I begin every day with a morning prayer. A shout-out to my ethereal posse, I set intentions, ask for good things to come in, ask for any 'yuck' to be vacuumed out of my being. The prayers always end with one important request, that all people everywhere are happy, healthy, safe, loved and free. But about a year ago, I added to that request, that all people be conscious and kind.
The loss we've experienced with this (surreal to say) 'latest' mass shooting in Orlando leaves us grasping for something to hold on to, for something to tie us to the mooring for fear that we'll be consumed with a tsunami of grief and confusion. And so we grasp for action, for blame, we clutch our beliefs and values closer. We even attach cute little hashtags to them. It's all relevant, we all do it. Within the flurry, the agitation and reactivity grows like kudzu and tendrils out into the world around us.
There's no doubt in my mind that legislative action needs to be taken to prevent this from recurring. But I'm not going to use this forum for that discussion. Rather invite you to consider an action we may all take. The very first action for all of us, every day, should be the internal questions, "am I being conscious? am I being kind?" Neither of these has anything to do with passivity and both have tremendous impact on our internal psyche, the people in our immediate circle and the world around us.
I won't pretend to get into the head of a violent person or their motives for committing such horrendous acts. I can only imagine the emotional pain torquing them within. However, what we all desire as human beings is to be authentically seen, heard and treated kindly. When some individuals go through their lives without an experience of this it results in very misguided behavior. Quite simply, hurt people, hurt. No kind, conscious act has ever been considered an atrocity. Atrocity is only birthed out of hate. Hate is the result of a closed heart.
"Nothing that happens here on earth exists in a vacuum. Everything is connected. Every action has a history. Every event happens within a system that either supports it, ignores it or applauds it. Great acts of violence need supportive structures, systems that are historically proven to hold them up. Each little act of hate reinforces every single larger one." ~ Chani Nicholas, Astrologer
So how might we make a difference? Yes, action that needs to be taken. Yes, there are bills that need to be passed. But rather than getting swept up in that flurry of reactivity we must first begin with internal action. Maneuvering through the world with a kind and conscious spirit adds to lifting the collective consciousness. And as we are left wondering what to do, who to blame, what action to take? Pause, soften, lead with your heart despite the fear. Be strong enough to let it lead you.
P.S. Join me in Sacramento next Weds June 22nd at 10:30am to stand on our Capitol's steps and demand action to close the loopholes in our state's gun laws. Read more & Sign up at Everytown.org