Julian of Norwich is fabled for saying, “All is well, and all manner of things be well.”
I’m sure she’d be delighted to know that I agree. On some cosmic level everything is magnificent, amazing, and just peachy keen.
And yet the heart aches–and should–when children go hungry. The soul lurches and heaves and cries, “No! No! No!” when another person of color is killed in the name of law enforcement.
There is no shortage of injustice, damage, and suffering in this world of form.
Somehow we need to hold both: awareness of the perfect whole and a here-and-now response-ability to the problems around us.
Looking for leverage
I’ve sat with that paradox for many years. As my own sense of wellbeing has expanded and deepened, I’ve wondered about my responsibility (response-ability) for the wellbeing of my fellow beings.
I’ve been listening. Looking. Wondering. And I’ve been wondering about what this means for my work as well.
In a way, I think I’ve been looking for leverage, for the place where the kind of critter I am can make the greatest contribution.
And it’s looking to me like I can contribute by coaching men and women who are working on large scale world problems ranging from climate change to hunger to terrorism, helping them to tap into the creativity, resilience, courage, and wisdom they need to continue to innovate and to keep up the good work without burnout.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, I’m committed to helping us all be the change we want to see.
Being the change we want to see calls for a “new type of thinking”
You’ve doubtless seen variations on a statement attributed to Albert Einstein that we cannot solve a problem from the same level of consciousness that gave rise to it.
What he actually said was this:
“Our world faces a crisis as yet unperceived by those possessing power to make great decisions for good or evil. The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe. We scientists who released this immense power have an overwhelming responsibility in this world life-and-death struggle to harness the atom for the benefit of mankind and not for humanity’s destruction. We need two hundred thousand dollars at once for a nation-wide campaign to let people know that a new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels. ” (Source: New York Times – May 25 1946, p.13 – “Atomic Education Urged by Einstein”)
I believe that new type of thinking is already available, that it’s built in to the human operating system, and that learning to notice and access it is part of the creative evolutionary process.
I’m headed to Oslo to advance that process
From May 27-29 I’ll be at the One Solution Conference in Oslo Norway, at which speakers will boldly assert a single solution to the world’s challenges.
Our assertion is that the problems of humanity–-war, poverty, cultural and political conflict, terrorism, the environment, corruption, drug trafficking, gender inequality, to name just a few–derive from a single source.
What’s more, that single source can be successfully addressed with a single solution, a simple understanding of the mind.
You can get a taste of the conference at the free Wholeness Hangout on Friday
My guests for the May Wholeness Hangout, Friday, May 6, are Eirik Grunde-Olsen and Linda Pransky, two of the organizers of the One Solution Conference.
We will look at how what happens on a personal level also happens on a global level and what that implies for solving world problems. We will make the case for how insight into how the human experience is created moment to moment is the solution for producing true sustainable change.
I hope you will bring your questions and vision to the conversation.
Call and response
I don’t believe that the world needs saving so much as I sense that each of us is called to participate in the creative evolutionary process in a unique way. And this new type of thinking helps us notice how we are called and then respond in the ways that make sense for the kinds of critters we are.
I have a friend who is organizing a community based electrical power supply system. Who knew that such a thing was possible, let alone feasible? But she is doing it.
Another friend has founded a museum to foster and feature the work of regional artists.
A third friend is deeply involved in the presidential primaries, moving heaven and earth to get out the vote.
These friends are making bold, visible moves, but that’s not the only way we contribute to the unfolding process.
The most important conversation in the world
My friend Bill Cumming, founder of The Boothby Institute (another bold, visible move), is fond of saying that we can never know when the most important conversation in the world is taking place.
We may never know how the effects of a kind word, a helping hand, or even a harshly uttered course correction ripple through space and time. Small changes in initial conditions can have massive consequences.
In other words, if it moves you, do something about it. Don’t worry about how big or small it is.
I hope you can join us for Friday’s Hangout (details below). If you can’t, then I invite you to watch the replay, which will be on the same page by the following day.
Meanwhile, have a wonderful, wonder-filled week, and please let me know what’s in your heart by sharing it in the comments.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I was a heavy smoker. Heavy as in two packs a day.
One day I decided to quit. It was the last day of a hunting trip in eastern Washington. (Yes, in that other galaxy in that other millennium I hunted ducks and other birds. We had two wonderful Labrador Retrievers, Tide and Yoyo, and I was a hella good shot.)
