In this session of Joyality, we invite you to transform the way you view yourself as a human being and as a change-maker by releasing important judgments you may be holding about yourself.
In Joyality 501, you will learn ways to let go of old ways of seeing yourself and others, and find ways of connecting effectively and compassionately with people who have different values and worldviews than you. By doing this, you will learn how to channel the positive visions and empowerment you have built throughout this program into compassionate and effective action, not just on an individual level, but also on a collaborative, community level. Through letting go of judgemental ways of viewing yourself and others, you will open up space for collaborative visioning and action to make the world a better place … to create “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible”.
“The more beautiful world our hearts know is possible … If I, an ordinary man, can see it, we must be almost there.”
– Charles Eisenstein
One of the quickest and easiest ways to create a more beautiful world is to pay attention to the beauty that is already here … in nature, in art, in the people around us, and in ourselves.
Try this: Attitude of Gratitude (Connect!) 20mins
Nurtured by the appreciation of this beauty, let’s continue the self-exploration we started in the Voice Dialogue exercise (Joyality 401). This time, we get to explore the parts of ourselves which may be harder for us to look at, and practise releasing any embarrassment, shame or guilt associated with these parts of our being. We all have aspects of ourselves we prefer not to think about … this is part of what makes us human. We are complex beings and the world we live in is even more complex, influencing us in all kinds of ways.
In the Voice Dialogue process, we explored our “ecosystemic self” … freeing up the usual static, skin-encapsulated ego sense of who we are … and realised that we have many selves that interact with each other. We also touched on the parts of ourselves that we feel a bit embarrassed about, or ashamed of, and called those parts our “shadow selves”.
As people who care about the future of our planet, it is particularly important to recognise ways in which we, despite our best intentions, contribute to the destruction of our world. In Joyality, we call this the “ecological shadow” and all of us have one. Even the staunchest environmentalists sometimes do things that contribute to unsustainable practices, as there is a point at which we are all bound by the structure of the system. Recognizing this in our own life is not meant to make us feel guilty, in fact it is meant to help us release feelings of guilt and blame, recognize that we are all imperfect, and empower us to work to change the structural systems that bind us to an unsustainable and, ultimately, un-joyful way of life.
Try this: Ecological Shadow Play (Stay Awake!) 30mins
Recognising and accepting our own ‘ecological shadow’ can also help us connect with other parts of our community … those people we most often vilify and point our fingers at as the ones who are “causing” the problems in the first place: the government, the corporations, the ‘rednecks’, the apathetic majority. Who we blame will be different for each of us, and will depend in part on the issues we feel most passionate about. By recognising the shadow aspects of ourselves, we no longer have to project these parts of ourselves outwards onto other people. We get to realise that we are not so different after all!
It is the connections with these people who we currently blame, who sometimes become our most important allies in creating the positive changes we seek. So let’s start finding ways to make connections with people we don’t agree with …
**Try this: Building Beautiful Bridges (Connect!) 30mins
Not only is it important to build bridges with the opposition, it’s important to find and reach out to our current, closest allies, in order to ‘kickstart’ the process of social change. To begin the process of any systemic social change, we need to “do it together” … collaborate to create the world we want to see!
The model of social change we explored in the Tag Team (Joyality 401) starts with a small group of people who care passionately about a particular issue and want to make positive change. In the Tag Team we called them the “Innovator” and “Change Agents”. Finding and surrounding ourselves with like-minded, like-hearted allies committed to bringing change is a vital first step in society wide transformation. We need to start with the strength, think big, and take small, strategic, collaborative steps towards the ‘takeoff’ of a new idea, behaviour, technology or system into society-wide adoption.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead
To do this, we need to get organised! We need to co-create and focus on a common vision; be clear on the goals we want to achieve; and figure out the best steps to take to get there! Here’s a tool to help your small group get started … it’s called The Planning Web.
Try this: Co-Creating Change with Community (Act!) 40mins
Getting organised collectively, in a way that celebrates our individual passions, interests and skills, is crucial to the success of change making. The creative synergy that is released powers positive change that ripples outwards into the world!
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
– Arundhati Roy
Allow yourself to rest within the power of this synergy, and within the massive and expanding movement for positive change that we are embedded within at this very moment in human history. As Paul Hawken identified in his book ‘Blessed Unrest’ back in 2007, there are over 100,000 non-profit organisations around the word dedicated to social justice and environmental care.
Remember … that however big or small a challenge you are currently addressing, there are others who also care about that issue and are creatively responding to it right now!