Traits of VIsionaries

10 Qualities of Visionary Leaders and Healers in Transitional Times

10 Qualities of Visionary Leaders for Transitional Times - Art by Chris Saunders

9th April 2015

By Gerri Ravyn Stanfield

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Let’s push it, let’s birth it. Let’s create and heal and risk the pain. I love the way you lead the way, the way you risk that disapproving sneer, the distasteful glare. I love the way you dive right into the fear of isolation and rejection, just to become the truth. Sure, we want to be good and to be loved, but following the rules has never unveiled the joy we seek.

Now is not the time to follow the old rules!

The world is in a great initiation, a giant transition. It’s time to question the (de)construction of every wall. Those of us willing to identify as leaders and healers are uniquely poised to help this process. Surviving crisis is written in our DNA, but this time around, the scale is larger.

Many of us have had the luxury of time spent together in friendship, spiritual or professional community, celebrating the cycles of the planet and imagining the world that is to come. Our intention is sent out to create that world where natural resources are valued, everyone has what they need and our relationships with plants and animals are healthy. We want to recognize the interdependence of our lives with other humans. We are surrounded by people who may have a different view of what is coming or who may fear the events that are unfolding around our climate, racial justice and change in economy.

The Great Turning

In their book, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re In Without Going Crazy, Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone outline three paradigms about the way that the world is going right now.

The first is Business as Usual; this seems to be the way that most of Western urbanized culture is going. Governments still recommend economic progress based on overuse of resources; the media still gives the message to consume. No change is recommended anytime soon.

In The Great Unraveling story, it is the opposite. All the dire truths about this time weigh heavy and there is no other direction except for imminent destruction.

The third paradigm, The Great Turning, is about a major transition in lifestyle and actions to shift human culture towards a holistic healing relationship with our planet.

People who are practicing Business as Usual seem to be living in denial about climate changes, extinction of species and extreme economic disparity. When faced with this story, everything can feel hopeless and we find ourselves spending hours searching the internet or distracting ourselves. It is seductive to engage in The Great Unraveling as well. This one feels like we are really doing something by convincing people how bad it is out there. Our urgency feels like the opposite of apathy. Perhaps we grow more desperate, thinking that it is too late for significant change; that we are surely doomed.

In healing leadership, we continue to revisit The Great Turning as a possibility for the future. We share what is so painful and exciting about being alive right now. We remember what is worth fighting for and loving; and what qualities leaders need in the real world to bring The Great Turning to life.

Qualities of Visionary Leaders and Healers

Capacity For Holding Grief.

We are in a time where many things are changing and being lost. Sometimes, the growth on the other side of loss isn’t immediately obvious. Our opportunities to sit with people who are in distress may increase.

In many of the healing arts, there are techniques around energetic shielding to effectively help people process deep emotions without taking them on ourselves. Grief sometimes elicits anger, anxiety or fear which can be difficult to support. The tendency can be to try and ‘fix it’ so the person will stop expressing the emotion we perceive as negative. In Chinese medicine, all emotions move qi (life force) through us. Emotions are in service to our health and they will not be endless. When people feel things intensely, we can learn to give them space and empathy. We cannot fix it and sometimes what people want is to be physically or emotionally held so that they can keep going.

If you do not feel comfortable around heavy emotions, ask yourself what is hard for you about it. How can you grow your capacity to hold people in transformation? What are the resources in your community to help people process loss and anger?

10 Qualities of Visionary Leaders for Transitional Times - Art by Chris SaundersCapacity For Rejuvenation.

Just as we expand our ability to hold suffering, it is also necessary to become excellent at rejuvenation. At a memorial service for my friend, Jim Brandau, we were told that one of Jim’s great mottos was a rule from the Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain. “All participants are required to lend to the joy of the fiesta.” Our joy matters now more than ever.

One of the first signs of trouble in an activist campaign is when we lose enthusiasm. As leaders, we are responsible for knowing what brings us pleasure, how we can find respite. Our self care becomes more vital than ever. Because passion and motivation are such wonderful qualities in leaders, we must be ever seeking inspiration.

What are ten practices that refill you? Who are the people or beings who help you relax, reconnect with resources and with yourself?

Ability to Listen and Synthesize.

