The other night I was at one of our island restaurants when in passing I overheard someone say with great conviction, “Bicyclists in Seattle actually increase the carbon foot print because they cause traffic to slow down.”
Astounded by this assertion, I repeated it immediately to the friends I was with. The first one responded by saying, “And so do pedestrians and buses. You know I think everyone should just stop walking!” The other one just shook her head soberly and said, “That just goes to show, you can believe anything you want to.”
It’s true—our thoughts can create amazing things. In fact just the week before, I had rewritten myself into a completely different life play. Instead of living a life of abundance and beauty in which even unexpected circumstances created great richness and opportunity, I decided to be the victim in a slow but steady tragedy, plodding along drably toward an eventual but certain demise.
It was amazing! Nothing outwardly in my life had even changed. But in my mind, I chose to make that shift.
The same evening of overhearing the bike comment I learned the story of how some of our other islanders were reacting to this feeling of demise.
My friend told me that one of our island banks had just experienced a “run on cash.” Apparently, a slew of people had actually gone to take their money out of the bank.
Now, I hate to point out the obvious here—but it was the people who believed there would be a shortage of cash that created the shortage of cash. As far as I can tell, just like in my own life, nothing but their commitment to their own fear had actually changed.
Hearing this story was a real wake-up call for me. My first and foremost thought was, “I cannot and will not be ruled by this fear!”
All week long I had been noticing an escalation of agitation in the people around me. People were fighting with one another, using threatening language, acting (myself included) as though competition and not cooperation was the path to success. But when I heard this story about the bank, I thought to myself, “I cannot allow this to go on any longer. I will not be a reflection of fear.”
Seeing the manifestation of what foolishness this fear creates was a profound gift for me. It caused me to wake up and change the channel. And man, what a relief! That “poor me/ this sucks/we’re screwed” channel is exhausting! It drains me in every possible way—mentally, physically, and emotionally.
I’m writing this today because I hope I will not be alone in changing the channel.
We live in an incredibly rich and gifted community. I consider the amount of beauty, creativity, and talent that we have, on this island alone, enough to change the shape of our reality. I see that reflected all of the time in the ways that we show up to support one another. (Just last week, I read in the paper that VIPP surpassed its fundraising expectation.)
It is my hope that—especially in times like these where the world, and certainly this country, is writhing in doubt and fear—we as a community will rise to the challenge. That each of us will make our actions a reflection not of the world that we fear, but instead, of the world in which we wish to live. Because in the end, I truly believe it is up to us to create the difference.
Aimée Cartier is a writer, intuitive and the owner of a company called Spreading Blessings Media. More about her work can be found at www.spreadingblessings.com.
PUBLISHED IN THE VASHON-MAURY ISLAND BEACHCOMBER Wednesday, October 15th, 2008