We are an amazing species, immensely creative yet blindingly stubborn. Personally, think of ways you know you should change… but haven’t been able to. Especially, think about what you’ve told yourself, rather than what others may have advised.
Why can’t we follow even our own good advice?
What stops us from going to the gym, spending less time at work and more time with our kids, quitting the job we dread to pursue a dream? Why do we keep scooping out the ice cream instead of heeding our own inner voice: “You’ve had enough!”
Change is hard. Even simple changes require overcoming habits that have grooved themselves into our routine for years. It’s always easier to keep doing what we’ve been doing than to do something new. Unless… Unless we need to either avoid pain or increase pleasure.
At least, that’s what the self-help experts tell us: less pain, more pleasure - that’s what motivates us to change. I wonder. I wonder if there’s another possibility? When I think about what gets me out of bed each morning, what compels me to challenge a habit and try something new, it seems that I’m following an inner urge, something that a colleague and I named years ago: The Awakening Impulse.
We wrote four books together and wove this concept through all of them, the idea that there is an evolutionary wave rippling through the universe that is affecting all of life, giving every being the opportunity to continue developing. We proposed that this impulse has its own seasons and cycles and that it’s particularly intense right now, challenging all of us to face where we’re stuck in our lives and to be fully conscious about our choices to grow or stagnate.
As I’ve mused on this idea, I remembered an apparently true account from an online Help technician who received a call from a customer who was having trouble with her computer. “It won’t do anything,” she complained.
“Can you reach around the back and make sure that it’s plugged in?” he asked, patiently.
“No, I can’t,” she replied. “The power is out so it’s too dark to see.”
We can laugh about this but is her ignorance that distant from our own? Am I plugged in? Are you? Is the power on in my life? Yes. Our hearts are beating, our food is digesting, hair and fingernails are growing, etc. Those are all automatic functions that we don’t consciously control, and they prove that we are plugged in. But are we turned on? We must be, to function at all. But how activated are we, how much of our potential are we using, day to day?
I’m typing these words on a lap top in Mexico. I use about 1% of this machine’s capacity. The other day I learned a new software program. I didn’t want to; I’d been avoiding it for years. But, finally, I watched some YouTube tutorials and, an hour or so later, I understood the basics. It wasn’t that hard, once I overcame my resistance to change.
What made the difference? I had an urgent need for that software. I realized that it would enable me to contribute better, to share my gifts with the world, and to participate more fully in this adventure. So, I learned it and will keep experimenting with it until I master what I need to achieve this personal upgrade.
That is what compels me to change.
Every day at noon the alert on my phone goes off, presenting me with the opportunity to interrupt my busyness, focus my attention, and direct a blessing into the world … my own amplification of this awakening impulse. In those moments, I am functioning like a satellite relay station, one link in an activated transmission system that is broadcasting throughout human consciousness: The Noon Club.
I can do this, or I can ignore the alert – turn it off quickly – and continue on with my busyness. After all, it would take me all of 30 to 60 seconds!
What convinces me to pause and broadcast is my conviction that those conscious seconds matter. Likewise with these moments right now. I could be on the beach; I could be having breakfast with friends; I could be asleep with my wife in a warm bed. But the awakening impulse moved me to this table where I type, imagining you – someone on my email list that will receive this post – reading these words and being encouraged to set your own phone alert and to transmit with me, with us, in nine countries so far around the world in over a dozen time zones.
I remember one of the original Star Trek episodes on TV where Captain Kirk and Spock were captured by aliens who used hypnosis to trick them into believing they were imprisoned. Kirk figured it out and began choking one of their guards. He turned into a gorilla, but Kirk persisted until the spell failed. The guard regained his true appearance, their prison vanished, and they saw holes everywhere, produced by their phaser weapons which they had fired in self-defense but discarded when they seemed to do nothing.
Those weapons worked! And so do ours. When we express silent resentment, when we rage against the unjust, when we beat ourselves up for whatever reason… just think of the holes we’re burning into our inner environment, leaking away our self-esteem and leaving us discouraged.
All of us have the capacity to bless. We are already plugged in to Life and now we’re turned on to this purpose. So, we can meet every day at noon to amplify the evolutionary signal that is transmitting throughout the cosmos, with our own unique broadcast: “Wake up and live!”
This is why we are “here.”
So, set your phone. When the alert sounds, pause from your activities and engage your broadcast. What will it be today? Love, forgiveness, courage, gratitude, grief that turns into joy...
Each day, tune your intuition to discover the unique quality you are meant to transmit. And join with the rest of us, assembling our synergistic broadcast, sending it out, and wondering what the ripple effects might be!