed.
Perhaps we can all recognise the long shadow cast by the hurt we have experienced, particularly during our formative years. From small rejections to giant betrayals. All the times we were not seen, acknowledged or appreciated, were overlooked, shunned or unfairly judged. Whether as a result of malice, ignorance or the limitations of our caregivers, over time our natural life force, our free spiritedness, is curtailed, wounded, beaten down, frozen or led astray.
As children, our circumstances required us to shape shift and take on behaviours and identities that cut us off from our true nature, from the self-optimising life force that naturally grows towards the light. Perhaps we became limited in our capacity to move freely, breathe, play, connect, love joyfully. We adapted into whatever shape helped us cope and make sense of what we were experiencing. Then this is who we take ourselves to be. A neurotic but mostly functional adaptation, no longer able to fully embody our sacred nature and personal potential. Frustrated by our unhealthy habits and patterns. Feeling helpless to break free from our history and finally find peace in the truth of our Being.
The Nameless Ache
Yet admidst the darkness and difficulty, part of us knows we have left something important behind. We sense something is missing. We feel estranged from ourselves, from something Essential, elemental, profound. I call this longing the Nameless Ache.
In Spiritual Rebellion, this powerful combination of frustration and longing is harnessed in the service of truth and the freedom to be what we really are, a unique manifestation of pure Being. When we turn with curiosity and kindness towards our helplessness and despair, sense into the part that is calling us home, feel into how our innate life force is constrained, perhaps we will be fired up by the spirit of rebellion.
The Work of Spiritual Rebellion
The work of Spiritual Rebellion is to turn towards the internal and relational blocks to our freedom to be ourselves. There needs to be willingness to do whatever it takes, to honour our unfolding, and work on whatever is in the way.
What makes this rebellion spiritual is that this movement in our soul has its origins in Love. Love for the truth. Compassion for our own suffering. It recognises that love is the ground of Being. Without love, rebellion is merely blind aggression. When the angry-hurt that fuels rebellion rises up and encounters love, it softens and is transformed into spacious, powerful, glorious moments of freedom.
I began to imagine all the other rebellious souls across the globe already engaged in this personal and human quest. I contemplated the idea of a collective uprising. A rising up in love against inner tyranny and external oppression.
So in March 2020 just before the first lockdown I organised a Flashmob Meditation event, inviting the people of my town to meet in the market square one Sunday morning to sit silently together in a fifteen minute heart meditation. What a powerful experience that was. I sensed a loving vibration in the air as twenty four of us meditated together amidst the Sunday shoppers.
I love the idea of people gathering at the same time in other towns across the country, across the globe even, sensing into our hearts, raising the vibration, defiantly, lovingly embodying compassion and hope.
Shared Intention Weekends
I love the idea of Shared Intention Weekends, where people go about their weekend as normal but as part of a global community of people practicsing a shared intention: being kind to ourselves, listening for messages of the heart, noticing the internal weather in our belly centre, taking special care of our bodies, our wounds, our fears, practising compassion and grounding in loving connected presence.
Both Flashmob Meditation events and Shared Intention Weekends are part of my vision for the Big Soul Work Project. A movement on a mission to be a point of orientation, opportunity and hope for anyone interested or engaged in inner work.
The Power to Heal
Marianne Williamson reminds us that “in every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” Our personal and collective power to heal and come back to whole is at the heart of spiritual rebellion.
Join Us and Rise Up in Love
So, is it time for a Spiritual Rebellion? It certainly is for me. And it certainly feels like the world needs a collective spiritual uprising right now. How about you? What evokes the spirit of rebellion in you? And will you join me and rise up in love?
For more information about how to get involved, click here.