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Resistance Is Futile

“What you resist, persists. What you focus on, expands.”

Mother Teresa once famously said she would never attend an anti-war protest, but hold a rally for peace and she would be in the front row. (I’m paraphrasing.) I have spent a great deal of my life focusing on what was wrong – with me, with my life, with other people, the system, the world. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I began being exposed to ideas that shook the very foundation of the way I see the world. It is so easy to see what bothers us and scares us, and effortless to find others who agree with our righteous stance – especially in this time of the easy “like” click.

Living in fear is a recipe for disaster. Always scape-goating the other. Not following the great advice of Stephen Covey to “seek first to understand.” We fall easily into old patterns without any thought whatsoever. Conviction is a good thing, but what does arguing and making each other wrong get us in the end? Just more of the same division, frustration, stagnation and separation. When I realized this regarding political discussions within my own family, I largely stopped having them. We still don't see eye to eye on many things, but we love each other anyway, and we get along much better when we don't debate at the dinner table.

I participated recently in a 5-day retreat with a Qigong master. He shared the stories of many people who have healed from cancer, heart disease and other life-threatening challenges at his center in China. How? By not focusing on their dis-ease, but instead on what brought them joy and connection and made them feel loved, and by seeing themselves as already healed. This is something I have learned on my own journey. Cancer no longer causes me fear or upset. Instead, if offers me an opportunity to seek more of what makes me happy. This fall, that was a healing trip to Hawaii to work on an organic farm for four months. I return relaxed, refreshed, connected to the land in a way I never have been, and with tons of new knowledge and skills.

Our challenges in life, politics, work and everywhere else just serve as reminders of what is truly important to us. But if we continue to focus on what is wrong, how will we be able to bring about the kind of world we want? If what we focus on expands, then how can we bring more attention, creativity and action to building the life, career, relationships and government that we want? Focusing on cancer didn’t serve me, but focusing on what is healing for me definitely has.

I read the Facebook posts of so many of my well-meaning friends proudly proclaiming themselves part of the #resistance, and I get it. I really do. But how much power could we bring to being united as creators instead? All that passion and energy and even anger can be channeled into bringing about the communities, institutions, families, churches and nations that we desire. In fact, it already is. My challenge to you is to focus on what is good, on what you want, on living and acting always as your highest self, regardless of what others are doing.

Since I was a teenager, I have talked about wanting to start my own news network called GNN or PNN – the Good News or Positive News Network. Too much of what we consume is about what is wrong, and that is becoming more and more true not just of our corporate-driven network news, but on our personal social media pages as well. My favorite book title of all-time shares a different perspective: 1000 Things Went Right Today. You were witness to many of them, and probably created a few. I did too. Let’s start talking about those MORE!

What do you want the world, your community, your family to look like? What do you want your own life to be a testament to? Focus on THAT. Take action around THAT. And please, not as a reaction to anything or to try to impress anyone or because it’s what you are supposed to do. From nothing, be creative. You can manifest whatever kind of life you want, and the world will be a better place if we each just do that.

“What you resist, persists. What you focus on, expands.”

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