Changing the Story
A New Story for Humanity.
One of this week’s activities as part of the Game Changer Intensive (Pachamama Alliance) is to pay attention to the news and identify several stories told from a framework of sensationalism and or doom or gloom. Then using the same facts, to go back and generate a story of possibility and optimism.
I don’t read or watch the regular news and wasn’t in a place where I could easily do so for this blog. However, I was resistant to an invitation from Get Up to donate to help one of their latest campaigns. See the pasted excerpt below. [Bold as per email letter from author]
In shocking new evidence of Pauline Hanson’s political impact, we just learned 49% of Australians now support a ban on Muslim migration, up from 28% in October.1
Pauline Hanson and One Nation are driving our country to a dark and dangerous place of resentment and racial vilification. From sitting down for coffee with Tony Abbott, to receiving a warm hug from a senior Liberal Minister after her maiden speech, Hanson is literally being embraced by the Liberal Government.
We can’t let this go unchecked. And here’s what we need to do now.
We need a broad-based strategy to fight racism, fear and xenophobia. A strategy that stands with marginalised communities and also works to stop the spread of Hanson’s toxic ideas. It requires in-depth research, a carefully constructed counter-narrative and multimedia production campaign, as well as a plan to assist affected communities to push back against these attacks.
This isn’t just a set of tactics, it’s a whole new campaign to tackle Hanson and the rising tide of racism she represents. So to do it, we need many more people joining our GetUp Crew, who make a regular donation to support our work. (Excerpt from email from – Shen for the GetUp team 23/09/2016).
Pretty gloomy stuff if you are working hard to bring people of all race, gender and mindsets to focus on what we need to do to survive as a species on this planet.
I find it sensational in that it is described as “shocking news”. I think it is pretty obvious that many Australians are feeling fearful that people of a religious group who are dictated to by the clergy representing their God are affecting their carefree lifestyle or their particular vested interests. I am not writing to argue whether that is true or not but to question the need for deep research. I can’t see that finding a statistical number for how many people don’t want a mosque because of the regular loud prayer, or that their values are different will help.
Secondly demonizing Hanson and the ‘political right’ is not conducive to creating a compassionate and humane humanity. And thirdly, lets move away from aggressive words like ‘fight’ and take a peaceful road like Gandhi.
A carefully constructed counter-narrative already exists with ‘please share freely’ tags and could be circulated as #changethenarrative and #livinguniverse. Fortuitously less than 6 weeks ago I clicked on a Facebook ad taking me to Pachamama Alliance. Since then I have been delving deeply and I have developed ‘grounded optimism’. I have only just begun clicking through the pages of web sites documenting great new stories for the way we can move towards a more economically sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet. I had no idea so many great organisations, made up of young children to the very old people, are embracing new ways of being.
I think, save the money on asking why – because ultimately if you watch and read people like Charles Eisenstein and Paul Hawken you will find the basis is belief in the long held stories. These beliefs or mindsets such as the Empire story, the Distant Patriarch story and the Grand machine story plus the Sacred Money and Markets story which has us believe that if they get some there will be less for us, that there actually is us and them does not fit with the world today and where we need to be if we want to survive as a species on this planet.
The more we feel separated as happens when we are surrounded by fear the more people lose trust and start to hate. We just need to change the story from separation to connectedness. Science has validated what believers of mystic religion and Indigenous peoples have known for thousands of years – we are all connected. We all come from the same star-dust and the good news is that we are evolving. There are many signs of compassion and good-will. There are so many people working to restore this Earth and the lives of marginalized people. It is a time to be optimistic. Look at Australia’s history- a White Australia policy existed not that long ago. We should be looking at the number of people who are actually doing something, and asking what helps them sustain themselves as they work in the territory of despair. We need to explore our own limiting beliefs and fears. We can write a new story for humanity and we can unite and take a stance.
As a Get Up member I say lets promote the New Story for Humanity. We don’t have time for further debate.
