The Critical Need for Self-Care When World Building
It would seem that if one wants to engage in real transformation in the world, a shift has to take place, which is expressed through culture, but begins within.
Here’s an experiential exercise you can try, to simulate how I see it:
First, take your index finger, and point it away from you, and out into the world.
This is what all of us are familiar with doing, in some way. It’s identifying all the problems out there that need fixing. And there are many, many things, aren’t there? If only people would listen, things would finally change.
This is life from the bleachers.
Now, slowly redirect your index finger to point towards yourself, and bring it in until it’s touching the center of your chest. Perhaps you say out loud, “I AM.”
This is life on the field.
This is what world builders are doing.
It can be seen happening across every corner of the planet, with millions of people beginning to play. We’re witnessing it through uprisings, Occupy, and communities everywhere becoming self-aware.
As people awaken to what we really want and what we care about, then compare that against our fragile and crumbling systems that no longer serve these values or intentions, we begin to make choices. We decide that we are not interested in propping up old paradigms that are not life-enhancing and abundance producing.
We do not wait for others to fix anything. We point to ourselves and say, “I am.” – I am responsible for the quality of my life, my happiness, the strength of my relationships, and the environment in which I live. I empower myself to surface my values and personal passions, and to live in alignment with them. I choose to build the world I want to live in, starting with becoming the kind of person I would imagine myself to be in that world.
This is what we are doing. It is a transformation of consciousness, that then diffuses out into culture and reality.
There is of course tremendous fear involved with change and the pioneering of new lands. Many of us can sense that it is happening anyway, and so we want to make this transition as smooth and graceful as possible.
That means taking action.
It is time to build the bridges towards the worlds we envision, and guide ourselves towards it with focused purpose and intention.
If these worlds are to contain more simplicity and beauty than the current one, and more “true” wealth, then it requires us to be the change. We are learning new behaviors, methods and practices of how to Be as a global network society. We are learning what cooperation means, how to safely be vulnerable in front of each other, and how to communicate and build knowledge and wisdom together.
We are opening up to each other and ourselves, reconnecting with pieces of ourselves long abandoned or forgotten, delighting in this discovery, forgiving ourselves for having been gone so long, and finally beginning to heal.
And as I said – it’s really, really hard.
I have spent many hours in the past week weeping. Feeling overwhelmed, like it’s too much to handle. But continuously being surprised by the extent of my own capacities, and my ability to expand and unfold when I allow it. Humbled by watching others around me going through this process themselves, and marveling at their courage. Scared that I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Committed to stay the course and move forward with the people who are aligned and headed in a common direction.
Several times I’ve pushed myself too close to the edge. Trying to do just a little bit more, work just a little bit harder, get just a little more done. Neglecting the health of my body, mind and spirit, and allowing myself to oscillate and get depleted “in service of” the big picture.
But we’re not good for the world if we’re not good for ourselves. We can’t give others love or support or encouragement or energy, when we ourselves are close to empty. It becomes so difficult, so stressful, like the weight of the world is resting on our shoulders, and we clench and feel overwhelmed and alone.
And so we realize that we must put the oxygen masks on ourselves first, and make self-care a top priority.
So I’d like to extend an invitation to my colleagues and friends, those federating together on this journey, and anyone who is doing the Work of healing so that we can build better worlds -
Be kind to yourself.
Everything is happening. Everything is in motion.
We are riding the edge of chaos, and co-creating new realities. We are bridging two worlds, and must stay centered and grounded in the physical, while our hearts leads us to the next place.
Rest. Eat yummy food. Take care of your body – it’s your temple. Make art. Make love. Laugh at yourself.
It’s an epic adventure, and we’re all in it together. Let’s make it joyful, and not forget to play.
Onward and Upward.