“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result ~ Mahatma Gandhi”—
“Faith in something greater than ourselves enables us to do what we have said we’ll do, to press forward when we are tired or hurt or afraid, to keep going when the challenge seems overwhelming and the course is entirely uncertain ~ Gordon B. Hinckley”—
In our hustle bustle lives, many of us don’t take the time to discover who we really are. We may seem by all appearances to ‘have it together’ but on the inside we’re crumbling; we feel limited, boxed-in, contained, used, exhausted. We wonder whether this is the life we wanted or the life others wanted for us. We ask how did I get to this place? Is this even what I really want? And yet amidst the questions and the doubts of who we are at our core, many never set aside the time and space to discover the answers to those questions. Why? Because it’s challenging, difficult and many times deeply painful. It takes great courage to really and truly go deep within, past the excuses, past the judgements, past the shouldas, past the old hurts, and truly face your greatest shortcomings, dissolve your most clever defenses, & look, unabashedly at your most seemingly vulnerable self to discover the real, true, & unvarnished you. Yet, that is what living and leading authentically means. For how can you even begin to live & lead an authentic life if you have never ventured inside, to the core of who you are? How can you say you know what you want if you’ve never listened, really & truly listened, to what your human spirit deeply desires? How can you ever live a truly fulfilling life if you give your power away - to external forces (society, religion, environment, culture, material things, etc) & let them dictate who you are and what your dreams ought to be?
We often admire the hero and his/her journey. We admire his/her courage in tackling the most crippling fears & going forward anyway. But we admire heroes as if they are separate from us. As if they are special people, unlike us, when the truth is, they are just like us & we are just like them. Listen to any real-life hero story & many say the same thing, “I was just doing what anyone would’ve have done for me, I’m no different.” And that’s the truth. The simple truth is that we are all heroes. We all have the capacity to be extraordinary, to act independent of fear, to be courageous & noble & to stand & fight for something greater than ourselves.
But to be the hero, we must take the hero’s journey. Because before we can stand for something greater than ourselves, we must be ourselves. And to be ourselves, we must know ourselves. And to know ourselves, we must venture deep inside, at the core of our being & discover who we are. That is the hero’s journey. And that is why those who venture it seem unique & special, different from the rest of us, for it is a journey filled with such tremendous fear it seems no ordinary human can overcome. Yet we all can, for we all have the same capacity to overcome not only our own self-limiting beliefs and fears but those our society has deeply imposed upon us. We have always had the power to truly lead the life we were always meant to live. The question is, are we ready to take our power back and live the life of our highest potential? Are we really ready to change the world by changing ourselves?
Creativity has an answer. We are told by those who have studied the processes of nature that creativity happens at the border between chaos and order. Chaos is a prelude to creativity. We need to learn, as every artist needs to learn, to live with chaos and indeed to dance with it as we listen to it and attempt some ordering. Artists wrestle with chaos, take it apart, deconstruct and reconstruct from it. Accept the challenge to convert chaos into some kind of order, respecting the timing of it all, not pushing beyond what is possible—combining holy patience with holy impatience—that is the role of the artist. It is each of our roles as we launch the twenty-first century because we are all called to be artists in our own way. We were all artists as children. We need to study the chaos around us in order to turn it into something beautiful. Something sustainable. Something that remains” ~ Matthew Fox, author of “Creativity”
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake ~
Rabindranath Tagore, Indian Nobel Laureate, 1913
I guess I’ve learned that forgiveness is cutting the cord to pain, it’s taking your power back, & it’s giving you the ability to move forward without anger yourself.”
“I believe that Jessie was put on this earth to do what he did, and I believe that he fulfilled his purpose, and I’m proud of him. I believe that he left a message for me (about) nurturing, healing love, and I am trying to fulfill mine.”
~ Scarlett Lewis, author of “Nurturing, Healing Love,” and mother of 6-year old hero, Jessie Lewis, killed during Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.
