The problem with ‘Leave it up to the Universe’ thinking: Activism as a spiritual practice.

I’ve asked almost a hundred people now, what their definition of spirituality is. And most of them, at some point, referred to it as:

looking inward

All words that suggest an experience of spirituality that is very oriented to going within in some way.

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with an inward orientation to spirituality (I often experience it that way, too).

But for today’s AnnikaTV guest, her spiritual connection is lit up by going outside, into the world around her, as an activist.

“Activism is my rent for living on the planet.”
– Alice Walker

Melanie Klein on AnnikaTV

In today’s episode, I’m talking with sociologist, Melanie Klein, about activism as a spiritual practice.

Melanie is a devoted yogi who has a bone to pick with the yoga community’s (and others’) frequent ‘Leave it up to the Universe’ refrain.

For her, a spiritual connection must include an active and direct connection to our neighborhoods, communities and the entire planet.

Engaging with the world around her is part of how she engages and connects with herself.

Click play below to watch our conversation.

Have you ever done anything that you would define as ‘activism’?

Did that make you feel connected, centered, divinely inspired?

Lots of love,


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Taymankind January 8, 2014, 11:28 am

Oh I love this! Can’t wait for you to read my dissertation its actually a sneaky ploy to get my university to accept a study that compels the field of MFT to extend our role to social activist in regards to our community work with sexual trauma survivors. Definitely a spiritual endeavor for me xo


Annika January 10, 2014, 11:22 am

Now there’s an interesting idea… Therapists as social activists. Looking forward to reading that dissertation! xo


Rita Knapp January 8, 2014, 3:36 pm

First, Thank you, Annika for bringing such relevant topics to us. I was always a concerned individual but didn’t like the uncomfortable feeling I experienced when I thought about actually getting involved. Last year I participated in 2 Marches against Monsanto events. It gave me a feeling that I could possibly influence outcomes of causes that concerned me or at least bring it to others’ attention. That spurred me to become active in other ways, such as mentoring reading pupils. I am enjoying stepping out of my comfort zone and never looking back. By the way, I turned 60 last year, so it is never too late to start!


Annika January 10, 2014, 11:25 am

Thank you for being frank about feeling uncomfortable with the idea of stepping out, Rita. I think a LOT of us feel that at one time or another. Glad you followed the desire to help instead of the discomfort (which, like all things, passes soon enough). :)


Stephanie Watanabe | The Girl Who Knows January 10, 2014, 4:32 pm

This episode is pure brilliance. Thank you x thank you for sharing your thoughts on activism and spirituality Melanie. I’ve been thinking about ways to get more involved and this really speaks to my heart – how to be active, of service, while also having it be a soulful experience. Too many people I know are activists but it comes from a place of lack and anger.
Thank you again – loved this chat! xo


Annika January 11, 2014, 4:22 pm

Precisely. This is just another one of the interviews that’s adding to my theory that it’s all about intention. When you decide to be of service, to be an activist (or not), what’s the underlying intention that’s driving you? Changes everything. Thanks for commenting, Steph! xo


Alec March 10, 2015, 11:34 pm

My spirituality is predicated on the truth that we live in a radically interdependent world. I think one of the Sicknesses of our world is that we have bought into the myth of the rugged individual. It cuts us off from what truly creates power. In my spiritual practice I am cognizant that I am making myself a stronger spoke, and it feels super good, but I have to work hard to remember I am making myself a stronger spoke in order to help out the wheel. I appreciate your effort strengthening the connections between, and not just within.


snap hack May 26, 2015, 9:29 pm

You actually make it appear so easy along with your presentation however I find this topic to be really
something that I think I might never understand. It seems
too complicated and very huge for me. I am taking a
look forward to your next put up, I’ll attempt to get the dangle of it!


miglior microonde 2015 May 29, 2015, 8:17 am

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Annika May 29, 2015, 2:59 pm

I hope it’s useful for you, Annie. :)


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