Vision of Wholeness – Why the Will Matters

by Steve Nation –

We are living at a time when the vision of wholeness is seeping into consciousness, upsetting all sorts of established patterns of thinking, seeing and acting. 
As a species we are, perhaps for the first time in any collective sense, beginning to care about the good of the whole, noticing that the well-being of the individual unit in any system depends upon the well-being of the environment within which it is embedded. 
There are huge challenges in lifting our vision so as to see the patterns of synthesis and order in a whole system. 
Yet we are on the way, aware of the need to perceive forces of interdependence and the primary role of relationships between different entities in any system.
This raises inevitable tensions. 
Established habits of separative thinking (engrained within each and every one of us and dominating modern cultures) rub up against the new sensitivity to the integrity and well-being of the whole. 
These tensions are most obvious in issues of the day such as climate change; competition for available water resources; social and economic inequalities; fundamentalist and inclusive integral approaches to religion, economics, politics, and so on. 
These tensions also live within us as we become increasingly aware of the wholeness of our own being with its dimensions of mind, spirit, soul, and body (subtle and physical).
It is no coincidence that just at the time in history when the wholeness vision is creeping into the thinking of intelligent women and men across the whole spectrum of diverse cultures, professions, arts and sciences, there is a parallel—almost gut-level—awareness that, because of historically embedded pathways of competition and separation, humanity has become an endangered species. 
Nothing concentrates the mind more than imminent danger.
It is precisely in this situation that it becomes necessary to observe the role of the will at all levels of the relationship between the wholeness vision and ourselves. 
How often do we hear the cry that there is a lack of political will in the world and in our own lands? It is a cry that must be answered and is being answered. We human beings in our millions are being called upon to give expression to the wholeness vision with a dynamic will— in our lives, in our groups, in our professions, communities, schools, colleges and universities and in our deepest circles of faith and spirit.
All of us who have been touched deeply by the sense that we are part of a greater whole ultimately have no choice but to become, in small human ways, units of loving will-full activity, seeking to create patterns of synthesis and wholeness in every aspect of our lives. 
The future depends on our willingness to approach the opportunities of our time with a sense of purpose. 
This may be a rather nebulous purpose when we set out, but it is important to imagine it becoming, through time and experience, an unshakeable, rock-like centre of our being. 
If this sounds too ‘majestic’ or ‘grand’ or ‘noble,’ we should remember that the will is all about the intention we apply to small steps in bringing our sense of wholeness into expression in our lives, our professions, and our fields of passion and interest.

Over time, patterns of quiet persistence emerge as we notice and care about the progress we are making towards reorienting our lives and our communities in response to the wholeness vision.

