Dear 1 in 7+ billion human,
Imagine if, from day one, your parents and teachers had powered home the message that your most sacred task in life is to discover what matters to you most–you as an individual–and, that your purpose is to create value from that.
…And, not solely for your own gratification, but as a member of the human family, this is your service to the whole.
Imagine if, at every turn, the message was reflected to you:
Your life is valuable. Wander. Wonder. Your curiosity will elicit your greatest capacities, your highest intelligence and creativity. This will enable you to offer the world something it needs.
How would this change how you make decisions? How might your life be different?
And now, imagine you live in a world where every human being from day one has that same underlying story or defining myth.
They, too, understand they’re a unique and valuable note in the collective chorus of the universe.
They understand that it’s their job to find what they will lovingly caretake in their small corner of the web.
How might our world look?
And why isn’t it this way?
And what is the message instead?
Heirs to a Dispirited Dream
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. – R. Buckminster Fuller
Your identity at the deepest level; how you perceive yourself in relation to your universe, is handed down to you. And, while you can find a few outliers on the planet, most human cultures in this day and age abide by a collective myth.
These cultural myths quietly shape how we view ourselves and our purpose in life. They determine how we relate to one another, what we value and how we make decisions. They unconsciously influence our experience of life.
I call ours the Dispirited Dream.
Our current ideology is one that fundamentally undermines our sense of security and safety.
To shift from our current Dispirited Dream we must shift our perception of ourselves at the very root and redefine who we are, in relationship to our universe.
In order to do this, we need to become fully aware of the current defining myths that color our perceptions, affect our behavior, and influence our decision-making.
The 4 Main Tenants of Our Dispirited Dream
1. We Are Separate
The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our modern world cosmology emphasizes the myth of separation. We are conditioned to separate from our own nature, from one another, and from the natural world around us.
We meticulously classify ourselves into four races with 30 subgroups, then further by nationality, political, and religious belief, gender, and so on, when in fact we share 99.99+% of the same genetic material with all other human beings.
Beneath this preoccupation with our differences is a hidden, fear-driven doctrine that your success and well-being detract from mine.
Renowned 20th-century inventor and visionary R. Buckminster Fuller says that to create a sustainable planet, we must go from a ‘you or me’ world to a ‘you and me’ world.
In a ‘you or me’ world, we have to expend a great deal of our life force competing with one another, to ensure our personal security. This precept renders us capable of killing and enslaving our own species.
We are taught to measure our worth against other people and societal standards. We value prestige over personal growth.
This cultural myth is indicative of a painful separation we feel deeply within. While we are wired from birth to follow our distinct interests and instincts, many of us learn to devalue that impulse. We separate from our inner guidance; the one true voice within us.
We are taught to give authority to what we think and distrust what we feel.
We live according to someone else’s clock and play outwardly dictated roles.
We force ourselves into jobs and lifestyles that do not reflect our unique preferences.
We neglect our creativity and squander our gifts.
This disconnect from our true nature keeps us from seeing our greater purpose, as well as the rippling consequences of our actions that affect other people, other creatures, and the planet at large—our greater family.
2. There Isn’t Enough
The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself. — Tony Robbins
Our Dispirited Dream conditions us to believe in scarcity. Not enough resources, not enough for all of us, at least. It is either ‘me or you,’ or ‘my people or yours.’
This myth tells us that we, as individuals, are also fundamentally inadequate. As a result, we always need more; more time, more money, more products to make us better.
In a scarcity culture, survival becomes the primary objective and another reason to turn away from what matters to us most deeply.
This dogma of lack fuels our greed, causing us to take too much, hoard, binge, overuse, deplete resources and manipulate others.
We have to be vigilant that others do not take our share. We end up worshipping stuff and bowing to a ruthless economy that determines our access to abundance.
3. I Can’t
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. – Maya Angelou
Our Dispirited Dream diminishes our inner authority and our inborn capacity to craft our reality. We struggle to own our power and are a bit confused about who is really in charge of our lives.
We have inherited the illusory dream of our predecessors, who believed in an outer force to make decisions and determine our destiny.
Whether you were educated religiously or not, western civilization is influenced by Judeo-Christian religious myths, many of which relegate much authority to an outer God.
I recall my first introduction to God early in childhood. He was portayed as an angry, old white man who lived in the sky. I got the impression he didn’t like me much. And yet, it was impressed upon me that I should love him. You can understand why I found this portrait confusing.
Remnants of delegating authority to an external authority are still alive within our collective psyche. We assume the role of child in a universe controlled by an outer, harsh, punishing force.
This entrenched perspective leads us to believe that we are powerless to change the conditions of our world, which is the biggest travesty of all. We’ve become far too accepting that we live in a world many of us wouldn’t choose.
Not being empowered allows us to be unaccountable for our actions, as if someone else, some unknown parental force in charge, will come and clean up the mess.
I tell you, no one is coming. We will be the ones to change the dream.
4. I Have to Go Along to Get Along
The attempt to live out someone else’s dharma brings extreme spiritual peril. – Krishna, From The Bhagavad Gita
Our Dispirited Dream demands conformity. We are conditioned to believe that making our way in this world is a battle and that we better go along, to get along.
We are steered toward a ‘safe,’ ‘known’ or sanctioned path, giving us the illusion that conformity and homogenization will yield security.
I am now convinced that depression is for many of us a spiritual response to having to diminish the dreamer, the imaginal self within to whom conforming literally means death — the death of one’s purpose and one’s mission.
