Okay, no more fooling around. It’s time. The world needs your spiritual leadership. Now. Your community, your friends, your neighborhood, your city. We all need it.
Don’t know what I’m talking about?
Let me offer it in the words of adrienne maree brown in Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds:
“…those of us who wish to see a truly, radically different world must demand of ourselves the possibility that we are called to lead not from right to left, or from minority to majority, but from spirit towards liberation.”
I added emphasis on the word demand. And I mean it.
People who have known me for a while know that I have been banging the “spiritual leadership” drum since I first learned the concept through the Women’s Theological Center community back at the turn of the century. At the time, we developed a training called “Leading From Spirit.” It was for activists, healers, artists, educators, parents, organizers and others who wanted to contribute to personal and systemic transformation.
Back then, it was a particularly hard sell to anyone who eschewed religion. We were clear, however, that spiritual leadership as a practice is as possible for those who stay away from religion as for those who are deeply connected to one or more religious traditions. The purpose of our work was to provide opportunities for people to strengthen and nourish their spirit so they could increase their capacity for personal, interpersonal, organizational and community transformation. Our motto for the work was “On Purpose. In Spirit. For Justice.” Sometimes we described spiritual leadership as the skill of navigating between our power and our powerlessness in the pursuit of beloved community.
Spiritual leadership is the practice of connecting to the world from your spirit — that place in yourself where you know who you are (your gifts, purpose, vision, values) and whose you are (g/God/ess(es), ancestors, tribes, nations, communities) — in order to validate and support that same sense of self and belonging in every person.
AKA collective liberation. Everyone. On the left and the right and in the fields beyond direction. In the majority and the minority and those who are not even counted. The spirit seeks liberation the way baby sea turtles head for the ocean. Lead with that.
You don’t have to be or become a spiritual leader. It’s not a role. Spiritual leadership is a stance, an orientation, a practice. And it has your name on it.
[Saying “Yes!” to the call but wondering “How?” Stay tuned for future posts where we’ll identify and describe some of the core elements and practices of spiritual leadership.]