You know those spiritual sayings that seem so simple and obvious but you breeze over them looking for something more stimulating and profound, and then one day, in a moment of epiphany, it hits you, and you say, “Oooohhhhh….THAAAAAT’S what it means!?”
How about this one: “BE THE CHANGE THAT YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD.” Whether or not he coined those exact words, Mahatma Gandhi (India, 1869-1948) clearly said that if we want change, we need to make the change inside of ourselves.
In 1917 he wrote: “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the course of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”
Many of us are already doing good work, like donating to good causes, volunteering for social service and other beautiful outward actions. If you are already doing these things, please continue! AND… if we want the world to be more loving and peaceful and joyful, then outward actions are only part of the solution: WE MUST CULTIVATE THESE EXPERIENCES IN OUR INNER ENVIRONMENT. Not just being present and loving inwardly when we are volunteering at the animal shelter, but in the everyday moments that make up our lives.
My point is: Don’t underestimate the power of your everyday thoughts and feelings to change the world we live in.
Stop waiting for someone else to change your life, to save the world, to lead the movement. Start with how you show up to breakfast this morning. How you drink your tea. How you fill your agenda. How you feel as you get dressed, as you take a shower, as you drive to work.
Then, move on to: How you respond when your partner or mother says something that triggers you; how you go about putting the puzzle together with your preschooler when you have a headache; how you feel in your body when you say “yes” when you mean “no” to that social engagement.
Next, look at the things that bother you most in the world (discrimination, certain political stances, etc.)–what reaches you deepest, what bothers you most? And — get ready for it — be brave enough to see how those issues somehow exist within you. WHAT???!!! Yes…that’s right, sincerely open yourself up and ask: How is this me? What inside of me is ready to change?
While our outward actions are obviously a key piece in creating our world, it is our inner frequencies that create true change.
Let’s use this time of turmoil on the planet as a mirror to show us where we can move into more LOVE inside of ourselves. Let’s BE THE CHANGE deep within the places where no one can see. It is within these hidden places where our true power to change the world lies.
For the highest good of all beings everywhere.
Works cited: 1964, The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume XII, April 1913 to December 1914, Chapter: General Knowledge About Health XXXII: Accidents Snake-Bite, (From Gujarati, Indian Opinion, 9-8-1913), Start Page 156, Quote Page 158, The Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. (Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi at gandhiheritageportal.org)