“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power ~ Alan Cohen”—
“Explore, discover, pioneer. There are still limitless landscapes to explore, precious secrets to discover & brave journeys to undertake. All it takes is the knowledge that the universe, in its brilliance, still has a few tricks up its sleeve. So we should not be content to just believe “we’ve seen or done it all,” or “this is as good, or as bad as it’s gonna get,” for we have only just scratched the surface. Believe that somewhere, someone is still dreaming big. It might even be you. Dream big, be different, think for yourself, question, create, change the world. We all can … #biguniverse”—
“The truth is we are better people, thus better leaders when we are connected, to every part of us - mind, heart & body. It is not weakness to be whole. Just the opposite. The true secret of life-long creativity & success is that it undoubtedly belongs to those who live & act from integrity: the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished.”—
“If we really wish to put an end to our ongoing international and social problems we must eventually declare Earth and all of its resources as the common heritage of all the world’s people ~ Jacque Fresco”—
“This new generation of kids will no doubt change the world. And they need our love, support, & guidance to help them do it. We only need to be as brave and as open with our hearts as they are, to walk in solidarity with their light and to follow their hopes and dreams to reality.”—
“When I was born, humanity was 95 per cent illiterate. Since I’ve been born, the population has doubled and that total population is now 65 per cent literate. That’s a gain of 130-fold of the literacy. When humanity is primarily illiterate, it needs leaders to understand and get the information and deal with it. When we are at the point where the majority of humans them-selves are literate, able to get the information, we’re in an entirely new relationship to Universe. We are at the point where the integrity of the individual counts and not what the political leadership or the religious leadership says to do ~ R. Buckminster Fuller, Only Integrity Is Going to Count: Integrity Day, Los Angeles February 26, 1983”—
“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person ~ R. Buckminster Fuller”—
“… You are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life ~ Anaïs Nin”—
For some time now, many seem to have noticed this seemingly subtle (or maybe not subtle for some) shift of thought. Around the world, down the street, at work, at the cafe, people seem to be taking a few extra minutes to ask some fundamental questions about the current world we live in and their role in it. Many people seem to be slowly grasping the irony that though we have now stepped into the 21st Century and are beginning to see the impossible become possible, we continue to be plagued by problems that have existed since the beginning of time and yet, not only can we not seem to find the solution to these problems, but the problem is actually getting worse …
How can it be that we live in the year 2013, the kind of year we only dreamed about in sci-fi movies, and some people still can’t even read, many are dying of malnutrition and/or curable diseases, some people still walk miles to the nearest water spot, thousands are without work, rich people are getting richer poor people are getting poorer, corporations hold higher status than people and some even make more money than some countries, racism still exists, religious extremism is the norm in certain countries, we can clone animals but we can’t find a cure for deadly diseases, politicians in the United States particularly, can’t seem to get along much less collaborate with each other to get anything done, education systems are stuck in the industrial age mindset of mass, generic production, food is the new drug of choice, sexual objectification of women and violence towards women is at an all time high, and gender inequality exists to such a vast and alarming degree that even in the United States, one of the most progressive countries in the world, one questions how far we’ve actually progressed since the 1900s. On one side, the world seems to running amuck.
And yet, on the other side of the spectrum, we see people coming together: creating communities and networks to exchange knowledge and information for free, connecting people in unique and creative ways, gathering to help each other put food on the table, pay bills, protect and care for children. We see technology removing the middle-man and making processes, information systems free and more accessible and transparent to the average person. We see people standing up for their rights after years of oppression. We see a truly courageous teenage girl facing death to stand-up for her rights and the rights of women in her country. We see young teens and young adults displaying a braveness, inventiveness, creativity, freshness, and a connection to each other, regardless of sexual preference or race, missing from past generations. We see parenting becoming more balanced with both sides contributing equally. And we see a questioning of old systems, institutions, leaders, and status quos. In other words, we see change.
And this change is forthcoming because many, collectively, consciously and unconsciously, have been driven to unhappiness, apathy, misery and lack by society’s constant quest for material possessions, for status, for greed, for obsession, for superiority, for domination, for power and other vices. So many have experienced the devastating effects of a skewed society that many have truly forgotten what makes life worth living and in so doing, have chosen the most deeply traumatic and violent expressions of that loss. Just look at the growing number of suicides, mass violence, and acts of terrorism in the U.S and around the world. These are not the acts of people who felt hopeful, heard, cared for or genuinely loved. These are the acts of people who have completely and utterly lost their way. Lost their hope, lost their own sense of worth, and more importantly, lost their soul, their connection to humanity, to community, and to each other.
And so now, as we sit at the apex of transition into a new century, we should be asking ourselves whether we want to continue to suffer through the status quo. For it’s been noted more clearly now than ever, that old ideas no longer work and old programming (media, politics, religious dogma, consumerism, etc) has a stronger ring of manipulation now than it ever did before. And so it seems we have an opportunity … An opportunity to in many ways start over: to challenge and test beliefs, values and systems that don’t work, to test hierarchies that no longer serve, to challenge authority that is imprisoned by its own fear and to seek the truth, for oneself. For the most important thing any human being can ever do is to seek it’s own truth. Not for others but for oneself. For in seeking truth, one not only finds the way to true change, but their own role in it.
