'If I heal myself, I heal the world.' These wise words are said in the movie Down to Earth by an Irish earth keeper. During the few days of workshop in Abu Dhabi I felt the depth of these words. To feel this, also gave me some kind of release: it means I don't have to take responsibility to take the whole world on my shoulders, which is not very effective anyway ;-). I learned there is even scientific research that proves, that the higher your level of consciousness, the more people you are balancing that are not capable (for whatever reason by circumstance or choice) to raise their consciousness. Now this is a really interesting thought to me. So the more work you do to grow yourself, the more you help the world?
I think I have worked on my personal growth for more than 25 years now. Perhaps longer, I feel it even started when I was about 10. Now, I don't say that to be swanky, on the contrary; I have been misunderstood or misinterpreted for it quite a lot in my life. 'Are you still seeing that coach? Are you going on a retreat again? Don't you know it all after reading all these self-help books? Do you still visit that teacher?' No, I don't know it all...worse still, the more I grow, the less I know... And yes, I love it! And for a long time I needed it. To understand what life in general, and my life in particular, was about. By now, I kind of understand what my life is about and I still choose to spend a lot of time on my personal growth, just because it inspires me. And I see life as one big growth playground, so I will not miss one opportunity to play. Perhaps that is what Gandhi meant with his quote:
'My life is my message'.
There is also a huge downside to my hobby of personal growth. I can't understand people who don't love to learn. People who don't allow themselves to make mistakes. People who don't want to explore their feelings and emotions. It just doesn't fit in my brain. And there are lots of them. Not just in the world, also in my world. So relating to them can sometimes become difficult. Luckily that was the topic of the workshop I attended: Being in relationship.
The definition of relationship was very clarifying for me: a relationship means being aware of the other person's way of being. Not his or her way of doing, the way of being. Now, how accepting are we, on an everyday basis, with the people we spend our lives with? Are we able to see them for the way they are or do we see them like we expect and want them to be? Another eyeopener for me was when Gita, our teacher, said that not hate, but judgement is the opposite of love. Judgement. How capable am I, with all my experience in personal growth, to accept people around me fully for who they are? With all their beautiful and not so beautiful characteristics? Without the urge to judge...
Learning and working with these ideas in the context of more than 50 people coming from more than 30 nationalities for a few days, is heaven to me. Now the proof of the pudding is in the eating, right? Am I able to live this new learnt way of being in my daily life? Showing up fully for who we are takes a lot more courage with our loved ones than with 50 strangers.
I admire, and would like to acknowledge, Gita Bellin, our teacher in Abu Dabi, for her way of being. She dedicated her life to raising consciousness and taught thousands of people in the world to get to a higher level of consciousness. Her vision is that relatedness should be the organising principle of the 21st century. It made me think of the golden rule, elucidated on in the book 'Imaginal cells, visions of transformation' (written by Kim Polman and Stephen Vasconcellos. If you haven't red it, please do! Great book with visions of the world from great world leaders). The golden rule: treat others and the planet as you wish to be treated. Togetherness, relatedness.
It is my intention to live what I learned in Abu Dhabi: accept myself and others for our way of being. Treat others and the planet as I wish to be treated. For if I heal myself, I heal the world.