We hunted in the morning and early afternoon, then piled into the Chevy Suburban three decades before SUVs became the car we love to hate. As we drove over the mountains, I sucked on a bottle of scotch to steady my nicotine-deprived nerves. I was probably eating pretzels, too. I like pretzels on road trips even now, in this different galaxy, this new millennium, decades after leaving nicotine and scotch behind.
I was probably smoking pot, too. I can’t imagine that I wouldn’t have been.
But I digress.
Watch out for the dog!
As we pulled into the driveway after dark at the end of a long day, I said rather irritably to Miles (who in that alternate universe was not yet The Charming Prince), “Watch out for the dog!”
He said, “What dog?”
I said, “The big dog! Dammit. The dog right there in front of the car.”
I’ll never forget the look on his face, one part tired, two parts disgust, and seven parts WTF?
I looked again.
For a moment there was a dog, and at the same time there wasn’t a dog. I did and I did not see a dog until my perception settled down, and I decided that there was no dog.
I know. Confusing.
Reality is like that
The reality we perceive, whether the external reality of dogs and doormats or the internal reality of possibilities and preferences, is always in flux and always mediated by perception.
Granted, on that occasion my nervous system was particularly scrambled, but the variables governing reality are still operating, even when they are not so exaggerated.
Our vast capacity to perceive is organized by social and cultural norms, our beliefs and assumptions, life history, language, and our nervous systems, among other things.
Most of the time for most people these variables vary within fairly narrow parameters, with the result that we tend to experience what we call reality as fairly stable.
That saves a lot of time and trouble. We don’t have to figure out if the sound that awakens us in the morning is an alarm clock or a white rabbit.
And sometimes it helps to question reality
There are times when it behooves us to shake things up, especially when it comes to what we assume about ourselves and what is possible in life and business.
One morning in 1984 I awoke from an alcohol and cocaine haze to the brief vision of myself as a window, a window that was closing. I got out of bed, made a few phone calls, and through the kindness of both friends and strangers, found myself in rehab within 24 hours.
I promise you that the woman who had gone to bed a few hours before that vision did not have the resources (moral, financial, physical) to make that happen. In a very real sense (ha ha, no pun intended, but I hate to pass one up when it offers itself) reality shifted.
In one universe I was a hopeless alcoholic slut (sorry, there’s just no nice way to say it), and in the next I was a courageous soul embarking on the sacred project of creating a life.
You can explain it in various ways
There are many things you could point to by way of explaining that reality shift. One is grace, and I made a brief video about that. youtu.be/7lbCZs-9Mws
You could also point to choice, and the first and last videos in this month’s video round-up speak to that.
In this post I invite you to consider the facticity of reality’s plasticity.
It ain’t solid, folks
What you think is possible for you in this moment is a function of inputs and filters, not of a permanent and pervasive structure imposed on you from outside.
One more story.
Somewhere around 1999 I got the idea that it would be incredibly cool to take my niece, Amy, to Europe when she graduated from high school. She was 15 at the time.
I was still a relatively new coach, and I did not have the kind of money one would need for that kind of adventure. But that seemed to me to be a detail, and I had time to sort it out.
I started a savings account for the trip and added a hundred dollars here, fifty dollars there.
I went about my business, assuming that we were going to do this thing and looking for ways that it could be done.
And then the miracles happened
Along the way, some unexpected things happened. I received a totally unexpected legacy from a friend. I got my first $10,000 contract when a person in the first Authentic Promotion class asked if I would bring it to NASA. (Um, that would be a “Hell, yes!”
Needless to say, those things helped, and in 2003, Amy and I went on an amazing 29 day odyssey to Paris, Rome, Florence, London, New York City, and Washington, DC. (Sometimes I overdo things. Oh well.)
But even miracles have filters
Something to notice: all those lovely unexpected things that happened would NOT have helped if I had set up my reality filters a little differently.
For one thing, I have a whole heap of nieces and nephews. If I had set up my filters based on some notion of fairness, I doubt the trip would have gotten off the ground.
September, 11, 2001, shook up a lot of realities, and if Amy, I, or her parents had responded to that differently, we might never have followed through on such bold travel plans.
I’m not saying that fairness or caution are bad filters; I’m just pointing out that installing them would have made a difference in whether or not the miracles that happened made a difference.
Now, at last, this is about YOU
The purpose of all my storytelling today is to awaken your curiosity about the reality you’re living in.
I hope that it is one that amazes, delights, and nourishes you and the ones you love.
And if it is not, please know that there are other possibilities.
You have more choices than you may realize.
You have hidden allies.
