Sometimes we are told just think happy thoughts and good things will happen, but the depth of this goes far beyond that simple and joyful yet misguided ambition.
It’s like the tao. There is a seed of good in the bad, and a seed of bad in the good. So long as we nourish the good with attention and keep in mind that seedling of bad, we can be mindful of far more than trying to simply attribute positive where it doesn’t make a helpful identification. Some things from a little human perspective are indeed negative.
For example, I am the husband in a millennial family with a two year old. Instead of worrying or being uncomfortable with the Earth changes that are becoming clearer every day, I have focused in on what I can do. I advocate for ecovillages and make sure that my actions are benefitting more than just me and my family. I know I have gifts in writing and organization. So instead of doing what I have always done and writing fiction, I have been writing journalism, raising awareness of Earthships, ecovillages and other things related to a more humane earth (some call this carbon negative activities). I feel drawn to these activities because it lets my apply my gifts in an unselfish manner.
I am putting myself out there far more, leaning more, being conscientious of my actions and making sure to be thinking ‘win win’. I know these old ways of scarcity and selfishness die hard. I can’t ignore the old ways. Today I have come to terms with them. I know its going to be a difficult transition for anyone. This is why I place my attention where I do; on what I can do. Sure there are lots of things I can’t do anything about that are pretty concerning, like above normal temperatures in the arctic, a Trump administration and hexagons on Saturn. Instead by focusing on my sphere of influence in a positive way, I have little to no regrets or concerns. That and I truly do believe that in a social enterprise perspective, ecovillages can make things a lot better for a lot of people. Being as unique as individual human beings but designed by groups of smart people, ecovillages can be built to last and support families for generations even in times of great change and social destabilization. There are many examples of successful communities, particularly when they have businesses at their core.
So when I mention that energy flows where attention goes, I’m not saying Just think positive. I’m saying that the shadow is an intrinsic part of the light. These cannot be separated. Coming to terms with the shadow illuminates it. While these are words in a single paragraph, the time frame can be decades.
Everything is connected. Everything. We are all in this together, and we all have our own role to play. I know that if I am not very conscientious about where I place my attention, I can get pretty cynical and negative. That’s why ‘energy flows where attention goes.’