This is a time of upheaval. Institutions that we have relied upon to take care of us–banks, the government, industry, education, the military, health care–have all failed in their implied obligation to provide us with safety and security.
This failure is wonderful news. As humans, we’ve spent thousands of years dependent on our leaders. We’ve been children willing to do as they tell us in exchange for what any good parent promises– security and protection. That devil’s deal meant giving up our own authority, and truly, our very souls. We work at jobs we hate, eat food that poisons us, immerse ourselves in entertainment that fills us with greed and lust for violence. When the consequences of these accommodations accumulate and become emotional, mental, and physical disease, we turn to a system that only reinforces our child status, giving us treatments that further alienate us from our bodies’ signals and our true knowledge. Somehow we’ve fallen for the story that this is the best life gets, with the bonus prize that we can eventually retire to play golf or go on cruises. We know we’d better get this “leisure” in fast before we begin the inevitable road to the decrepitude of old age.
As financial institutions crumble around us and global warming finally manifests the consequence of our species’ gluttony, one thing is clear: the old ways are no longer working. This presents us with a crucial choice, maybe one of the biggest of our lifetime: We can choose to stay childlike, whining and complaining, hoping that someone will finally pick us up and make it all better. We can ignore the whole calamity, waiting for a person out there to dive in and solve the problem while we continue to avoid it all through our addiction of the moment. Or we can seize this opportunity to take back our souls.
What does it look like to reclaim your soul? First, you have to want it. It takes some effort to tune in to those signals, all of those places in you that have been calling for your attention. The anxiety, the lethargy, the indigestion or headaches or existential ennui–they all mean something. Drowning them out with alcohol, cigarettes, TV, and the Internet means you’ve turned off the best channels in your own broadcast system.
Actually listening to these signals, however, will make you uncomfortable. They’ll tell you when you aren’t speaking what’s true, where you’ve given up your authenticity, how you’ve sold out. Tuning into your real self is bound to give you messages that you don’t want to hear. You may end up alienating your partner or boss or parent or yourself. You may tell your doctor you don’t want any more medications that cause more problems, or your financial advisor you never really want to retire, anyway, thank you, you’d rather have a life you love to live. You might get up and walk out of movies or church services or classes because you can tell that your life energy is being drained out of you. Listening to that self-righteous radio host or reading the blaming editorial might lose its appeal.You might decide that the adrenaline high of your best friend’s–or your–latest relationship drama is a sorry excuse for true connection.
You could end up selling everything to join the Peace Corps or decide that working forty hours a week never was your idea or that needing a four-shot Americano twice a day to get through your to-do list means you’re exhausted, so you stay home and sleep for a week until you feel better. Maybe you’d tell your shrink that really, no, there’s nothing wrong with you, though you’d appreciate some help in figuring out how to be happy.
Maybe you’d demand from yourself a life of meaning, connection, and fulfillment.
The Boulder Center for Conscious Living is a beacon. Its purpose is to shine a light into the world to inspire people to take the leap and demand meaningful lives–not from the government or a temple or anywhere “out there”–from themselves. The Boulder Center provides a space where a powerful language is spoken. It’s a language of integrity, love, and play; it’s a place where feeling really good is the sign that we’re on the right track because it means we’re expanding into realms of consciousness that are beyond the density of our old ways. Anger, fear, apathy, shame are familiar states to all of us, states that we insist on surrounding ourselves with through our media and old blaming language. At the Boulder Center, we strive to keep expanding our brains’ ability to shift out of familiar threat responses to the challenge of the unfamiliar, sometimes frightening, entirely exhilarating world of the creative unknown.
Join us in the movement of soul reclamation. Step out of the deep sleep of believing that safety and dependence are the best life has to offer. Wake up to the aliveness of finding your true path, the real reason you were born. Learn the tools it takes to live in full integrity and joy. Take back your life and be part of a movement that upholds the right of all beings–humans, animals, the natural world, the planet herself–to thrive.