Utopia/Dystopia by Dylan Glynn
I would like to issue an advisory: please stay on a positive note.
When we read and/or watch the news or get on social media, it doesn’t surprise me that afterward we feel uninspired, unmotivated and imagine worst case scenarios.
“Oh my God! Donald Trump will have the nuclear codes!”
“Water protectors shot with rubber bullets.”
That is a scary world. If we want to make a better world, that cannot be our focus. It can’t ever be our focus when it comes to our imagination and visioning current or future possibilities. We must CHOOSE to imagine things changing for the better. We must imagine that peace, prosperity, and well-being for all is possible.
There are enough people imagining things going from bad to worse. Not because they want that but because the default mode is to go into fear. Even the most loving, kind, hopeful people feel pulled in directions that find them and the world in more suffering, injustice, and hopelessness.
I suggest that we focus on what we want and not on what we don’t want. We want to put in the time and energy daily, imagining positive outcomes and experiences.
By employing our imaginations in our favor when considering individual and collective tasks, we can design new desirable templates for ourselves and humanity.
Want peace on the planet? Great! Start with yourself. Connect to that peace that you want for the planet by touching the peace within you. What does it feel like? Is it calming or energizing? Does it change the way you breathe? As you have with your heart, become aware of the pulse of peace within you. Use your imagination to feel it and sense it. Don’t let your mind distract you here. Remember your inner peace also belongs in the world so radiate it out.
How about we step it up a little and exercise our imagination muscles? Your imagination muscles are that part of us that dream up new possibilities and ideas to create the worlds we wish to inhabit with our loved ones and with all of humanity.
One caveat, as the imagination works to create the positive world we wish to experience, there is an old phrase that comes to mind, “Nothing exists in hell without man’s consent”. Do not give in to fear.
Back to the exercise. Please set aside some time and a place to practice this exercise.
When you are ready, find a good safe spot to sit. A place where you will not be interrupted or distracted.
Take a few moments to look around at your surroundings. Allow your gaze to move from object to object, taking in the colors, textures, and shapes of these objects. Do this for a few moments. Observe your breath and notice if it changes. If you have an especially chattering mind take a little longer looking around.
Each time you feel the chatter begin shift your gaze to a different object or part of the room. At this point, we don’t want to engage in any stories or feelings about what you are looking at instead we want to see the things as themselves: chair, plant, leaf, window, blue, floor, stick and so on.
This exercise serves to open the focus from being engaged in narratives and scenarios within you to looking at the world around you. Think of it like opening the lens of a camera to let in more light. We are letting more light in.
Now, imagine seeing people and situations as expressions of light. As you look at someone, or a place ask yourself: “Which colors express the essence of this person in this moment?” Is it one color, or many different tones? By essence I mean their spark that is not tarnished by negativity, judgment or fears. Imagine being able to see them in their positive light.
When we allow ourselves to see the best in others, past their self-judgment and fears we help to let the light in. We expand the volume of possibilities available to us. When we only see with eyes of fear and hopelessness that circumference becomes smaller and so do our futures.
Doing the exercises above will shift your mind’s settings from the gossipy, fear-based chatter into illuminated, multidimensional possibilities.They will naturally unburden you, and make you lighter, and more lighthearted in your daily life. Please practice, practice, practice.
We all desire positive futures and outcomes regardless of where we come from, what our politics or religion or economics are. We love to feel good, healthy and prosperous. Let’s use our imagination for creating solutions that generate that. Let’s imagine ourselves being winners who create win-win scenarios, lovers that have enough love to include the enemy, prosperous with peace and life-affirming goodness for all.
But first, we have to imagine it for the heart and body to follow.
Now it’s your turn.
How do you handle your mind’s negative scripts? Have you ever tried working with colors and light? Share your story with me in the comments below – I always love hearing about your experiences and strategies.
Walking the desert in gold. Photo by Alexandra Nitsche
Being part of the solution is easier than we think.
But the first step in solving any problem is admitting you have it.
Here’s one of ours: we spend more time focused on being consumers than on being citizens engaged in building a better society.
We want the new car, fancy new clothes. Not because we really need them but because there’s something embedded in us that says if I have more, the latest, the greatest, the newest, the fastest that somehow it will give us happiness; the happiness that nothing else can. That it can make us safe, secure and connected.
We only have to look at images in magazines, on billboards, on TV to see this promise. And when that doesn’t happen we think: Oh it’s because I don’t have that skirt. That thick hair, that dewy skin, so we look to buy other things that will make us feel better.
I’m not against trade or capitalism in general. I know they create prosperity and choices but what I am against is the brainwashing and addictive hold of consumerism. Clever marketing, lobbying by special interests at the highest level of government, and a derailed sense of self-worth entices us into thinking that this is THE way to happiness and fulfilment overriding common sense, logic, and even religious or spiritual beliefs and values.