You are every bit as miraculous as the fragment of a woman that I was on that lonely morning in 1984, and grace not only can happen, it WANTS to happen for you.
As I arrive at the finish line of this strange post, which has meandered like the race course in “Alice in Wonderland,” I feel quite wonderful.
In this moment my filters are set to miracle, and true to form, that is what I see and feel.
I don’t always experience life this way. I do not control my thoughts, and sometimes my thoughts are bleak, limited, and unpleasant to live with.
But they are only thoughts.
And I have come to see thought as the raw material of our magic making. Just because a thought appears doesn’t mean you have to use it to cook up your life.
When reality hits, it isn’t reality
While planning to take Amy to Europe, I often had the thought that it wasn’t fair to other nieces and nephews.
I could be writing the story of how going to Europe seemed like a great idea until the “reality” that it wouldn’t have been fair hit.
But that wouldn’t have been reality, would it?
Shortly after getting sober, I moved back in with Miles, who, over the next few years, morphed into the man I now call, without a shred of irony, The Charming Prince.
I was plagued with guilt until one day I saw that I could have guilt or a happy marriage, but not both.
I chose to give up guilt.
I could be telling the story of how how we tried to get back together after addiction destroyed our marriage, but the reality of my misdeeds got in the way.
But that wouldn’t have been reality either, would it?
You get to look and look again (and again)
Reality is a bit like a kaleidoscope.
You get to look, roll the barrel, and look again.
Have a wonderful, wonder-filled week, and please let me know what you’re discovering by sharing it in the comments.
Last week I talked about our breakable but indestructible hearts. A viewer wrote:
Thank you, Molly. A delicate and paradoxical dance, learning the difference between caring for our hearts and “wrapping them in cotton wool.” And essential to being alive!
As I reflected on her comments, I realized that my friend and mentor, Bill Cumming, has taught me something essential to sustaining that open heart. Life is a miracle, and when we experience ourselves as part of that miracle, open hearts come naturally.
You might well ask how you can connect more deeply to the miracle of life? Notice what makes you come alive. Make time each day, preferably at the beginning, for spiritual self-care, for care of the soul. If you’d like to experience for yourself the reality that all of us have within our heart and mind the ability to create a life of value and purpose, Bill Cumming’s online program, “What Every Person Can Do.” It is about accessing the power that already resides within each of us.
Soul Speak: An invitation to wake up and light up the world
While we are on the topic of transformation, if you haven’t already heard about it, I invite you to check out Soul Speak this season in honor of Wayne Dyer.
When Sheldon Pizzinat invited me to participate in Soul Speak, I hesitated. Does the world really need another telesummit, even one with a spiritual theme?
I said yes because something in Sheldon’s vibe just felt right to me. I sensed that he would be having conversations with the potential to enliven and awaken listeners. Conversations that would add light and meaning to the world.
The intent of the series is to promote awakening so you can more fully embody your talents and gifts and light up the world, something Dr. Dyer did with grace.
Money is a sore spot for so many people, regardless of whether or not they appear to have enough. It’s no small feat to find sanity, healing, freedom, and agency around this topic.
My friend Mark Silver has developed a deep, rich, and healing course about money called Heart of Money Transformational Journey. He is offering it now on a Pay from the Heart basis. You determine what to invest based on your circumstances, the value you expect to receive, and the guidance of your own sweet heart.
Mark brings extremely high integrity, real (not invented) spiritual awareness and presence, and a profound understanding of the nitty gritty of business to the topic.
If you want to change your relationship to finances, if you want a Divinely-inspired healthy relationship with money, I recommend this 8 week course highly. It runs late January through mid-March.
Note: That is an affiliate link. If you use that link and choose to take the course, I will receive a modest thank you payment from Mark. That said, I’ve been sending people Mark’s way for years, usually with no compensation. He’s the real deal, and I’m happy to share his work with you.
The response to Pay What You Choose Coaching has been phenomenal. Within a few hours of the first announcement, all available slots for two weeks were filled. And as soon as I actually experienced the joy of coaching on this basis, I knew I had to do more.
Beginning this week, I’m extending PWYC hours to Tuesdays and Thursdays in addition to the original Wednesdays. That makes three mornings a week! (Right now I can only offer mornings as I head to Seattle every weekday afternoon for radiation treatment for the next five weeks.
The ground rules are simple.
1. Use my online scheduler to select a 55 minute Pay What You Choose time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays between 8:00am and 1:00pm Pacific Time (11:00am – 4:00pm Eastern Time, 3:00pm – 8:00pm UTC/GMT).