Welcome to the changing world handbook. The modern world is changing at an incredible pace and it’s a tempting option to resist change. Yet looking at history it’s clear that resisting change doesn’t work. So the changing world handbook examines how best to move relative to the changing world so you can thrive.
These teachings are also about the freedom to become the person you strive to be. Freedom could be discovered sitting under a tree or standing together to resist monopolies economically undercutting our lives.
A truth about the nature of freedom: once you experience freedom, part of the very experience is to share and pass it along to others in your life.
Freedom is to be shared, if it’s to be had at all.
Freedom in a Changing World
To have freedom is to be within a world you can move around in. To be part of a world that respects you as much as you respect others. To preserve freedom is also to preserve our planet and the diversity of life and culture around us.
The changing world is revealed by the shifting climate, social changes, increasing police brutality, increasing repression, disease, apathy and so many other signs of our times. It isn’t hard to see our world and people are getting ground down in the push for profits. It’s all too easy to get lost in the scope of changes we face.
To get lost in change is to lose our freedom also.
The first question often becomes what changes should we expect?
No one truly knows the full scope of what is possible or the timing of exactly how change is going to play out. Sadly there are all too many apocalyptic ideas floating about. But an apocalypse is not a practical thing to plan or live against. While we know large scale changes are afoot, it isn’t possible to fully predict the complete social ramifications. This truth means as individuals it’s possible to lose our personal power in overreacting to unpredictable large scale changes. Our fear can blind us to look in the wrong direction or we can become paralyzed in fear from something that seems larger than life.
The first truth:
We are not facing apocalyptic times. Instead we are facing times of great change.
Great change should not be feared, it should be embraced as a time to evolve and grow against. In this manner no matter what happens we all can grow and get stronger. Don’t bet against humanity, rather bet with humanity. Help be proactive and start improving how humanity can come together, simply in how you hold yourself.
The second truth:
Don’t waste time predicting what will happen perfectly.
We have enough problems to go around, that we don’t need to predict anything new to face. We have enough real problems here and now to solve. So concentrate on the problems at hand first.
A third truth:
You are not going insane: the times are simply crazy on their own now.
In crazy times relax because face it: the times are Crazy… People talk about the tech bubble, the housing bubble, the peak oil bubble etc.. but in reality we are in a smack down big bubble of just plain old crazy. Don’t let all the bubbles distract you. Those bubbles are just being engineered to keep things off balanced for you and me. In a changing world the few people in power are working hard to prevent you and me from having any say in the changes at hand.
The simple truth: no amount of predicting or catching up ever catches up to crazy… crazy just runs plain old too fast.
Get ahead this game of crazy by not playing crazy yourself. Relax a bit, always take moments to enjoy your life as is… Let others play with crazy. It’s a time to go around crazy and find our own answers.
The Base Truth:
Improving Lifestyle is the Foundation for All Other Answers
We are living in a time of change. But it requires awareness and evolution of our habits to change.
To not live a new life style… only recreates the past world. The past world most people live in now is very quickly miring down into unsolvable problems it seems.
Seems to me: the time to change has become personal. If anyone complains about world troubles, economic troubles, social turmoil: then simply ask them:
“What have you done to change your lifestyle?
If their answer simmers down to nothing, then understand & respond
“Well then nothing is what you get…”
Shifting Lifestyles for a Changing World
Change at first doesn’t have to be hard it can initially be as easy as
1) Getting rid of the TV / Big Media
Once you hit information overload, it is extremely hard to recover.
Just keeping up, to keep up, drains a person to being ineffective at being present in their own life.
Don’t be fooled: which means don’t be a fool. Chasing the news, acting foolishly to other people’s fears -> leaves no room to live a new life yourself.
2) Slowing down.
When things get more hectic: I always slow down to be more aware of the more subtle currents around me. This has saved me more than I can count from problems later in life.
It isn’t easy to slow down, to not pay attention to items/events that scream to be noticed. We are very aware beings, and we strive to be connected to everything around us. But the price of being connected to others should never include the cost of getting disconnected from your own life.
Be aware, moving too fast can be a very subtle trap of losing personal self worth and strength by not staying connected to your own core. By rushing to meet some outside deadline you can ignore your own strengths and needs.
As the intensity of the times increase: don’t speed up to match the times, instead, slow down to not lose yourself!
3) Pause for a moment
The previous step was to slow down, to start slowing down in the actions that don’t serve you. But to pause occasionally is also important. Pause is like neutral in a car, it allows you shift gears into different places. You can’t just shift gears straight from first gear into reverse! That would strip your car gears. Likewise, you shouldn’t stop everything to just begin something fresh. You slow down, then you pause to take stock and then restart life.
As you pull together all these simple steps… pause will allow you:
- To be more aware and determine when others are using you for their own profit.
- Not merely react, but rather to take time to see oneself more clearly.
- Release that which doesn’t add beauty to your life.
Before acting with deep focus on your new life path: it is useful to clean out your life a bit. Make room for the new changes you want to experience! Pause allows us to examine our lives and release habits that don’t serve us anymore.
To face a changing world you need to pause in order to have a chance to find your steps ahead.
4) Exercising more
Take time to take care of yourself. Take time to break out of your work day. Take time to be with yourself. To exercise and expand yourself gently. People in harder times forget to take care of themselves. When in survival mode, you are only doing one thing: working hard to survive. This then limits you from making changes or improving your life.
To be one thing… all the time is to discover you are not whole at all…
Exercising to be strong will reveal your weakness
Exercising to be flexible will show how to release judgement
To be defined all the time, only blinds you to all the other options…
Exercise allows you to test and work against options.