Dag Hammarskjöld | United Nations DPI

In the middle of the last century, soon after the formation of the United Nations, the visionary Secretary-General of the organization, Dag Hammarskjöld, spoke of the Taoist view that the world cannot be shaped by the will and purpose of human beings because the world is a spiritual thing.
No one, Hammarskjöld commented, can foresee with certainty what will emerge from the give and take of the forces at work in any age. We cannot mould the world as masters of a material thing… But, he added, we can influence the development of the world from within as a spiritual thing.
This leads into the central role of the will in our time. 
The efforts to shape the world as a material thing, to be mastered and dominated, are what have led to so many of the environmental problems we face. Partly in response to these problems there is a growing awareness of the spiritual will—paying attention to the spirit of wholeness and seeking to act in ways that reflect concern for the good of the whole.
For Hammarskjöld, this awareness has great significance: As individuals and groups we can put our influence to the best of our understanding and ability on the side of what we believe is right and true. We can help in the movement towards those ends that inspire our lives and are shared by all [people] of good will—in terms very close to those of the Charter of the United Nations—peace and freedom for all, in a world of equal rights for all.
Fresh insights into the nature of the whole milieu in which we live and move and have our being (the physical environment; the human, animal, and plant environment; and the spiritual environment) call us to love… purposively.
They call us to a will to love—a will that leads us to explore how we might love selflessly and how we might grow in our capacity to love transparently and without expectations.
Resistance to this call comes from elements of self-interest and self-absorption that are a part of our human nature. It also comes from the voices of those who stridently refuse to see that the realities of wholeness demand deep changes in our understanding of ourselves and in the way we live, from our response to climate change and the use of energy to our undisciplined obedience to the manipulation of competitive market forces in the economy.
It is these forces of resistance (both within and without) that lead us to draw on hidden depths of will that are beyond our understanding, reaching in to areas of faith, grace and the sense of a Greater Will—for the world is a spiritual thing.
Two qualities of consciousness and of being have been central to our understanding of human development as well as our understanding of the divine: the light of knowledge and the radiance of love and wisdom.
It might be argued that the human meditation on these principles (through time and across all faiths and traditions) has created the conditions in which the revelation of wholeness has now become possible.
Today, in order to respond appropriately to the challenges of the wholeness vision and to the damaged ecosystems that have been caused by our ancient habits of separation, it is the third quality of consciousness and of being, the third quality of divinity, will, that is becoming of primary concern.
Countless acts of will, particularly in its higher dimensions (the transpersonal will, the will to love, the good will, the will to harmonize apparent opposites, and the will to act for the good of the whole) are required today in response to the crises we face. This is not a call to cold discipline. It is a call to re-value the will, particularly in its more refined expressions. 
The planetary life of which we are a part displays patterns of order, harmony, beauty, beneficence, nobility, and joy.
As we first sense the dim outlines of the magnificence of the whole, there is an awakening will to understand and see more clearly and to experience its livingness more fully, as well as an awakening will to live in some degree of right relationship with the joy, harmony, and beauty that are revealed.
The will leads to action—action to awaken and broaden our intuitive as well as our scientific understanding of wholeness and action to move ourselves, our communities and our world into right relationship with this vision of wholeness.
Time to Hold the Will in the Light
In the past, the will was often understood in terms of ‘thou shalt not’ and of power over others—maintaining a stiff upper lip in the face of difficulties and repressing anything unpleasant or not understood. We know that repression doesn’t work and that trying to battle on without addressing issues as they arise or without ever questioning what we are doing simply sets up new problems for the future.
More often than not, problems and issues are a sign of something needing to be addressed—something that is out of alignment. The deeper will is concerned with purpose and with understanding the role that purpose can play in crafting a fulfilling and meaningful life. It is about fostering a sense of direction and nurturing a realistic sense of future possibilities. ‘Thou shalt’ replaces ‘Thou shalt not.’
In a sense, the will is all about the way in which we as individuals and groups respond to our perception of human need and to our sense of the future. 
As problems arise in our communities and in the world as a whole, they provide an opportunity to heal, transform and redeem ancient patterns of separation.
As such, the problems can be embraced. In learning about a particular social problem, we can train ourselves to recognize the forces that are causing the problem (forces in the human psyche reflected in economic, social, and cultural dynamics) while at the same time looking for the individuals and groups that are responding to these forces in a meaningful way—using the problem to break through ancient thought forms of division and to nurture love and goodwill in the community and to empower disadvantaged groups and individuals with a sense of their own dignity and possibilities as human beings.
In the process of responding to the problems of our time something wonderful is happening to human beings. The quality of will is being mobilized as never before. It is happening at the local level in every community on the planet, just as it is happening regionally, nationally and globally.

There is today a vast network of groups of citizens that are applying the will to transform the quality of human relationships. Think of the vitality and purpose of the movement, or of the mindfulness networks that are emerging in health, healing and education around the world.
Think of the One Campaign fighting extreme poverty with almost 6 million global members. Think of the activities of countless Amnesty International groups throughout the world, or of the countless actions by concerned citizens on the International Day of Peace every September 21st. These are just the tip of the iceberg — we are living at a time when people of concern are becoming willfully engaged in diverse ways to transform the quality of relationships on earth.
There have always been periods in history when forces of goodwill coalesce with an unusual degree of singleminded purpose and focus. In the US for example, there was an extraordinary period during the height of the civil rights struggle when a culture of hatred, lawlessness, and violence was confronted by countless acts of individual and group courage.
The anti-apartheid movement (within South Africa and around the world) saw a similar concentration of will. What is different about the will that is emerging today is that it is emerging as a universal force.
Millions of people feel themselves to be a part of the One Humanity and the One Earth and feel a measure of personal responsibility and engagement in building a culture and civilization that reflects this new awareness.
The good will is arising amongst individuals across the face of the globe, just as it is arising in groups and movements in every field of activity.
There is an awareness of a common purpose that links community development groups with human rights groups, those working for the empowerment of women with groups targeting the need for nutritious food, and the massive global movement calling for new economic and political structures in response to the challenges of climate change.
We are witnessing a quiet and steady mobilization of the will in human affairs.
The process of dialogue and negotiation surrounding the definition of a new set of achievable Sustainable Development Goals for the future of humanity at the United Nations is one of the clearest examples of the new role that the will is now playing in the world.
Previous planning initiatives at the United Nations tended to be ideologically and politically driven with high-sounding objectives. In 2000, this began to change with the declaration of a set of eight Millennium Development Goals, each with specific targets to be achieved by 2015 and with annual reports measuring progress on each target.
Now the process has moved forward in preparation for a new set of goals to take us through to 2030, and this time there is a massive process of negotiation between different stakeholders, movements, civil society organizations, businesses, and governments.
The final goals will be declared at a global summit next year.
They will reflect some sort of balance between the self-interest of nation states (particularly the powerful interests of the five permanent members of the Security Council as defined by their governments) and the wider interests of the common good.
These wider interests have already been well-defined within a set of 17 goals (each with specific measureable targets) prepared after lengthy negotiations by a Working Group of the General Assembly.
They include the following:
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Reduce inequality within and among countries. End poverty in all its forms everywhere. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Goals like this set intentions and help focus the will of different networks and associations (including governments) to ensure that targets are met. They move from statements of principle, such as the Declaration of Human Rights, to become statements of focused purpose where each country and each particular social movement is left free to determine how to concentrate their energies on achieving specific targets and broader goals.
People of concern linked into groups and networks of focused concern (groups like the Commons Movement, the New Economy movement, the Sustainable Development movement) are using the opportunities of the time to bring purpose and will into the centre of their beings and their activities.
There is a vitality and vibrancy about the new movements—and what the General Assembly’s set of Goals demonstrate is that a momentum of intentional activity is building that has the power to lead us into a new era.
1 Dag Hammarskjöld, To Speak for the World: Speeches and Statements. Stockholm, Atlantis, 2005, pp. 145-6.
About Author: Steve Nation is a writer and speaker on meditation and global issues. He is co-founder of Intuition in Service and the United Nations Days and Years Meditation Initiative. He worked for almost 20 years at the London office of World Goodwill and Lucis Trust. Since 2002, he has coordinated an annual global meditation Vigil for the International Day of Peace.

