I was vacationing with family members near a large lake that bordered a city with more than its share of poverty and despair. The first day, I felt fearfuldue to ghetto conditions not far from the house we had rented for the week. When we went to a nearby beach, I felt angryat all the litter along the beach and nearby area.
In addition, I felt sadnessabout the neighborhood that had seen better times. Once proud homes with beautiful architecture had overgrown yards and decay – a sign of hard times due to many factors including poor decisions made by people who lack education, jobs, balance, and self-esteem. As we drove 30 minutes to beaches and stores in nicer neighbor-hoods, I was shockedthat such beautiful areas could be so near ghetto like areas. What happened?
We had planned to visit the childhood home of a favorite musician. But internet reviews said it was fenced off and surrounded by an impoverished area with broken glass and graffiti. A sign in the yard of a nearby house reportedly said, ‘Trespassers will be shot.’ With discouragement, we decided to not make the trip.
After two days of experiencing lower energy emotions– fear, anger, discouragement, and sadness – I CHOSE to do something about it. My life is usually flowing over withhigher energy emotions: joy, peace, love, gratitude, enthusiasm, and hope. Even though we would be leaving the area in a few days, I started doing what I could to improve things even a little bit: I waved at people driving by – even sullen appearing ones in beat up cars. I bought a dollar’s worth of lemonade from two boys in the neighborhood and gave them a four dollar tip. (I threw away the lemonade because it contained too much sugar – just one of many negative factors behind so many people becoming imbalanced.) I prayed for people in this community.
Soon after that, a series of inspirational insights and events began. First, I thought about thelife-changing breakthroughs that have recently been achievedby Dr. Gary E. Schwartz and a team of researchers at the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health at the University of Arizona:
- Definitive scientific demonstrations that life continues after bodily death. That, in itself, is one of – if not THE – greatest discovery in the history of humankind. (See the second postscript below to learn more about this.)
- Replicated proof of concept studies showing postmaterial (‘deceased’) persons can communicate with us. Although a practically usable commercialized SoulPhone device isn’t ready yet, this is another huge breakthrough. (Visit SoulPhone.org to learn more.)
Next, we walked to the nearest beach that was heavily littered. At first, as I saw the first piece of debris, I thought: ‘Here we go again. I’m just going to ignore it since I can’t make a dent in all the litter I will see during our walk.’ But I remembered my resolve to do what I can and picked up a small empty plastic bottle. Without looking at it, I thrust it in my pocket.
I looked up and saw a large memorial some distance away. Even though it was off our route to the beach, I felt called to walk over. Incredibly, it was a monument to a pioneer in flight.
As the director of the SoulPhone Foundation, seeing this plaque was very meaningful for me. Human flight is a metaphor we have used for the SoulPhone Project for the last year. We have reached “a Wright Brothers’ moment” and definitively demonstrated that life continues after bodily death.
What’s more, replicated proof of concept experiments now clearly show that communication with postmaterial (‘deceased’) persons is possible. The next step is to achieve a practically usable and affordable version of the SoulSwitch. That will enable creating the SoulKeyboard that should allow texting and typing with those living in other dimensions.
The plaque read: “Octave Chanute: an eminent engineer and father of aviation. Made the first successful flights in heavier-than-air craft from these dunes in 1895.”
As we walked, I gathered all the trash I could and wished I had brought a grocery bag to hold more. ‘Oh yeah,’ I remembered, ‘I didn’t because we only use fabric shopping bags made from recycled materials.’ In a moment, however, I saw two plastic bags caught in the sea grass and retrieved them. Thirty minutes later, I had two full bags of trash. I emptied them in a trash can and began refilling them as we walked along the beach. I noticed several children watching me and hoped they were inspired to do something even though they couldn’t do everything.
During the walk, my head was filled with several big thoughts: I recalled the story about the woman rescuing starfish on the beach who said, ‘I made a difference for that one.’ I realized that the litter – and lots of other problems on our planet– may SEEM too big to solve. But if just 15% of people – the best estimate we have for the number of humans who are more evolved – did what they could, it would make a huge difference.
