In the last week, we have all received a powerful invitation. You may have noticed it flutter its call to you, or maybe just gazed at the beautiful request thinking about how pretty it looked, but resisted opening the envelope.
We have all been invited to reflect upon what it takes to be a leader. Not just a strong leader or a powerful leader, but a GREAT leader; an AWESOME leader, a world-defining agent for change.
This invitation came in the passing of one of the very greatest leaders this planet has EVER seen, and yet – outside of South Africa – his passing has been relatively little noted. There haven’t been the crowds and the huge outpourings of grief that occurred when Princess Diana died, or the huge jubilant celebrations when William and Kate married of little George was born. We have all just lived through the passing of a man who has transformed the world with the most remarkable insights and wisdom – and taught us literally what we need to do ourselves to make the world a better place, yet it seems like few people are feeling it, going to the South African High Commission or sharing his wisdom. Could it be we are a little cautious of getting so emotional?
I think not.
I have been really struck by how relatively little media coverage there has been considering his achievements. There has been little discussion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, an emphasis instead on how he was a real person, that he was flawed, that he made mistakes. Of course he was human, but in downplaying his impact on the planet, we aren’t all connecting together to celebrate and eulogise him as we have others – celebrities. Had there been footage of crowds gathering in London, or people lining up to sign books of condolence, many of us would have thought “oh I must go and do that” and we would have been swept up in a wave of emotion and expressing and sharing of Madiba’s awesomeness and what he achieved – and what he showed us.
There is a reason for us not being encouraged to do this.
Thinking about our freedom can make some seemingly powerful people feel very uncomfortable.
A powerful IT consultancy, The Gartner Group, has predicted that within the next 12 months there will be a movement bigger than Occupy, and a change in how we use money within 7 years. For us to reflect for more than a second on Mandela’s phenomenal achievements might make us think about our freedoms and lead to this movement a little more quickly.
For Nelson Mandela taught us all – gave us an approach – for how we free ourselves from oppression and tyranny. Why would need to know how to do so?
We can think that apartheid is a problem that only South Africa had, where blacks and whites were separated, and the white minority ruled and oppressed the black majority. However the meaning of the word apartheid isn’t just confined to the colour of our skin, or to our race. Apartheid is a separation of any kind for any reason.
We currently have our own apartheid. It isn’t just confined to Western countries; it is an apartheid that defines our relationships with each other across the globe. The apartheid we all live with is based on power, and it has a tool with which it is applied. What is the tool for separation that is common to us all?
Now before I begin, let me tell you this isn’t a rant about money. I don’t believe money is a “bad” thing. I feel it is easy to think the problem in the world is money, however I see money as a tool – simply a tool that expresses and reflects our relationship with ourselves, each other and the planet. Money is often used as a tool to express love as well as a way of defining old paradigm expressions of power. But there is something here that is relevant to us that Madiba taught us all.
We can be disconnected from each other based on how we see and experience money. Lynne Twist, in her remarkable book The Soul of Money describes how one executive might have made 7 million dollars that day, yet feel like a failure because his golfing buddy made 10 million. Twist describes something very powerful – that we have a fear of there “not being enough”. That fear of there “not being enough” drives a lot of what happens on our planet. Corporations are built on the requirement that they grow, but continual growth means using up all the planets resources. We only have limited set of basic human needs to be happy and healthy – so in order to grow, corporations have to create a situation where you believe you need what they have. In the 1950s, Dr Seuss wrote a book called The Lorax. It has since been adapted into a fantastic film – a wise and powerful depiction of what happens when someone decides to make “thneeds”. (something that people want but don’t really need).
Such is the drive for us to be controlled, that some corporations are using such extremes ways of making sure that they have power and control.
