There’s no doubt about it – we’re more divided than ever.
This isn’t just here in the U.S. It’s a global pattern that’s showing up everywhere. In Britain it’s the so called BREXIT (British Exit from the EU) that has citizens split, angry, and in fear. Here in the U.S. it’s the new Trump administration causing much division, chaos and reactivity. The European Union is in strife and continues to debate it’s viability. While throughout the Middle East chaos abounds.
We’re polarized, clinging to our tribal beliefs and really annoyed at the others that are irritating us. But this isn’t anything new. We’ve been carrying these energetic patterns or ways of being for eons.
So what do we do about all this anger, frustration, and intolerance?
When dealing with anger and injustice Maya Angelou says:
“Use that anger, yes, you write it, you paint it, you dance it, you march it, you vote it, you do everything about it, you talk it… never stop talking about it.”
This is definitely a time of coming together in unity to discover solutions to the problems we are all facing.
But before we can begin working together, we have to learn to get along.
We need to align with a deeper understanding of TOLERANCE and what we’re doing as individuals that gets in the way of it.
Gandhi says we have to “Be the change we want to see in the world”. Now science is beginning to explain why true change starts with the individual and how impacts all of us – because we’re inter-connected.
The Framingham Massachusetts Heart Study has revealed that Social Contagion is real and that there’s some powerful understanding regarding the inter-connectivity of our emotional patterns.
Here’s a quick transcript of the video below:
“There’s new research out of Harvard Medical School about social contagion. Now they’re finding that people get fat in groups, they get happy in groups, they quit smoking in groups.
According to Nicholas Christakis MD, PhD,
We had some validated measures of various emotions, including happiness, and what we attempted to show, and were able to show, is that my happiness depends not just on my own actions, thoughts and behaviors, but also on the actions, thoughts and behaviors of the people to whom I’m directly connected, my friends, siblings, spouses, neighbors, coworkers and so forth, and the people to whom they are connected, and the people even to whom they are connected.
What this finding is showing us is that it’s not just behaviors that are spreading through networks, it’s also these emotional states that are spreading through networks. So we think that what’s spreading is this tendency to transmit ideas, these norms of behavior.”
This study is inspiring because this means our own intentional work on TOLERANCE could have a beneficial impact on many of us. It’s like unleashing a social program of tolerance to benefit all of us.
Are you someone that’s fed up with the intolerance that’s surrounding you? Then lets make a shift together and transform these obstacles that are getting in the way of working together, of unity and tolerance.
Important First Step
Before we go into this blog’s ALIGNMENT MOVIE session, it’s helpful to remember that TOLERANCE starts with yourself. Meaning, if you’re hard on you and intolerant of your own foibles and tendencies, then you really don’t have much TOLERANCE to offer to others. So if you’re noticing some intolerant self-talk lately, check out Five Ways To Open Your Heart.
To helps us see what’s getting in the way of tolerance, our Alignment Process movie is Wanderlust (2012, David Wain).
Wanderlust is an American comedy film, starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd. George and Linda Gergenblatt are a married couple living in New York City. After the economy crashes down on their dreams they try to escape modern society and find themselves on a commune in the North Georgia mountains called Elysium.
As you watch Wanderlust, watch for these five key ways to transform your own intolerant tendencies.
Recognize Your Community As Your Master Teacher
Being in community is difficult. Whether it’s your family, neighborhood, place of worship or workplace. Coming together with all our rigid belief systems is always challenging and typically creates conflict.
This conflict is inevitable because anytime we come together in community we mirror each others patterns. If someone in your world really drives you nuts, he or she is usually reflecting a pattern in you that’s up for change. Once you being to accept this AWARENESS as guidance, these people become your master teacher providing the curriculum of change work that’s up for you. As Jack Kornfield writes,
“We must offer to all the same respect we’d give to a great teacher. The sloppy, angry, inconvenient, hurried, difficult Buddha’s around us can teach us steadiness, equanimity, and compassion. We are the grist for one another’s mill.”
In the movie Wanderlust, we get to see glimpses of the quirks that get on each other’s nerves in the Elysium community. For example, some members show their annoyance when Carvin played by Alan Alda repeats himself whenever anyone talks about him buying the land with his friends:
“I bought this house in 1971 with nine of my friends. Jerry Beaver, Stephanie Davis, Ronny Shames, Danielle Meltser, Janie Brody, Billy Marcus, Glen Stover, Tony Piloski, and Janice Woo.”
Is he repeating himself to just be annoying or is unaware he’s doing it?
It’s funny for us to watch, but rarely funny if you’re on the receiving end of this repetition.
Also notice your own inner judgments about the characters living in this “intentional community” as we’re told it’s called (not a commune). Do they rub you funny? If so, pay attention to what you’re feeling.
In this Alignment Movie session we’ve included many beliefs to help support you in releasing any reactivity and fear you may have about being in community.
Here are some tips for your community master class:
- There are many pathways to peace of mind – don’t get judgy or spiritually righteous.
- You don’t have to “drink the kool-aid” – be yourself.
- It’s okay to take a break from the reactivity – balance is key.
- Disagreements don’t have to be dissension.
- It’s okay to take a break and be alone periodically.
That last point is key.
Many times we think we have to remain in the reactivity of others and tough it out. While we’re needed at times to be the balanced and centered influence, breaks are essential. Notice how Carvin (Alan Alda) shows up in a diner eating meat. He’s been doing this weekly for over 20 years.
Remember, the reason you’re willing to be in community and allow it to teach you is so that all of us can learn to get along. Perhaps then we’ll be able to discover tolerance, soften our egos, and maybe even discover love.
As Maya Angelou says,
“The ego binds, love liberates. In community we get to practice loving.”