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Mastery of the Expanded Self

by Chris Bourne –
To truly realise the depth and majesty of our expanded self, we have to master the direct confrontation of the moment. It’s all about performing inner alchemy. There’s essentially two forms of consciousness that make up our existential being: the separation consciousness that forms the bodymind, and the unity consciousness that forms the soul. If you include various disruptive energies of society’s matrix, everything we experience from thoughts, to emotions and feelings are caused by the interaction of these various flows of consciousness. How might ‘we’ – as presence – be able to positively influence the internal dynamic?…

Creating your own reality?

Some speak of shaping the thoughts in order to master beingness but to me, this is simply a case of the tail wagging the dog. The same goes for ‘creating your own reality’. Sure, we do create our own reality but what do we mean exactly by ‘our’? In most cases the identity doing the manifestation is just a more subtle form of ego – a spiritual identity – that wants to control the situation in some particular way because it cannot accept what is already unfolding.
We are already shaping and creating everything we experience. 

Either the true self – the soul – is shining through and creating harmonious experiences or else the false self is influencing the show, by resistance to what’s currently happening, denial or just plain insensitivity. We might feel a creative impulse for something to happen, only for the flow to get derailed by internal eddy currents of life’s conditioning.

In which case you can’t simply ‘paper over the cracks’, by manipulating the outer pieces on the game board without first uncovering and unwinding what’s really happening inside. To do so, is simply to perpetuate the disharmony through our lives.

Even though the circumstances may change – our jobs, relationships or location – the patterns remain the same. Instead, we need to look deeply into the outer mirror we’re already creating.

This includes our most intense and intimate feelings towards it, no matter how challenging or painful. Then there’s a requirement to notice the blind spots, the grey areas in these points of attachment where presence closes down and gets drawn into the fray through identification.

Grasping the hot coals

The only way out is through. We have to feel the fullness of these retractions from the moment. You have to grasp the hot coals and feel the heat before you drop them.

If you retract in the face of the heat or the pain or the heartache, be it emotional, physical or mental, then in that moment, you have reconfirmed your identification with the heat and with that your separation from the all that is. You have made yourself a victim of the sense of separation and crystalised that as your reality.

The key is transcendence: 

Feeling through the heat of the moment until the coals define you no longer. You become the heat, the pain, the tension, the discomfort and soften into it. 

You become so totally at-one with it, that you no longer build internal references, structures and judgments around the situations. It is in these totally lucid moments you become absolutely authentic and free. 

You have transcended the limitation of identification and dropped into the void of infinite potential. From here, anything can happen. The authentic flow of the soul ignites, fueled by the unstoppable force of the universe.

To master such transcendence is to increase our inner intimacy – to bring absolute attention into our bodily field, to know when we retract, resist and deny. Bringing presence into these blind spots automatically begins to unwind them, liberating the soul as a free flowing spontaneity through the moment. There is nothing that feels better, more harmonious or complete. This is truly living.

The path to Bodhidharma

It is the Openhand Approach to life and I’ve found it very aligned with some of the ancient eastern teachings such as that of the monk Bodhidharma. I came across his work some years ago through a lovely synchronicity and felt to share a glimpse here…
In the old days in China there was a priest called Master Tozan. A monk asked him “how can we escape from this severe heat and cold?” This is not just a question about severe heat and cold. It is a question about the reality we are always facing – a melancholy and difficult reality, a reality that is full of suffering. 

