Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How to Change the World

"Be the change you wish to see..."
- Mahatma Gandhi 

It's so easy to get caught up in mental stories about what is wrong with the world. Once you set out on that path, there are a billion tales to tell. The mind is a genius at gathering all the evidence that exists as to why life sucks and will suck more tomorrow.

 We are led to believe that change will come as a result of focussing on and resisting the 'bad', the 'unfair', the 'evil' in the world. We imagine that, in order for healing to happen, we first have to see a huge problem. And if we don't see a problem, we are deluded, and we should create one. We need something to work on, don't we. We need to imagine a future. Or so we are told.

What if there are no problems at all? What if there are no mistakes, in this moment? What if no scene in a movie, however painful or intense or 'problematic', can derail or break the movie itself? What would happen if we stopped complaining about, fighting and resisting the 'wrong' in other people, the economy, the environment, our governments, and so on? What if, instead of trying to change others and the world, fighting against what we believe to be 'bad', waiting for others to make us happy and whole, we transcended that entire 'good vs. bad' game, and actually started to live our change, joyfully and without looking back?

What if, before trying to change the world, we first honoured the inherent perfection of life as it actually is? What if, instead of comparing how awful life is now with how it should be "one day", we saw how everything is in its right place, including the injustice, the pain, the sorrow, the unkindness, and the perception of 'problems'?

 What if, just for one moment, we stopped playing God, stopped trying to control the uncontrollable, and honoured the present appearance of life, this current manifestation, exactly as it is? What if, just for one moment, we trusted in the movement of life itself, not in images or ideals? What if we said YES to how things are? 

Would that be giving up on change? Or would that be the beginning of real transformation?

 Do we really need to come from a place of anger, resentment, bitterness, frustration and entitlement to effect healing change? Do we really need the NO to life? Wasn't that where all the misery came from in the first place?

Can instead, we come from a place of total alignment with the way things are? Can our action to change the world come from the YES to the way things are, a YES to the current pace of change, a YES to things appearing to get in our way (whose way?), a YES to any frustration and even disappointment that may come to visit us in the present scene, and a joyful and playful and ever-expanding YES to possibility? 

Can you live your truth, instead of waiting for others to live it? Can you forge your own way, without expecting or demanding others to follow? Can you "follow your bliss" (not someone else's path, but your own joy, what makes you feel alive) as Joseph Campbell said, without expecting others to agree, approve, or even notice? And perhaps they will, and perhaps they won't, when they see how your truth is really working for you, how you are living it, how you are coming alive, and not just talking or preaching about "truth" from a detached place. Perhaps your joyful transformation will be the most attractive thing to them.
Far more attractive than lectures, far more attractive than being told how to live, what to think and what to feel. Perhaps you will teach through your aliveness, not your words. 

Live your truth without apology and stop trying to change the world! Get out of the way, fall into this deep acceptance of the living moment, and the world changes all around you, sometimes in subtle ways that are barely noticed, sometimes in giant ways. On the relative level you celebrate any change or lack of it and delight in playing and discovering, and on a deeper level you are cosmically unmoved by all of this, as you are life itself, and knew that everything was always perfect to begin with. 

The mind was never in charge of change.

Jeff Foster