Whatever you may think about the killing of Osama bin Laden, the timing of his death was remarkable. It occurred only hours before the end of the Second Day of the Universal (Unity) level of the Mayan calendar on May 1st and the beginning of the Second Night on May 2nd. Its proximity to the zero point between Dark and Light was breathtaking. Although our country acted alone, this moment was a disorienting but unifying event for the whole world, a bit like the events of the 9/11 attacks that started the manhunt nine years ago. As President Obama told the world about what had been done, he stressed the unity that we must undertake in order to have a peaceful and safe world for us all. Once again the world had been unified by darkness, exactly the kind of thing one might expect upon entering back into Night.
The very next day, Kate and I went to a “town meeting” arranged by Washington County Community Action Services in an effort to help our Burgettstown community unite to help itself. The program had started late last fall with 50-60 people attending the initial meeting. Many of the attendees with special interest axes to grind who showed up initially to demand someone else fix what they saw as wrong with the community quickly lost interest after being allowed to vent about it. Under the direction of the well-meaning women from C.A.S., those of us who continued to attended were divided up into committees to work on specific areas of interest to us. Sadly, attendance dwindled with every subsequent meeting and the committees got smaller and smaller. People realized how much work it would take to do what needed to be done and were stymied as to how to motivate their neighbors.
We suggested to C.A.S. that it might be better if the few of us who were still attending sat in one big circle to talk all together and it was decided to re-invite the community to join us in another group discussion about our area. We theorized that people who had not been part of the previous meetings would join in if they knew about it. A limited C.A.S budget provided for advertising that consisted of putting flyers on pizza boxes from the local carryout and on the checkout stands of the little grocery store in town as well as mailings to 150 local businesses. It wasn’t cheap or easy to get in touch with our community, scattered over three townships and Burgettstown proper. With high hopes, we pulled up at the Burgettstown high school parking lot at the appointed time, but the scarcity of cars made us wonder if we had the correct location. We walked into the meeting to find only three other community members and the three women from C.A.S., this from a community of 9,000 people.
Doing our best to remain upbeat, we wondered out loud about ways to get the community motivated to unite and attend, lamenting that the levels of apathy and resignation in our area are reflections of the very conditions we are seeking to improve. We told our neighbors that the situation is similar to what goes on at The Mesa at times and a microcosmic reflection of what is transpiring macroscopically in western Pennsylvania and the world. We mentioned that we had been working on the issues of motivation and inspiration within our own lives earlier that very day and had recognized that good or bad, those energies come ultimately from within, whether we see it that way or not. We went on to suggest expanding the concept of “Think globally, act locally” to start with our inner selves. Ultimately, we all left the meeting shaking our heads, agreeing that our neighbors were unmotivated likely because they felt powerless, disenfranchised, and passed over for what they saw as their share of “the good life”.
This morning, I woke up to face completing the writing of this little story. I had been writing in circles late into the night, trying to pull several elements together but not really getting anywhere with it. I was dreading having to finish it to meet my self-imposed deadline for this email. Just thinking about this one task reminded me of all the other things that I needed to get done and I quickly found myself in the midst of an expanding downward spiral mood. Kate sat with me as I talked about it all and then a familiar question came into my mind. I knew I avoided things that needed to be done to further our cause at home and at The Mesa, but why would I put off what was to our benefit? As I talked it through with myself out loud as Kate listened, a picture began to emerge with the help of a little Kinesiology (muscle testing). I put off those important tasks because I didn’t want to do them, not because they were hard or I wasn’t capable, but mainly because I saw them as not being fun. Don’t we do things that are fun for us without hesitation? What was at issue here seemed merely my Point of View. I wondered if and how I could I change it.
Wasn’t it fun to have clean dishes, for instance?, I asked myself. Couldn’t that result turn dishwashing into fun? My inner self agreed. Wouldn’t it be fun to have our accounting work done on time? Yes, that would feel great too, so couldn’t doing the books be seen as fun? Yes, of course it could. As I worked through the issue I recognized that I had learned from my parents and childhood experiences a fundamental pattern of seeing the world that had caused me to approach certain tasks with dread that I might otherwise enjoy. What I had been required to do was never made into fun. Had it been, I would have jumped to the task. Was this pattern negatively impacting my energy, emotions, and life outcomes? Surely it was.
I asked my inner self if it could change its Point of View about “things that need to be done” so that they might be fun and found it eager to. At the moment it was simply without any clue as to how to accomplish that shift. Knowing how creative that part of me is, I asked it to invent a new way of healing for itself to shift its perspective using this new information and I could feel it happening on that odd unconscious level I have become familiar with. My mood instantly lightened and I felt better about what I knew needed to be done to help myself, my family, and others.
Physics teaches us that what you perceive depends on where you are standing, your frame of reference or Point of View. In order for us to help our community and unite our world, we need to find ways to change our Point of View with respect to doing the inner and outer work that needs to be done. Out of Darkness can come Light. Maybe we can turn it into fun.