Check our Latest products!
Almost a year ago, on November 26, 2008, the leading article on the front page of The New York Times began: “Washington – The Federal Reserve and the Treasury announced $800 billion in new lending programs… sending a message that they would print as much money as needed to revive the nation’s crippled banking system.” The message of “print as much money as needed” certainly gave me pause but the key word in this announcement that captures the consciousness behind our leaders’ bailout approach is “revive”.
In times like these it is important to consider the distinction between “curing” and “healing”, and to choose with clarity and intention which approach we will take to our significant national and global challenges. To cure an illness or dis-ease is to make things the way they were before. It’s all about getting things back to the way we are used to them being-getting us back in our “comfort zone” as quickly as possible. Our modern-day word “cure” comes from the Latin cura, meaning “care, concern, trouble”. To cure something is to give it care, approach it with great concern, to go to whatever lengths are necessary to “fix it”. This has been our approach to our current challenges and it reflects where we our in our mass consciousness. Our financial portfolios have lost half of their value, our houses may currently not be worth what we paid for them, jobs are being cut everywhere, and many people are afraid of what the future holds. In times like these, the mass cultural awareness contracts to a perspective of “how will I and my family survive”. We easily lose sight of a bigger picture. Therefore, from a place of fear and limited awareness, the obvious approach is to “revive” life as we once knew it – to get it back to how it was. In these moments, we can forget the fact that “how it was” wasn’t working very well and that things have, in fact, been crumbling into dysfunction and held up by false facades and manipulations of truth for a long time.
To heal, on the other hand, is to create wholeness. The word “heal” comes from the Old English hælan, meaning “to make whole, sound, and well”. Healing is truly about creating anew. Healing is not about fixing. It is not about reviving. It is about listening to the essence of “what is” and discerning what is trying to happen as a part of an ongoing evolutionary process. Sometimes we reach a place where conditions have collapsed to a point where there is nothing to fix, nothing to cure. We are in such a place according to Vandana Shiva, world-renowned scientist, environmentalist and Time Magazine’s “Hero for the Planet”. The essence of her message: the bubble has burst, there is nothing to fix, and furthermore it was only a bubble to begin with! We are beyond “reviving” or fixing now.
Could this be exactly what needed to happen? Could it be that we had to reach a place of very few options in order for breakthrough to occur? Our only viable option now is to create anew, and in that new creation bring our life conditions into a state of wholeness – to create new structures and systems that are sustainable and sound – to create an authentic sense of well-being, balance, and harmony as stewards of a greater potential.
So what does this mean? As we look ahead, how do we as individuals and organizations create a new awareness in the mass consciousness that will support our leaders to make decisions, set policy and guide us into a new and sustainable way of being in relationship to one another and to the Earth?
Mass consciousness is the place we must start. Those who hold the responsibility for national and international decision and policy-making are in the most difficult positions in the world right now. Imagine being in their shoes. They can’t take a breath without feeling the literal weight of the world on their shoulders. They are doing the best that they know how to do, based on the knowledge, training and experience that they have, and, of equal or perhaps even greater importance, the mass consciousness that creates our current reality. Leaders in government and business are making admirable commitments to technical and environmental change, and they are critical for our creation of a new relationship to each other and to the Earth. Yet according to Peter Senge, management guru and Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, our governments and corporations don’t really know how they are going to meet those commitments. They just know that they have to start somewhere and these commitments seem like steps in the right direction.
The decisions being made at the top of government and business may or may not be the right ones. They don’t know. We don’t know. To say that we have created an immensely complex and complicated set of challenges is the greatest understatement. In the best of all possible worlds, it would be time to press “pause” and breathe for a while – to reflect and expand our awareness to access a greater wisdom and a greater potential – to ask intuitively, “What is trying to happen? What is the piece we’re not seeing? What is our next step?”
I have no doubt that those leaders are asking themselves those questions every day. The key, however, is from what level of consciousness the questions are being asked. If we continue to stay in an attitude of fear and crisis, we ask the questions from a contracted awareness. Therefore, we are compromised in our ability to hear answers from outside our current knowledge, experience, awareness, and circumstance. If, on the other hand, we first get quiet, go deep within to the place inside ourselves where we can open to the vastness of the Greater Consciousness, we stand a good chance of finding a new approach, gaining greater clarity, and aligning with a higher potential and forward evolutionary flow to carry us into a new place of balance and stability that is sustainable.
One way of doing this is through an Enlightened Dialogue process. Enlightened Dialogue is a form of intuitive dialogue between two or more people and a “topic” or “concept”. It is a simple process that can bring powerful insights, understandings, revelations, and new perspectives to situations, circumstances and opportunities. The process begins with all participants taking a few moments to get quiet and centered and open and expand their awareness. You then invite the “topic” to float out in front of you or into the middle of the circle as pure energy. Participants will perceive the energy in different ways – some may see colors, shapes or forms while others may simply feel it as energy or a texture, hear it as a sound or even perceive a fragrance or a taste. From there all participants are invited to allow the “topic” to speak through them to the group, opening up an intuitive dialogue between the group and the topic. There are some important guidelines to follow in order for this process to be successful:
- Someone assumes the role of steward of the dialogue and ensures that the principles of Enlightened Dialogue are followed.
