Today’s affirmation is:
“Moment by moment, brick by brick, we are building a world full of things more important than our fears.”
(Click to visit The Affirmation Spot for empowering mp3 affirmations)
Our world is an amazing place full of beauty and potential. Each of us is a miracle waiting to bloom into magnificence. The fear liberally spread in our lives reduces our enjoyment, causes us unhappiness and pain, and creates scenarios where we lash out at each other.
Collective Mental Empowerment Part I focused on the problem of disempowerment and fear-based messaging in our society. We discussed the disempowerment that occurs when we buy into that messaging from a place of fear rather than evaluating it from a reason-centered or love-centered focus.
Today’s article provides some practical ideas about how to reverse this trend in our individual and collective lives. Again, books could be written on this topic. I hope these tips will help you begin to re-empower yourself and help the people around you do the same.
What Can We Do?
So the question always is, “Great, you’ve identified the problem, but what can we do to change it?” There are really several very practical things that each of us can do to counter the negative messages around us, empower ourselves and each other, and limit the effectiveness of fear-centered messaging. If we do the following things, we will find the mental/spiritual mood on this planet lightening immediately and we will re-empower ourselves to live the lives we came here to live.
- Become Aware of Disempowerment Techniques and Messages – look before you leap to support. Demand that leaders provide legitimate reasons for action and reject solutions based in fear. Every single time someone is trying to get you to think something or do something based on fear and in a hurry; question it carefully. Consciously deactivate your fear center and shift to a reasoning or love-centered evaluation of the situation. It makes sense to run the other way, if you encounter a black mamba. It doesn’t make sense to refuse to ever visit Africa because you might encounter one. Watch for solutions that throw the baby of freedom out in the bathwater of fear.
- Examine Your Own Beliefs – examine your beliefs. Are they yours or second-hand? What are your ideological, spiritual, and political blind spots? How can they or how have they been used to get you to buy into things you know go against your conscience or better judgment? Do your religious convictions really demand you judge all others? Do your political convictions really go along with limiting the freedom and potential of those around you towards some end? A lot of this is unconscious and has been whipped into your through constant repetition and social reinforcement (they call that brainwashing in some circles). Expect resistance! You have believed many of these things for a long time and you may have a lot of “skin in the game”. Accept that this is going to happen and get through it.
- Release Your “Yeah But…” – there is a tendency when awakening begins in this process to encounter some mental “yeah buts”. “Yeah but” the world is sometimes a dangerous place. “Yeah but” everyone is going along. “Yeah but” if I let my guard down. Your “yeah buts” stand as guards keeping you cycling in fear. What comes after your “yeah but” is an area for you to work on shifting your thinking.
- Help Others Examine Their Beliefs – just as you may have been existing in a mental/spiritual fog on these topics, others are too. Once you are clearer on how mass manipulation works and on your own values (the ones that come from within you), you can help others do the same. Once you are alert to these fear-based parlor tricks, they will become easy to spot. Others may struggle to see them at first just like you did. Be ready for some resistance.
- Become an Empowered Thinker – Once you realize that you have been living in a kind of mental Matrix where your beliefs and actions are orchestrated, you will want to begin replacing those thoughts with your true beliefs – the ones that flow from your legitimate religious convictions, political perspectives, and humanity. Affirmations, visualizations, focused prayer, meditation, and other techniques can help you strengthen your beliefs and reinforce them. I call this your own personal ad campaign. You are now in charge again of your own thoughts and beliefs. You regain the freedom to CHOOSE. You do it from a place of spiritual and mental freedom.
- Surround Yourself with Empowered People and Messages – counter and replace the disempowering messages in your life by being around empowered people and bringing empowering messages into your life. Practice techniques like affirmations, visualization, meditation, and prayer that give you quiet time to think, evaluate, and recharge.
- Recognize Your Destiny – you – and everyone around you – are here on this planet in this time and in this place for a reason. It is not to think other people’s thoughts and manifest other peoples’ visions of reality. It is to think your own thoughts and manifest your vision of reality in an environment of freedom and respect. Think about it. When was the last time the peoples of two countries, two religions, two anything really got up one morning and thought to themselves we need to go to war against “them”? I’d propose never. Some “leader” came along and activated the peoples’ fear-centers and “created” the need for war. War is a CHOICE not to have peace. Poverty is a CHOICE not to share the resources of the planet. Fear is a CHOICE that we have been convinced is more “realistic” than love.