It says: If you want to feel successful then you need to buy this, look like that, have this lifestyle and because we are making it so affordable and convenient how can you possibly say no?
That is what I am rejecting. Not the product. Not the industry that made it. Not the system that produces tangible, physical products. Just the system that produces our view of that product and manipulates our view of ourselves in order to make us believe that we need that product.
Recently, I have been thinking about Timothy Leary’s galvanising call to action in the 60s: Turn on. Tune in. Drop Out. Here is how he defined what it means to “turn on, tune in, drop out” in his book, Flashbacks.
“Turn on – go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers that engage them.” Wake up. Meditate. Become mindful. Listen to your inner voice.
“Tune in – interact harmoniously with the world around you – externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives.” Integrate your deepest wisdom. Walk your talk.
“Drop out – an active, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. “Drop Out” meant self-reliance, a discovery of one’s singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change.” Conscious actions, transforming stagnant hierarchical systems in the home and society.
I know it’s challenging to transform old hierarchical systems. I can be just as brainwashed as the next person when it comes to being a consumer. Powerless in the face of marketing behemoths and propaganda poised to hit my subconscious need to fit in and be part of the herd.
I see something nice, I want it. I think to myself: I deserve it. The marketing program running within me doesn’t include me asking myself why do I want that thing?
That takes awareness.
Let me break it down. I have a 10-year-old car that works perfectly well. It has some dents and I have been thinking about getting a new car. Why do I want a new car? Am I afraid that people are going to equate that because I have a 10-year-old car that I mustn’t be successful? That I’m not good enough? Am I worried that because I have boots and shoes that are 10 or 20 years old that people are going to say: “Oh my god she wore those last year!”?
I want to challenge those thoughts within me. I want all of us to challenge thoughts and behaviours, by enquiring about their purpose and usefulness for us.
It was by turning on, tuning in, and dropping out that a previous generation fought their rapacious nature. What solutions do you see rising to the surface to help us become conscious consumers of products, information, and news? To be engaged as true citizens building a better society together?
Speak to us. We are here to listen and help you find your way to the best you.
Dressed as Liberty. Celebrating becoming a US citizen.
It’s not easy to wake up and want to move forward in a world that suddenly feels wrong. When you see what appears to be a complete change overnight and not in the direction you had hoped. This change is not just our shared recent events, but anytime we are confronted with policies that infringe people’s rights, or viewpoints that aggravate all sides, or truths that unsettle an existing status quo.
Move forward we must, though. So, let’s just take a moment and look back to see what has brought us collectively and more importantly individually to this point.
As I look, my consciousness pulls me way back, past the conflicts in the last decades, past the Civil Rights movement, past World Wars 2 then 1, past the Suffragette movement, past the Civil War, past the war of Independence, past the battles against indigenous people, past empires of different epochs, past tribe against tribe, past brother against brother, past it all.
I see conflict.
And I see cooperation.
Both have in their own way created us and guided our movement forward whether we like it or not. But does it have to be this way? Isn’t there a way for us to move forward with less bloodshed and more prosperity and peace?
Malcolm X believed it possible- “It’s freedom for everybody or freedom for nobody… America is in a unique position. She’s the only country in history in a position actually to become involved in a bloodless revolution.”
Malcolm was speaking on Civil Rights and the Black Nationalist movement, but today we find ourselves in much the same struggle. Can we find peaceful solutions?
We can, but we must move past propaganda, negativity, and short-sightedness. We can seek freedom from persecution, from fear, from scarcity. Freedom cultivated and harvested collectively and individually. That’s what our struggles and sabotages have been about all along. Freedom of expression, freedom to move, to be, to have a life. This, I feel is an evolutionary directive communicating through our genes, our ancestors, and untold migrations all species have pursued: Freedom.
With that and the current climate in mind, I present to you a list of things we can do to steer the course of our nation and our lives in a more inclusive, peaceful direction.
1 Clarity – get super clear about what you stand for – not just rights or laws but the essence of what you want to feel and be on a daily basis. Be it peace, kindness, or freedom connect to that essence before taking any steps to ensure that your actions are in alignment with your core truths.
2 Do things you love to do – for example, doodling, spending time in nature or having fun with friends. This is important to do so as not to become despondent in the face of challenges and setbacks. This is your prime real estate to maintain and nourish ie doing the things that make you feel good inside. This will keep you on the good foot.
3 Befriend your enemy – it’s time to get off our backs and get to know the hearts of those who have different opinions and political views than us. We are more alike than different – we all want to have good health, shelter, nourishment, and security. Of course, there are a few weeds out there on both sides, unwilling to bend but that is not the majority. Believe in yourself and make new friends.
4a Engage – Engage in life, with family, with colleagues and neighbors. Engage in local, national and global politics. Run for School boards, housing association boards, county seats etc. I know these roles will take time but we need to become part of the fabric of our society to effect change. Be brave, run for office.