People are sick and in pain: people have lost their homes in disasters and wars and have nothing in which to believe any longer and are suffering in their despair. For those whose belongings have all been destroyed, their refuge in the material world has been shown to be empty and meaningless. This kind of pain is always occurring all around us.

Master Tozan answered the monk, “You have to go where there is no hot and no cold!”
The monk continued, “Where is that place where there is no hot or cold? Where is that true place of refuge for the mind?”
The priest answered, “When it is hot, become that heat completely! When it is cold, become one with that cold completely and totally! When it is painful, become that pain completely and totally, and when you are miserable, become that misery totally and completely! In the very midst of that, go beyond all the thoughts you hold in your mind, let go of all the ideas of good or bad or gain or loss – let go of all of these thoughts – and from there grasp that place of your very own vivid life energy! That which directly experienes that ‘ouch’ – feel that life energy directly, grasp that life energy that feels that pain and sorrow.” 

More important than finding a place out of pain and suffering, or trying to find a place where there is no pain or suffering, is to go directly to that place where the pain and suffering are being experienced, to go where you feel that pain and sadness directly and totally. Touch that life energy directly and with your own experience. Use that actual direct experience which you have grasped as your base, and stand up strong and firm. This is how the master answered the monk.

Phoenix from the ashes

Of course this advice is not just for the metaphoric physical feeling of hot and cold. We may apply it to every aspect of our lives. Especially in relationships for example where we might suffer emotional or psychological trauma.
As it’s happening, we must not deny it, but rather go into the very heart of the contraction and become as one with it – to soften into it – in the way described above. Then the bubble of identification bursts, the void of silence is touched, the soul rises like a pheonix from the ashes and a new, more harmonious reality takes shape.
Finally, the majesty of the expanded self is realised.

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Fine-Tuning Your Vibrational Frequency

by DL Zeta – 

During this transformational time, you are free to tap into high-vibrational energies now flooding the Earth plane. In order to fully access these expansive potentials, set your intention to do so and step into the highest vibrational frequency you can access. As you harmonize with elevated frequencies, you’re able to manifest an abundance of love and blessings from the greatly expanded feeling states of your higher self.

Your feeling states and your “vibrational frequency” determine your level of abundance – not others and not circumstances in the world. Those who believe the economy is responsible for challenges they are experiencing with prosperity are perceiving “in reverse,” so to speak.

Every experience can be transformed when we shine the bright light of our higher knowing on it. The ability to transform a challenge into an opportunity directly corresponds to one’s willingness to accept complete responsibility for every aspect of their reality.

You are always the source and cause of your experience of reality. 
What you manifest directly correlates with the essence of your energy. Your feeling states are barometers for your thoughts, beliefs and spiritual understandings. If you hold negative feelings toward anyone or anything, this pulls down your feeling state and your energetic resonance.
When we manifest from low-vibrational energies, we experience roadblocks, disappointments, illness, accidents, and overall feelings of being out of sync with the universe. 
These experiences are not a “punishment” but wakeup calls to examine the beliefs, intentions, motivations, visions, and identities we currently hold.
Every being is holographic to all-that-is. As a spark of infinity, we contain the entire energetic spectrum. Because we contain it all, we can choose to focus on any aspect along the spectrum of human potential. 
In other words, we can choose to focus on any aspect of our being and energize it into our physical reality.
When we take 100% responsibility for all our experiences – when we accept the power and authority of our role as Divine and infinite beings – we open to receive all the joy, love and blessings the universe has to offer.

excerpt from ‘Abundance Magic: 44 Steps to Manifesting the Future of Your Dreams’ 

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Our Interplay in This Multi-Verse

For many years we have been preparing for the times we are in now. There is a feeling at the moment of getting our affairs in order, clearing out and organizing our home and purging things that we’ve held on to for years. We are experiencing opportunities for clearing on an emotional level and purging physical items that are cluttering our home is symbolic of this deeper release.

I’ve also been noticing anxiety for no apparent reason – just a nervous buzz of energy. Some have described it as impending doom or waiting for the other shoe to drop. The message I am getting is that it has to do with energy upgrades – meaning higher frequencies coming in. These frequencies bring change. It helps to navigate them by having the conscious intention of letting go of what no longer serves us (the “uncomfortable comfort zone”). We may feel anxiety about letting go of the familiar, even if it is something that we don’t want to hold onto anymore.

These higher frequencies I often write about come in pulsating waves. We integrate the wave, then there’s a pause before another higher wave comes in, and we integrate that and so on. These frequencies are often pulsated through the sun. They are moving through the Universe and through electro-magnetism, the sun draws the energy in and then amplifies it through solar flares, sending it throughout our solar system.

