Monthly Archives: May 2014

Two great tools for healing ourselves and the world

Thank you to those of you who read my last newsletter, and thank you to those of you who responded with so much enthusiasm. You all encouraged me.

 
Today I would like to share a recent Facebook post of mine with you. It meant a lot to a handful of people. For most people though I think it was, frankly, overwhelming. But I share it again with you not because I’m insensitive, but because it’s my truth, because I want to have a real conversation with you, and because even though it’s difficult I believe it’s ultimately helpful… which is the point of this newsletter. Having said all that, here it is:
 
According to the science we have to pull off an incredible, David-and-Goliath sized feat. We have to stop burning fossil fuels, the foundation of our entire lifestyle, within about 10-15 years in order to prevent catastrophe. What do I mean by catastrophe? The dangers vary depending on how much carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere, but we’ve already made our planet much more inhospitable and we’ve only raised the temperature of the planet by 1° Celsius! At worst, if we continue with business as usual we will actually, believe it or not, bring about the end of civilization. And we will bring down a huge portion, if not all, of the rest of the web-of-life with us.
 
As we work through a whole range of difficult emotions about this – such as overwhelm, fear, helplessness, hopelessness, guilt, shame, despair, and anger – the fact that we still can stop this will become increasingly clear and we will eventually ask, What can I do to help? May we each ask this question with our whole hearts.
 
For my part, I’d like to raise consciousness about the science and offer two basic resources for dealing with something so scary. One, we can share our difficult feelings with trusted friends. One of my favorite quotes is “A burden shared is halved and a joy shared is doubled.” In other words, sharing alone is profoundly healing. I have found this to be true again and again and again. We can literally get it out. And when we do we end up feeling clear, healthy, and powerful.
 
Two, here is an insight that many religions and philosophies throughout history have taught us. D.H. Lawrence put it this way: “Vitally, the human race is dying. It is like a great uprooted tree with its roots in the air. We must plant ourselves again in the universe.” In other words, we have run away with the assumption that we are separate from the universe – from the Earth and from each other. And this has made us crazy. This has made us afraid, small, defensive, selfish, and neurotic. When we plant ourselves again in the universe, or reconnect to our true selves, we regain ease, balance, confidence, peace, and strength. And from this secure place our compassionate intelligence flows.
 
There are lots of techniques to help us reconnect to ourselves. A couple of my favorites are meditation and spending time in nature.
 
So please, let’s surround ourselves with good people. Let’s be brave and face the science. And let’s become like white blood cells, doing whatever we can to save ourselves and the whole web-of-life.
 
Warmly,
Jared
 
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My first newsletter

Welcome to my newsletter!

As a way to get started, I would like to let you in behind the scenes and tell you how hard it has been for me to write this first newsletter. I racked my brain and heart searching for what would be appropriate, catchy, and profound, but not too profound. Basically I tied myself up into knots over this, and I would like to use this experience as a launching pad for a discussion.

I think we all know what it’s like to get stuck in an internal “story” that we need to be some certain way – something other than being ourselves just as we are. We can get caught in this for days, weeks, months, years, or even, sadly, a lifetime. It’s common to get caught up in this kind of spell in various circumstances such as public speaking, but it can happen while interacting with just one other person, or even when we’re alone. I often hear about it when people tell me about their troubles socializing, dating, being with their parents, or interacting in the workplace. The internal story about who they should be becomes so pervasive that it’s stifling to who they truly are.

So how did I deal with it this time? Gradually, as I stayed with it and felt the pain of my self-judgements (i.e., the various ways I sometimes tell myself that I am not okay the way I am), I realized more and more that I hadn’t found a positive way forward. I eventually gave up and surrendered. It became clear that I can only offer myself.

Let’s talk about that word “only.” I felt small when I first had the thought – like I can only give you me, just little old me. I felt insufficient and even worthless.

But then as I began to open up with you – to be myself with you – this natural, bright confidence (that we all have) started to come back online. I remembered in this very solid way that I am great, I am a great offering, I am the best offering, and you are too. Just the way we are.

And with that self-awareness, self-trust, and self-love, my newsletter began to flow.

So, that’s my first story for you. It’s been very sweet to share it with you and also a little scary. I hope these words support you to be your true self.
Until next time,

Jared

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