We are currently living in the most profoundly transformative time in the history of the planet. Never mind the Industrial Revolution or even the advent of our current techno wonderworld: this is a time of awakening consciousness on a planetary level, and not one single being or location on the Earth will remain untouched.
Of course, you may not be remotely aware of this, as we each experience life depending upon where we put our attention — and right now there is a reality show of international proportions grabbing the spotlight from nightly news to social media. However, those of us looking in another direction are perceiving an expansion in consciousness of a cosmic magnitude.
In 2008, after a 13-year unexpected sojourn living “on the street” and being carried around the world with no visible means of support, I returned to Bozeman, Montana, and wrote a little book called The Evolution Revolution/The First Peaceful Revolution In The World: A Handbook for Personal & Global Transformation. It was a work based on my own awakening and recognition that “whatsoever we do to or for another, we are doing to or for our own selves — for good or ill.” It spoke of a way of cultivating self-awareness and expanding consciousness, and was published in the midst of the Great Recession, a crisis that demanded a rethinking of priorities and a recreating of systems. Unfortunately, rather than accept that uncomfortable truth and the accompanying challenge, the powers that be scrambled to recreate the status quo with all due haste.
Nine years later we are experiencing the consequences of those decisions with a vengeance — a nationwide dissatisfaction of such profound depth it has led to an unprecedented rejection of establishment thinking and the elevation of an antihero into a position of power.
Meanwhile, the energetics of Transformation — not to be trifled with by out-of-control egos of any stature — are barreling on and showing up globally: from the astonishing upstart in the Vatican speaking a Christ-like rhetoric of caring for the poor, to alternative energy becoming a new norm, and governments around the world granting rights to animals, water and the Earth herself.
In all this we are witnessing what I call the Great Transformation: a period of societal upheaval and political antics, indicating the death throes and approaching dissolution of the Old Paradigm on the one hand, and a greater acceptance of our interdependence arising in the multitudes, leading us toward a new way of being in harmony with all life, on the other.
So where does that leave us as individuals, the “little people” who may feel powerless to have an impact in the face of such great turbulence? Where does the average Joe, a decent, hardworking, live-and-let-live kind of guy who abhors how things are but doesn’t have a clue what to do about it, find the power to make a difference if he is not a protester, activist, billionaire, celebrity or CEO?
If we are not simply reactive organisms, responding to stimuli like Pavlov’s dogs, we have the profoundly influential power (and empowerment) of intentional, conscious choice. We can choose where to put our attention, we can choose what to feed with our energy, we can choose what to support with our money, we can choose how to respond to what we perceive, and we can choose the words and tone of voice in our speaking.
We can choose the attitude and intention we bring into our world, and more specifically, our community. It’s actually quite simple: the key to the power of the individual (those who, en masse, make up the overwhelming majority) is in relationship — because the basis of a harmonious life in any society depends upon our interrelatedness and how we choose to treat each other on a daily basis.
We needn’t wait for a natural disaster to evoke a sense of “all in this together” because we really ARE all in this life together. We needn’t wait for a catastrophe to inspire kindness, cooperation, consideration, generosity or compassion. We can choose to embody those qualities and express them in every encounter, every day — and race, religion, nationality, gender or even political affiliation need never come into play.
Start where you are. The simplest way to say it is: be friendly. We can choose to be friendly and pleasant when engaged in transactions with the cashier or waitress who serves us, we can choose to be considerate of others when we’re driving down the street, we can choose to be kind, supportive or complimentary in every human transaction. In a world that has sped up exponentially, just being willing to spend the moment it takes to be still and listen to what another wants to express is a kindness.
All around us are folks working at jobs we’ve done, or jobs we would never want to do. These people are not nameless ciphers, they are our neighbors — someone’s mother, father, sister, child or loved one — and they are serving us in the positions they occupy. What if we expressed appreciation for their service and made their encounter with us a moment of warmth and connection? What if our default intention as we go about our daily life was making people feel good about themselves? What if our speaking elicited the response: “You made my day.”
The change we want to see in our world is not something that can be legislated or imposed from without; it is not something we can achieve through protest. It is something that can only come from within each one of us choosing to bring a little more kindness into our way of being as we go about the business of living our lives.
Quantum physics tells us how the observer affects that which it observes — this is the way as individuals we affect our collective reality. What if we started to observe through the eyes of Love? In the same way that the reward of patience is patience, the reward of kindness is finding oneself living in a kind world. Verily: whatsoever we embody and express creates the world in which we live.
It’s a question of critical mass. Small numbers have the power to affect collective consciousness and do, as when TM meditators demonstrably reduced crime in cities by their focus. When we recognize we are part of a whole and continuously contributing the quality of our energy to that whole, we can begin to choose to embody and express more kindness, raising the vibratory rate of the collective and contributing to a transformed society.
Change yourself and change the world.