I listened to the young man express himself fervently about all that was wrong with the world and how he would change it. As a yogini, I wondered why I didn’t share his energy about getting involved and making a difference. Was this a lack of integrity on my part?
This isn’t new to me. When I was in university, I felt callings to be part of communities of change – Greenpeace, kibbutz, the Peace Corps. There were so many ways I could be in service. I liked the idea very much. Surely with my skills and my leadership I could change the world.
I watch the archetypes of society repeat themselves. There are new movements but they are all aimed at the same things that drove the movements of 20 years ago – sustainability, equality, peace, unity. Love.
Am I being complacent? Too passive? What am I doing about the changes I want to see? Is it really as simple as “Be the change you want to see in the world”?
I believe the deepest service I can be to this world is to deepen in my consciousness and live from there. The approach I take to the grittiness of life is how I change the world. Consciousness does not require me to become part of a movement. For me, it requires me to always take action in line with my values.
I see beauty in the organized movements. Supporting refugees. Donating to a family who have lost a loved one to violence. These are important reflections of love.
But they are no more or less important than supporting the woman at work whose parents are overseas and are sick. Or sitting with the old lady in the waiting room who wants to talk about her life to someone.
I can go to shamanic rituals, experience mysticism and connect with beings on other planes, study Sanskrit or do 100 sun salutations each day. None of that is worth anything if I am not resting squarely in the Consciousness of Life and living the grittiness of everyday in an awakened way.
To me, the modalities we have can easily become confused with the goal of awakening. Collaborative community is beautiful but it is no replacement for innocent and earnest action from love. Political outcry is an important part of changing planetary consciousness but it is impossible to shift without changes to individual consciousness.
I celebrate that the grittiness of my life offers millions of moments of opportunities for service. I change the world by changing me. And that is more than enough.