I am retired now, having lived through 70 years of drama, including 50 years of hepatitis, liver cancer and a stroke which left me with speech difficulties, among other things.
These adventures resulted in some handicaps. My endurance is limited, my speech is slow and sometimes difficult to understand. I can no longer slay dragons in the wilderness or leap tall buildings in a single bound.
This is occurring at a time in history when so many of us ache for our planet’s grievances and long to make a contribution to humanity’s survival. The urgent nature of the news overwhelms us; our physical limitations and personal problems impair us, our lack of appropriate knowledge or skills stops us cold. Despite all of that, I bring good news. We can contribute. We can multiply and we can count.
We have always joined with like-minded people from all over the earth through consciousness. In times past, this connectedness occurred subconsciously, but in these marvelous times we have social media to draw the lines of unconscious connection more tangibly. Using Facebook or Twitter, I can sign petitions to add my voice to that of others working for gun legislation or prison reform or protection for our oceans, to mention just a few possibilities. I can send $5 or even just $1 to Greenpeace or Doctors without Borders. I can be part of a “team” even without showing up for meetings. And the thing is, it’s making a difference! Every week we hear about the changes resulting from these signatures and donations.
Maybe we can’t take our camera to North Korea and document the suffering there. But we can take it outside and photograph whatever moves us, children learning, babies giggling, rain falling, to share online. We can populate the internet with pictures of flowers. Whatever truly brings us pleasure, increases the pleasure of all of us.
We can feel our power. We can feel grateful that we are alive in this fortunate time, a time when life is transforming itself through the energy of our actions, even our tiniest ones. It is a transformation of consciousness, not money. When consciousness changes, the money, and, more importantly, the solutions will follow.
If you want to participate in this party of numbers, try this experiment.
1. Avoid news sources or ads that trigger your fear, your outrage or even your sadness.
They contribute to the underlying anxiousness that warns you we are all headed for disaster. Even if you consider yourself an intelligent moderate, typical news sources will undermine your equilibrium causing you to focus on the very thing that makes you afraid, outraged or sad. We are more powerful than that!
2. Use your focus as a tool.
The reason common news sources are so disruptive is that they draw your creative focus to negative and dangerous imaginary outcomes. Instead of flattering these sorry pictures with your attention, use your imagination to paint a picture you want to see, instead of the one that discourages you. For example, instead of fearing another oil spill in the arctic, imagine the arctic healthy, polar bears thriving and the ice solidifying. You don’t have to know how this is going to happen. Expect the universe to surprise you with its creativity.
3. Do at least one thing each day that gives you genuine pleasure just for you.
Your joy will contribute to the pleasure of each one of us in ways you can’t even begin to know.
Picture your laughter sending out little bubbles of delight that other people can catch. Think of it as a sneeze that infects others with life; spread the common warmth instead of the common cold.
5. Contribute money.
Send $1 (or more) to some organization that is doing something you can’t do yourself, or to some person who inspires you.
6. Remember that what you focus on is what you strengthen.
Focus on what brings you joy. There is no more powerful way to effect change.
7. Assess the result. How are you feeling about life?
People are waking up all around our planet. There is enough going on that you can begin to see the results everywhere you look, once you extricate yourself from the inflammatory headlines. Think about the multiplication of minute effects. If it is your desire to a make a difference, you, too, can count.
Author: Christina O’Toole
Editor: Travis May