Are You a Changemaker?


I just moved to Mexico. I got the cosmic email about seven months ago and immediately felt strong, clear inner guidance to sell my lovely, comfy home in northern Westchester, get rid of at least half of my possessions (not sure whether I quite accomplished that lofty goal), and find a place to live in a developing country where I don’t speak the language and know only one person. And here I am.

My friends reacted with a combination of horror and admiration for my courage. I think that’s when I began to notice what a major decision I had made. And yet the pull toward this enormous change in my life was greater than the desire to stay cozy in the patterns of my last two decades.

Is change calling you, too?

“Nothing's quite as sure as change,” sang the Mamas and the Papas some 50 years ago. And yet who among us doesn’t resist giving up the comfort and safety of the familiar: our home, our relationships, our daily routine, our favorite foods and entertainment, even that old pair of jeans? With the world around us seeming to spin madly out of control, these attachments serve as anchors, making us feel safely moored to a base.

The pace of change all around us can feel overwhelming these days. We have more technology, more products, and more choices than at any time in history. Just look at the cereal aisle in the supermarket! And yet the pressures of climate change, along with the realization that we are poisoning the air, water and soil that give us life, have begun to awaken us to the fact that a different kind of change is needed: a profound transformation of consciousness, perhaps even an upgrade to a new level of what it means to be human. This is a tall order indeed for a species that tends to resist change!

Where do we begin? We admire celebrities and politicians with big ideas and the money to back them, but few of us feel capable of making a real impact. Albert Einstein said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” So perhaps the small but significant changes we make as we grow and mature are just what are needed to help grow and mature the entire human race, evolving us to be more compassionate, forgiving and understanding.

It’s interesting to see the way certain changes catch on in our society. When Massachusetts voted to allow same-sex marriage in 2004, it was a shocking reversal of long-held beliefs. Yet a mere fifteen years later it is legal in all fifty states. When did we all start drinking bottled water? Social advancements such as politically correct language and the inclusion of women and minorities in decision making have taken hold rapidly. Yet these are precisely the kind of changes that scare the change adverse among us and bring forward some most unpleasant anchors, like nationalism and feelings of racial superiority. That’s what fear of change can look like in the extreme. So those at the forefront of the evolution of consciousness are being called to step boldly into the current of positive change.

The changemakers of our time are those who don’t resist change, but embrace it like children looking forward to the first day of school each year. Can we look forward to our next birthday the way we did when we were turning 16?

The “world as we have created” it is teeming with our “stuff,” filling our homes to bursting and our oceans with garbage. Can we let go? This has been the traditional path of monks and nuns in various religious traditions as a powerful way to deepen their spiritual path. Our intensely material civilization may be considered as a challenging obstacle to our collective awakening. It’s no wonder that organizing specialist Marie Kondo’s movement toward “tidying up” has gained widespread popularity. Still, we struggle to release the objects that tell the story of our past.

And perhaps the most important change we can make on a personal level is to let go of injured feelings. The path of forgiveness, long taught by religions but rarely embraced by followers, was popularized by the 20th century spiritual tome, “A Course in Miracles,” but has lately also been seen as beneficial to our health.

I don’t know why my personal call to move to Mexico was so strong, but it initiated a chain reaction of changes, as I discover a whole new way of life, new community, and new aspects of my missions here on planet Earth. In the process, I am also discovering more about who I am.

In the words of 13-century Persian poet Jellaludin Rumi, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Are you a changemaker?


LIVING LIGHT, by Rev. Deborah Moldow, is a regular feature of LIGHT ON LIGHT MAGAZINE

Click here to read the magazine. The Living LIght column is on p. 9-10.