As a producer and partner with AOMusic, if you have not heard me say that “The Music of AO has changed my life“, I want to say it now. I have never encountered a medium that is both heart opening and able to change the lives of children in need at the same time. I am from the 60′s. The Vietnam war was my backdrop for life. The Beatles came and changed all of us and the way we saw the world. U2 opened our eyes to injustice and issues of freedom, Madonna busted the sexual revolution wide open. Music changes people. Music can also save lives and create hope and love where there has been none.
Category Archives: Empowerment
by Maya Christobel
I am hearing daily from so many people that they are feeling… “different”: More sensitive, feeling body pains, getting ill, energized for some, sluggish for others. Tired but not sleeping. Overwhelmed but not knowing exactly why. All bodily responses to changing energetic fields all over the planet and in our solar system. The answer is not sleeping pills or any conventional response. We need an entirely new perspective.
It is no longer possible to separate ourselves as if we are distinct from EVERY OTHER THING. We are being affected daily by our Sun and Solar Flares, by Climate Change, by our Economy, our Friends, our Fears and our Dreams. Greece cannot have economic collapse and create a global fear response and we not feel it on the other side of the globe as we eat dinner.
So, we are being asked, if not required, to take a new position in our lives in order to integrate these new energies that are changing the very DNA of us as a species so that we not become ill in response. This sounds overwhelming and for some it is. Confusing and it is at times. The natural response to change is usually a kind of “contraction” in our lives, a reactivity to fear, a stepping up of activity and problem solving. This is no longer working. The new response to these demands is to…relax. Breath. Walk. Sleep. Laugh and be in a place of Openness and Love. Not easy as the lives we live swirl around us and the majority feel massive amounts of fear.
I remember reading about a woman who was attacked by a bear. She was just in her tent minding her own business when out of left field a bear tore through her tent and began to drag her off to the woods to kill her. Others had already died. What she did was counter-intuitive to screaming and resisting. She went silent and limp. She stopped resisting. What happened next was astonishing. The bear dropped her in the woods and walked away. She was not unharmed, but she was alive.
I am finding that I have the opposite response to mounting tensions in the world, tensions in my life and personal crises. I am not worrying or trying to “figure anything out”. I am not resisting. That is very new for me and may have much to do with my choice to begin to live in the flow. Allowing rather than pushing the river that rushes all around me. My list of what I think I should do still sits mostly unaddressed as I put on my hat and grab my binoculars and go out to Lighthouse point to watch for the Orcas to come through. Years ago I would have decided that I was in denial, crazy as a loon, lazy, afraid to face facts if I had done such a thing. Now I am different. I feel perfectly centered and none of the traditional triggers in my life that would have sent me to bed sleepless or with a sore throat and a pounding heart seem to affect me in any of the usual ways. And that undone list of “necessary responses” is till there and the world has not collapsed around me. I have not become a bag lady.
The antidote to the psychotic times we live in is not to speed up…but to do exactly the opposite: Slow down. Slow way down so that the body can manage the energy that is presenting itself in a hundred new ways a day. To stop our reactive resistance just like the woman who saved herself from the jaws of a bear.
The second cure for harrowing times is to change your mind. The mind wants to solve the unsolvable and will use up all available energy trying to. The way to stop this over-thinking, over-worrying, over-analyzing is to change your thoughts from “I am overwhelmed”, to “I have an opportunity for creativity”. From “I am afraid”, to “I am practicing love and trust in this process of change”. What these changed minds mean is that we are finally acknowledging that we are in control of our experience. Fear is the belief that we are not in control. What we intend to think really does change the outcome of our daily experience.
Many people all over the world are talking about the unprecedented times of spiritual, physical and emotional evolution we are in. From CNN to Psychics we have a delicious array of input to help us navigate our changing times, changing relationships and emerging new world view. Here is just one piece of writing that I think is helpful. It came to me from Marlene Swetlishoff. Good, sound and inspiring guidance.
“You are in a period of stillness awaiting the influx of greater energies that are soon to flood the Planet. Be receptive and open to these energies and absorb as much of them as you are able. Set your intention to receive in grace and ease and it will be so. Many changes continue to take place within your physical bodies and your DNA is being further activated. The next six months will bring through many revelations and a greater connection with your inner truths.
Stay connected to your inner core essence and let it guide your way. This will help you to stay in the knowing of yourself and that which is important for you to follow for the highest and best outcomes in all that occurs in your daily living. In dealing with others, always look to meet them in the areas of common interest and endeavor to reflect to them your Light, and in turn, allow their Light to reflect back to you. You are in a period of igniting each other to the unfoldment of greater visions and dreams.
This will transpire in different ways for each of you and the outcomes will be wonderfully diverse as each of you express through your Beings that which is uniquely your own essence. Become each others greatest cheering teams, for much joy and laughter will facilitate the moving forward of each of you to your true and rightful place, as the shift of the ages continues to occur. Let go of all remaining fear and doubt, for all that comes through you is the merging of the higher aspects of yourselves. There will be prolonged periods of the feeling of joy that bursts from within you as you leave all that was behind you.
Stay grounded into the Earth each day as she will support you as the metamorphosis within you continues to take place. Drink copious amounts of fresh, clean water to help facilitate the movements of the new energies coming through you and be outdoors as much as possible. Practice deep breathing exercises each day to help move the new Pranic energies into your cells. Allow the expression of all that comes through you and observe what comes forth. You are reconnecting to skills, abilities and talents that have been dormant for a long time.” Marlene Swetlishoff
So, in between sharing about my journey on this road I am on, I will be sending up a few flares for your consideration as we all float in this big boat of change. What an exciting time to be in.
