Greenhouse: Spiritual Capital

by | Oct 28, 2022 | ShiftHappens

The final session of Greenhouse, the community & capacity-building experiment we’ve been embarking on for the last six weeks, was led on Tuesday by Ariel Nessel, co-founder of The Pollination Project. 

Through guided group meditation, breakout room discussions, and reflection, the cohort explored the idea of “spiritual capital;” what we at The Pollination Project sometimes call “heartivism.” 

Heartivism reflects the belief that social change also requires inner transformation; in planting seeds of compassion, tending our own inner garden matters too. The specific practices this belief manifests in are less important than the overall intention: namely, the recognition that the impact our work has on our own wellbeing is an important outcome. For some, that might look like mindfulness and meditation; for others, it may look like yoga and other forms of exercise. Still others might find the same kinds of respite in honoring their own specific faith traditions. 

In the final virtual event of this cohort of Greenhouse, participants brought poems, songs, and reflections. One woman sang a traditional Lakota farewell song, while others read poetry and shared appreciations for the friendships made along the way. Yet among us all, there was a sense that this is not “goodbye,” only “see you down the road a ways.” 

In the words of one participant, “I’m grateful for the connection with these sources of  light in every different part of the world. What an amazing experience. Although I was quiet and listening most of the time, I was finding inspiration from each one of you. You gave me a reason to continue and to forge ahead knowing there are hands I can hold everywhere anytime, thank you.”

About Greenhouse

An outreach of The Pollination Project, Greenhouse is designed to expand the consciousness of participants in ways that promote connection, community, resilience, and collaboration for grassroots changemakers around the world.

When we think of development in a non-profit context, often we think only of ways to invite more financial capital into our organizations. But what if other forms of wealth exist that have the opportunity to catalyze our work in ways that strengthen not only our missions, but also our individual capacity to see those missions through? Reflecting our belief that social change requires inner transformation, together we will map the nonprofit ecosystem in ways that explore social capital, material capital, cultural capital, experiential capital, spiritual capital, as well as financial capital.


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