Did you ever stop to wonder what it takes to change behavior? Something shocking, something new? Maybe our fascination with bad news keeps us stuck? I’d like to explore that question for a moment, and then we’ll move on to the good news! Psychologists have their theories and opinions about motivation and change, most often they suggest it is fear, pain and suffering that provides the necessary catalyst for change. I, for one, suggest a profound transformation of our human heart can occur through the power of love and positivity. Of course, our current experience suggests a “both and” scenario to answer this question of behavioral change. For most it comes down to the proverbial carrot and the stick. Many who claim to have a liberated consciousness don’t even believe in “good OR bad” news, nor do they believe in the concept of positive and negative energy. There is a fabulous Zen teaching story about the horse that runs away from the village and the wise elder who ponders the impact of whether that event is a “good” or “bad” thing by asking the question “how do you know, how can you tell”. Since that story often lasts for days in Monasteries, it will have to wait for another posting. Isn’t it interesting the phrase: “It’s all good” is sweeping through our lexicon these days?
Disturbing statistics and the steady stream of bad news about our precious Earth certainly plays a part in human awakening. However, it is beauty, love, joy and a compelling vision of the future that is more powerful than our focus upon dark pathologies. Imagine what the world might be like if a billion people didn’t focus on their
“sins” all week long, but rather focused on the good thoughts and deeds they performed each day.
Why should this matter? Well, if we don’t change our direction and our behavior, we’re likely to end up where we’re headed. Guided by alternative models of what works, focusing on a positive future, will ultimately inspire lasting behavioral change. Our urgent and immediate task is to create as many demonstration projects as possible. Let’s all trust we don’t have to hit rock bottom, before we recognize the need to change. In the domain of environmental sustainability, translating grief, sadness, anger, frustration and despair into positive action is our challenge. Here is a 24 second piece that illustrates my point.
Isn’t it time to consciously grow beyond our petty arguments and trivial preoccupations? We will need internal, spiritual resources to manage our emotions and our responses to increasing episodes of dramatic calamities and the storms of our children and grandchildren. Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful for Homo sapiens to go deeper and learn to live in harmony with one another and the Earth?! That’s the good news, we can do it!
Here is a project in the works that could inspire a more peaceful and balanced way of being in the world. Enjoy!
Staying true to the title of my article, I offer this poem, inspired by the beauty and mystery of nature, during a Sacred Passage in the Chiricauhua Mountains of Southern Arizona. Alone time in the wilderness, with no distractions, inspires enhanced creativity without judgment. Your spirit is liberated to freely express itself.
When humans sleep Pan and the wise ones conspire to protect
all they hold precious
In the cool morning a delicate blade trembles, shivers as the gentle breath of Gaia awakens the forest
A maiden’s dream fills her earthly senses, dances with the rhythm of the stream –
gladly, she opens her heart in awe of what she saw radiant stars in the night fade from sight surrender now to morning light