We all love leaders who have brilliant ideas and communicate them in a succinct way. Even more coveted is the ability to synthesize what has been said. Leaders who release attachment to their own ideas and draw together the passionate opinions of others are needed. One of us is rarely as brilliant as all of us and the marriage of different ideas is a way to achieve innovative solutions. It is great to restate people’s words in a group, ensuring that everyone understands what is being said and allowing individuals to edit their own offering. Crafty leaders also begin to notice when folks are saying similar things and make proposals.

Mediation Skills.

I am an unapologetic fan of Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication. His assertion that every human being has the same needs is revolutionary. I have seen his system bring more empathy and ability for people in serious conflict to reconnect than any other. We have conflict when an underlying need of ours is not being met. Leaders can use NVC (or another comparable system) to assess what unmet need is causing the upset in a group and help to meet the need if possible. When leaders seek conflict resolution training, we all have a better chance of moving forward.

Intimate Relationship With Our Challenges.

Thank goodness we are imperfect. It is a lifelong struggle to accept this about ourselves and in leadership, it is amplified. Our ability to be aware of our own challenges and to be kind to ourselves around the ways that we make mistakes is imperative. I recommend making a list of tendencies that sometimes feel like barriers to success. Along with a commitment to work on them, give yourself permission to be an imperfect leader. Ask a trusted mentor to be ‘on call’ to give a reality check if they see your challenges becoming a problem. It can be freeing to give your challenges names, faces and personalities. Now, when I hear my Rigid Controller (RC for short) start to speak inside my head, I have much more empathy for myself and ability to edit what that part of me has to say.

Ability To Laugh At Ourselves.

We are funny monkeys! We do strange and outrageous things. The more we relax and give a good guffaw when we can’t control things, the easier it is to lead others in doing the same. I love it when anyone in leadership asks for a “do over” when they do something that they didn’t intend. The more sense of humor that is displayed, the more my respect grows. Taking ourselves too seriously has got to go.

Ability to Apologize When Our Impact Does Not Meet Intention.

Cedar Barstow emphasizes that even with the purest intention, what we say or do may still feel offensive. We hate that. We want to explain and excuse ourselves. We want people to think well of us. Often, the best thing to do is just apologize. It can be the most disarming thing. More information from you may be welcome after that or not. I will sometimes even get advice about another way that it could have been said or done to achieve the impact that I want. Leading with an authentic apology when something has gone awry, rather than a defense, is one of the best moves a leader can make.

Showing the Vulnerability That Builds Trust.

We want to see ourselves in our leaders. It is difficult to see ourselves in people who appear to be perfect. I consistently get feedback that writing or telling stories about overcoming obstacles in my life or the places where I still struggle are helpful to others. We feel hopeful when we see people we admire be vulnerable. We trust them more. It awakens the mammal in us. People want to know how you arrived where you are.  There is an art to sharing your personal stories. Oversharing from the center of your unprocessed painful experience might cause mistrust. However, giving some personal details about what you are experiencing now or what you have been through to get where you are today will help us connect to you.

Embracing Paradox.

Truth is not simple these days. Leaders who can do the mental gymnastics of holding two opposing truths simultaneously are in demand. The ocean levels are rising and there are millions of organizations creating healing and justice in the world. How can we hold disparate realities as being relevant and accurate?  There is a way to shift our perception of the world to support our actions and resolve and it will require a strong relationship to holding paradox.

Stress Relief Techniques.

The Dalai Lama recently said that humans are in a pandemic of anxiety and depression. While this may be appropriate given what is happening to our planet, it can keep us helpless. Our ability to feel deeply and move our emotions through us is paramount. What are the ways we can support ourselves and each other in doing this? This is connected to our capacity for rejuvenation but also necessary just to keep moving, to get out of bed in the morning. Our media and our circumstances keep our nervous system in constant sympathetic arousal. We must find breathing techniques, movement, exercise, and relaxation, anything to get us back to our creative brain and out of reaction. What does this for you?

10 Qualities of Visionary Leaders for Transitional Times - Art by Chris Saunders

Contributing to the Transition

One of our challenges is to take our wisdom into a world that may not understand what we do. People may be repulsed or frightened by our beliefs or the words we use to self identify. We must not be deterred. The skills we have are desperately needed. People will sense who you are and ask you to assist in their crisis, facilitate their meetings, interpret their dreams, perform their memorial service, create art or ritual for them, settle their arguments, or answer their questions about spirituality or medicine for these times. How will you respond?

Carolyn Raffensperger asks a provocative question in an interview with Derek Jensen. “What is the biggest and most important problem in the world that you can [help to] solve with your unique skills and abilities?” I pose this question to all current and potential leaders and healers. It helps us face the size of the transition with which we are dealing but also to see our distinctive contribution to it.

