It Only Takes One…..

8 07 2009

Family UnityI watched a talk today by Seth Godin that spoke about tribes and how they,  founded on shared ideas and values, give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. This resonated with me in a big way and brought to mind a belief I’ve grown up with.

I’m a Baha’i. The Baha’i Faith was founded by Baha’u’llah who brought new spiritual and social teachings for our time. His essential message is of unity.  And that a fundamental unity, the basic unit and all-important building block of society is that of the family. Unless the family is healthy and unified, society cannot be healthy and unified.

Seth’s focus on the tribe and his example of how we are moving back to that equates to moving back to the foundation of the family unit. Because if we think about it, that’s what tribes were, families. And it took an all embracing, all connecting medium to help us see that. Bringing us back to the basics, but now within a completely different context and being able to expand on it to a scale never before imagined.

I look at my family, immediate and extended, and see this very trend occurring. We are becoming far more connected than ever before (as we all continue to grow in our own personal lives), maintaining it and setting a whole new pattern (unique to each of our experiences) for what family, and unity, means for the generation only now in it’s infancy.

Now I’m not trying to paint a sweet and idyllic picture of the process itself. Families torn apart by divorce, children deserted by their parents, abuse on all scales, control, manipulation, rebellion and the list goes on. These are present in some form or another in our families. As a result, many don’t want to have anything to do with one another. It’s no wonder we’re having a tough time bringing about world peace. How can we possibly unify the world when our own family is in disarray. Besides, our family would blow a gasket if we addressed any of this stuff.

Well, Seth offered 3 questions we can ask ourselves when  looking at leading a movement, when creating that change. First was “Who exactly are you upsetting? Because if you’re not upsetting anyone, you’re not changing the status quo”. Well I think we can safely say we’ve got that one covered.

ConnectingSecond was “Who are you connecting?”. Think about it, honestly. We all desire, deep down, to be connected with each other. That is why we hear so often, despite anger and sadness, of children deserted by their birth parent(s), seeking them out years later. When disconnected from our own family, seeking out that connection elsewhere, trying to make a family with those we surround ourselves with, yet still feeling resentment and anger towards the ones we “left” behind. Why? Because what we really want is to be connected to them. Even though claiming to have stepped out from under the shadow of a controlling parent, still catching yourself making decisions based on the hope that you may see some sliver of acceptance, acknowledgment or approval from them.

Third was “Who are you leading?” Because more than the mechanics of the process you’re going through, it’s about the who and the fact that you’re initiating the action.  “For who” is where we draw our drive and inspiration that propels the actions we take. Now the idea of “Leading” ones family can be taken out of context. Another way I see it is, by taking personal action, leading the way down a path not yet embarked upon, you provide the opportunity for that change to occur, that they in their own right, will become leaders as well, leaders in creating greater change in their lives around them.

It has to start somewhere. If all the families within a community are healthy and unified, then that community will be healthy and unified. If all the communities in a state/ province are healthy and unified, then that state/province will be healthy and unified. If all the states/provinces in a country are healthy and unified, then that country is healthy and unified. If all the countries of the world are healthy and unified…….

And it only takes one. One person to choose to create movement, to create the change in their life, to lead the way. To connect with one, another one in their family looking to do the same. One family to have the courage to face the pain, the sadness, the discomfort. One family to live the joy, the love, the adventure. It only takes one world to manifest the pinnacle of unity.

It only takes one……

Dare To Evolve,
Shane.





Crawling Into Baby-Flow

15 02 2009

copy-of-dscn3639Isn’t it great watching a baby, or young child, learn to move? It always seems to bring about such joy, laughter and amazement in those of us adults watching.

The other day, I was putting myself thru a session of training specific movements from Scott Sonnon’s Body-Flow: Freedom From Fear-Reactivity materials (for more info, see Body-Flow™ Package ).  This stuff is great! In a nutshell, overcoming our blockages due to fear of making mistakes or facing the unexpected, thru movement exploration. Most of these specific movements are also basic components for Prasara Yoga.

You might wonder how relevant doing some movement exercises are to emotional blockages. The next time you head out, go for a walk, to work,  shopping or social gathering, take a moment to be aware of how those around you are carrying themselves, physically. How they are standing, walking, reaching, sitting, standing. What you will most likely see is a wide array of variations. Then take a moment to reflect on the perceived state of mind those individuals are in. I know you can’t know for sure, this is just a little exercise. But you will most likely be able to infer quite a bit, just from the way people move. Even with friends and family, you can see the difference from day to day, depending on their mood. That’s because our body expresses physically our mental, emotional and  spiritual  states. Those states of being start to build habitual patterns of movement, which often develop into restrictive patterns of movement.  Then because we are limited in our movement and trigger pain when moving outside of that range (a positive survival mechanism from our body to help us identify what needs attending to), it starts to conversely affect our mental, emotional and spiritual states. Thus begins the cycle.copy-of-dsc_3594

So by going thru specific movements that challenge our range of motion and habituated movement patterns, in a space that is meant to allow for mistakes to be made and unexpected events to occur, we create a break in the cycle. Why start with movement? Take a moment to think about how many times you’ve said ” I’m going to change  (habit), now.”  Now think about how “easy” it was to start and follow thru. Or about the amazing, immediate “results” and “success”. Okay yes, I’m being cheeky. But really, it’s dang hard! We can all relate how often we go thru that, if not on a daily basis.

To start with movement; a physical, tangible practice that doesn’t take a whole lot of thinking, just a get down on the floor and start doing it, start playing, provides an opportunity to successfully release blockage, with tangible results. And although the movements may appear simple at first (and don’t make any mistake, they are), you will probably be very surprised at how bound up, tense and hesitant (read: afraid) you are to allow yourself to  perform them. There’s that fear thing. You’ve now just stepped out of merely performing physical exercise and stepped into the arena of unhinging, unblocking, unbinding….everything.

copy-of-dscn3655So there I was, doing my Body-Flow practice, with my sons Olee (3 yrs) and Will (6.5 mths) taking part. Olee immitating me and spontaneously creating his own movements, rolling all over the place. Will, army crawling around at surprising speeds, and learning to move forward once he’s gotten up on hands and knees, followed by subsequent face plants. And both are doing it with the biggest smiles on their faces. It reminds me this is supposed to be fun. It reflects that we are all in a similar stage of physical discovery. Wait a sec…..that means for me it’s re-discovery. I’ve had this already. And therein lies the difference. They are just going with the flow, allowing it to lead them thru the process of unlocking their innate gifts. I’m actually a step behind, as I’m having to first learn to get out of my own way, to remove the walls and obstacles damming up my natural gifts and abilities to just go for it.

“Body-Flow is not something to be acquired, but rather something you will learn to avoid interrupting.” -Scott Sonnon-

Go for it, start the crawl, get out of your own way. You may be surprised to find what has already been there all along.

s.