I thought of the investment term ‘two bagger’ – a financial phrase for an investment that doubles your money. Similarly, if ‘15%ers’ performed the equivalent of removing two bags of trash per day, we soon could solve many of the biggest problems that exist.
I developed a priority system for handling trash:
- First, pieces near the water, especially plastic, that could be eaten by wildlife
- Next, plastic since it doesn’t degrade like paper
- Larger pieces
Perhaps a similar priority system could be designed for individuals, communities, countries, and our world.
I was feeling more optimistic until, as we exited the beach, I saw that the sandy path was strewn with over one hundred pieces of trash. I first thought: ‘Forget it, we need to leave; I can’t pick up all this.’ But then I noticed a large piece of netting nearby and realized I could quickly bundle it all up and deposit in the trash can. Just a few minutes of work later, the path was pristine. I considered this to be an ethical victory as well as a practical one of cleaning up the trash. Instead of seeing a litter filled walkway and feeling hopeless, everyone going down that path would see a beautiful and clean path. Perhaps that would encourage others to not litter and preserve sacred nature spots.
After that, I was REALLY feeling better – almost euphoric – about my actions and the mental and emotional changes that accompanied taking positive action steps. I picked up a larger plastic bottle and looked at the label: ‘Pure Delite.’
Perfect! I realized that this growing meaningful series of events was providing me with hope and teachings. I felt more connected with the great web of life and hopeful about possibilities for humanity when collective conscious action is taken. I also enjoyed the good feelings that accompany a job well done.
I felt increased energy and even enthusiasm about the SoulPhone changes discussed just a week before. Jaden Hayes, the six-year-old boy discussed in Greater Reality Livingwhose parents had died, came to mind. Soon after his mom passed on, Jaden told his aunt that he was tired of seeing people looking so sad. When his aunt asked what he could do about it, Jaden shared his vision of giving people bags with little toys to make them smile. Years later, he has touched many hearts with his example of taking the high road.
I realized there are many people like Jaden who are making a difference via ways they feel called to action. Looking down, I saw a small plastic banner and sworeit said ‘SMILE’ before I stuffed it in my trash bag. However, upon returning to our rental and taking photos, I saw that it said ‘SLOW.’ Perhaps that strange twist of perception occurred to remind me to do all I can as well as I can, and – at the same time – be patient and stay balanced.
As I emptied my pockets of keys and wallet, I felt something and discovered the first little plastic bottle I picked up. I wasn’t surprised, but was delighted, to see the label of a purportedly pain-relieving lotion called: ‘Kure It: Anoint Your Body – Mind – Spirit.’
As the full sequence of events settled in, I thought of the underlying theme and decided upon: ‘Turning Discouragement Into Action.’ Just taking some positive action can make a huge difference, especially as more 15%ers realize this is true. What’s more, the “85%ers” aren’t stuck forever in that category. They can awaken and change for the better whenever they are ready to do so and are positively triggered. Seeing a 15%er making a difference could be that catalyst.
Later, I also thought that moving from Discouragement (D) to Action (A) was like a student improving his or her grades from near-failing to stellar marks. This shift to excellence can be applied on a personal, community, national, and worldwide level. Is it possible that such shifts, on a sufficiently large scale, might really help us heal many people and our world?
The insights and magic continued after I washed my hands several times. During two hours of babysitting a family member’s two rescue dogs, I noticed they trusted me and wagged their tails when I spoke to them. Later, however, I came down the stairs with my arms full. The mixed breed dog that had been abused was lying right below the last step. I asked, then commanded him to move. Neither verbal request worked so I gently shoved him aside with the side of my foot so I could step down.
