Hello world! Welcome to my very first blog post.
Last year I made a pledge. It came at the end of a five-day full immersion environmental leadership course during which I’d been shaken up, put back together again and and encouraged to articulate my quiet inner voice. By then it was saying ever more clearly: ‘Get over yourself, there’s work to do.’
So I am working towards meeting my pledge by sharing what I now understand about how we all create our human experience. And in particular, I’m exploring what that means for people like us, who are concerned about the state of the world, because I think it supports us to create much more effectively the changes we want to see.
Of course I have always cared. I’ve always tried to do my bit, but deep down I knew I wasn’t doing justice to what I could do. On the surface I looked busy doing some worthwhile stuff, but it was more about being seen to be a ‘good girl’, rather than out of an authentic connection with people. I was certainly holding myself back from doing anything that would raise my head above the parapet. Fitting in was much more important that speaking up.
Like lots of people, I was overwhelmed and paralysed by all the ever increasing problems that people and the planet were facing. My work with the social justice organisations I was part of felt increasingly futile. Services were cut ever more savagely and campaigns fell on ever deafer ears. Potentially effective action was being compromised by tedious personality clashes and hubris. And it never sat well with me that people who were allegedly greedy, ignorant or prejudiced were blamed for problems. I couldn’t believe people were innately wicked.
Then one day I came across this incredibly liberating understanding which is usually referred to as the Three Principles. Gradually I got it that I really am fine with nothing to fix. I have a source of inner guidance that, when I allow my head to quieten down long enough to listen, I can trust. This source of creativity, joy, peace of mind is here inside me, not out there in the world. I saw how I was creating the illusion that all my problems came from the outside world, from my past or from simply being a broken person. And, of course, how nearly everyone else has innocently had the same misunderstanding. I began to get it that every single scrap of my experience came from my own thinking in the moment, nowhere else. And everything I felt was a reflection of that thinking. When I insightfully realised that thoughts naturally come and go, and our well being bobs back up naturally, I could take them more lightly, I minded less. I could experience the whole range of human emotions without fearing my feelings. My over active inner critic quietened right down. So finally, I really could get over myself.
So what does this have to do with getting on with the work of being more effective in the world? How does it help with influencing people who seem act against the interests of society and the planet? I’m going to be exploring this in future blogs, but here are a few tasters.
When you see there is no point in ruminating on where your negative feelings come from, and you no longer need to worry endlessly, it leaves a lot of spare room in your head so there is plenty of room for innovative, creative ideas to pop up and take root.
Everyone is innocently doing the best they can in the moment given their state of mind. So influencing people becomes easier when you know they too have wisdom (however deeply buried it might seem) and are simply acting in response to stuck thinking that can pass.
The source of our well-being, resilience and peace of mind is universal. We really are part of a single infinite pool of potential and when we connect with that, taking the right action to restore justice and heal the planet becomes the obvious choice.