When You Get to See Someone Who Changed Your Life in Person
Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition Coach | Possibility Thinker | Job Search Guide to Burnt-Out Teachers and Professionals
I attended a phenomenal event last week. For me, it was like attending a rock concert. The difference was that the person I was going to see isn't a singer (although I think she sang in her early days). The person I went to see is an author. Marianne Williamson wrote the book, Return to Love. That single book changed my life years ago, and that is no exaggeration.
Marianne introduced me to The Course in Miracles, and it is because of my exposure to her and her work that I eventually became a licensed Science of Mind minister. It is no coincidence that reading her first book in the early 1990's set me on the spiritual path that I remain on today.
And yesterday, Marianne Williamson was in Richmond. She was live and in person on the stage at Huguenot High School. I was able to be in the audience of about 700 people in spite of the frigid temperatures and the snow that won't melt yet. And she did not disappoint.
Marianne is on a Love America Tour, and she started that tour in Richmond yesterday, sponsored by my church, Unity of Bon Air.
Here is what the Love America Tour is about:
Changes on the inside. Changes on the outside.
The times in which we’re living are dramatic and unstable, yet pregnant with new possibilities for a future released from the shackles of fear.
At a time when fear and hatred have been turned into a political force, is it possible to harness the powers of love and decency for political purposes as well?
Our task is to create a new, whole-person politics, breaking free of a paradigm based on a decidedly outdated view of the world and embracing a more enlightened understanding of our relation to the universe. We need a deeper, multi-dimensional understanding of our national story: where we have been, where we are, and where we need to go now.
As with other extraordinary times in our history -- from our Founding to Abolition to Women’s Suffrage to the Civil Rights era--it is time once again to break free of an old way of being and embrace a new story going forward. As in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “… we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”
Marianne Williamson will be touring this year, discussing how a revolution in consciousness paves the way to both personal and national renewal. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”
Marianne's visit was timely. I don't have to tell you that our country is in upheaval. I don't care who you might have voted for. It is impossible to ignore the signals that our democracy is in crisis.
I went to hear Marianne's take on the situation, and I came away inspired. I know that I was not alone in feeling that way.
The thing is that until now, too many of us have thought of our politics as something that is a separate silo. We have our personal lives and friendships. We have our professional lives and colleagues. We have our spiritual lives and, perhaps, a church family. And we have our political lives and perhaps even a particular ideology. Most of us only participate in the political arena on election day, however, so it gets short shrift compared to the other areas
The time for that has come to an end. What happens in the political realm is affecting us all, and we cannot ignore it. You don't have to believe in climate change for it to be real just as you don't have to believe in gravity for it to be real.
You don't have to like people of other religions, but no one gets to decide which people of which religions live here and practice their religion here. It is already decided. We have a founding principle in our Constitution which guarantees freedom to practice the religion of your choice without government interference.
These are just two specific issues which have been politicized and don't need to be. They are real. They are fundamental. And those of us who are concerned that so many "norms" are being broken by this administration can't go hide and pretend it isn't happening or shrink away from what is going on because we feel we can't do anything about it.
Marianne pointed out that in other times in our history, good people have had to practice conscientious objection to what was going on in their government. Abolitionists banded together to help bring an end to slavery in this country. Suffragettes banded together to help bring women the vote. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights proponents banded together to end Jim Crow rules in the South.
Marianne acknowledged that even with all the progress we have made, however, there is much yet to do. Women have just recently banded together in the #Metoo movement. People across the board were horrified by what happened in Charlottesville in August. And there are signs that people are getting motivated to do something about it. Virginia's recent election is a perfect case in point.
But voting on election day may not be enough.
It is time for those who are concerned about the direction of the country to band together now before the next election day. We must become politically active and involved. We must do what we can to help right the ship of our democracy.
Russia interfered in our elections. You don't have to believe that for it to be true. All of our intelligence agencies concur. That happened.
Russia continues to exert influence in our nation's discourse and by stirring up divisions weakens us as a nation.
I don't know about you, but for me, that isn't okay.
You may think that this newsletter is not the place for a political message. But bear with me while I offer why it is exactly the right place for this particular message.
In the same way that I write about health and well-being and professional aspirations, I think it is important that we consider what we believe and what we hold as deeply held values. Our values, after all, are at the core of who we are.
You don't have to agree with me, and I don't have to agree with you. But we should agree on one thing. We are all Americans. We have gotten this far based on the ideals that we all learned in grade school: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."
Those are ideals I still hold to be valuable and, frankly, worth fighting for. They are my core values.
Marianne Williamson inspired me to be more active in the political sphere. I have always been somewhat active. But this year, I will be doing even more
So, let me ask you. Who inspires you? Who makes you feel like you need to do more, be more, achieve more?
If you haven't read, Return to Love yet, I highly recommend it. As I said, it changed my life in 1992.
Until next time.
Oh wait, before you go.
I am going to be starting a new Group Coaching Cohort in February. I am going to experiment with a Saturday time frame. Starting February 17, and every two weeks between then and June 2 at 2:00 pm Eastern, we will meet to talk about steps you can take to change your job or career. We will be using the "Jumpstart Your Job Search" curriculum, and if you sign up now, you can get a 20% discount and a bonus of 3 individual consultations.
To learn more, go here to see the "Work You Love Masterclass." http://teachersintransition.com/Masterclassregistration.