When we start to feel the anxiety or restlessness we can try taking a moment to bask in the energy and breathe into our center, tuning in to our experience as we feel chaotic energies spinning around us. It’s time to let our thoughts go – stop trying to describe what’s going on – embrace the chaos and dance with the messy dissonance of change.

Feelings from out of nowhere
There have been times recently when I’ve experienced painful, negative feelings from my early years being triggered within me. I find it amazing that I can still cave into that place of despair or self-recrimination so easily. This is my teaching, this is where my wound is. Perhaps some of you reading this have been experiencing such moments as well. Practicing compassion and forgiveness for ourselves helps us to navigate the higher energies we are integrating. These higher frequencies bring to the surface the dense energies that we assimilated when we were children. Memories rise to the surface and expand into emotions that can feel like poison.

It reinforces the sense of our true self to witness the opening of our wounds as we stay in our heart center and allow the emotions wash over us like a tsunami. We can grab onto the feelings and be roiled about in this tsunami, or we can stay in our center, steadfast in our knowing of our own true north, as it were, holding our ground and being strong in our truth as the tsunami dissipates.

Awareness and acceptance helps energetic pathways to stay open, so the poison can be purged, helping to heal the wound through deeply experiencing and transforming the poison (fear) into love.

I find that meditation is a practice of awareness that can be focused on at all times during our day – not just when we’re sitting with the intention to meditate. It helps to bring us into a state of presence and witnessing, instead of engaging in emotional turbulence. So that when these moments of triggering dense feelings occur, we can eventually steady and center ourselves with love and compassion.
We are becoming more and more sensitive to energetic vibrations that are radiating through our world. As we release energetic blocks – as in beliefs and patterns that were programmed into us – through this ongoing clearing process, empathy is awakened. This heightened sensitivity to energetic vibrations helps us to quickly discern between what feels good – as in loving, kind, fun, and what feels bad, as in judgment, fear, arrogance. Finding the middle way helps us to navigate the chaotic frequencies that are wafting across the planet. The key to being guided by our own intuition is trust. As we continue to clear away what is not our truth, we have lucid moments of inner knowing and we can tap into that through trusting our feelings and inner voice of truth.

Sometimes we may find ourselves feeling intense emotions for no apparent reason. Some very sensitive people may find themselves feeling grief or deep sadness, bringing on a flood of tears out of the blue.

We are connected to one another through the Collective Consciousness and at times we deeply feel the unrest in the world. Sudden bouts of anxiety, nervousness or a general strange vibe is also part of the heightened perception we have now as we sense each other’s energy. This Collective connection can also be tuned into in a positive way. Breathing and connecting to the grid of light that is our consciousness (as in our Light Bodies) and tuning into one another as we hold the higher vibration of Love, helps us to become grounded and find that peace within us.

Love and Appreciation in the moment of NOW

In this time of opening to higher frequencies and deeper awareness, we can slow down “time” and savor the beauty of where we have navigated our life stream.

It is simply deep appreciation for what is and deep awareness of the moment as moments move into moments in the flow of love and the light of grace. This practice of appreciation helps us to continue to navigate into situations and places that are in harmony with our energetic vibration, so if you’re not quite happy with your present circumstances, know that even the smallest sparkle of appreciation for yourself and what you have learned in your life, can open up a path of sparkling light to help you navigate to higher ground.

It is up to Humanity as a Collective Consciousness to create the world from awareness, inner knowing and love, which is what comes forth from a conscious awareness perspective. Creation happens all the time. Creation can come from fear as well, of course, which is what would most likely arise from the Collective UNconsciousness. There is much at stake at this time in regards to moving forward with creations of love.
The gift of knowing precedes the gift of experiencing
One may intellectually know that Humanity is One Consciousness and we can consider this and bring it into our vibration by meditating and feeling into this understanding. As we continue to do this we will begin to have experiences of telepathy and synchronicity that will reveal to us the depth of this Unity we are all part of.

As we continue to vibrate with this energetic frequency of Unity, birthed through love, which comes forth from compassion and forgiveness, we are preparing ourselves for the Unity Moment – that moment of conscious awareness where we expand into Light, mingling our Consciousness in the One Being.

I believe this is what we are approaching. A flash, a moment of knowing, then coming back into our bodies but never again seeing ourselves as separate from one another. Evolution. When will this happen? I don’t know. Will it even happen in my lifetime? Don’t know, but I do cherish this vision for Human Evolution.

Pay Attention
The Collective Consciousness of humanity is like a fabric of energy and all of us are consciously and unconsciously part of this energetic fabric – which can be seen as a grid-work of energy. This is why maintaining and radiating love is so essential to us. All the time; intention, awareness, focus. Being impeccable with our word. Being centered within the core of our being. Becoming Masters of our own energy is what is most important at this time.

