Keeping your Activist Heart Happy: A Series – part 3

So far we’ve touched on healthy coping mechanisms and the power of integrating our whole selves into what we do.

Today, I’d like to recommend a book dedicated to helping us keep our inner light burning: “The Lightmaker’s Manifesto – How to Work for Change Without Losing Your Joy,” by Karen Walrond. 

Image cropped from original at

Image cropped from original at

When many of us are called to activism, our passions push us to overextend, to burn our light brightly at the expense of the longevity of our efforts. Karen explores this connection between selflessness/sacrifice and activism, and how best to integrate self-care, for ourselves and the world. 

First, Karen helps us identify those things that truly stir us, to listen to those inner voices, those life nudges, that push towards our passions. Then, she identifies practices that will foster our light, help us flourish and keep flourishing. These practices are connected to our joy, what fuels our light. This joy, this powerful fuel, can be there even when surrounded by overwhelming trials and tribulations. It is what moves hearts and hands, after hurricanes and floods, to serve their community, to go over and above for each other. 

The key is to focus on what sparks our hearts, not merely overarching ideals or “doing what’s right”. Karen found that our joy-fuel springs from a deep-rooted place, and it strongly impacts and drives our activist skills and gifts.

Karen ascribes to a “whole-person view” and self-care practices acronymed SPIRE (spiritual, physical, intellectual, relational, and emotional), as well as the importance of community, for one’s well-being. 

I highly recommend this book! But, I’m not including an Amazon link for purchase. Y’all need to contact your local bookstore and get it ordered. 🙂

You can also listen to a podcast of Brene Brown’s interview of Karen Walrond at As usual, the second session is chock full of POWERFUL. 

Hugs to you all, and may your light glow and grow brightly, my friends.

– Eve

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