There has never been a moment since my birth that we have not been at war. We being humanity. 33 years later, my generation has never known peace as a permeating social, cultural, and economic principle given nearly as much credence, legislation, and resources as conflict and division. This constant state of tension has forced many of us to carve out a life for ourselves where peace is not a luxury but an internal practice and dialogue that we actively cultivate through the choices we make on an individual level. As a collective, an increasing number of people are reclaiming responsibility and making commitments to live in integrity with the fundamental and governing forces of life.
The wellness and spiritual industry have never been so robust as they are now. However in parallel, the entertainment and consumption industries are producing increasingly more revenue and products through the exceedingly profane use and glorification of violence, disembodied sex, and rampant ingestion of drugs and alcohol. Stand alone, not all of these mediums are damaging and certainly they are not to blame for the situation at hand. Used in tandem however, and with divisive agendas, these tools create division and perpetuate distraction pushing us to the verge of soulessness.
But we are reappropriating what it means to be in life and honesty with soulfulness. So much in the same vein that terrorism, intolerance, bigotry and the industrial complex seek to undermine the fundamental integrity of life, the response in symmetry is to get to our mats, our healing circles, book clubs, and spiritual practices in order to innovate ways to preserve and germinate the seeds that make us stewards to our true inheritance of the human experience.
In the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks, not only in Paris, but in Beirut, in Kenya, and Baghdad, a Mayan Proverb kept entering my field of consciousness, “They tried to bury us but they did not know that we were seeds.” This is the way the incredibly sophisticated intelligence of our biological organism works, somewhere buried in the codons of our DNA is a genetic memory that we have known peace and harmony, that we have lived alongside the earth and a multitude of animals, plants, minerals and other humans without declaring ourselves masters over anything. These epigenetic seeds are an emerging reminder that there is another way and that that way- though certainly fraught with its own challenges, was inherently good and worth remembering.
It can be argued that the wellness and entertainment sectors are doing as well as they are by virtue of technological advancements and an increasing population that has access to the channels. I will state that we can flood these channels with materials rich in solutions and questions that give rise to collaborative efforts and innovation. Some will argue that for as long as we have lived, we have been at war with one another as tribes, as territories, then nations, and now as corporations. I will simply suggest that the very act of war is indicative of our innate ability to band together behind a unified cause. Many argue that it is impossible to interact with extremists. I declare that calling anything impossible is an act of extremism which leaves very little room to develop strategic and meaningful spaces where there is an opportunity to create a new conversation. One that incites healing through forgiveness, taking personal responsibility, becoming accountable to growth, and forging a way forward that respects and integrates diversity as a governing quality of life. The metaphor is the seed. To flourish, much less survive, we need permaculture- not monoculture.
Life can either happen to us or with us, but it is certain to happen one way or the other. There is a great awakening happening on this planet and people are actively deciding to be accountable for themselves in the inescapable process of evolution. Perhaps the long goal involves evolving economic policy, political ideologies, and social agreements. We arrive there by first evolving the way we interact with ourselves, our families, our community, our work. When done collectively, this process of excavation, editing, and redefining will have an irreparable effect on the very core of structures which seek to undermine or destroy life.
Saturday afternoon in meditation, I revisited a passage from my teacher’s book, “Be a prayer, rather than reciting one.” And so I got to writing and reclaiming myself as a living prayer. Someone asked me if they could “steal my prayer” when I posted this on Social Media. I reflected to myself, this does not belong to me- it belongs to life. And I am accountable to like. And I am a seed, just like you, just like everyone. And I am a prayer.