ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Political Activists Need Rituals Too

Updated on January 19, 2015
Sustainable Sue profile image

Triggered by experiences with wildlife as a Peace Corps volunteer, Susette became an earth-friendly activist, while also working full time.

Political activists make the world make sense in areas that are important to them, focusing especially on government, even when it seems to be falling apart. The activist redefines the world and shows how we can take action to create the kinds of lives we prefer to live.

Meditation is one of the best ways possible to get centered. It helps you bypass the emotions, get an overview on issues, and see what kind of action would be most effective.
Meditation is one of the best ways possible to get centered. It helps you bypass the emotions, get an overview on issues, and see what kind of action would be most effective. | Source

In order to do that, the activist has to be observant, centered, passionate, articulate, and well-rested. Because an activist is continually reacting to what could be made better and often faces controversy in the process, there is a great need to take special care of oneself.

Morning and evening rituals help an activist stay centered and organized. A morning ritual starts the day off on a good note and contributes to the accomplishment of goals. The evening ritual gives space to acknowledge successes and failures of the day and determine what needs to be improved. Between them, the day shapes itself, gearing up gradually to hours of intense activity, then slowing gradually to rest at night.

Definition of a Ritual

Rituals do not necessarily have anything to do with religion. They are simply a special practice regularly repeated. According to my online dictionary, "A series of actions and type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone."

That can include chanting, meditation, or just a regular routine carried out at a particular time of day. In this case, I am offering morning and night rituals that help keep me clear, healthy, and effective as a political activist.

The two rituals below are samples for what you, as an activist can design for yourself, based on what you best respond to and do naturally. The goal of the morning is to wake up refreshed. The goal of the evening is to relax and sleep well. Both rituals can be adapted or completely scratched and redone to fit what will work for you, once you see the intent. They are only examples.

Early morning is a great time to sit in the sun and write - how good you feel, last night's dreams, the day's plans, anything.
Early morning is a great time to sit in the sun and write - how good you feel, last night's dreams, the day's plans, anything. | Source

Political Activist Wake-Up Ritual

When people first wake up, they're usually in a good mood. It's only subsequent thoughts or memories (or drinking the night before) that brood them into feeling awful. For a successful day, it's important to prolong that great feeling for as long as possible. Start with the following while still in bed:

  • Appreciate - Stretch, breathe deeply, massage face and eyes, as though to say, "Thanks for this great sleep!" Get up, open blinds, stretch a little, put on morning music. Say (or feel), "I am awake and grateful to be alive!"
  • Wake up - Start a cup of tea. Get out breakfast makings and dishes to wake the stomach up. Wash face, brush teeth, brush hair while the tea water is heating.
  • Contemplate - When water is hot, make tea and take it to a comfortable place to sit. Write thoughts of the morning, goals for the day, or dreams of the night for your journal. Silently thank your mind for its hidden workings on your behalf.
  • Stretch & Meditate - Do some simple stretches or a hatha yoga routine, then meditate for a few minutes to plan the day. Align with your center, check your goals and desires, then chant to give them power.
  • Clean up - Make your bed, eat breakfast, do a little cleaning up. Dress and apply makeup (if you wear it), even if minimal. You are ready to start the day.

Political activist or networking meetings will get you hyped, and it may be hard to relax afterwards. That's where an evening ritual helps.
Political activist or networking meetings will get you hyped, and it may be hard to relax afterwards. That's where an evening ritual helps. | Source

Daytime Work or Political Action

Hopefully the day will go well, pretty much according to plan, with some interesting unexpectedness thrown in. In my life, I make sure to stop for lunch at some point. I also make sure to keep my activities somewhat in balance - both political and work - so that I have working time, time socializing, time on the computer, time to eat, time to rest, time to think, a chance to exercise, and time to create. Some of the day can be rushed, some can be relaxed.

Balance is what keeps people healthy and relatively stress free, even when living an active life. If we keep ourselves in balance, we will have plenty of energy and focus to accomplish our goals and have fun. We will see ourselves as productive, worthy beings. The things we say will make sense to people even though they may disagree. And we will be able to respect ourselves, even when we mess up. When we stay in balance, we end up needing less food and less sleep than most people do.

Sunset is the time to start relaxing. Stay on the computer too long, and your mind will keep you awake all night.
Sunset is the time to start relaxing. Stay on the computer too long, and your mind will keep you awake all night. | Source

Political Activist Bedtime Ritual

After a full day, it's time to begin to relax. You want to be able to sleep well and awaken refreshed in the morning. It is seldom possible to go directly from a state of productive agitation to sudden and total relaxation for sleep. It needs to be done in gradual steps and a bedtime ritual is perfect for that. Here is a potential routine to follow:

  • Setup - Put on relaxing music. Light candles. Pull down bedclothes & turn on bed lamp, softly asking your body to prepare for sleep.
  • Wash it off - Shower to wash off the day's stress & say, "It's over. I can sleep now. Good job." Prepare your body for bed, focusing on the value of self-care.

  • Close the day - Make nighttime tea to soothe & further relax. Write in your journal to relive successes & highlights of the day. Envision the morrow with pleasure. Chant your gratitude & bless the earth, "May the Earth be filled with Peace & Joy, Purity, Light, Love & Life."
  • Relax in bed - Blow out candles & turn off the lights. Climb into bed. Massage your stomach as if to say, "Thanks for digesting this day so well." Massage your eyes & face to say, "Thanks for seeing so clearly. Thanks for showing the world my best."

  • Sleep - Stretch, cuddle, think of good things. Then breathe into your heart and let yourself fall asleep.

Dreams Help Activism Too

Know that night sleep is a time when the mind organizes on a really deep level. Dreams often reflect the organization that's going on, and sometimes generate insights that can help you resolve whatever issues you encountered during the day. They can also highlight things that you may not have fully noticed, but that are important. Or they will answer questions you have consciously or unconsciously asked. Here is an impactful dream I had awhile ago that helped me quite a bit:

I was feeling anxious and discouraged about why it seemed to be taking so long to make things happen. One night I dreamed I was climbing a mountain. I was exhausted, almost ready to give up, when a little mouse raced across the path in front of me and ducked into a hole in the side of the hill. In the dream I stopped and looked, then realized he was showing me I was almost home. So I dragged myself up the last, steep way and when I came around the curve on the top of the mountain, there was a beautiful, well-planned neighborhood just waiting for me to join it. The view was incredible.

These days, when I wake up in the morning the first thing I do, even before I get out of bed, is look to see if I've dreamed. If I remember bits and pieces I will save them until the morning ritual in a little while when I can write them down. Setting that pattern helps me to remember dreams regularly.

Some of the best artists, musicians, scientists, and businesspeople have gained insight about their lives and creations through their dreams, and there is no reason that political activists should not be among them. So set up rituals for yourself, one in the morning, one at night. Keep your life in balance, too, and your political activism will become very interesting, highly rewarding, and lots of fun.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • fucsia profile image

      fucsia 

      7 years ago

      In this page I like the gratitude for those things that sometimes we take for granted.

      Thanks for sharing, and welcome to HP!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)