This takes us to our next obstacle of tolerance.
Release Your Relationship Sabotaging Tendencies
Many of us that unconsciously sabotage our relationships. Typically our familial patterns are passed down generation after generation playing out in our social and intimate relationships. So we behave in ways we were treated and continue to pass the pattern on to our own families, communities, and workplaces.
In Randi Gunther’s book, Relationship Saboteurs: Overcoming The Ten Behaviors that Undermine Love, she writes that relationship saboteurs do not set out to fail in their relationships. Often, it’s well-meaning people who unknowingly practice certain subtle behavior patterns that undermine relationships over time.
In this Wanderlust Alignment Session we included the following six sabotaging patterns featured in Randi Gunther’s book.
- Insecurity: Will You Love Me Forever?
- Fear of Intimacy: I Need You but Not That Close.
- Pessimism: If You Don’t Expect Anything You Won’t Be Disappointed
- Needing to Be Center Stage: Pay Attention To Me.
- Addictions: I’ve Got to Have That
- Trust Breakers: I Never Really Agreed to That
Ms. Gunther’s book is a terrific tool for expanding your awareness as it applies to unconscious sabotaging tendencies. If you want to go deeper, get her book.
In the movie, notice how Rick is always trying to command center stage in every scene. He pokes and says obnoxious things just to get a reaction. Notice how it pushes everyone away and how they deal with his sabotaging tendencies.
This takes us to our next key obstacle that gets in the way of tolerance.
What You focus on You Merge and Become One with It
Concentration is the key to empowerment. If you are unable to focus your mind on that which you desire, you really limit what you have to offer in your community. Recognize that most of us our dealing with our frenetic minds and are simply unaware of how we’re behaving. When you can engage in any community with concentration focused on collaboration and tolerance you become a powerful leader.
If you focus on the tendencies of you community members that really drive you nuts, you will perpetuate these ways of being within yourself and merge with them.
Most of us are constantly distracted by the frenetic nature of our mind as it interacts with technology, social media, and the stress of modern living. To be available in community, we have to calm our minds through meditation, walking, and finding other ways to simply be present. We each need a practice that provides inner stillness so we can mindfully choose what we will focus on and what we won’t.
Sometimes a simple mantra can be a powerful way to shift from tension and anxiety to inner peace. Here are two that work for me:
- “I’m Always Taken Care of”
- “Everything Always Works Out For Me”
It’s our individual reactivity and collective reactivity that’s keeping us from discovering ways to collaborate and be with each other. So once again, the change starts with the individual and not the community.
This takes us to our next obstacle to tolerance.
Let Go of The Illusion of Control
Anytime we experience change in our individual lives or within our collective experiences, we typically don’t like it. Sure we all say we want change, but when it starts to occur, we get reactive, scared, and many times depressed.
It’s our illusion of control that gets in the way of flowing with change. While there’s little in our lives we can truly control.
Notice how George and Linda have to completely uproot their lives when George’s company goes out of business. In many ways, the Elysium community helped both characters to let go of control and enjoy life in ways they’ve never done before. They both got to slow down and begin to discern what they truly wanted in life. As a result, they were inspired by a new dream and pursued it with joy and enthusiasm.
As we face the political changes happening in our country and around the globe, there’s peace to be found in letting go of needing to know how it will all work out. A letting go of having to control the who, what, where, when, and how. When we can begin to let go and allow, then we’re able to discover the solutions to the problems we’re facing. It’s then that you’re available for synchronicity to show itself.
This takes us to our final point in this Alignment Movie Session.
Be Willing To Change
Most of us typically only see the change needed by others. It doesn’t matter if it’s your spouse, co-worker, or a political party ideology you disagree with. Yet we all recognize how difficult it is to change our own belief systems and quirky tendencies.
If you’re truly desiring more tolerance in the world, be willing to allow your biases to be challenged. Recognize that your willingness to change can heal what’s occurring in your relationships and at the macro level: the disfunction in our country.
So many times we fall into the trap of thinking that if we could just get the other person to change, then we’d be happy. Or if we could just do away with the opposition once and for all, then we’d have peace. It just doesn’t work that way and never has. Even if we could wipe all opposition away, we’d still have to deal with our own intolerance in our own tribe.
Watching this Alignment Movie, Wanderlust will help you soften your rigid position and be open to knew understanding, new acceptance, and an emerging tolerance for those you don’t understand or agree with.
If we’re to evolve and find unity, aligning with tolerance is a positive and powerful first step.
Top 10 Energetic Benefits To Watching The Alignment Film Wanderlust:
- The ability to recognize the power in community
- The courage to become aware of how you sabotage your relationships and the empowerment to transform your behavior.
- A willingness to look at your own intolerant tendencies.
- Let go of your desire to control your partner.
- A balance between closeness and autonomy in your intimate relationships
- A willingness to not engage in reactivity and let go of having to fight the good fight.
- An ability to focus on the outcomes your desire and not on what is causing you stress.
- An understanding that spiritual life is not about knowing much, but about loving much.
- An ability to transform the pain of the past relationship difficulties.
- The courage to release any obstacles that get in the way of tolerance.
The Steps To Energetically Benefit from This Alignment Session:
If you haven’t done the Intention Session, then do this first and only once. Think of it as downloading an App on your smartphone.
Or you can just google Intention Session – it ranks number 1 for that term.
Then watch the movie Wanderlust in its entirety. It’s currently in rotation on FX or available at your local library.
If you like this blog and would like to work with David Barnes, consider a personal Alignment coaching session. Click here to explore the possibilities for a profound personal and spiritual transformation with the Alignment Process. It’s a delightful way to experience lasting change while watching movies.