I run a group with some lovely people called How to Be Happy. It began as a support group for a workshop called “Renaissance” (defined as rebirth or reawakening) run by Dr. Wendy Hill. Renaissance is an intensive workshop in which we work on identifying self-defeating core beliefs formed in childhood and work to transform them into healthy truths about ourselves. These processes are profound and include regression, meditation, and rescuing our inner child. It is a challenge to face what is in some cases is the worst day of your life. Dr. Hill would describe it as allowing your personal phoenix of truth and joy to arise from the ashes of despair to reawaken into the beautiful human beings and shimmering miracles we are. I recently posed the question to the group as to how we might move forward both individually and collectively as a society. One lovely member said with unconditional love, noting that she is not there yet, and it would be extremely difficult to put into action. I agree. After two years of living in the despair covid, as a society, we NOW have the choice to lift ourselves out of the ashes of fear and despair and allow our collective phoenix as a society to rise up with love, truth, and courage.

Our society is sick, just look around. Rebuilding a healthy society requires all of use to come together, for we are far more powerful when our hearts, minds, and intentions align to promote a loving, free, democratic, peaceful, and respectful community. In mindfulness one of the foundational attitudes is being aware of our common humanity and connection to everyone. But it starts from within us, and we must wake up. We ultimately decide what kind of society we want to have for we are powerful together when we are united. We are at a pivotal point where we need to decide which way this is going to go. There are powerful forces that exist to propagandize and divide us with fear, doubt, and even hate. Just look at our friends in Canada to see how easy tyranny and evil can take over when we let fear win, although I hope that is not the case. Freedom will always be worth protesting for. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “if a man hasn’t found something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” I unequivically advocate for non-violence (ahimsa), as did Dr. King, who truly lived his words and was a martyr for peace, love, and progress. We could all use some of his love, courage, and warrior spirit nowadays.

One of the prayers I say daily comes from Paramahansa Yogananda’s life lessons and lineage of masters and that asks to “…free my life from all obstacles of delusion, and give me material, mental, and spiritual growth.” I say it daily because there is plenty of delusion, distractions, progagand, and bullshit to sift through all the time. It is not easy to stay above the fray, and yet we must try, that is the right effort, and becomes the right action.

If we want our society to become healthy again then we need to invite love into our hearts and minds and mold that into wise and proper action. Peace is every step, and begins within ourselves. Remembering the universal truth of our common humanity, we are far more alike than different. Treat each other with dignity and respect, even those who have different beliefs about anything. Show compassion. Forgive more. Love more. Judge less. Listen more. Stop thinking you are better than other people. Recall the golden rule to treat others like you would like to be treated. Remember the Hippocratic Oath if you are a medical professional. “Do what’s right, Be polite, and Meet people Halfway…” as my former Peace Corps brother Tim Gripka often says and truly lives by, which is beautiful. Imagine what we could accomplish and the problems we could solve by transforming ourselves, awakening, and working together. It is all possible, but you have to believe. I do, and I invite you to join me in manifesting this reality.

I offer this prayer with gratitude for all who read it. May we all awaken the highest good in ourselves.

Dear Great Loving Wise One (or higher self, power, God, or other fill in the blank…),

I feel your unlimited love and energy

I send this love and energy to all sentient beings.

May it reawaken them & fill them with purpose for the highest good.

 May we all live and welcome opportunities & challenges expanding our horizons.

May we seize these opportunities for our highest good, and the good of others.

May this expansion be exciting, fun, and filled with love and healing.

May I embrace flow, love, growth that is filled with the cosmic light.

May the light of your love shimmer forever on the sanctuary of my devotion and

May I be able to share thy love and fill the hearts of all.

May we be free from Fear & Doubt

May we have Strength & Courage to live in alignment with our Truth

May we all be Safe, Loved, & Joyful

May we be Peaceful.

 Aum. Peace. Amen. With Gratitude.