"The old world is over; the revolution has begun. So we have two choices now: create a revolution of love, or endure a revolution of fear."
- MARIANNE WILLIAMSON
I'm coming out of a year long writing hibernation as I believe that staying silent/private is not an option at this point in time. For anyone. The tragicomedy of current British politics was the first (of many) trigger for me. Following the shocking Brexit vote we got a new Prime Minister at a speed not many expected (this take on it made me laugh and cry simultaneously). Next, a clown was appointed as a Foreign Secretary and the Climate Change Department... Just great. To be fair though, the development is not all bad.
However, in the bigger scheme of things, the farce of our little island politics is really just a small problem. Elsewhere in the world, people are starving; people are being oppressed; people are dying unnatural and unnecessary deaths. Animals are dying unnatural and unnecessary deaths. Whole species are disappearing forever. The oceans are littered and toxic. But back to people. The shit is hitting the fan all over the place, incomprehensible violence erupting left, right and centre. Orlando, Nice, Turkey. Syria, Sudan, Iraq. To name a few. The refugee crisis in Europe. Politics around the world seem out of control and who knows what goes on behind the scenes that we never get to hear about. Things are being stirred in a big way.
Like many of my friends and acquaintances, I feel the call to action and I've been racking my brains about what to do now. More and more people are awakening to the grim reality and realising that something needs to be done. But what? We are a little lost there. What can the little me/you/us do to make a difference and contribute towards creating a world that we'd like to see? What tangible steps can I personally take?
For a while, I seriously considered joining the Labour Party (as thousands others did in recent weeks here in Britain) in order to get a voice in the public law making sphere. But then something stopped me in my tracks. It doesn't feel right, that is not my path. I had to think about it differently. Where does my true power lie? What do I do/have already that is of value?
I often think about the story of The Man Who Planted Trees, an allegorical tale by a French author Jean Giona published in 1953. It tells the story of one man's life mission to reforest a desolated area of land. Every day, he gathers 100 acorns and plants them on the land. That is what he does every single day with consistency, determination and unattached to the outcome. He just keeps on planting. Single pointedly focused on his life's work, he does it without a hint of doubt, undeterred by setbacks, completely trusting in the unfolding of things according to divine will. Decades later, the landscape is unrecognisable and completely transformed: water streams flow again, wildlife returns, everything thrives. All because one man kept on going. This is a fictional story but it illustrates the enormous power that every single one of us has to make a difference if we really want to.
I am a teacher and a healer. I teach yoga (and skiing in winter). I practice Reiki healing and I am currently studying other healing modalities. I make sacred one-off jewellery. These are all my loves and passions. How can any of this make a difference? My current conclusion is a threefold one.
On a personal level -- cliche alert -- I simply need to be the best version of me that I can possibly be every step of the way. It really is the true foundations of everything else, everything that follows, all of my subsequent actions. On the days that I start with my practice (meditation, yoga, a bit of contemplation) I tend to do a lot better than on the days that, for one reason or another, I skip the practice. So that is number one: practice every day.
On an interpersonal level, we make impact constantly. Every interaction we have has an impact, and we can choose whether the impact is positive or negative. Our attitude, our choice of words, our body language, facial expressions -- all of that determines the impact we make. Making an eye contact with a stranger in the street is an interaction and what we project in that split second makes an impact on the other person as well as on us, and on the course we both follow from there. Number two: interact with everyone and everything from a place of love.
This all comes nicely together on the professional level: how I am as a person and what impact I make on others determines the results of my work: as a healer and a teacher, I can't be very effective or useful and make a positive impact if I am not in a good place within me.
In my healing work with Reiki, so far I have been mainly operating in my vicinity. By that I mean that I have been using Reiki on myself, on my clients, on my home, on spaces I inhabit temporarily, on plants and animals. But Reiki doesn't know time and space in the way we humans do, and its power can reach people, places and situations in geographical distance as well as in the past and in the future. I have done some distant healing but I haven't really explored its full potential. Now seems like a really good time to dive into that. For sure. Number three: think big, aim high, act + trust in the outcome for the highest good of all.
And that is my manifesto + my commitment on my way forward. I am sharing it with you today because I need to say it out loud. It's like a promise: when spoken, it becomes binding. Whatever your cause, whatever your talent, tend to it. Step up and be the change you want to see. Like the man who planted trees, we have to keep doing our thing and trust that it will make a difference in the long run. This is what every single one of us can always do every day no matter what our circumstances.