I have to admit it. I’m caught up with the World Cup fever. I’m rooting for Holland of course, and pleasantly surprised that USA has advanced to the Round of 16. And while I’m enjoying the games, I’m also observing how easy it is for me, and everyone around me, to fall into the deep, deep habit of “taking sides” and needing to win.
We can’t help it. We are talking about thousands and thousands of years of conditioning that gives us enormous satisfaction to have a “side” to root for, an adversary to be against, as well as the deep emotions that are activated when we win or lose.
Yes, I do enjoy that Holland is doing so well. But I understand that while they are winning today, they will lose again some time in the future (hopefully not the near future, haha) The concept of “winning and losing” is always dependent on laws of impermanence and leads to pain and frustration when we grasp at it.
And I also make it a practice after the games to honor the losing teams and show my respect for their tremendous skill and perseverance. Why? Because every player, whether they win or lose, play an important part in this game of impermanence and are extraordinary athletes to get this far in world competition. And also I accept that I am human and still have a lot of work to do, and that it is my personal commitment to be mindful of the habits I still have that create separation and polarity, and do my best to overcome them.
I have full confidence in my practices to develop more equanimity and to slowly shift these ancient reactive patterns to those that resonate from higher values of inclusiveness and solidarity. That is why I can have fun and root so wholeheartedly for a team; because I use my practices to bring it all back to balance. As the age of “win-lose” is slowly coming to an end, each one of us are doing our part, in our own way, to evolve to a world where “win-win” is the norm.
I saw this shift happen very strongly while doing my Heartwalks. A Heartwalk is a march for peace in cities throughout the world where the route through the streets is in the shape of a heart. We are never “anti” anything. We are “for” peace.
It was fascinating to observe people on the street. As we approached them with our signs and chants, they assumed we were “demonstrating”. As we passed, they instantly tensed up, grimaced and started reading our signs to see what our position was. They were unconsciously checking us out to see if we were their “allies” or “enemies”. When they saw that we were not taking sides and we were simply celebrating peace, their body relaxed, they began to smile and started cheering us on.
That is how we change patterns and open to new ways of engaging, speaking our truth and making effective, lasting change happen. I call these kinds of initiatives “Creative Social Activism”. How can you use your passion, your talents and your resources to foster positive change in your immediate surroundings, with yourself and with your relationships?
The Path of the Heartwalker and the practices of Respectful Confrontation offer simple and effective ways to stand in your power, fulfill your goals and “walk your talk”. This July 4th weekend, a courageous group of participants, 5 dedicated, experienced Respectful Confrontation assistants and I will be exploring these principles. By the end of the weekend, we will all go home with more confidence, skills, courage and clear goals to take our gifts and really “walk” that into the world.
I am very excited to get started!
Find out more: Path of the Heartwalker, July 4 – 6, 2014, Omega Institute