How can you develop & lead others when you’re constantly doubting and berating yourself? Trust & believe in you - your experience, your expertise, your talents, your strengths, your relationships, your values, your successes, your lessons from failure and your lessons from mistakes. Trust and be confident in who you are inside, that’s where genuine leadership comes from.
Many of the most memorable & poignant moments in history were created by ordinary people who simply believed, deeply, in the unlimited human potential in themselves & in others. And then did something about it.
“Someone has to live in idealism for the world has forgotten what it is to strive for our greater potential. Though we believe we are separate, islands upon ourselves, we are all one. Connected by the very strands of life that make us human and the place we all call home. It’s time to remember who we really are ~ Anon”—
“Following the deadly explosions Monday that rocked the city of Boston, area man Tom Sifton told reporters he’s getting pretty tired of frantically rushing home from work as fast as he possibly can to hug his loved ones tight. “I realize that desperately racing home to my wife and kids so I can…
“We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. ~ Ayn Rand”—
“It’s not too late… the angel said.
Even though the world’s a mess…
Even though you’re not as young…
Even though you’ve made mistakes and have been afraid
It’s not too late…
And then I saw the world through the angels’ eyes…
I saw the colors I could paint
The bridges I could build
The lives that I could touch
The dreams that could still come true
And it became very clear to me…
That it’s not too late. ~ Ron Atchison”—
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand ~ Woodrow Wilson”—
“Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them, you reach your destiny. ~ Carl Schurz”—
“This world is not set up for failure and demise and decline. It’s set up for improvement and expansion and better and better, and better. And so, it must get better and better and better. And it is. We would just like all of you to let yourselves in on more of it. ~ Abraham Hicks”—
“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices - today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it. ~ Kevyn Aucoin”—
“Material things are exactly that - material & they carry only the pwr we give it. Thus think carefully before we elevate material over all else, for there is more to life than the illusions of materialism.”—
“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work ~ William Arthur Ward”—
“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. ~ Tecumseh”—
If you’re not where you need to be, if you’re not the person you’re meant to be - get there. We complain we never have enough time to do the things we want, yet we’ve all been given the same amount of time, it’s how we use it that counts. Make 2013 and the rest of the time you have count.
“If we were to release the energy of atoms or discover some other way of developing cheap & unlimited power at any point of the globe this accomplishment, instead of being a blessing, might bring disaster to mankind … ~ Nikola Tesla”—
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts ~ Abraham Lincoln. Or for the people, to demand the real facts … LeA”—
Right … the Paul Ryan that voted to increase defense spending, voted for TARP & now proposes to cut only Medicare & privatize everything else? Is “privatizing” the government’s new version of business “outsourcing”? Seems to me, the only folks who will benefit from the Romney/Ryan plan, are those businesses who will just happen to be in “the right place at the right time” to profit from the governments new model of “privatization”- not your average citizen. After all, aren’t status-quo Republicans pro-business? Isn’t that who pays the bills? Why shouldn’t they make sure the corporations who contribute to their campaigns, are taken care of before the average citizen?
As noted by many, the GOP has a credibility gap. Why? Because they’re out of touch. While the world has changed & moved forward, the GOP fights old battles.
Conservative because they value tradition or because they’re terrified of change? Ignorant of foreign policy because they still believe in America’s supreme power, or because they have no clue how the world has changed while they’ve been sleeping at the wheel?
Seems to me the GOP is lost & w/ that, has lost its credibility & power. Now only those who give the party power, are those that are just as afraid. And so they continue to throw money & support behind candidates that perpetuate narrow-thinking, narrow focus, intolerance, zero imagination, & where the dollar speaks louder than the people.
If you don’t think recent reprehensible & clearly ignorant comments & actions from members of the Congressional GOP affect you - think again. Apparently the majority elected these special folks to create laws & develop policies that affect us all. So if they can’t even sound intelligent in the media, how will they do their jobs intelligently?
Unlike the majority, I prefer to elect leaders who are intelligent, can think & act clearly/ethically/morally & who can actually do the job they were elected to do.
It continues to surprise me that one of the richest, most powerful nations on earth has allowed such ignorant folk to be on the payroll of the hard-working taxpayer.
I wouldn’t buy a house without first making sure I knew everything about it before committing my hard-earned dollars. The same care should be taken when electing officials on the taxpayer’s dime. Shame.