Monsanto, for example, is using weather patterns to affect the ability of crops to grow naturally; so that we then turn to them for their “weather resistant” crops once ours fail……..and their pot of money grows in their process. That’s why we had 8 months of winter in Britain last year. Pharmaceutical drugs create rather than treat illness, making some people dependent on medicine, seeking to cure problems caused by toxins in our environment – that corporations have put there in the first place……and pharmaceutical companies and their shareholders get rich in the process. We have a wonderful resource to keep ourselves hydrated and healthy – the solvent which all healthy chemical reactions in the body take place. It is called water. Many corporations take that pure water, add sugar (which suppresses the immune system), some colouring agents, and leaves little pure water for the indigenous communities who rely on it. Our teeth rot using these drinks, and our bodies struggle to cope with the acidity in it that can clean jewellery. Wheat is the original GMO – hence so many wheat allergies, because our bodies cannot process GMO foods, treating them as a foreign body, and so we have a strong immune response instead. Foods get covered in pesticides. Thought patterns that keep us small are added to the collective consciousness to keep us shopping, and stop us thinking, feeling and listening to our hearts – that bit’s easy (and why meditation is a powerful counterbalance). When you think of seeing planes land or take off, do they have white plumes that come out of them? No. Yet there are white plumes in the sky, specially woven to drop aluminium and radioactive strontium into the air, on our bodies, into the soil and water supply. People in several parts of China live with constant dangerous smog – so that you can wear your cheap clothes and buy lots of thneeds. Our soil, water, skies, food and very livelihoods are all compromised because of the drive for power and control and money. Subliminal messages in films, and on telly – in the music we hear, and on the clothing brands we buy (eg Obey) are all part of a huge effort to keep us small. We are encouraged to play war games, but our minds do not know that the on-screen killing is “pretend” – and sends messages of “die!” into the collective consciousness – which contributes to the energy of war and suffering. We are told we must get a mortgage and ask for permission – and pay – to have a home. When surely, by our birth we each have a right to a piece of land on our home planet that is ours without having to ask anyone for permission or make an exchange of money (or other things) in order to receive it.
Success is based on numbers; of people, or money made – rather than happiness created. Bhutan is the one country on Earth where happiness is measured as more important as a measure of success than GDP. This causes separation – for these measures all make people feel afraid, and as though they can never have enough. Incomes are kept low, people indebted for life through their mortgages and approaches to money. If we don’t have money, we dream of having it so we can buy stuff, and if we do have it, we only want to hang around with others who do to avoid remembering what it might be like to not have it, as though it is a terrible thing to live a simple life.
Even us spiritual folk are affected. Those of us who work with “high end” clients, driven by numbers that bring wealth and good fortune and more stuff (but this time it’s spiritual, like a gazillion crystals, so that makes it OK) and separation from earlier experiences of fears of poverty. Or those of us who work on a donation only basis whilst resenting those who do earn good incomes for not being “spiritual enough”.
THIS is the apartheid of our time. This is what we came here to collectively overcome. This is what we came to END.
We have come here to remember that we are POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE, as Marianne Williamson wrote in Return to Love. We have come to remember that we are enough and that we have enough. We have created a world of inequalities and circumstances of fear that keep us small, that keep us from standing up and being counted and saying NO! And even if the “powers that be” say no to our requests for peaceful justice and equality, then doing our thing anyway and creating something NEW. And – most importantly – doing so from a place of peaceful empowerment, and compassion for those who have created these systems of oppression and repression. We are here to end separation, and to do so means not making ourselves separate from those who have oppressed us, but taking their needs into account, understanding their fears that have driven them, healing what needs to be healed and then moving forward together. That is what the great Mandela taught us in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Healing, not hatred. Restoration, not retribution.
Some people would say that all we need is love, and to be at peace and meditate to create a new way. I would say this is a wonderful illustration about how everything is possible – and is so powerful too. inspiration is the greatest way of inviting others to do the same. But as long as we keep our knowledge of this world’s apartheid to ourselves, for fear of what others may think, it keeps its power. And part of saying “yes” to a wonderful new time of peace and love and kindness and wise living in balance with each other and the planet, realising that we have “enough” means saying “no” to what we have right now – a society built on apartheid.
- Clean water and clean air
- A piece of land on which to live that is ours simply because we were born, with no need to exchange money or goods for it
- FREE education
- Healthy, organic sustainably grown food
- To work doing something we love, but not every hour we can in order to keep our jobs; so that we can spend time with our loved ones too
- Great health
- Live a life free of the stresses of artificial systems of monetary pressure
- Organise ourselves into small and large communities to bring love and peace and change and transformation
There is so much we can do – and that we will be invited to have the courage to do in the times to come. Here are a few things you can start to do now to pave the way for the beautiful transformations ahead.