Through all the work that we continue to do on ourselves – the work of taking responsibility for our experiences and feelings, the practice of forgiving ourselves and others, this “work” creates the clearing of density – dense beliefs and feelings.

I use the word density as a replacement of “negativity” in order to release our minds and hearts from judgment. When we are free of judgment, we are able to observe – or witness – what is wafting through our energy fields in forms of experiences that we are creating – or magnetizing – into our lives.

We can see that what we choose to experience in our lives – in our interactions with each other – are opportunities to release the structures and fog of judgment and beliefs or fears that we have about ourselves. Our interactions with each other reveal to us where we are allowing fear to distort our reality.

World Events
We are seeing chaotic energies coming to a boiling point all over the world. This can trigger a mass awakening on so many levels. With our enhanced sensitivity to energy, we need to place our focus on what is nurturing and nourishing to us and what brings us peace and happiness. Yes there is destruction, corruption, violations of human rights – the list is endless – and of course we care and want to help in some way.

One of the most basic ways we can help is by maintaining our own vibrational frequency of love and harmony, because that is the vibration we radiate into the Collective Consciousness – and the world – and the Universe.

When we allow outrage, anger and despair to be what flows through our energy field, we can make ourselves physically ill and that is also what we put forth into the Unified Field so we are essentially adding gasoline to the fire.

This is one of the most difficult concepts to grasp because we also don’t want to sit by and allow injustice to happen. 

Hating and judging and righteousness just feeds the flames of discord. Instead, in the physical we can put forth actions that are solution oriented and love-based as we continue to maintain the vibration of love within our energy field. This is how we create a new world, a world of sovereignty and harmony.

We are evolving into religion-less sovereignty. Love is the joyous expression of the meditation of life.
Many paths and explorations have brought us to where we are now. Some of us have been exploring “spirituality” and different pathways designed to connect us to our spirit and our soul for many years. 
Like tourists in a maze of spiritual practice, ritual and dogma, some have taken pathways informed by certain spiritual philosophies only to come to a petering out of the energy – a waning interest – and then being sparked by a different philosophy and following that path, and so on.

Many have come to a place of letting go of all that exploration, settling in to an inner knowing that is beyond words. It isn’t that those modalities and pathways were wrong, it’s more like we’ve come to higher ground where we are simply be-ing. It is self-respecting to be kind to ourselves and have compassion for the pathways we have chosen that have brought us to where we are now.
Beyond the Unity Moment
There will come a time in human evolution where spiritual philosophies and religions will become unnecessary, as Humanity will be living from the experience of NOW and BEing part of all of life, including one another. Separation will dissolve into an awareness of the Earth and the entire Universe as a living, sentient being that all life force energy flows through, including of course, Humanity. Many of us experience glimpses and moments of this connection and it takes us beyond words. There’s a Cosmic Hilarity that arises when we think of trying to explain direct experiences of One-ness.
With love I dance my words and pictures as an offering to you in the knowing and not-knowing of the crazy mystery of our interplay in this multi-verse.
–Nancy Leilah Ward

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8 Epiphanies Everyone Should Have | Shannon Kaiser

The glorious AHA moment: brilliance seemingly striking out of nowhere, and instantly we have it all figured out. Hello epiphany! I’ve been waiting for you.
Most of us had moments of realizations, whether it’s suddenly seeing your significant others without the rose-colored glasses, or the gut wrenching aha moment where you realize you hate your job but it’s all you know how to do.
Epiphanies are mental moments where we have instant clarity, which can turn into motivation to change and charge forward. But not all epiphanies are created equally. Some demand a deep inward search, and you’ll be stuck asking the tough questions to see what you are made of.
Other times they fly in and out of our life swiftly, silently, almost unseen.
Many of my coaching clients first come to me looking for the epiphany — that instant moment when you have it figured out, and all of the emotional pain is wiped away with clarity. It often happens for them. They return with excited emotions, and they say, “I had my aha moment!”
It’s great to have an epiphany, but what you do with that new clarity is what matters most.
Most of our habits are so ingrained in our life that changing behaviors causes recourse in life. 
Most epiphanies force us to see situations and ourselves in a new light.

The next step is courage. And taking that step to live out your epiphany is when real transformation happens. In my own life I have had some powerful moments. But the ones that have impacted my life the most are the ones I have put into practice.
These are eight epiphanies everyone should have. They have certainly changed my life for the better and maybe they can help you.
1. You aren’t what people say you are.

What matters most is what you say and feel about yourself. You get to choose, you can let others define you and tell you who you are or you can show them who you are. Be you. The world needs you as you are.

