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It seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating the Millennium and now we are entering the 20s in a world that is engulfed with ongoing and rapid change, almost unrecognisable to the one we lived in 20 years ago.  A new decade awaits us and what we want to get out of it is really down to us.

We have to take personal responsibility for our lives and get out of the disempowered thinking of believing that everything is happening to us, leaving us helpless in whatever takes place in the world.

We are not helpless beings.

We create the world we live in, both individually and collectively, and it’s time for us to get out of the old paradigm of being a victim to situations, events and surroundings, and take back our power by becoming more conscious and creating what we want to see, feel, hear, touch and experience in the decade ahead.  At the end of the day, it is not down to other people to do this for us.  It is an individual responsibility that collectively builds to the kind of world we all want to live in and leave as a legacy to the next generations.

We are all so tired of the ever-changing political landscape, the injustices in this world and the environmental challenges before us.  People seem to be getting more and more angry, knife crime is increasing and mental and physical health conditions are at an all-time high, impacting our already overwhelmed and underfunded medical health systems.  Indeed, I was in the cinema over Christmas and for the first time ever, I witnessed a full-on shouting argument between people 15 minutes before the film had finished, all related to someone focussing too much on their mobile phone and distracting the other people around them.

People’s consideration of others seems to be at its lowest and tolerance has become an attribute of a by-gone Millennium.  The ugliest of our collective attributes is being seen in the world right now and we are being asked to take personal responsibility for it and make the changes necessary. So how do we do that?

We are so conditioned in our society to be helpless.  Through generations, we have grown up giving our power to institutions, those with higher qualifications, or historically from privileged backgrounds, yet all the while not recognising that we had the power all the time within us.  To festively quote from The Wizard of Oz, “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”

We watch depressing TV reports, the news, social media, listen to conversations and fall victim to all the apparent injustice and propaganda that is taking place right now and so we view the world from a disempowered perspective, fuelled by the last 3.5 years of political debates and mudslinging, financial uncertainties and reports of environmental crises.

What’s happened is that we have put all our attention in the wrong place and have focussed on all the blame and negativity, fuelling the anger, instead of using the power of creating.

Blaming is always about the past.  It’s always coming from a victim perspective.  Blaming is about not taking responsibility.  It doesn’t matter what has been said or done to us in the past because that experience is now only a memory.  It’s only kept alive by feeding it and then it grows into something that is much bigger than the original event and we reinforce it with emotions and judgements and separate from it – not wanting to accept it as part of us.

What matters is what we do with that experience now rather than remain a prisoner to it.  The past is gone and life is full of inequities, cruelties and misunderstandings.  Where attention goes is where the energy will flow.  What we focus on right now is what determines our reality.  If we focus on the injustice in the world then we will see more of it and we will reinforce it from an increasingly disempowered perspective.  That applies to everything we see in the world.  Everything is coming through our perceptions, engineered by our minds, created from our experiences, conditioning and programming.

Mother Theresa is famously reported to have said, “I will never attend a war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me”.  It’s a subtle difference but it’s a powerful one.  She knew that the secret to changing the world was not on fighting the old but on creating the new, placing her attention on peace rather than war.  If we focus on what we don’t want, we will end up manifesting that again and again until we learn that lesson.

We are such powerful beings that we historically have used our minds against us instead of for us.  We have to utilise our minds to work for us in such a way that we create joy, laughter, freedom, love, consideration, kindness, compassion, healing and togetherness and not all the other things we have seen in the last decade.

We can’t change what has already happened in this world, but what we can do is respond differently to what is taking place right now.  This is about becoming more conscious and conscious means being in the present moment and not acting out of any past subconscious programming or conditioning – much of which has passed down generation after generation.  It’s about not reacting to a situation but accepting it as it is and then deciding what to do with it from a constructive and conscious perspective.  Taking positive action rather than reacting due to a past experience or memory.

So how do we change the world to one we want?

We take personal responsibility by starting with our own environments.  We shift our perspectives to one of empowerment and creation rather than blame and victimhood.  We build our communities and we start focussing on what we want rather than what we don’t want.  We take action from a conscious perspective rather than reacting from past experiences or judgements.  We make the changes at a personal level by walking the talk rather than judging others for what they are doing.

We live in a democracy where we have the freedom of speech and we can set up petitions, gather as groups, demonstrate, create what we want.  Never before in history have we ever had the freedom to create what we want as we do now.  It doesn’t matter if the politics is not going the way we personally want it to go.  Right now, we have to accept it and be conscious about it and make the best of it.  As Ghandi so rightly suggested, “we must be the change we want to see in the world”.  If we do not take personal responsibility for ourselves, how can we hope to create a world that is kind, compassionate and loving?  If we are always judging others and feeling like a victim to life, how can we create an abundant life filled with joy?

We are afforded an opportunity every single day to start afresh and breathe new life into our surroundings, do something differently, and change something – however small, even if it is just a perspective on something, so that the seeds of change can grow and can lead to better and greater things, not just for ourselves, but for all of us.  It’s too easy to fall into the trap of moaning, berating, judging, living in the past, blaming, etc.  We are not in the past.  That time has gone.  Now we must be more conscious in every aspect of our lives from how we think to what we use.

The last decade was a wake-up call for us all.  It showed us what we don’t want.  Now it is up to us to create what we do want and start setting our sights higher and brighter.  What we envision for ourselves will reflect in our outer world collectively.  We have to practice more tolerance, more consideration, more kindness, more compassion.  We have to come together as a community.  Not as individual tribes as is the current trend, but one community with a shared goal.  To create a world that we all want to live in.  It begins with us.  This time there can be no excuses.  Life will take no prisoners and the environment is at a tipping point.  We have to make this next decade a reflection of the best of us, not the worst of us.  We have to come together to do this.  There are no second chances in this decade. We have to shift our focus and create. We have to take personal responsibility.

Copyright Caroline Cousins – written for and published by the New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times, UK, on Friday 3rd January 2020