Sometimes, our protest results in a policy change, our patient recovers, our kids learn something, our client feels better, our students understand; we make a visible difference that we can acknowledge. Those are great moments, but our attachment to having them happen frequently is problematic. Sometimes we have to do the work that is directly in front of us and not see the results of our actions. Instead, we may have to trust that our children, students, or some descendent in the future may be touched by what we do. We can continue to support each other and hold the vision. There is no certainty about where we are going. All we can do is exactly what is in front of us and contribute as much as possible to the joy of the ongoing fiesta unfolding around us.

I suspect we have enough of everything we need to make this transition. Let’s keep going. Squeeze out that last drop of wonder in the tube. Stop clenching and clawing and clamping down. Open your chest, your heart, your lower back, your whole life. Live audaciously all the way to the edge and I will too.


Kingsley Dennis on Empathic Consciousness

The Rise of Empathic Consciousness

For many of us we have been brought up within a social structure that demands we become a ‘productive member’ of our society; thus much emphasis is placed upon developing individual skills so that we can compete with each other for social betterment. Inherent in this is a residual fear that if we open ourselves too much to others we may lose our ‘competitive edge’ and defined sense of individuality. Much of mainstream media (aka propaganda) has exploited the mythological images, collective stereotypes, and subconscious signifiers that play on our collective vulnerabilities and social fears. Knowledge has more or less trickled down to the average person through heavily filtered channels, and most often has been doctored, amended, and/or edited. The end result has been not knowledge but consensus information, or ‘allowed’ information. It has served the elite power structure well that people in general have not awoken to the understanding that humanity possesses incredible capacity and inherent resources for creative expansion and evolutionary development.

Added to this is the fact that Western science, which has asserted itself as the dominant hegemony since the Renaissance, has been at pains to stress that matter is primary and that consciousness is a secondary by-product from our mental activity. The modern worldview which denies the primacy of consciousness is fostering forms of human alienation, both psychological and social. It is a great paradox that modern science, itself a result of human consciousness, has produced a view of the cosmos which has no room for consciousness. Yet human beings are in need of meaning and significance in their lives as much as they are in need of air to breathe and food to eat. This struggle over the conscious mind(s) of humanity, which has been going on in various forms for aeons, is coming to a crux in our present generation. We are in a transition period which sees the expanding awareness and connectivity between individuals worldwide clashing against the increasing authoritarian technocratic ‘surveillance machine.’ The result is that we have now collectively arrived at a critical moment in our evolution of human civilization. Yet any society or civilization which makes the material world its sole pursuit and object of concern cannot but devolve in the long run. It is now necessary to see our future potentials, not the daily news. As Professor Needleman so aptly remarked:

The esoteric is the heart of civilization. And should the outward forms of a human civilization become totally unable to contain and adapt the energies of great spiritual teachings, then that civilization has ceased to serve its function in the universe.[1]

It is therefore imperative that we begin to break-away from non-developmental social conditioning; this includes being conscious of the type of media impacts we are open to. Furthermore, during moments of cultural and social disorder/disequilibrium the human mind often works with an energy and intensity not manifested when social patterns are stable and monotone. At such dynamic periods there can be the realization that no individual is isolated; that each person is interwoven into a vibrant network and web of psychological, emotional, and spiritual interrelations. Such realizations can be heightened during periods, such as now, when it appears that human consciousness is moving through a time of critical transition.

Our self-awareness over the nature of human consciousness has been increasing greatly over the last several decades. The latest findings in the new sciences (especially quantum and neuroscience), in consciousness studies, in the popularity for inner and self-development, etc, all indicate a new awareness emerging within our collective consciousness. That is, energetic change will come through our social and cultural forms, and not by avoiding them. Developmental change on a large scale can occur by creating conscious change from within our daily lives and within our social systems, and not outside of them. By just walking on this planet, holding the focus and intention, we create incredible energy – energy that is shared. We are creating change by just being alive. That is why being without fear is so important. We need not create a black and white film in our heads when in reality we are creating colour. We can make use of the tools that are already available to us, and within us.