2. Plan B is often better than Plan A.
The most freeing moment in your life is when you let go of what you think is best for you and allow the universe to show you what you really need. Stop holding on to what is no longer working: that job, that relationship, that dream. If it feels like hard work and is causing you more pain than gain, it is time to release it. Instead, follow your heart.

3. You are not the number on the scale.
At the end of your life the weight struggles, the food wars, or the obsession with new diets and trying to look a certain way will have no relevance. The only thing that matters is what is in your heart. How you make people feel and how you make YOU feel is more important than how you look.

4. The journey is more important than the goal.
Yes reaching goals are important, but the actual process of becoming, growing, learning, and morphing into who we need to become is the real sweet stuff that makes a wonderful life. Enjoy the journey as much as the reward.

5. Being alone doesn’t mean you will be lonely. 
The fear of being alone strikes the heart and makes many people settle. But when you learn to love your own company, you will see that you are never really lonely.

6. It will never be all done. 
The to-do lists, the chores, the things we race around to get done, will never be done. It is called life. Situations, chores, to do lists will always unfold. Instead of focusing on the end result, be in the process and celebrate what you have accomplished.

7. Emotional pain shows up to show us what we need to change. 
Sadness, depression, and heartache are gentle reminders to probe deeper into our life. Look at what is not working and be open to living your life in new ways. You will see that one day it will all make sense.

8. You don’t have to find your purpose, it will find you.
The transition period between you were and where you are going can be painful, but on your journey of finding purpose. Recognize that there is purpose in the pain. Each step you take is helping you carve out more of how you really are. Instead of regretting or resisting, try turning inwards and embrace the journey into joy.

The Huffington Post
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Wholeness, Interconnectedness & Co-Creativity

Co-intelligence can be defined as

the ability to use wholeness, interconnectedness and co-creativity to collaboratively guide the evolving coherence of life and understanding towards greater wholeness, interconnectedness and co-creativity.

To get a better grasp on what this means, let’s explore how we would deal with intelligence differently if we took wholeness, interconnectedness and co-creativity seriously…

If we took wholeness seriously…

We’d include more of what was involved — and more of who was involved — in any situation we were dealing with. We’d try to consider anything that might be relevant, and we’d make sure all stakeholders were involved. Ideally, we’d include anything and anyone related to the situation — as much as we could tolerate. Of course we all have our limits, but we’d continually stretch our ability to embrace more and more reality — more and more viewpoints and approaches and diversity and nuance and complexity. We’d want to get a sense of the whole picture — or as close to it as we could get. The experiment in Canada — in which a dozen extremely diverse citizens thrashed out a powerful consensus vision for their country — is a good example of this.

We’d recognize there was more to whatever we were dealing with than we could articulate and analyze. We’d sense into it, looking for hints of the bigger story, the underlying feelings, the growing edges of the situation, the mystery. We’d make sure our intelligence involved more than our own logic and individual smarts — that it involved things like emotion and intuition and each other — so we could embrace life more deeply. At its best, science is like this — collegial, passionate, humble, intuitive, awed and curious, as well as rational.

We’d realize there is much more to us — as whole individuals and groups — than any particular label, role or aspect of who we are. Everyone is bigger than their name or function or our estimation of them, and therefore worthy of respect — even when we don’t like them. This is true of every thing, as well. It requires constant vigilance, in my own life, to not slide into judgments and stereotypes so I can really see the unique person or thing before me. Practitioners of permaculture (a system of “permanent agriculture”) try to design productive ecosystems in which each element — each animal and plant, each piece of land or water — performs multiple functions which utilize its unique qualities.

Our feeling and thinking would be broad and deep — about the long term, about system dynamics, about the oneness of humanity and nature. And we would, whenever possible, move beyond “either/or logic” and “win/lose conflicts” to explore the larger picture painted by “both/and logic” and “win/win possibilities.” This long-term, integrative, healing impulse is exemplified in the Native American search for solutions that benefit the seventh generation after them. 

We’d explore the role of circumstances, environment, culture and other contexts as factors influencing outcomes. We’d recognize that taking things out of context is one of the best ways to miss the whole point. We see this in our criminal justice system, in which the community takes little or no responsibility for the misdeeds of its members, removing them to isolated cells instead of healing the damaged community with reparations and mutual efforts to help the damage never happen again (as is done in many tribal communities).

We would ground our ideals in wholeness. For example, since the words health, healing, wholesomeness, integrity and holiness (sacredness) all refer to wholeness, we would give these values high priority in our personal, economic and community life. The work of people like Gandhi and Rudolph Steiner embody this effort to nurture wholeness at and among every level of life. They provided paths to develop whole people who could sustain healthy communities together, with a sense of sacredness, in harmony with nature.

