Many of us find it difficult to accept and trust what we’re seeing, feeling, sensing around climate change and the other the big issues of our time. We lack solid self-support systems and can’t easily trust ourselves. We feel vulnerable and at the mercy of large world forces. We may be concerned about climate change and it keeps us up at night. Or we’re drawn into partisan conflicts that are unsettling.

We feel that if we step outside the circle of peer expectation there’ll be no one there for us. We’ll be hung out to dry. We fear we’ll be alone with all our bridges burned. The traditional supports with steady jobs and religion based in the community are no longer there to support us.

We lack a solid self-support system. By a solid self-support system I mean the inner and outer supports that tell us that, at least for now, we’re in a friendly world where we’re welcome just as we are.

Support doesn’t mean co-dependence, that someone else will do it for us. I mean self-care that includes trusted others, on our wavelength as part of our lives. I feel a hunger for this in people I speak with. I feel it myself. Doesn’t everyone have a deep need to be welcomed and acknowledged, seen for what they’re bringing?

The art of the future is the deep welcome. It’s the self-care that extends to the part of us that feels unwelcome and not wanted in the moment, that feels blamed for what’s not working. The opposite of welcome is shutting the door in our own or another’s face saying you’re not what I wanted. You’re not important. You’re not worth it. That’s the voice we  fear we’ll hear if we really show up.

What we really want is the deepest of welcomes. We want a welcome too for the part of us that wants to make the world a better place while we can, our dreams. What we usually do, settling for less, doesn’t work. Settling for less might take the form of resistance (saying yes but demonstrating no in our actions), or resignation (giving up and plodding through), or rebellion. I mean rebellion in the sense of being against something and not for; I don’t mean Extinction Rebellion which I see as pro-active activism.

 The deep welcome, our place in the world, is claimed, not given. But we can’t claim it sitting on a meditation cushion. It’s in relationship in the everyday world where we practice the art of deep welcome.

This deep welcome, this self-care is a primary political act. Activism is important, but to the extent it lacks the spiritual base it’s ineffective. The self’s real nature IS deep welcome anyway. It wants, we want, to take in the world and contribute. We want to live and be a part of it.

This deep welcome is something we open to gradually. At first it’s  an intellectual idea that we may like a little or a lot but still aren’t practiced in. We don’t know how. (I’m not speaking of meditation and personal practices that are important but not enough in my opinion, not the firehose that is available to us now.) Secondly it looks like welcome groups with respectful conversation, honest as we can stand – and a lot of listening. Third is Presencing Practice, a moment to moment welcoming of what’s coming up. Presencing Practice carries on into our daily lives.

The core understanding is the felt knowing that it really is safe to be ourselves, even that we don’t have to do anything but be ourselves and live our lives, and that we’re deeply welcomed and held as we do so.

2 Responses


    Hi Andrew, Do activist groups achieve anything?

    Does the ‘collective’ become more loving, understanding, wiser – display more common sense:

    Do they make a sustainable difference?

    My observation is that activism changes nothing at the most fundamental level, that is, at the level of individual human consciousness.


    In these, mostly well-intentioned groups, we fall into the trap of expressing our conditioned beliefs, opinions, judgements and yes – our knowledge – our life long accumulation.

    Of course, it’s nice to belong to a group; it can be lots of fun. It can be agreeable to meet with others in our shared beliefs. It’s cosy and comfortable.

    Mostly however individuals within groups morph into ‘group think’ – a collective state of impossibility.

    Consequently, we go around in circles – spinning our wheels – sometimes making lots of noise and smoke.


    Individually we fail to see and take personal responsibility that I am at cause – I’m at the seat of causality in my world – good, bad and indifferent.

    If we ‘awaken” we see (become conscious of the reality) that we, individually are at cause in our life and the world we are creating in each moment.

    In our awakening, we realise that and are better placed to sustain any new reality we might experience. We then do what we do, influenced by our state of Possibility. Not before.

    In the group though, we can become trapped in pointing the finger of blame out there. At others. At the world.

    It’s easier to point the finger at them – at those who are at fault, in one way or another, in ‘making such a mess of our world’. We say oh, no. It’s not me!

    That’s where I miss the mark. I think it’s them.

    When I point the finger at others, I do so in my blindness and innocent avoidance of accepting that I am at cause with the state that my world, the world, is in.

    I remain a part of the unconscious mess, the violence, the exploitation, the inequality and the divisiveness. It is me at work, as an unconscious part of the collective.

    Till that moment of waking up, I remain the problem. Not the solution.

    It’s when you and I wake up in a state of *Possibility – our innate state of love, understanding, wisdom and common sense, that we make a difference.

    Waking up in that reality transforms our world and the world.

    Warmly … John

  2. Hi “Woodie,” I agree that most activist groups exercise groupthink and don’t challenge themselves. For me though, individuals who see this and step outside of groups to work on it on their own just as easily self-delude. It’s being in the group and wrestling with this very issue that brings growth. We can’t see our own shadow.
    I’m aware of the irony that you and I have often wrestled with this together, and continue to amicably see it differently! 🙂

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