- All participants open themselves to receive information or guidance intuitively, suspending judgment about anything that is said, what is possible or not, what is viable or not.
- No opinions are to be stated nor advice given from participants – everything said must be an expression of the “topic” itself, not of opinion or personal preference.
- This is a completely intuitive process, recognizing the intuitive mind as the greater mind, of which the rational/intellectual mind is just a small part.
- Participants agree to expand far beyond problem-solving into a higher awareness where they can tap into the greatest potential of the moment to discover what wants to happen for the greater good of all – it is understood that everyone will have varying degrees of ability to do this at first but the more it is practiced, the more facile everyone becomes with the process.
- Participants don’t have to understand what they are about to say – they are just invited to report what they perceive.
- This process is all about creating a way for the wisdom inherent within the topic, as well as the collective intelligence and Greater Consciousness to speak.
- Participants are dialoging with the “topic” and the greater potential rather than with each other – there is no cross conversation between participants during this process.
- As the “topic” speaks through participants, participants are encouraged to ask further questions of the “topic”, to be curious and to dig deeper in order to gain greater understanding about the application of the information in practical terms.
- No consensus needs to be reached during the Dialogue process – this process is just for discovering and giving voice to new ideas and perspectives, as well as possibly reinforcing ideas and perspectives that have already been expressed prior to this Dialogue.
- One of the participants serves as a scribe to write down everything that the “topic” says or reveals.
I introduced Enlightened Dialogue to 18 participants from at least eight countries. We chose the topic “Global Economy”, imagined “Global Economy” floating out in the center of our virtual circle and began to listen to it. Our primary questions to Global Economy were, “What do you need for us to know?”, “What is the greatest potential of what could happen in ten years?” and ” What must be some of our first steps today?”
There were many insights and directions that came through, including some very clear directives:
- When leaders of any level speak to one another, they must look one another in the eye, opening up honest and authentic communication and the greater possibility of soul-level communication.
- Every decision and policy must mean that everyone wins – if any decision or policy is at the expense of any group of people, negotiations are not yet complete and must continue until everyone feels good about how it will impact them.
- There must be mutual respect among all players.
- Farming must become more localized and organic farming practices adopted globally.
This is an example of what can happen in a 10-minute Dialogue session. Longer and repeated sessions would have brought more breadth and depth to the Dialogue as the group became more skilled at using this tool. In using this process with individual as well as organizational clients, I have seen huge shifts in awareness and possibilities. Imagine what could happen with experts from related fields coming together to participate in such a Dialogue if each participant were willing to set aside their personal and organizational or national agendas and adhere to the Enlightened Dialogue guidelines.
While it would be great if this approach or something similar was utilized today by our leaders, it is critical that each of us meet our personal, family, and community challenges in the same way. In large measure, our leaders operate in the same mass consciousness as the rest of us. If fear and panic are driving our thoughts, actions, and decisions, our leaders can easily be caught in the same levels of consciousness, especially in their great desire to serve us and solve our problems. We must listen to our challenges rather than jump immediately into “figuring out” solutions. In “figure-it-out” mode, we never get to the greater possibilities. We are caught in our pre-conditioned possibilities or preconceived notions of what is possible and what isn’t.
We access four levels of living that include Drama, Situation, Choice, and Opportunity. “Printing as much money as we need” and throwing huge sums of money at problems are reactions that arise from the first two levels of awareness, Drama and Situation. In order to discover what is really trying to happen and tap into the greatest potential for us all, we must as a culture shift to Choice and Opportunity as our default levels of living. This means recognition that we have a choice as to who we will be within any moment or situation and how we will respond. Furthermore, it means making that choice with clear intention, and then recognizing that in every situation or circumstance there is a potential waiting to emerge – an opportunity to take the next step forward in our evolutionary process.
I’m holding a vision that by the dawn of 2010 thousands of people will have shifted out of Drama and Situation and into Choice and Opportunity. I’m holding the vision that so many people are living in Choice and Opportunity that critical mass has been achieved, assuring that the same shift will then happen in the mass consciousness.
We can choose to listen – to tap into the greater potential, perceive what wants to happen for the greatest good and then act, becoming stewards for that emerging potential. I hold this vision for all of us. As the mass consciousness shifts, so too will our leadership.
In these challenging times, it is easy to let our visions contract to the personal and family level. However, it is in these challenging times that it is crucial for us to hold big visions – visions for healing on a large scale; for wholeness, harmony and balance that is sustainable and serves the positive evolution of our mass consciousness and the creation of new ways of living and being in relationship to one another and to our world. When this happens, our personal and family conditions and circumstances will shift as well.
May your life be filled with choice and opportunity, and may your future be one of hope, anticipation and collective commitment to realizing the greatest potential for all.
write by cruz