And again, I invite you to share your story with me. How are you changing and what are you doing about it in your life? What are you learning? We all need each other, as Marlene said, to cheer us on during this amazing time.
Blessings, Maya Christobel
WHAT’S YOUR PASSION
JUN 14, 2012
|The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. –Arnold Toynbee|
Most of my time on the road this last year has been about passion. When living in the “flow” the Universe is consistent to ignite passion, sometimes when least expected. I have found people, places, jobs, nature and a myriad of unexpected inspirations that ignite my passion for life, for work, for love. The trick is to live life fully engaged.
In my book, this is the most important question I can ask myself. What do I love? What inspires me? These are the essential building blocks to living a creative, abundant life. And they are the building blocks to manifesting your dreams. First you have to take the time to identify what in fact you are passionate about. Here is a wonderful article on finding your passion in life.
THE SHORT BUT POWERFUL GUIDE TO FINDING YOUR PASSION
–by Leo Babauta, Original Story, Feb 05, 2012
“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” – Arnold Toynbee
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius
Leo Babauta is the founder of the popular Zen Habits Blog. This post is shared here with permission. More from Leo on DailyGood:
6 ways to Empower Others
Starhawk has been teaching all of us about the nature of Spirituality for years. She has a new book entitled, The Empowerment Manual. Here are six ways to empower others. In understanding about being a true leader or teacher and empowering those around you, you empower yourself.
An empowering leader holds and serves a vision broad and deep enough to inspire others and allow them to take parts of it and make it their own. When Rob Hopkins founded the Transition Town movement, his vision was to take the insights of permaculture and ecological design and apply them on a local community level. That was a big vision, far too big for any one person to realize alone. Within it, there was room for many people to step up and realize their own creative ideas and pursue their interests—how to transform a vacant lot into a community garden, how to plant forest gardens in city parks, how to influence policy around water resources or investment in renewable energy. Rob’s original vision called many people into their own power and leadership.
An empowering leader helps the group develop a strategy—a plan for getting from here to there, with milestones and goals along the way.
An empowering leader rarely uses Command mode. Most of the time, she leads by example and persuasion. But when command is called for, an empowering leader will step forward and then step back into a more democratic mode once the need has passed.
An empowering leader also steps back. He doesn’t hog the center or the spotlight, but is always looking for ways to share.
An empowering leader puts the needs of the group first. He thinks about how each of his actions will affect the group.
All of this is, of course, the ideal. We can strive for it, but most of us will fall short in one way or another. An empowering leader makes mistakes. If she doesn’t, she’s probably not experimenting enough. An empowering leader is also a good learner, an experienced and willing apologizer, someone who can make amends and move on.
Keep Power Circulating
Power tends to concentrate, and even the most benevolent and empowering leader may unconsciously begin to hoard power over time. When power becomes permanent and static, the group often stagnates.
Collaborative groups need strategies for sharing power and developing leadership in all group members. To keep power circulating and flowing freely in the group, we can adopt a few key elements in our structure.
1. Limit the Accumulation of Power
We can make agreements that limit how much responsibility any one person can take on, how many committees they can join, for example, or how many aspects of a project they can coordinate. We can break big tasks into smaller roles and share them.
2. Share Roles and Responsibilities
Meetings typically are co-facilitated, so that a powerful role is shared. When roles can be shared, we can also reinforce one another’s strengths and compensate for our weaknesses. A born Grace whose strengths are affiliative might look for a partner who is more of a boundary-setting Dragon.
3. Rotate Roles and Responsibilities
Many roles benefit by being rotated—for example, meeting facilitation. Some roles put people in center stage—media spokes, for example, or convener of a gathering. People who take on those roles get more attention—both positive and negative. Rotating them can spread both the praise and the blame around more fairly.
Other roles are more in the nature of chores that must be done—taking notes at meetings and distributing them, turning the compost, doing the dishes after the potluck. When they are shared, no one person is stuck with an unpopular task.
4. Train and Apprentice
Some roles require training and preparation: facilitating big meetings, keeping accurate books, propagating cuttings in the greenhouse. For the long-term growth of the group, we can create ways that people can learn, apprentice, and be mentored in those skills. And when skills are needed by the group as a whole—for example, communication skills, consensus process skills—the group should devote resources to provide overall training for all its members. It will be well repaid over the long term by improvements in function and by hours and hours of fruitless arguments avoided!
5. Pass Power On
Because roles of power are fluid in collaborative groups, part of a leader’s job is to sense when and how to pass the power on. Power circulates, and we can trust that, when we let go, others will take on the tasks and responsibilities, freeing us up to find new areas of interest and new challenges.
6. Let Go Gracefully
In a ritual, we often drum up a cone of power, bringing the group to a peak of excitement. Drummers, of course, love to speed up and go into a dramatic drum roll—but we discourage them from doing so because then they control the pacing and the buildup of energy (and often get it wrong). Instead, we teach them to hold a steady pace, listen to the group and follow the energy instead of driving it. As the cone rises, the drummers fade back until only voices are left. The voices raise the cone, because everyone has a voice, though not everyone has a drum.
Starhawk is the author or coauthor of twelve books, including The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups, from which this article was excerpted. An influential voice for global justice and the environment, she is deeply committed to bringing the creative power of spirituality to political activism.
- Colin Beavan: Advice From an Accidental Activist
How a regular guy found some super power.
- This Changes Everything: How the 99% Woke Up
Introducing the movement that’s shifting our vision of what kind of world is possible—from the new book, “This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement.”
- Meet 15 Extraordinary People Transforming the Way We Live
The YES! Breakthrough 15: The justice warriors, eco-innovators, happiness architects, and change artists who are shattering our sense of powerlessness.
- Starhawk at Occupy this Week in NYC (ecofeminism-mothering.blogspot.com)