Tag Archives: evolution

Evolution, Not Resolution

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Many speak of the value of darkness during the winter solstice. And the darkness truly is valuable. As Rickie Byars Beckwith sings in one of her songs, “the seed will need the darkness to change into new life.” What is also valuable about the winter solstice is the return of the light. As we pass the longest night and the shortest day, each day reveals more light.

As we come into this new year, it is a good time to ask ourselves, what kind of world are we choosing to create – not out there, but in here, deep within our own being.

We can begin to engage our imagination to see a greater possibility. In seeing that greater possibility, feeding it with our love and attention, and taking whatever steps are ours to take, we begin fashioning a new world.

It is so easy to just continue with past patterns and to believe that our past experiences define us, or that we are limited by them. A new year is a great time to break free from the past. In my experience, “resolutions” are not the best way to do that. I was joking with some friends recently about how crowded the gyms and fitness clubs are in January. By February, they’re back to “normal” levels.

No, it’s not by resolving to do something different that we evolve. It is by thoughtfully and prayerfully considering what is, and what is not, serving us and by beginning to truly release what no longer serves. This makes room for newness and we can fill that extra space in our consciousness with new intentions. We then align our actions with those intentions.

Without this clear inner look, where we honestly face ourselves in the mirror, look ourselves in the eye, and tell the truth about where we are, we are setting ourselves up to remain stuck. It is like trying on a new winter coat without taking the old one off – it doesn’t fit and it just makes us uncomfortable.

When we honestly look at ourselves in the mirror with the eyes of love, rather than self-criticism, we see a beautiful evolving being. There is nothing to fix, so no resolutions are needed. What we see are the next indicated steps along our path of evolution. And just as we must take off our old winter coat to put on a new one, we must release what no longer serves in order to put on new intentions.

While change can seem difficult, it is much easier when we realize we are not truly losing anything. We are replacing our old tattered coat with a brand new one. While we may be sentimental about our old coat, it is time to let it go.

When we do feel attached to people, situations, ideas, beliefs or ways of being and doing, we can create simple releasing rituals to honor the value they have had for us. For example, we can light a candle and spend some moments giving voice to our gratitude and symbolically releasing what no longer serves. In our rituals, we can also include accepting and embracing the new, what we are now choosing to step into.

Consciously making changes in our lives always involves releasing the old and embracing the new. There is always a letting go and an embracing. When we clearly and consciously make powerful choices, we might back pedal a little, but there is no turning back because we see, we know, and we choose our soul’s evolution over holding on to the restless comfort of yesterday’s joy.

Enjoy the journey.

Seven Steps to Up-Level Human Evolution

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by Gregory Toole

We live in times of rapid change. Is it possible that it could speed-up some, or at least in ways that are more enlightened?

In the arena of human rights and social justice, in our time we have seen the civil rights movements of the 60s and 70s that eventually led to greater equality for African Americans and women, the election of the first Black president of the United States, and now marriage equality that includes gay and lesbian couples.

On the global scene, the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union dissolved, and the Apartheid system of South Africa was dismantled, the latter of which I witnessed personally on the ground in the form of the first fully democratic elections in South Africa.

These are but a few examples of the enormous changes that have occurred. Yet, why do I ask if we could get better at hastening some change? Mainly, it is because so much suffering was wrought in most of these changes before they occurred, often over a period of decades or centuries.

Have we now evolved to a place as a human species where we can skip the mass suffering part? Philosopher Ernest Holmes stated, “The world has learned all it should through suffering.” Can we see into the mystical truth of oneness, the connectedness and sacredness of all of life, and today end the infliction of suffering as part of our evolution?

The wisdom already exists to do so, if there is the willingness. We know enough to eliminate suffering and injustice in all its forms. All that remains is for us as a human species to let go of our need to maintain the status quo, our fear of change, and our need for gradualism.

The issues of immigration, homelessness, famine, genocide, animal cruelty, and so many others have solutions in the full recognition of our oneness and connectedness with all other beings. When we truly understand and live from a place of oneness there can be no ‘other;’ all suffering is our collective suffering and we come together to eliminate it.

Here are some practices, values, and ethics that, if embraced, have the power to eliminate needless suffering from injustices:

  1. Make it a priority to end suffering due to injustice in all its forms.
  2. Allow your greatest quest to be understanding the truth that all of life is one indivisible whole, and look deeply into this truth to discover the common ground that already exists.
  3. Embrace and learn to love change and personal growth. (We cannot evolve very well as a human species if we are not committed to our own personal evolution.)
  4. Put your attention on core universal truths and values, such as oneness, love, fairness, and justice rather than personal opinions and dogma.
  5. Expand your capacity for empathy, truly desiring to understand life as it is lived through and as other sentient beings.
  6. Dispel the myth that change can only occur gradually.
  7. Practice unconditional love of all sentient beings by living in the question, “What would I do if I loved each being (and myself) unconditionally?”

Will you join me in up-leveling human evolution? Together we have the power, wisdom, and love to change the world in enlightened ways that are unprecedented. Let’s do just that!

Enjoy the journey.