It is easy to point to where others need to change. But perhaps the best place to start is with yourself.
How can we become part of the answer instead of the problem? Each of us can become a catalyst for change right where we are.
Here are some simple steps to get started:
You may have experienced arresting ticks or compelling thoughts that, when acted upon, are critically important or even life changing. But do you set aside regular time in your busy schedule to make yourself available for such thoughts?
A simple spiritual practice of a daily quiet time for connection with God, the inner voice, or the conscience within, can center busy, hectic lives. It is a source of inner freedom and creativity.
- Connection is like a log in with screen name and password that gives a direct personal connection with that higher power. If you log in at the start of the day the messages don't just pile up or become overtaken by events.
- Correction is reflecting on where things could have been done differently, relationships to mend, attitudes to change. Why am I anxious, angry or frustrated? Sometimes there is an apology to make or a need to admit wrong. Keeping the connections free of debris prevents inspiration being blocked by the clutter and chaos of unresolved issues.
- Direction is the practical result of quiet time. This effective tool helps in decision-making. As you let go of opinions and preconceived ideas, you open your mind to new possibilities. Sometimes a new ally is identified.
Writing down and sharing these thoughts with someone else helps solidify them and makes them harder to ignore. Not only does the discipline of this daily practice help de-stress life, but obedience to the thoughts adds an aspect of adventure!
Values of integrity
If our lives are cluttered with excess baggage of hate, greed or fear, it is not easy to tap into this inner source of truth. As part of our quiet time, we need to run a virus scan on our lives to detect the integrity gaps.
To help in the process, Initiatives of Change offers absolute standards of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love applied to public and private life. As you explore what these standards mean for you their challenge becomes clearer.
- Honesty begins with being honest about ourselves, who we really are - our motives, attitudes and hidden agendas. It means facing up to our own wrongs, and the wrongs of our community or nation. New insight must be matched by a willingness to restore, where possible, for past mistakes. Honesty can be the first step in reconciliation and forgiveness.
- Unselfishness challenges the greed of consumerism and the obsession with success. It is about living to make the other person great. It means caring enough and sharing enough so that everyone will have enough. It is the answer to environmental destruction and economic inequalities.
- Love is the freedom to give and care without the limitations of bitterness or blame. Broken relationships need not be the inevitable result of modern society. Instead we can search for ways to bring healing to the hates and hurts that divide us. If honesty fosters apology, so love inspires forgiveness.
- Purity does not exploit other people for power, profit or pleasure. It looks at what absorbs our thinking and has a hold on us. Anything can become an addiction if we let it dominate our lives. In a world where the exploitation of sex has made many into millionaires and brought countless others misery and even death, purity is an answer to abuse, harassment and violence of all kinds.
Listening and applying standards of integrity to our everyday lives empowers us to change, but personal change is just the beginning…