"Simultaneously, we're saying 'no' to events like this, but we're saying 'yes' to something higher emerging - as a species, as a society, as a global family."
Michael Bernard Beckwith
One of my favorite parts of this journey called Shift Bars is connecting with you each week. Whether it’s by the written word or video, I genuinely get excited to talk with you.Honestly, it’s challenging deciding what to write about each week - and not because I run out of ideas. On the contrary, it’s usually a challenge to narrow them down! I keep a running list of topics, but most weeks I never even look at it. There’s almost always something, either in my world or the world at large, that provides inspiration for the week’s message. This week was no different. Right after last week’s video about our new YouTube Channel went out, the news from Charleston, SC emerged. Now that city’s practically in my backyard, so it definitely hit me - although an event like that touches us all no matter where we live.
I know that what happened has nothing to do with energy bars. But to me, Shift Bars is a call to shift in every facet of our lives.
Our health is not just physical - it’s emotional, mental, and spiritual as well. There is no separating them. When one is out of whack, they all suffer. If I’ve learned anything on my own healing path, it’s that there’s no point in eating a pristine diet if your thoughts are constantly filled with fear or resentment; negative thoughts are just as harmful as GMO’s and pesticides.When I first heard about what happened in Charleston, my emotions ran the gamut, as I’m sure yours did. I felt shock, sadness, and confusion about why things like this still happen. The next night, I had tickets for the play “Coyote on a Fence.” The timing could not have been more perfect. It’s about John Brennan, an articulate death row convict who writes for the "Death Row Advocate." He gets a new cell partner, Bobby Reyburn, an uneducated, self-professed “hick” sentenced to die for burning a church filled with African-American worshippers.
Many thanks to the brave actors who shared this play with me at the perfect time.
To say the timing of this was serendipitous is an understatement. Through the amazing actors, I got to explore my own feelings about the current event. The part that hit the hardest? At the very end, the overworked prison guard explains that while she attends every execution, she never looks at the prisoner. Instead, she stares into the glass that separates them from the viewing gallery:
“I just look at that glass there - like I'm watching but...I'm not. Ya stand where I do, ya can pretend to be watchin’ but, I'm not. The way the light hits, it's like a mirror. I don't see them...I see me - my reflection. That's what I'm lookin at..."It is my deep belief that events like the one in Charleston - violent, seemingly senseless and inexplicable - trigger the real work in us as individuals. It’s easy to talk about loving each other unconditionally and the eternalness of life when everything is going well in our lives. But it’s in times like these that our beliefs and convictions are tested. And if your beliefs don’t hold up under severe tests like this one, then they’re not your true beliefs. I invite you to look inside to see what your reaction to the news was. Was it a cry for revenge against the perpetrator? An intense focus on issues like racism, gun control and the death penalty? Or did you look within yourself to see how what happened might actually be a reflection of something still within yourself? I ask these questions not to judge or criticize. I ask them to encourage us all to realize that if we say we create our reality, then we must take 100% responsibility for it. We must seek in our hearts where we still harbor fear, hate or bias. But we can’t stop there. For once we know what we don’t want, we must shift our focus as quickly as possible to what we do want. CLICK TO TWEET
I used to think that meant not looking at occurrences like this at all. And really, that’s not a bad idea if you need some space to regain your equilibrium. It does no one any good (it actually does harm) to get hooked into the endless loop of bad news.But now when I say “shift your focus,” I mean something different. As quickly as I can, I try to see whatever I’m looking at from the perspective of Source, God, the Divine. And when I look through those eyes, I see it as a catalyst to make the changes needed in our society. I see the conversations it sparks. I see the good that it inspires in us. For example, a minister in Tacoma, WA decided that this event signaled the perfect time to begin lobbying for the city to change the name of Division Avenue (a street that has literally and figuratively marked the divide between the city’s black and white populations for decades) to Vision Avenue. The proposed change has inspired a remarkable coalition amongst people of all races and religions in that city to work together.
In South Carolina itself, those nine blessed souls who departed their physical bodies have inspired the governor to finally call for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds. That’s a HUGE shift!
Finally, the families of the nine beloveds set an incredible example for us all by forgiving the shooter. What a beautiful tribute to their loved ones and what a lesson for us all about what it truly means to be a compassionate human being.Now, I really want to hear from you. What has your experience of this event been? How do you shift your thoughts about this or another seemingly tragic event in your own life? Can you see the good it called forth and appreciate it for that? Or are things still to raw for you?
Wherever you’re at with the issue, please share on our Facebook page...because when we talk about these issues, we all shift together. All my love, Emily