Once I was truly able to live according to my own dream; my own dharma, once I allowed a new story to define my life, then the chronic, allegedly chemical and familial depression disappeared altogether from my life and has not returned.
1. You Belong
If you could fly above, you would witness your unquestionable membership in the cosmic verse. You are constantly effected and effecting, undeniably woven into an ecosystem, a food chain, eating and being eaten, hosting and being hosted by many other life forms, at all times.
Your living, in whatever minuscule way, impacts the ecology—the soil, the flow of rivers, the cleanliness of oceans, and the quality of air.
Flying above, you would see how your ideas and emotions rapidly reverberate along a human circuit. You would witness how many acts of cruelty are stopped with your one small, conscious refusal to pass on the suffering.
You would have compassion for how difficult it is for us to resist the wave of collective fear and pain.
Our experience of separation would be recognized for what it is, at the least greatly exaggerated and arguably illusory.
2. You Have Everything You Need
In the next 30 years we can destroy our world. With the very same powers—spiritual, social, scientific—we can evolve our world. Our mission is to serve as catalysts for a planetary awakening in our lifetime, to take a non-violent path to the next stage of our evolution. — Barbara Marx Hubbard
We live on an abundant planet, easily a paradise, in which the cure continuously grows alongside the disease and in which problems coexist with solutions.
We have the capacity to empower a marvelous coexistence with our natural resources. We have easily enough intelligence to solve distribution problems, grow food in many different climates, clean up the damage to our water, and restore our people and planet to health.
We also have everything within us to unfold our personal mission and deliver our most valuable contribution.
When the underlying dream changes, when we successfully remove the blinders of the old cosmological conditioning, we will be able to apply our collective intelligence to its most enlightened purpose.
Our lives will speak to us again with clarity and without the manipulation of fear attempting to protect itself from the Dispirited Dream.
3. You Can
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. – Mother Teresa
Within every human being resides an artist. Our lives are the clay. Each person is a creator by their most fundamental nature. You were born into this world in a state of wonder, wired to immediately reach out, interact, and impact.
The world is missing something that you want to bring, and you were born equipped to give it. If you love it, you will, in some way, discover some hidden talent or gift related to it.
When you live your dharma; when you walk your walk with integrity, people sense it and are drawn to you.
When you do what you care about most, you bring far more value than when you attach yourself to something of lesser importance to you.
Setting out on a course for your unique life, there is an incomplete picture before you, awaiting your input. You have authority. You are meant to take risks, try different things, put out invitations, mess up, fall down, tolerate feeling lost, doubt your sanity.
Experiencing this enables you to make choices, to see what your preferences are and what does and does not suit you.
Can you see the incredible palette before you, a precious canvas within which to create? Your collaborators, near and far, are seeking you as you seek them. This is the inherent joy of being human. This is your fulfillment. This is the magic and wonder of co-creating a world.
4. We Choose
We have to be willing to let go of that’s just the way it is, even if just for a moment, to consider the possibility that there isn’t a way it is or way it isn’t. There is the way we choose to act and what we choose to make of circumstances. ― Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money
We determine our attitudes, our beliefs, our actions. We choose to produce or destroy. The authority comes from within.
For many years I was conditioned to believe that to be a valuable person, I had to choose based on what was societally acceptable. I now understand that we are meant to choose our path based on what matters to us most.
When you choose based on what you love, from your own authority, you are far more likely to yield something of value.
When you choose by trying to please others or attain security, you are more likely to experience drain, resentment, and confusion. You spread suffering.
What Matters to You Most, Really Matters
Have you thought about what matters to you most?
When you look out at the world, what catches your attention?
Where are you intuitively or magnetically drawn?
Notice the interactions, the people, the places and activities that light you up, that give you energy rather than deplete you.
What stimulates your intellect? What elicits a feeling of ease and connection?
You also might consider the first thing you ever wanted to be when you grew up, the essence of it anyway, not necessarily literally.
I remember declaring when I was 3 that I wanted to be a doctor. But, it wasn’t long before I realized that this would involve interaction with blood and body fluids. I quickly retracted my statement.
At the essence however, I was truly voicing who I am and what I came here to do: I want to help people feel better. I want to be part of helping us as a whole, heal and mend.
What are you here to do?
Shift Your Inner Story
If you aren’t sure, you aren’t alone. But the good news is you have an exciting adventure ahead of you. Here is what you can do right now:
Evolve your own story: Question your underlying myths. Begin to see yourself and others in a new light. The story is important. Remind yourself before you go to bed and when you wake up: You are safe, you belong, you are inextricably linked to a greater web and you are part of a bigger story. Reprogram yourself. Say it aloud to yourself. After all, you are your own best hypnotist.
Lead with your heart: Research has shown us that the the heart’s energy field is far larger than that of the brain, and that 90% of the communication is initiated from the heart to the brain.
When our heart rate variability (HRV) is coherent, our cortical functioning is at its highest. This gives us access to our highest intelligence and intuition, our greatest creativity and resilience.
Begin noticing the positive feedback from your physiology: When you live according to this new empowered story, and make decisions based on your heart, do you have more or less energy? Do you feel more or less connected? It is important that you register and notice this.
As you begin to shift the inner story, and give more credence to the messages that come from the intelligence of your own inner being, you will likely feel safer, calmer, clearer and more aligned with your true nature.
You will naturally shift how you live and move throughout each day and how you make decisions.