Dear Ones, What do we really want in and from this precious life we’ve been given? As I look out at the world I see an individualism that is fomenting a dark tide of immense pain, suffering, and unhappiness. This sense of separation and tribalism is spreading like a tsunami that is threatening to wash us all into oblivion. At the same time there is a new world view of compassion, interconnection and inter-being that is wanting to blossom into its own fullness. This is the seed bank of joy, peace, prosperity, and harmony. Which worldview are we feeding with our daily actions, thoughts and beliefs?
I believe that in our heart of hearts we all want the same basic things: We want to be seen and heard; to experience love and affinity; to have good health; to have our basic needs met; we want to be happy; and to feel as if we belong. While we have far more in common than not, we seem to be more focused on our differences than our similarities. This month I’d like to share some thoughts with you on belonging and being of service, apath to a “you and me world,” rather than a “you or me world!”
We can no longer hope to live meaningful, purposeful lives using the rules of a you “or” me world. It’s becoming clearer and clearer to those who will look, that in order to live successfully on this planet, we must discover and live by the rules of you “and” me. Werner Erhard
Mark Nepo tells a wonderful story of the two tribes; One that says, “you’re different, go away” and another that says, “you’re different, come teach me”! If we continue to focus on the “go away tribe”, it seems clear that the human experiment is headed towards extinction. But, what if we embraced the “come teach me tribe”? Perhaps this is the very key to the evolution of our species. What if every time we noticed ourselves creating a sense of separation from someone or something, both within and without, we embraced our experience and opened our hearts to our common-unity. How might that change the world? What if instead of trying to get our needs met, we took a path of giving those things we truly want to others?
Two Myths that Shape our World View
The mechanist philosophy that became prevalent in the 16th and 17th century left us looking at the world as “objects in a world of objects”. We have lost the sacred sense of inseparability of our ancestors, who saw everything in the world as connected and inseparable. In the past century, quantum physics has been validating and recognizing this ancient view, that everything affects everything else in the universe. Yet our unexamined and prevailing myth of separation still shapes our human consciousness and perception, which gives rise to beliefs and actions that reinforce our experience of being separate from each other and the world. It is this view of separation that is driving all of the destruction, suffering and fighting in the world!
When you let go of trying to get more of what you don't really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have. Lynne Twist
The second myth is the myth of scarcity, the belief that there’s not enough to go around. In The Soul of Money, the activist and author Lynne Twist breaks this myth down the three sub categories of scarcity: there’s not enough, more is better, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be and always will be. Every day our media reminds us and makes baskets of money by creating a sense of scarcity and urgency. We must get this or that now if we want to be happy, to get the man or woman of our dreams, the house, the car, the job, or we will end up alone and miserable. We live in a world of abundance, it’s the poverty of our beliefs that keep us struggling.
As we lose ourselves in the service of others we discover our own lives and our own happiness. Dieter F. Uchtdorf
When we really get how these unexamined myths are shaping our lives and our world, we can open to and begin to recognize how everyone and everything is connected. If we are willing to drop the consciousness of separation and scarcity, and begin to view the world through, what Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, has called inter-being, we would see a rapid shift in the state of our lives and the world. Inter-being is the state of profound connectedness and interdependence of all phenomena. A being that is truly interconnected with others would be part of the “come teach me tribe”. Everything would become an opportunity to learn and grow, especially those things that trigger us and reinforce our belief in “the world out there”. Being of service helps us to “cultivate our inner world.”
Where we can really learn how to reinforce this new paradigm of inter-being is in living a path of service. To combine our deepest longing with our gifts, strengths and talents in service to the world is where we discover our natural state of belonging. To do this we would have to give up the stories that keep us from living our dreams. We think that money, time, knowledge or skills keeps us from stepping into fully living a life we love. But, this is just another belief that keeps us perpetuating a life of separation. True service comes from seeing ourselves in others and opening ourselves to a deep sense of relatedness. It’s not me in my largess that is going to help you in your smallness! Finding our own heart and soul in another’s happiness and fulfillment is at the heart of being of service to ourselves and the world.
Love everything coming up and it will leave very fast. You will then move from being the thoughts to being the space that loves the thoughts. Kyle Cease
But, you say, I need to get my needs met and then I can be of service. No, we get our needs met in giving our true gifts, our soul gifts, to others. Perhaps, that’s the only reason we are here? We might have to leap, to give up the job we hate, the beliefs that we aren't enough, or that we are unlovable or somehow flawed. Yes! In service we learn to love all the stories that come up. When we can love what is arising moment to moment through relationship, we become present to the amazing gift of life itself. Love it all - the good, bad and ugly - and we will be free from the tyranny of our own mind. The only reason that we are not happy is the fact that we are in resistance to where we are in this moment and the next...
When you connect to another in the desire to support them in living a life they love and alleviating their suffering, you discover your true self. By truly seeing others in their beauty, brilliance and light we reveal our own light within…
Meriel and I hope you will consider sharing your gifts with the world through service and making a difference in the lives of others. It doesn’t have to be a formal organization, it can be with your own family, friends and community - it can be with a person on the street, a veteran or someone who has met with hard times. The important thing is to really see yourself in them and receive the contribution that they are giving you by allowing you to serve them. With love and blessings, Michael
I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve. Albert Schweitzer.