When you begin to recognize that your own presence here in this world is part of something infinitely bigger than yourself, you feel a sense of obligation awakening within you—a spiritually inspired, soul-level moral imperative to evolve for the sake of the future of the evolutionary process itself. The way you respond to that obligation and to that sense of cosmic responsibility is by demonstrating that the process is profoundly positive—indeed, the process is sacred—through your own example, through your own victory, through your own tangible and unmistakable higher development.~ Andrew CohenThere is a place in me that wants to deny my brilliance. A place that struggles to dim my light beneath the shadow of my fears that I am not big enough, not enough to be of relevance in this world.
I hear the voice of self-limitations, of self-denigration and I laugh.
I mean, really, why would I want to walk around believing I'm insignificant? Why would I want to embrace the notion, I make no difference, I have no meaning, I am not powerful enough to change my life?
Seriously, in those moments I need to give my head a shake and ask -- What's in it for me to play small? What's in it for me to not share my gifts to inspire others to share theirs so that collectively we can make a difference?
The question isn't -- what can I do to change the world. The question is -- How do I share my best to encourage, promote, inspire others to share the best of who they are so that together we can create a world of best all around us?
That was what was so inspiring at the Performing the World conference I attended last week in New York. Hundreds of people doing big and small things, each thing significant in its own way, to create a better world. And each one of those individuals a significant part in creating a collective energy force that can and will change the destructive forces wanting to destroy our world to a mutually constructive force seeking to evolve our world into a planet where every person has the right to breathe easily, speak freely and live passionately.
I believe we can change the world. I believe we must to evolve humankind.
And because I believe it, my experiences reflect my belief.
At the shelter where I work, I believe we do not have the power to change one person's life. We have the power to change how we treat them, how we respond to them, how we give to them, what we do and say and how we act. And in that different response, the possibility of each person awakening to their own significance and difference, their own capacity to make a difference in their life exists unhampered by the fear -- I am all alone. It isn't about changing their world, it's about awakening them to believing in the possibility of change and then, building the courage to take action.
I can't change you. I can change how I respond to you -- no matter the circumstances of our encounter. And in my different response, creating a different kind of interaction unbiased by my fears, or belief that I know best for you and everyone else around me.
Which is why, I found myself yesterday, at the brink of conflict, breathing deeply into that place where I let go of my ego-instinctive desire to protect my turf and opening up into that space where I knew -- it isn't about me, but rather, about the collective whole of what we are seeking to achieve, to create, to become.
My instincts would protect me from harm. They won't save me from my self destructive desire to 'know the answer' before the question's even asked.
Staying open to possibility, I release my need to 'know' and move into that place Shunryu Suzuki calls, "Beginner's mind."
What can I learn here?
What can I expand into without retreating into constrictive thinking that would have me scripting the other person's intentions.
Where can I open up so that I don't close the door on constructive, cooperative and enlightened sharing?
In a world where my instinctive behaviours would have me playing the 'you said/I said', 'you did/I didn't' blame game, I open myself up to evolutionary thinking that rocks my world into a brilliant place of unlimited possibility.
I don't have to play small. I just need to play it for all I'm worth without fear that I am not 'enough'. Without worrying that what I have to contribute isn't good enough, big enough, creative enough...
I do enough. I give enough. I am enough.
In a world of crises, it is my moral imperative to believe in me so that I can share from that place where I know -- we all make a difference. And every difference counts.