Here are a couple of short videos free to share – Our Story in 2 minutes
Getting Started Challenge – New Story
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and magic in it. Begin it now” (Goethe).
Catastrophic weather events, Ice caps melting, extinction rates exploding, coral reeves bleaching as oceans warm and acidify, global financial collapse, corporations manipulate politics (are we really living in a democracy), mass exodus asylum seeking refugees, genocide, racial violence…
Every day news brings enough doom to overwhelm the most committed activist. Our survival mechanisms trigger fight, fright or freeze. Reacting with anger the activist demonizes the alleged perpetrator(s)[fight], concerned citizens escape to the safety of their securely locked down homes [flight]and people developing compassion feel overwhelmed [freeze]; “What difference can I make?” Not knowing where to start the compassionate pepe does little or nothing and feels despair.
But what if we could change the narrative, create a new story, or many stories that gently guide people to action. The best of Indigenous wisdom, ancient mystical philosophy, neuroscience and quantum physics can be infused together with people choosing the best story to live their life by.
Message to self: Begin it now even if my actions are imperfect.
As I embark on being the change I will take small but significant steps. I can use the process of R.A.I.N.
Recognise that the old story does not fit and identify the new story right for me.
Allow life to be as it is, many people will refuse to hear the story. Create space for their revelations to manifest.
Investigate my inner experience with kindness. Are deeply held beliefs sustaining something I or they need?
Non-identify and nurture myself with love and compassion. Be grateful.
Specific tasks will include getting to know how to use Twitter and tweeting responses to posted tweets on subjects aligned with my mission. Being aware of words I use and changing them to words that promote change. (See the 7 plus 2 Formula). And finally for the next 30 days write reflections and reviews on Game Changer material, including watching DVD’s and reading articles. Do at least one of the above every day.
Film review ‘Domain/Tomorrow’ and ‘A New Story for Humanity’ coming soon.
Getting Started Challenge – Connecting to People
Connecting to people who support us.
I recall in my first year at high school, in Divinity class, the Deaconess presenting songs for us to listen to and discuss the meaning; one was “I am a Rock”. Although as far as I knew I had not been hurt by betrayal or rejection or lack of love something in the song resonated.
‘I am a rock, I am an island. I’ve built walls, A fortress deep and mighty, That none may penetrate. I have no need of friendship, friendship causes pain. It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain. I am a rock, I am an island.’ Simon & Garfunkel
As a loner I have felt that it was a strength of mine to work things out on my own, to not have a need to ask others for help. Oh yes, there are a few times I have had coaching; a year of swimming, a couple of phone business coaching sessions, but more often than not I have been the coach.
It came as quite a revelation when I immersed myself in neuro-inter-personal biology (brain science, social intelligence, mindfulness) that I kept hearing of the innate need for connection, actual close communion, with people. I was acutely aware I lacked close friends and had no mentors. The walls so many people are building around themselves; the separation into us and them is escalating hatred and violence.
As I practiced meditations where I deliberately sent and felt connection with other living creatures around the world, especially compassion and gratitude, I felt a shift in my energy and happiness. This connection seems to be meeting my current needs.
I feel connected to teachers of mindfulness and hold them dearly in my heart. I send gratitude to a lady who put out a great challenge – a 30 day Mindfulness Summit, Meli O’Brien. The interviews she provided daily introduced me to Tara Brach, Rick Hanson and Jack Kornfield to name a few. Eckhart Tolle, Dan Siegel, the Pachamama Alliance, the Dalai Lama have all provided wisdom and guidance for inner freedom. I thank them for their gifts.
I am currently part of a group of nearly 400 people doing the Game Changer Intensive: a group with a common interest to move towards an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on the planet.
Within the bigger group I am part of a small group made up of people from around the world. One is 80 years old, a psychiatrist with incredible insight.
Post script February 2019: I sent this man an email but he was the mentor I was seeking. Being open to mentors has brought many people into my life. Most I know only through Social Media and video link up sites like Zoom, but it has uplifted my life.