At times I feel and exercise against my despair.. and I am glad I do, as it lets me be human and grow.
Every day I take some time to exercise myself physically, spiritually and mentally which allows me to thrive in life. The exercise can be incredibly simple also. It doesn’t need to be hours of workout. It just needs to be a process to grow against.
5) Growing a garden
6) Going down to a single car or use mass transit
7) Change the products you use to be of quality and sustainable
8) Share and reuse tools and equipment
9) Rent and/or reuse more often
10) Take time to be with others to figure out local answers to problems
Ironically, we don’t choose the time of action, rather the time of action is a tide which we all will become part of. Any problem you face is a problem many people are facing. We can come together to find answers in a changing world.
11) Boycott larger corporations which are known to be bad to the earth, their customers or employees.
Companies such as BP (Causing massive environmental damage) or Walmart (promotes cheap unsustainable products and undercuts their employees) are actively damage and abusing the world in a manner that is reinforcing the very problems we face. Our economic choice of how we spend our money does matter. Take the time to understand the products you buy, where you buy them from does matter. Take the time to purchase the best products you can from the best providers. For example Costco takes good care of its employees and is a far better choice than Walmart if you have the option.
12) Helping others with a smile and kindness
If you try to do all this alone… you won’t get very far. Helping others in kindness comes around to helping you in kindness.
Make no mistake, even those as enlightened as the Dali Lama will have their hard moments. He knows the truths of release, truths of how to smile, laugh and accept… which means also knowing how to accept the tears also… We all are connected and we all can help each other.
13) Discover new changes that improve life around you.
Over time these simple changes will lead to deeper more profound changes as you learn how to balance out your life. Changes that keeps growing into lifestyle modifications that improve your life. Don’t make these initial steps harder than they have to be. Make frequent but small steps towards a better more sustainable lifestyle.
14) Examine how you eat and balance out your diet to be better.
Traps to Avoid in a Changing World
1) Avoid Giving to Large Organizations.
Overhead and other factors of larger organization means most of the money you donate doesn’t really go to help others as much as keeping a large machine running. I assisted in research for what programs worked and what was a waste of money. We found small local programs were 10 times more efficient and worked far better than larger programs. In fact large programs were often counter productive. If you want to donate it’s always best to donate your personal time first, to actively be part of the process so you can better understand and connect to what what matters to you most in life. Then if you do want to donate money, small organizations typically are far better and it’s easier to see the results from what you donate.
2) Waiting for others to save you.
Life isn’t fair, life is what you actively make it to be. To wait to be saved is to become a victim of the times. To do nothing in times of change is to be left out. In Taoism we teach to minimize action to maximize results. The time to maximize actions are withing times of greatest change. This allows a person to use the momentum of the times to achieve more amazing results. We are within times of change, act in a way not to prevent change, but to work with change to achieve what in essence, what in by nature you truly want to become in life.
3) Don’t save another person who doesn’t want to be saved.
Respect people for who they are, talk with them, understand who they are and accept their choices. Don’t think you will always have better answers for others. When a person is having rough times, those rough times are part of the process to learn against. We can assist in gentle ways, but we can never remove all the roughness out from life.
People, when waking up spiritually, often get the desire to help others right away. This is a mistake, first get strong in yourself, take time to truly understand human nature and then help others. Just because you might discover insights of enlightenment and see larger universal answers ironically doesn’t give you a understanding of people and how they hold their darkness. Enlightenment and compassion are merely first steps in a vastly more intricate weave of humanity and how it holds and explore the stories of life.
4) Don’t save another person unless you know what you are doing.
Did you know many people drown in trying to save someone who is drowning? The same is true spiritually for helping a person who is down and out. If they don’t want to be saved, you will be dragged down and out yourself. For example: trying to save someone in addiction who doesn’t want to end their addiction will mean getting dragged across a very brutal path of failure.
If someone near you starts talking revolution or revelation: Walk away quietly for your safety and sanity.
The path of revolution is one of isolation and conflict. I am teaching you the path of evolution. True revolutionaries will always throw you under the bus to serve their revolution. Look at history, you will discover it isn’t a effective path and it isn’t a kind path. A path of revolution is a path of judgement. That judgement is deadly and always a reflection of the problems. Judgement is never a path of change it merely leads back to they very same problems. Look at the Iranian revolution as the perfect example of this truth.
6) Never Fight Another Person’s Fight.
In a changing world, there will be no end of others trying to get you to fight their fight. Always be sure to face the changing world on your own feet for your own truth. It’s acceptable to fight aside another person, but always because it is part of your fight.
Be Wary of Perfect Answers
You are going to hear people preaching and trying to sell perfect answers. This is one response to a changing world, people trying to cash in on this change. Worse, people are going to be scared and desperate which means a new marketplace for this type of answer. Be careful of anyone saying they have a simple perfect answer. Be careful of anyone trying to just resell what we have that isn’t working. The current situation is complicated with lots of angles to consider. No one answer is going to be clean and perfect.
Facing a changing world isn’t about a single answer, rather it’s about learning an approach that evolves into continuously improving personal answers. This is the beauty of this teaching: you evolve your answers with time with slight improvements everyday…
If you do this: in 5, 10 or 15 years your lifestyle will evolve to the point that it does help change the world to the better.
My answer isn’t perfect, rather it’s elegant. You will still make mistakes, but you will learn against your mistakes and modify your lifestyle accordingly. Over time your lifestyle will evolve into something that works against a changing world.
I can vouch for this, over the last 15 years the changes I have made, were small along the way, but have added up over time to be incredible. Even better: my lifestyle changes continue to add up each day to a better more graceful life.
Instead of compound interest in a bank, this is compound interest within your lifestyle!