A problem is something to solve, an irritant, an obstacle to a sustainable solution.
Yet, we may be missing the mark on what the real problem is and where to invest our energy capitol.
A Me culture is considered one of self-serving, narrow minded and often gluttonous consumerism-froth conditions. We think of a Me culture of one where we have lost sight of our oneness with the other, or all of humanity and our natural world, for that matter.
But what if we have it all wrong? What if being a part of a Me culture is the single most powerful and compassionate way we can be to manifest a safe, harmonious and abundant life for all beings? What’s wrong with self-interest? Nothing, as long as it is Enlightened Self Interest; any decision I make for myself has been considered so as to also be in service to the whole. Transversely, anything I may do for you will also benefit me, my family, community and the world. Everyone wins, all the time, no matter what.
So that means, we needn’t leap off of the concept of a Me culture. Perhaps it means
shifting our understanding and belief system about what a Me culture is and then living in that direction. I think Rick Ulfick and the amazing folks at We The World knew exactly what they were doing when they devised a concept of turning that Me upside down, and that’s exactly what we need to do.
It is time for a power-shift in how we look at things. Let’s not try to illuminate the source, but redefine and heal it. And the fastest way to impress change upon a culture is with our own personal manners of how we walk through our own life. That means how we respond to circumstance, the filter we see the other through, the opportunities for moments of “Aha!” and a life of integrity; of wholeness.
In writing The Liminal Odyssey, this awareness was disclosed to me like a blinding light. I started looking at my own life stories and became acutely aware of the moments in-between crisis and decision, dilemma and choice, and this evolutionary growth spurt we are in right now.
Evidence of this is clear. The piling on of crisis at an alarming rate is met with the lightning speed growth of numbers of visionaries, revolutionaries’, scientists, and grassroots activists that are showing up in a new awareness saying much of the same thing; things are changing, and that includes us. Physicists are determining that we are in a 2nd Quantum Revolution. The spaces in-between are more vast and deep that we once discovered nearly 120 years ago. And, because we are nature ourselves, this must mean we too are expanding. My take: our minds are catching up to our spirituality in a race for awakening.
My conclusion after finalizing my manuscript and sending it off into the world is this is as elegant and simple as slowing down to the speed of awe and wonder of those spaces in-between. There we find what was once perceived as the mundane, yet look closer, follow the threads, and listen carefully. It is really the miraculous. This is how Spirit talks to us. This is a path to self-realization, a worthy path when asking the question, what is the “Me” in who I am and how I contribute to my culture?
We don’t know where we are going but we know we are on our way, and we are heading there together. All I can do is be as clean and baggage-free as I can so as not to poison the water hold for all of us when we get there.
With over 300 books on my bookshelf, almost all of them (with exception to Gone with The Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird and a few other classics) a unique model, skill, practice, inspiration, or methodology, I had to ask myself, if my goal is to be a better me, then after reading all these books, why am I still struggling? (Here comes the “Aha!”) It was my perceived perception of how I was practicing them as a single approach that was the problem. Like We The World, I turned this assumption upside down and looked at it differently. I came up with a new plan.
Questioning assumptions, sharpening my reverent listening skills, unpacking some intergenerational trauma and patterns, becoming intimate with trust, and cultivating synchronicities are just a few muscle-building skills I discovered successful in my personal healing. I know we all have practices that help us through stuff. The key is practicing them before we need them, and according to The Liminal Odyssey, (as it wrote me) see them as building blocks, mutually supportive and interdependent. As long as they lead to slowing down in those spaces and stretching the edges of our understanding of who we are, we are in the right lane.
With this new awareness, I put it to the test as I was telling my stories. Suddenly, my once “insignificant” stories became in-significant. I saw the patterns, deep textures, and vibrant colors of every experience. A recipe of more than a few methodologies, theories and indigenous knowledge created a coherence of a multisensory discipline that immediately took shape as a super skill, greater than the sum of its parts. The big surprise? I found myself following my bliss right into the eye of my divine assignment, my planetary gift that I am here to contribute. This makes me a better Me, especially when I find opportunities for Enlightened Self-Interest. This is my hope for everyone.
Culture is nothing more than a collective agreement manifesting into a shared experience with a critical mass of people. That means each one of us contributes to our culture. We decide individually what we agree to. I agree to a Me culture that improves the world for We.
When we all move through the world through enlightened self-interest, follow our bliss, and practice, practice, practice our skills before we need them, we can spin Me in any direction and it will always shape our world up to be a safe, harmonious and bliss-full We.
Sande is a grandmother, mother, wife and Sister, founder of S.A.R.A.H. (The Spiritual And Religious Alliance for Hope women’s global interfaith organization) and author of The Liminal Odyssey, The Alchemical Power of The Spaces In-Between.