For a few hours after that, he cowered with his tail between his legs whenever I approached. It seemed to be an animal-mediated reminder about how many people have been abused. They need deep healing including clearly knowing who they are, why they are here, and the great news that this temporary earthly experience is a totally safe, meaningful, and magnificent adventure amidst eternity. (Helping this happen on a wider scale has been my life work for decades. See SoulProof.com to learn more.)
As I made notes to remember how these details unfolded, the song ‘Hey Jude’ began playing in my head for no apparent reason. I first thought of the two ‘deceased’ musicians – John Lennon and George Harrison– who created that song and many positively mind-expanding messages. Then I thought, ‘Who was Jude? St. Jude? And, if so, what was he the saint of?’ I looked it up and, with goosebumps, read these words: ‘St. Jude is the patron saint of things almost despaired.’
What a perfect full circle moment from discouragement to action. I realized that many blessings had occurred in just a few hours after CHOOSING a higher energy path. These provided a key teaching moment for myself and others. I invite you to choose action versus discouragement in your own life and share this with others.
P.S. Shortly after completing this article, I read about the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas that was followed by another in Dayton, Ohio that night. I was struck by the connections with what I had just written. We had driven through Dayton on the way to and from our vacation site. The Wright Brothers grew up there and Dayton is considered a birthplace of aviation. Those shootings, and many more in the past, are a painful example of big problems that can lead to discouragement and inaction. Could the ‘Turning Discouragement Into Action’ approach help this seemingly hopeless problem? This article cannot address the issue fully, but here are some of my thoughts about addressing the core causes.
According to the Washington Post, “When New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in March that the country’s gun laws would change, it was less than 24 hours after a right-wing terrorist attack that killed 51 Muslim worshipers in Christchurch. Parliament subsequently banned military-style semiautomatic weapons, assault rifles and certain sizes of magazines and ammunition in April, and a buyback program was set up.”
Big challenges usually require holistic solutions. Here are three very achievable steps that could decrease mass shootings:
- gun control laws as above
- more stringent background checks for gun owners, especially for people with a history of violence, crime, and mental illness
- increased respect for diversity and decreased divisive rhetoric by elected officials
It could work as many 15%ers contact their elected representatives and strongly urge action of these law changes. In addition, tell them you will monitortheir votes and support or work against them during the next election based on their vote. Hold them accountable. This relatively simple three step approach certainly offers more hope than doing nothing and feeling discouraged and angry.
When life doesn’t unfold the way you want or think it should, I encourage you to look for the silver linings and stay alert. When the blessings are identified, give thanks and share benefits from the insights and lessons with others. Turn discouragement into action.
P.S.S. We can celebrate and share the great news of scientific proof that death is not the end of life. That means we don’t really lose ‘departed’ loved ones and a long list of other wonderful benefits. (see the book Greater Reality Livingby myself and Dr. Schwartz for the complete list) It includes knowing that we each bring special gifts during this brief earthly experience. Our world can come together as more people follow their hearts and share their unique talents.
I founded online and worldwide Greater Reality Living (GRL) Groups to help many people:
1. Learn scientific, clinical, and empirical evidence that you continue living after bodily death
2. Internalize the great news that you are a forever being
3. Vitalize and holistically balance yourself
4. Enjoy the many benefits of greater reality living
5. Serve others to help them – and yourself – and make the world a better place
The first letter of those topics spells LIVES, as in all lives matter and we each can experience a series of lives, not just this one brief time on earth. GRL groups are for those who are searching and suffering, especially if you are:
- grieving the passing of a loved one’s human form
- fearing your bodily death
- struggling with the suicide of a dear one
- in the process of your physical body dying
- suffering with difficulties such as failed relationships, physical / mental imbalance, broken dreams, financial loss, lack of purpose, or addicted loved ones
- considering suicide
- mourning the end of a beloved pet’s no longer needed shell
- upgrading past cultural, educational, or religious teachings that no longer make sense
- searching for sensible answers to your biggest questions and challenges
- desiring to enjoy the greatest life you have envisioned
- wanting to transform yourself and our planet for the better