4b Include – Look out for those on the fringes, isolated and alone. By including them and listening to them we make the fabric of our communities and nations stronger. We must reach out with a smile, a gesture, acts of kindness and understanding. There are so many places we can lend our hearts and minds to; Boys and Girls Club, literacy help groups, seniors in assisted living. Choose one. You can be the one, at the right time and the right place to transform someone’s life for the better.
Remember it is the fabric of our communities that we are strengthening as we move forward to set sail on calmer or rocky seas. We are more than one leader. We are more than any policy. We are freedom calling.
Here’s to all of us and may we give wing to the best in us for ourselves and generations to come.
How are you doing? Do you feel burdened by what’s happening in your life? Are you ready to make an impact on a bigger arena? Tell us about your journey and what’s working for you. If you need guidance and care, give me a shout.
We need positivity, especially in difficult times.
My stomach churns when I think of the unimaginably daunting challenges facing us. Our planet, our country, and our lives seem destined for an inevitable darkness. We watch the chaos that is the US election this year through the screens of devices we and our children spend far too much time engrossed in.
I’ll admit it, there are times when it all makes me want to say, “Check, please! I’m done.”
Luckily, that’s just one part of me. The other parts say: “Let’s just pause here for a second and breathe.”
I know those parts of me are correct because I soon find peace, possibilities and the pulse of my heartbeat where they always are.
I know what we are up against:
- The frantic pace of our lives
- The seeming lack of options
- The feeling powerlessness
- A landscape devoid of leaders
What we need to do is pause for a second and breathe. We need to find our peace, possibilities, and pulse. We need them if we are to accomplish anything.
Want to try it out with me and tap into your soul’s positive vibration? Ready?
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale, look around. Exhale, look around. Repeat a few more times. Open your focus wide just like the aperture on a camera lens.
Allow yourself to connect to the things around you: chair, plant, sofa, lamp, door, window, sky, clouds, sun. Look at the colors around you: blue, green, brown, orange. What textures do you perceive? Rough, soft, fluffy, silky? Allow your eyes to pass over all the things that attract your attention.
How does it feel? Are you beginning to relax?
Breathe: inhale slowly and steadily. Pause. Exhale slowly and steadily. Pause. Repeat a few more times.
Trust this process and know that there is time for you to do this, to unfold out of the squeeze that too much focusing or stress or hopelessness can create.
Allow the positivity to rise. It may feel quiet as a whisper to begin with. Keep going. If you become distracted guide yourself back to the breath and gently move your gaze around the room, opening your focus.
When you feel complete register how you are feeling. More relaxed? Less agitated? Energized? Full of ideas?
This is one way to create space in our minds, bodies,and hearts. This space is prime real estate. Without this space, without a real relationship with this space, there is no momentum. No fertile ground to seed peace. No way forward.
The way arises within us.
The peace arises within us.
The momentum arises within us.
When we show up and nourish the good within.
We rise, individually and collectively.
We must take time out to feel this space, the light and the positivity we want to see in the world. Whether we are peaceful protectors of the earth or mothers driving our kids to school or readers of blog posts, we must begin within.
All of us.
If you need help with connecting to your soul’s positive vibration, please call on me. I know it’s within you, waiting for your call.
At this moment, right now, someone somewhere on this planet is praising the light. Whether it’s the light at the end of their tunnel or the coming of the dawn after a long dark night, the light is welcome.
That light has been celebrated for millennia in India and nowadays all over the world. I am speaking about the annual Diwali festival. Each year I receive a call from my mum to remind me that it is Diwali and to light candles and get some fireworks. This festival marks the victory of light over darkness, good over bad, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.
I am taking the opportunity that this festival of light presents to love and recognize light itself; the beauty of it and the vastness with which it fills our lives.
All too often we are caught up in mundane dramas, fears, and the muddy perspectives of everyday life. We forget to recognize the good all around us, which comes in many forms, such as, opportunities, health, wellness, comfort, and conveniences presented to us every day through light.
Light a candle. Switch on the light in your home. Look outside. All that you can see, feel, hear, touch, and taste is made easier because of light.
That very same light also exists within us. Ask your body to show you where that spark is within you. Take a moment to perceive it. What does it feel like? Is it whimsical or steadfast? Is it welcoming, warm in its embrace or clear as a diamond.? Can you feel it in your heart? Or in your mind when it moves at light speeds?
Light has been our steadfast ally for as long as the stars have been shining. So let’s take a moment to acknowledge the bounty that is bestowed upon us through this one aspect of the universe.
Breathe in and radiate light. Happy Diwali everyone.
Does some part of your life need a little light or are you finding yourself heavy hearted? Take a few deep breaths and exhale to see if that lightens the load. If not, come this way and let’s work on this together.