This post was inspired by an online conversation I had about one of the most thought-provoking articles I have ever read, called "On the Wildness of Children" by Carol Black.
When insane has become the normal way of living in society, how can one tell its insane, and how can one then know what sane is?
Many of us are answering these very questions in our time. Because too many of us are suffering and dying from the way we live.
And the next question becomes:
What can we DO to bring sanity to a world that has gone insane?
There is a lot we can do. We must BE the change.
Here are two of the most important foundations required to start being the change:
Its critical for me to work on becoming more and more OK with others viewing me as "insane," because one cannot create change if one needs to be accepted by an insane world.
Specifically here, its becoming conscious of your “need” to be accepted by others and all the aspects of yourself related to that. Most believe that if we have “enough” external “proof” that we are “OK,” in the form of approval from others, we can then feel approval of ourself. Self-acceptance comes from realizing that what you actually desire is not approval from others but its for you to feel approval of yourself. To accept oneself, requires trusting in your Self and your individual journey, by becoming totally in touch with all parts of yourself. An insane society is one where people are out of touch with their own Selves. When one is not in touch with the Self, one cannot be in touch with external reality. The more in touch you are with your Self, the more in touch you can be with external reality.
Each of us will no longer “need” external approval when we decide to approve of ourself. I’ll talk about various methods that can help us with this at the end of this post. These practices bring you to an inner state where you CAN approve of yourself, so you are free to create change in the world. Your “Ok-ness” will not evaporate based on others reactions.
Its why all the change-makers and ascended masters were so different, were outliers, often ostracized. They were positively radical. Image if Rosa Parks needed to be accepted. She never could have stood her ground on that bus. Her behavior wasn’t “normal” in her act of remaining seated where she was on that bus – it was extroardinary. She probably had to struggle quite a bit with self-acceptance before she found courage to take that action.
You cannot create change externally if you are at odds with yourself. Self-acceptance is a huge challenge for most of us. Its typical to have nonacceptance of oneself or parts of oneself, because this goes along with the nature of the mind. But the bigger the challenge, the greater the reward.
The more self-acceptance one has, the more self-reliant one can be. If you can accept yourself, you can listen to and trust the messages from your body, your emotions, and other inner guidance systems, like desires, intuition, and gut-feelings. Inner self-reliance leads to outer self-reliance, which are both necessary to live IN the world, but not be OF it. In other words, we can live in an insane world and not act in the insane ways that are the norm, nor will we be as dependent on insane systems.
Without self-reliance, one would have to reject and isolate oneself from the insanity of the outside world. This works for some for awhile or even permanently, but it does not create change. It is often simply a form of avoidance. We often have to pass through the phase of avoidance before we reach the phase of self-reliance. I surely did. The state of avoidance and isolation was unbearable for me and I eventually had to come back around and find a way to reintegrate myself into the world despite its insanity. Instead of rejecting the world, I realized I wanted to transform it.
One example we can all relate to is that of diet. A diet that sickens and kills instead of nourishes has become the norm. When and how did the words “junk” and “food” ever get put together? The typical American diet is referred to by the acronym of “SAD” diet (Standard American Diet). It is indeed a very sad diet.
When we are self-reliant, we are tuned into how we FEEL after we eat different foods and eat in different ways. When we are self-reliant, we are tuned into our hunger and we notice when we eat for reasons other than nourishment. When we are tuned -in to our Selves, we act from that place of connection, instead of from a place of disconnection. The ever-changing headlines about the newest so-called “best” diet won’t confuse you or mislead you. You psychological tactics that marketers use won’t sway you as much anymore. You are solid in your own experience and do not need to rely on others to tell you what is “real” and what is not.
If I am fully dependent on an insane system, I cannot have sanity nor offer it to anyone else.
Think of Self-Acceptance as the “Being” part of change, and Self-Reliance as the “Doing” part of change.
So how do we work towards Self-Acceptance and Self-Reliance?
1. Intention Setting: where your attention goes and how long you can sustain your attention there will determine how capable you are at attaining your goals. This is the power of intention. Make sure you bring your awareness to your intention at a minimum of 1 time per day. Write it down, state it, put a reminder in your phone, whatever works for you. Example: “I notice what parts of myself I am not in acceptance of, and I take time every day to work towards acceptance of everything that arises within me”. A goal is external, but your intention is internal, and orients you towards your goal daily.
2. Shadow Work: Shadow work just means working on becoming conscious of one’s unconscious drivers and parts of self. If you are a self-helper, a great place to start is Teal Swan’s YouTube videos. She has many, so you can start with “How to Stop Caring What Other People Think,” “What is Shadow Work?”, “How To Trust Yourself,” and “Diving Deep (Shadow Work).” If you are not a self-helper, shadow work is part of certain psychotherapy styles, such as Internal Family Systems model, as well as Jungian and Freudian styles, such as “Depth Psychology.” Any psychotherapy style that includes looking at the sub- and unconscious parts of self is what you need to look for.
3. Grounding practices: part of the insanity of the world we live in is related to our culture and society being very ungrounded. Grounded is the state of being where your energy is in alignment with the natural energies of the Earth. We are of course dependent on the Earth’s energies as we have evolved within them. Every time we engage in some activity that involves un-natural energy or blocks natural energy, like using electronics, or spending time in a structure that takes out out of direct contact with the Earth and nature, we are less “grounded.” Unfortunately, most of modern life does interfere with Earth energies that all of our bodily systems are oriented to – gravity, electromagnetic fields around the Earth, positive ions from movement of energy in nature like ocean waves, or waterfalls, etc. Feeling grounded feels like being solid in oneself, being present (not lost in your thoughts), and having increased awareness and senses. There is a relaxed quality to it, free of compulsion. There is a willingness to be with what is, instead of pushing away reality with denial, repression, or judgment. There a dozens and dozens of grounding practices, so find what works for you.
4. Centering practices: we also live in a very un-centered culture and society. Centered means to have all aspects of your being in balance. Our culture unfortunately is way out of balance. We are a heavily mind-dominated culture. With mind dominating, emotions, body and spirit are practically neglected. Our culture and society is so out of balance in terms of the relationship between our minds, emotions, bodies, and spiritual aspects. Examples: obesity has become the norm because we eat for so many reasons other than nourishment. We are out of touch with our emotions, which drive our eating habits. And we are out of touch with our bodies, which allows us to destroy them with such ease. Again, there are dozens of centering practices, so find what you like.
This is just the tip of the iceberg - there are so many other practices you can do to BE THE CHANGE, but these are a great start. All of these practices have been completely transformative for me and I rely on them to be high functioning. When I slack and let them slide, I notice it, I feel it - I am much less functional and my struggle and suffering increase.
If you would like someone to guide you in this process and the practices that can support you, make an appointment with me. We can explore different practices and find what works best for you.
BE THE CHANGE - FOR JUST YOU, OR FOR YOUR FAMILY, OR FOR YOUR COMMUNITY, OR FOR EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE.