Occupy My Heart

"We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise."

"This is the preamble to the Earth Charter, a beautiful document written a decade ago, after a lengthy international collaborative process, which recognizes the profound changes we must make if we are to survive as a species and prosper spiritually. I want for its call for "a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice and a culture of peace" to be realized. And to do that the powers that be - political, corporate and military - cannot continue to drift beyond all accountability or even sanity." ~ Robert Koehler 

All the above is to say I hope Occupy America, Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Duluth or wherever YOU are is a movement that doesn't go away. My sense is this movement represents renewal around the principles that formed this nation's foundation - the ones that are now being eroded - replaced by their opposites. Where there was freedom, there is now restriction of rights in a wide variety of ways. Surveillance of many areas of life is becoming the norm. In the name of security and protection, the powers of the government are upheld over the rights of the individual in a vastly increasing takeover unprecedented in the history of the U.S. The cornerstones of the internal fabric of the country are starting to dissolve in the onslaught of governmental control and dominance.

The principles of freedom, justice and equality cannot flourish when military domination becomes the overriding aim of the government. I believe we are in the midst of a waning or dissolution of ideals. In the cycle that is the U.S. - our primary purpose of birthing a higher expression of political intent, one that brought forth ideals of freedom and equality never before part of the cornerstone of a political state - has reached its zenith and is dissolving. It is natural - and like other natural cycles - lunar, seasonal - the human race has much to look forward to even as we complete the Fall and Winter seasons of our power cycle.

So the question becomes: What is my role when a cycle is waning, when the ebb of the great political intent and accomplishment begins to recede from the beach leaving the debris of greed and improper use of power all over its shoreline? My sense is we are the caretakers of that beachfront property. Our task is to clean and clear away the unwanted debris and corruption from the body politic and prepare that beach for maximum human use.

You and I are the citizens who hold the powers that be - corporate, political, personal - accountable. We can decline the version of democracy that isn't transparent and hold forth for something that is. Here's the key: If we hold dear the ideals this country was so wonderfully precocious about building itself on - even as the U.S. power cycle wanes - we can make it a priority to ensure the legacy conveys the purity and force of the concepts on which it was founded. As citizens we are being tested in this crucible. If we can insist our country return to the principles upon which it was founded, we will walk the higher road and provide a contribution of inestimable importance to the people of the future. If we fail to uphold the higher ideal, the end of political prominence for the United States will be painful, and just another example of a culture's inability to uphold the spiritual intent upon which it was founded.

This citizen role does not include initiating conflict by beating others up for how they feel - it means I have to initiate conversation to discover where we converge and cooperatively build something that honors both. And in order to have that conversation, to fill that role effectively, I have to Occupy my own heart and mind - take responsibility, clean up my greed and corruption debris at my personal shoreline, as well as to search and prioritize using the practices that bring peace to my own being. Once I fully Occupy Me, I become a healthy foundation to engage in the discovery of convergence and the opportunity for cooperation with others.

I know in my heart that the Constitution of the United States can provide a model for emerging nations all over the world in the coming centuries. I want to be a citizen who occupies herself at the individual level, and serves as a basic building block of how collectively America returns to the principles this country was founded on.