Activism: The Value of Pushing Play and Pause

Activist, minister, and graduate of our Leadership and Transformation Program, Dee Cooper, has created the process and graphic below in response to a phenomenon she has felt and observed among activists; impatience with the slow pace of change, fear, and anger can combine to create a situation where activists turn against each other. Dee suggests using Appreciation for self and others as a way to maintain a sense of support and encouragement for oneself and for others engaged in activism. Thank you, Dee!

Achilles Heel of the Activist

What I notice….

Activists see the big picture, the full picture of what needs to be accomplished and this fuels their passion of making a difference in the world. Their emotions are their fuel. They grow their support base as others hear the call to action and step forward. People engage at different paces (think essence pace) and in different ways. Some people jump in the waters head first, others tip-toe in, and others watch on the sideline carefully observing or doing small things.

The old story…

This is where the activist slips into hero-or villain. They either work hard at bringing along or they get angry and start minimizing the actions others are doing as not good enough or not enough. They are possibly tapping into their own personas and projections of “too much” and  “not enough” or maybe a comparer persona emerges. They are fueling
themselves with adrenaline, which is not sustainable.

The result…

Instead of inviting people into action, they actually turn them off or turn them away. What is missing is Appreciation and that is what I would call the Achilles heel of the activist.

The Process of Pushing Play and Pause

  • One can step into the process at any place on the circle.
  • Following the invitations to notice what you are feeling. If it is flow, keep flowing. If it has any adrenaline, sense of the triangle or blame, push pause and appreciate, fear melt, and explore what is happening.
  • If a persona emerges, interview that persona.
  • If something I am avoiding facing arises, do the F.A.C.T. process.
  • Remember you get to choose how to bring about change.
  • Leading with appreciation (for myself and others), I invite others to stay with me on this journey toward change that my heart longs to see.

Download a PDF copy of “Activism: The Value of Pushing Play and Pause”