Do not speak of climate change. Instead, ask: who do I choose to BE in the face of a rapidly changing climate?
Do not speak of pandemics and vaccines. Instead, ask: who do I choose to BE in the face of immense and collective pressure to comply without raising question or voice?
As I celebrate my 70th birthday, I do so in the full awareness that I have lived a charmed life in so many ways. And in the moment of this realization, I wonder: what will my little Grandsons be able to say of theirs? What for so long has seemed to me a birthright, freedom to choose now feels more fleeting, requiring that we grasp firmly with both hands and hold on tight!
Multiple crises are closing in on and compressing our willingness and ability to just go along to get along. We are being squeezed to come out of our comfy shells of habituation and complacency; to raise our heads, be willing to see the bigger picture and consider: what is the larger context which beckons for my evolution, that I might choose meaningfully for mySelf and those I love? Every choice I make today will profoundly affect the lives of my Grandchildren and their ability to choose meaningfully for themselves.
We have run out of the luxury of time to discuss how we might live. The time is now to live differently. To choose differently. To resist the temptation to allow some authority to choose for us. That, for many, is a terrifying reality.
We seem so unwilling to own our sharp and jagged edges; to recognize our great capacity to shape and redefine information for our own intended outcomes. This too-long dormant aspect of our Being can be used against us to keep us trapped; or it can be used by us to move through and beyond that which entraps us. The choice is always our own to make.
In our entrainment to authority – to that which shapes our reality and does so in a way that evokes great fear were we to even ponder the desire to stray – we surrender before we even begin. We lay down our potential as if it is too great and fearsome a burden for us to contemplate, given that every potential – expressed or unexpressed – once recognized will bring with it the consequences of having considered the power of its expression. We seem desperate to be able to make ourselves the helpless victim – and therefore, blameless – pointing out the ugly and destructive in that outside of ourselves, remaining unwilling to recognize when we have been – and still are – perpetrators capable of great harm. We need only look around us to recognize the truth of that. … and face into the ugliness of who we have been and what we have done while remembering: these are not representative of the truth of who we can become.
What Gaia now demands of us is to find the courage to own the full measure of who and what we are, have been and can become. To shine a light on the darkest of places within ourselves that we might dare to free ourselves from the bondage of our own long-held and unexpressed truth. For that, we might find comfort and reassurance in the presence of others when our fear is at its greatest… and we will not find salvation. That, will only come from moving through our own dark night of the Soul.
Over my many years of working with others, I have noticed that we seek out others when the fear of beginning on our own is greater than our sense of capacity to engage it. The collective may help us to explore our fear but it will not give us the courage to act. For that, we must enter into the domain of Self and embrace all that it offers up for us to explore.
The antidote to this global moment of mass, collective fear and disconnect from Self ….this moment of bated breath and mindless compliance… is intimacy. The long, slow, deep inhalation of that which is uniquely our Self. That essential connection and entrainment with that Self, long overlooked and upstaged by the expediency of the moment. Intimacy with Self and from there, intimacy with others. Not a gathering of the many; not seeking to influence those ‘out there’ who might lead that we can follow but a compassionate and caring connection from one person to another; looking for depth , looking for authenticity, looking for personal truth beyond the constant natter of main-stream media… and the simplicity of a turning inward. A deep dive into the chaos that is unique to our Being and essential for our evolution. A search for the silence and the stillness within, past the gateway of intellectual knowing and into the murky waters that have long sheltered the aspects of ourSelves that we have too long denied and kept hidden. A world of breath-taking surprises and life-affirming discoveries. A world of reclamation of that which sources Life and a letting go of that which no longer allows Life to expand. Mysteries and challenges and powerful awakenings! Despite the agony of the wait, they have never abandoned us… trusting that some day, we would arrive. Perhaps today is that day…..
Eventually, the realization sets in: You have to do it yourself. Constantly seeking those others … with whom to commiserate, to explore, to evaluate… is a desperate act to postpone the inevitable. You have to find the point where you look around you and you know: “right here, right now – it’s up to me”. From there, you can get really honest with yourself about what meaning your life carries. With a clear mind and its ability to discern, you then look around you and you find 4 or 5 other people – at the most – that you care deeply about and with whom you desire authenticity and intimacy. You dare.. you reach out…you approach them and you invite them to explore that which is making its way toward us… to be in conversation about what is going on, in each of your individual lives, and how can you engage with each other as you seek to navigate the turbulent waters ahead. Therein lies the challenge: you have to be the seed of it – not the plant, not the flower, not the fruit.. but the seed. Without the seed, none of the other is possible.
As frightening as it may seem, we must turn our attention to that which is deeply personal and intimate. The path ahead cannot be carved out in numbers – it has to be done in the kind of deep connection that allows for trust of another individual that can only emerge from a deep trust of your Self, in that moment in the presence of another, in the midst of great chaos and fear.
Essential to any great change are the conversations in which we invest our Life Force. Shape the conversation so that it will take you where you want to go. Don’t ask for permission to change it. Don’t avoid changing it because someone else will be annoyed, offended ,etc. Start by changing the one you’re having with yourself, then change the ones going on around you. In the clarity of your own Being, hijack the conversation and breathe Life into its potential to carve out a new path.
Dare to stand alone and face your own life. I don’t know what you’re looking for but I do know you’re not going to find it by looking outside yourself. You’re only going to find it when you turn inward…. alone…. and face what rises up to meet you. In that life-changing moment, you recognize that the Great Abyss is your most powerful ally!
Don’t do it to save the world. Don’t even do it to save yourself. Do it so that you will have the opportunity to know the truth of who lives at the very core of your being. Do it so that you might come to know that within you which is honourable and true to your authentic Being; so that you will have the opportunity to know what it is to feel fully alive before you die.
Can we trust that in the face of current and imminent collapse of all that surrounds us, we can discover how to live fully, live authentically and live honourably in the face of our own demise? Without that trust, we will never take the first step…will never dare to make the deeper dive… into our own hidden truths that are the stepping stones to a graceful exit.
In this time and place, we need to be brave and daring. We need to dive, deep, so that we can find the courage to define a different path for ourselves. The multiple crises are indeed calling our attention to something much bigger about ourselves! What is that greater context… that invitation for evolution that is large enough to contain all of the collapses to which we are currently bearing witness? What is so much larger than any one concern that, when noticed, will have the power to fuel our own transformation, as a matter of personal choice?
In these many years of my own journey of reclamation of Self, some things have been constant:
* Not only can we do it alone – there is no other way.
* We will always survive and get our Life back…whatever new form of expression that may take.
* Your time is your life. Don’t waste your time – and your life – seeking comfort along the journey. Comfort will eventually come from the powerful discoveries that await; and in knowing that you are a living godforce, incapable of being a victim.
* As much as you may surround youself with others on a similar journey, only you can shape your own path. As you stop fighting this truth and recognize the inevitability of it, you can look around and find yourSelf to be in the very best of company!
* Dare to own all that you so desperately seek to push away from you! In so doing, you awaken within yourself the recognition that you are already the very thing you seek.
* There are no shortcuts in the journey to your own reclamation of Self. Resist the urge to punish yourself along the way – there is no greater waste of your own potential.
Perhaps our greatest discovery will come through seeking to live fully in the moment we’re in… finding grace… and helping each other along the way to let go in humour, compassion and deep caring. Perhaps in owning what we have created, we will rediscover and reclaim the Creator that each of us already is… and Create anew.