If we took interconnectedness seriously…

We would recognize that we are not alone in the world, but are embedded in human and natural communities. We share our fate with these communities. Global weather and finance are teaching us this, catastrophe by catastrophe.

We would seek to understand the relationship between people, things, life forms, fields of study, approaches, etc. — considering the relationships between them as important or more important than their individual characteristics. We would use that understanding to establish peer, synergistic relationships wherever we could. More often than not, we’d find that healthy relationships were the solution; and where they weren’t, they were powerful resources for finding the solution. Individual solutions for addiction, for example, do not succeed as well as solutions that utilize the peer support of recovering addicts collectively.

We would realize the power of shared realities, shared stories, shared experience and the sort of communication systems that support such sharing. One of the most powerful techniques for creating bridges between ideological enemies is to have each person share the story of how they came to believe what they believe. Common humanity almost always shines through the differences.

We would appreciate (and use) webs of relationship and system dynamics as major factors in whatever happens, and not focus on trying to control (or blame) individual people, situations, problems, etc. Family systems therapists work from this perspective, attending to a family’s patterns of interaction.

If we took co-creativity seriously…

We would realize that we all have roles in whatever happens. We would try to make our roles more conscious and positive by working together to understand and shape our individual and collective lives. This factor showed up in an experiment demonstrating that groups of female executives were better at solving hypothetical wilderness survival problems than groups of male executives.

We would support participatory decision-making, collaborative problem-solving and co-operative activities of all sorts. We would support social equity, opportunity and access so that all voices could be heard and all contributions brought to the table. We would advocate the sharing of co-created benefits — and of co-created consequences. Instead of focusing on opponents, we would seek out all actual and potential allies. The wiser we were the more successful we’d be at finding and engaging allies. William Ury’s and Roger Fisher’s Getting to Yes is a classic how-to manual to help those of us in adversarial relationships see each other as allies in meeting our separate and mutual needs. 
We would avoid nailing down blame or isolating single linear causes for any condition or event. We would try to understand and address as much as we could of the many causes and fields of influence at work in any situation — and to get clear on our role in all that, so we could improve it. This is very similar to items described under “wholeness” and “interconnectedness,” above, which serves to demonstrate how all three of these are facets of one reality.

We would acknowledge the dance of order and chaos which is inherent in a co-created reality (since no one’s actually in charge) and learn to let go of attachment, certainty and our need for control. In fact, if we were really good, we’d use letting go of control to enhance productive self-organizing systems; we’d use lack of attachment to enhance serenity and responsiveness; we’d use lack of certainty to enhance openness and ability to learn. All of this would enhance our ability to co-create as partners with the life around us.

Co-intelligence involves stretching our sense of what’s needed, of what’s relevant and of who’s involved in any given situation. It involves stretching in the direction of wholeness, interconnectedness and co-creativity.

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The Choices in the Middle

by Jennifer Hoffman –

There is a purpose in everything, in standing still and in moving forward and there is as much power in a pause as there is in a choice. In fact, sometimes the pause is a very powerful place to be as we allow ourselves the luxury of taking our time to accept or decline an opportunity, as long as we don’t take to long. A short, intentional, conscious and deliberate pause is a powerful statement of our willingness and desire to make the highest and best choice. But when dragged out too long, we get stuck in the pause and then we are in the middle, unsure of which way to go, so we go nowhere.
Choices and choosing are very important points of transformation because each choice creates another step on our life path and every decision to accept or decline creates a new pathway for us. But we can’t always maintain a strong forward motion because there are times when we need to assess the results of our choices, take an inventory of what we have created and decide what works and what doesn’t. And the only way to do that is to stop moving, stand in the middle and have a look around.
Now being in the middle isn’t where we need to criticize and judge ourselves, to look at all of the wrong choices or feel that we are at a dead end. It is a chance to be still, to give ourselves time to catch up and take a breath, to view the landscape of our lives from the perspective of accomplishment and celebration. 
We spend so much time doing and thinking and without the balance of being, we can feel like we’re always in a hurry to the next destination. There is no destination other than the one we are standing in and no more important moment than the present one.
The middle is a powerful choice, as long as it doesn’t remain our choice for too long. There is a fine line between being an observer from this middle point and being stuck there because we can’t decide what we need to do next. When we take a moment to pause we allow what is happening in spirit to trickle down to us at an ego level, to integrate new thoughts and thinking and then allow ourselves to use that as our life path’s new starting point. 
Giving ourselves a moment to pause, deliberately and intentionally, so we can consider our next steps is a gift of trust and faith. Then we allow the stillness to become the fertile ground that produces powerful, life and self affirming, masterful thoughts which allow the next path we choose for our reality to express the highest aspects of our potential.
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