“Is there a leader who can help heal the nation?” – This CNN Headline in the wake of more police brutality made me reflect.
My response is not the norm, but if you know me that shouldn’t be a surprise. I say it’s time to stop looking for someone to save us and start focusing on how to heal ourselves so we can embody the change we want to see in the world.
One of the things that I’ve come to know from studying metaphysics and spiritual traditions for over 20 years is that the outer world is a reflection of our inner world, which encompasses our beliefs, thoughts, and emotions.
We're All Interconnected
For thousands of years, mystics held that there are many layers to reality and at its most fundamental level, everything is interconnected. Westerns science is finally catching up. Back in the 1920s, quantum physicists discovered that at the most basic (sub-atomic) level we are all connected. In a quantum paradigm, reality is malleable and we all influence it. There are no mere observers, we each contribute to the world around us through our actions as well as our our thoughts.
In looking at what’s happening in our nation, it's clear that many are fearful, sorrowful, angry, and scared that there is not enough to go around. As a nation, we are hurting. As that old saying goes, hurt people, hurt people.
Stop Waiting, Look in the Mirror
It’s time to stop waiting on a leader and look in the mirror. What pain, negative thoughts, suppressed anger, hurt…is hanging out in the shadows of our psyche manifesting in the world around us. Instead of asking ‘who is going to leading me’, a better question is ‘what am I contributing to the collective through my emotions, thoughts, beliefs and actions?’
We must tend to our own gardens if we want to sow different seeds in the world. We each influence the world around us, that means we all matter. We must embody the change we want to see in the world, which means taking greater personal responsibility for our thoughts and actions. While I am pointing out the need for more personal responsibility, by no means am I saying we should not hold others accountable for their actions.
Institutional Change is Needed
Institutional change is needed. We do need leaders to address issues like police brutality. I simply want to point out that this is not all that is needed to solve this situation. Most of our focus is going to the external world while little attention is given to the inner world of our thoughts and beliefs which influence the situations facing the nation.
As Einstein so aptly stated, “the world we have created is a product of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” We must evolve to solve the issues in our lives and facing our nation.
Inner Work Matters
Spiritual work matters. Healing work matters. Taking responsibility for your thoughts, consciousness, and emotions matters. I am so committed to teaching spiritual practices – like yoga, qi gong, and meditation because it gives us tools to do this inner work.
Regardless of whether a leader emerges, we can step up by tending to our own gardens and being the change we want to see in the world.