Messages from Great Teachers and Thinkers
We can make other choices, but only from a place of empowerment where we operate from a higher awareness and dismiss those who constantly want us cowering in fear. There have been great teachers and people who have been teaching us from a love-centered perspective for centuries. Humanity reveres these teachers, but ignore them when the rubber meets the road. Listen again. They are talking about empowered people living from their center of love rather than fear, anger, or hatred.
“Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” He went even further. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Peter (at another time) got some clarification.
“Then came Peter to him, and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I say not until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.'”
There was no fine print, legal disclaimers, or ‘yeah but’ scenarios. There is no “Well, the President or the Prime Minister have to have all the options on the table.” There is no room for some supreme council to order us to hate our neighbor and war with them because they don’t agree with us. Jesus is clearly saying that we must love even our enemies and be a well of continuous forgiveness.
“What we are is the result of what we have thought.”
“He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,”–in those who harbor such thoughts hatred will never cease.
“He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,”–in those who do not harbor such thoughts hatred will cease. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule. The world does not know that we must all come to an end here;–but those who know it, their quarrels cease at once.”
What is Buddha telling us here? He is saying that all the reasons we’re given (or come up with ourselves) to justify our fear, our anger, our hatred are just excuses. As long as we are focused on how we have been wronged, we will never take the steps necessary to make it right in our world.
He continues by pointing out that only by shifting to a love-centered approach can we know peace – personal and global. He’s also talking about growth. He recognizes that the first paragraph describes much of humanity. He is calling on human beings to aspire to the second paragraph.
Mahatma Gandhi said:
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
We are happy, Gandhi posits when our thoughts, words, and actions are in harmony. Can they be in harmony when we are encased in a constant state of fear and crisis? I would argue that our happiness depends on us harmonizing our thoughts, words, and actions from a place of love rather than fear.
“Fear,” Gandhi said, “Is not a disease of the body. Fear kills the soul.” He encouraged us when he said, “We must be the change we want to see in the world.”
Gandhi admitted the path is not easy when he said:
“I have only three enemies. My favorite enemy, the one most easily influenced for the better, is the British Empire. My second enemy, the Indian people, is far more difficult. But my most formidable opponent is a man named Mohandas K. Gandhi. With him, I seem to have very little influence.”
Gandhi points out that we are our own biggest obstacle – us. We know we want a different, better world (or life), but change is so hard. Our willpower fades in and out. We must stick with it and not give up. We must transform our thinking to a new level.
Albert Einstein said:
Einstein is known to history as the genius scientist, but he was quite the visionary and rebel against the status quo. He encouraged creative, “out of the box” thinking and abhorred those who simply “go along”.
“He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.”
He encourage curiosity and questioning:
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its ow reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.
” I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
Finally, Einstein tells us that we must transform the way we think to have the better world we all seek.
“The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.”
In his 1933 inauguration speech, Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said:
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Today we have leaders and a media that seem bent on spreading the fear thoroughly and constantly. Whether they do it on purpose or whether they are just caught up in the same misguided ideas about who we are what we are doing here; I can’t say for sure.
What I do know is that when we live from a place of fear our horizons are sharply limited. Sadly, many do not even realize they are caught in this fear-based matrix that constantly pushes them to make decisions without engaging reason and love – the two most powerful centers of our being.
For our world to change, we must change. For us to change, we must empower ourselves and our thinking. We must never grant government, leaders, the media, or other institutions the power to short circuit our innate wisdom and intelligence. We must demand the freedom to express ourselves, to grow and change, and decide our own destinies.
Certainly, we cannot do this in a vacuum without taking into consideration the other people and creatures that share this planet and this destiny with us. However, we will get to a place where the human majority naturally takes that approach to life more quickly if we have an informed, empowered, and free populace rather than one that lives in constant fear of other people and the world around them.
I absolutely invite your comments and participation on this blog. I’d like to know how you think we can achieve these goals.