Changing the planet though the focus of attention
ARE YOU CONCERNED about the world these days? Planet-wide, humanity is on a destructive path in many ways: environmentally, economically, politically, health-wise, to name a few. There are many of us who see the destruction and wish we could change it. Or stop it. We complain, we volunteer, we boycott, we post on Facebook — whatever we can think of to make a difference. And we must do something — our planet needs us!
Recently, though, I began to question all of my efforts.
Years ago, I’d seen the movie The Secret about manifesting our true desires through focus of attention. Over time I’ve come to believe it is possible to do this. I re-watched the movie the other night, and again saw the examples of how we attract whatever we focus on. My attention was caught this time by the application to activism.
The movie implied that protests against war, GMOs, economic issues, etc. bring about more of whatever we’re protesting against! That hadn’t occurred to me. Does that apply to my petition-signing and Facebook posts, too? How are we supposed to speak out against the wrongs of the world? What is an activist to do? Especially a motivated (and busy) one?
The idea left me frustrated, and frankly, annoyed. “All these years, and all of my effort — for what?” I grumbled. However, I knew there must be a solution. As I considered the options, ideas came to me: four steps we can take to manifest positive change. These steps are manageable to fit into the busiest of schedules, even for the most concerned of citizens who are worried about everything. Honest!
Here are four solutions:
- Identify the goal. Think about what you want changed. Feel free to aim high! Example: Ending world hunger.
- Replace worry with visualization (and prayer): Worry is a result of us focusing on the problem, which just leads to more worry, and unfortunately, more of the problem. We’re better off putting our energy towards finding a solution. So if you start worrying or complaining about the issue, or see a troublesome news story, imagine the world the way you’d wish it (without that problem), and focus on that. Consider praying to a higher power for a solution. Ask this higher power for assistance in helping you shift your focus. Visualize the world as you’d like to see it, even if you can’t think of how that will be achieved. Example: Visualize or imagine a healthy food and water supply for all citizens of the world, and how wonderful that would be. Pray to be a part of the solution.
- Identify an action: Think of an action you can take so you’re living in line with your beliefs. This way, we start to become part of the solution. Example: Donate to a local food shelf.
- Integrate the action: Understand that a 1 percent change is all it takes to make a dent in even the largest challenges. So be honest and practical when choosing your first step, and be open to making additional changes as you have the energy to do so. This way, you will be a walking example of how to be in the world, becoming more in line with what you believe as the days progress. To bring about true change, we must walk our talk. Example: Find a food shelf in an area with meaning for you. Commit to making a donation three times a year. Adjust this as time passes.
Oh, and don’t worry if you worry you’re making things worse by worrying. Just start over each time you catch yourself. While it is important not to dwell on the problem, it is important to be aware of the problems of the world. We must not bury our heads in the sand — we can’t solve problems we don’t know exist.
Will you slip up along the way? You bet! It’s all part of the process of change. Nothing happens overnight. If you do your best, even with slip-ups, know that you really are making a difference. Take small steps, but do take steps. And be proud of what you’re doing! Our world won’t change without you.