- Start growing your own organic food. Even if you live indoors, you can still grow some food on a windowsill. Or form collectives to share food.
- Only buy natural toiletries with no chemicals in them – every time you buy something with chemicals in them, you pollute yourself, the water system, and encourage chemical companies to make more. People have to manufacture those, and the process of making them poisons the people who make them and produces toxins into the air and water supply
- Only buy organic food for the same reason. Insist on organic, in fact.
- Make ethical choices about how you use your money – on gifts, clothes, your utilities.
- Buy alternatives to sugar and wheat – the most corrupted food produced that significantly affects health, and props us poverty around the world. Make your own awesome cakes using alternatives like xylitol.
- Make presents of homemade organic cookies or scarves or something that isn’t made of plastic
- Ask yourself, every time you buy something “do I really need this?” If the answer is “yes, but I really really WANT it”, then think of who may be struggling to breathe fresh air or drink clean water because of its production.
- Find out about alternative forms of energy.
- Explore investing in a reverse osmosis water filter to keep yourself healthy
- Research the REAL alternatives to fossil fuel – free or zero point energy. It is, once you have made a simple device free. These are currently “illegal” because they threaten the power that oil companies have. But if we all learn about them, and start making our own, as a collective we will be a force to be reckoned with. Also underground exchange mechanisms that provide free heating or cooling to your home once installed.
- Throw away your playstations and games consoles so as not to add to the thoughts of death and dying in the collective conscious. Hang out with real people.
- TELL PEOPLE ABOUT HOW THE WORLD REALLY IS. Not in an argument, not worried about whether they will believe you or not, not attached to whether they will listen to what you have to say or dismiss you as mad. Whenever we hear something – even if we consciously dismiss it – our unconscious still hears it. It will help awaken people. Just say it simply, invite people to check what resonates with them, and share what you have learned and uncovered.
- GIVE PEOPLE HOPE. We came here to TRANSFORM this world to a world of PEACE. We WILL DO IT – we ARE doing it – and we will MAKE THIS WORLD AMAZING. Sometimes transition can be a little rocky, but if we stay true to what we believe, we will together overcome anything and BUILD A WORLD OF LOVE.
So here is our invitation. Here is Madiba’s call. This is a time for us to remember what GREATNESS is, and this GREAT leader showed us all what happens when we stand together, no matter what for values we BELIEVE IN. It is not in current political and economic system’s interests to highlight Nelson Mandela’s inspirations, achievements and AWESOMENESS because we may be truly inspired to realise that it is OK to say NO to separation, and to awaken to realise ONE PERSON CAN CHANGE THE WORLD – and what if that person was YOU? What if you were to stand up and be counted as someone who CARED about equality, justice, freedom, love, fairness, a RAINBOW WORLD, not caring about the false trappings of fame and fortune once a famous leader but of what matters in our hearts. That is what Nelson Mandela taught us, the news won’t remind you of that, the current system would hate it if you were to WAKE UP and realise you are being suppressed – and that you can stand and inspire a new way of living and being.
Madiba showed us how to find the COURAGE to look at our darkness and look at ourselves and see the Light, and the freedom that truth without punishment gives us. This was the journey of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE because that was Nelson Mandela’s GREATEST gift. The light he shone didn’t exist just in him, it exists in ALL of us – all he did was show us how to shine it.
You are here to be part of the movement of CHANGE where we all stand together and EVOLVE, FREE of the symbols, attitudes, beliefs and tools of suppression.
The planet deserves to be MOVED by this great leader’s legacy. Listen to the stories, read his book, see the film, REMEMBER the Light within you that is the same as the Light within Mandela. REMEMBER that if you believe in yourself fully, and are prepared to do anything to make the world a better place, then you too will leave behind a legacy. You too, like Madiba, will have been part of the whole world evolving, its people FREE. That’s his invitation. Do you feel, in your heart, his loving call?