There is an exponentially increasing mass of individuals worldwide who are now awakening to the connected empowerment of empathic consciousness. Recent de-stabilizing social events, such as in our financial and political spheres, have drawn people’s focus to the dysfunction of many of the systems that we once gave our trust to. Even the focus on religious extremism in the media has drawn people’s attention not only to the deficit of spiritual values in our major religions but also to how religion is being used as a tool for furthering social, political, and emotional control. This trance-like grip on our collective consciousness is now being stripped away as people awaken to the knowing that there is so much more to our lives than that of a materialistic and consumer-based lifestyle. Yet don’t become frustrated if things don’t happen tomorrow, but trust that changes and shifts are happening over time. The necessity of inner knowing, intuition, self-trust, and integrity, is now critical. And let us remember that humans are biased for compassion and empathy. The awakening of our empathic mind is our natural inheritance.

The Awakening of a Planetary Consciousness

The accelerating changes occurring across our planet right now will have no alternative but to force a mind-change on a global and individual level. We are coming together as a global species like never before; despite what we have been shown and told by the mainstream media. We need to view this in both the immediate and the bigger picture. Due to our relatively short human life span we rarely reflect beyond a generation or two in front of us. We have evolved as a species that reacts to immediate concerns. This served us well in the past when we had survival needs in a restricted world of limited horizons. Yet now we need a perspective that is global at the very least – and even possibly beyond!

If we now look at the bigger picture we will see that a different type of consciousness has been emerging over the past 150 years. That is, since the dawn of the Second Industrial Revolution. The new technologies of the Second Industrial Revolution – the telephone, radar, cinema, automobile and airplane – called for a new reorientation of human perspective. A new perception of the dimensions of space and time began to birth a psychological consciousness – one that wanted to look beyond the borders and horizons of the physical frontier. The 3rd Industrial Revolution, if we wish to call it that, will be a convergence of digital communications combined with a young generation that is more globally aware. This has the potential to catalyze upon this planet a rising empathic, integral consciousness. Also, our global communications will encourage new relations in our extended connectivity. That is, increased multiple relations are likely to stimulate a connected, collaborative consciousness; rather than stepping back into an older consciousness of conflict and control. A planetary citizenry is likely to emerge that will exhibit greater empathy, and which will create a different planetary society within perhaps two generations. Humanity already contains the seeds of these momentous potentials.

Many social changes within the upcoming years will emerge from the creative engagement and innovation of individuals and collectives worldwide – a shift catalyzed within the hearts, spirit, and minds of the people. Externally we may seem like a vast, distant, and separate collection of individuals yet in truth the human family is an intimate, closely entwined species comprised of various cultures. Many of the younger generation now are waking up to this fact. Youngsters the world over are growing up accustomed to having networks of hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of friends across the planet; sharing intimacy and empathizing easily with an international social group of like-minded souls. This younger generation is manifesting, whether conscious of it or not, a non-local level of human relationships. This expanded connectivity is impacting and affecting a change in our psychology and consciousness. We are now being impelled to live in ways that enable all other people to live as well. We are also being compelled to live in ways that respect the lives of others and that respect the right to the economic and cultural development of all people; and to pursue personal fulfilment in harmony with the integrity of nature. These traits may constitute what I refer to as an integral-ecological consciousness: a person acting and behaving as both an individual and as a part of the greater connected whole. Such multiple relations form a more varied, rich and complex life; they also provide a more diverse range of impacts and opportunities to develop the self. As well as providing challenges for developing new skills and learning, our diverse networks can form new friendships and add extra meaning to our lives.

Many young people today are comfortable in expressing themselves with strangers; they explore and express their inner thoughts, feelings, emotions and ideas with hundreds of unknown persons online, from various cultural backgrounds. More and more daily interactions are empathic as we react and share news, stories, and emotional impacts from sources around the world. Empathy is one of the core values by which we create and sustain social life. Exposure to impacts outside of our own local and restrictive environments helps us to learn tolerance, and to live with experiences that are richer and more complex, full of ambiguities, and multiple perspectives. It is a mode of connecting that allows diverse people worldwide to construct a new form of planetary social capital. We have the resources to co-create a planetary human society where once again the focus is on social benefit rather than profit. We can see many examples of this today, such as in online collaborative tools and in the proliferation of local and global projects. The online global community is a model for the new paradigm that illustrates how sharing can work above the individual motive for profit. The values and ethics of communal sharing might seem odd or out-of-place to the old capitalist-consumerist mindset, yet these are the very values that will be on the rise within the coming generations.

The spectacular rise in global communication technologies (Internet and mobile phones especially) reflects a new form of participatory consciousness, especially among younger people. This new model is a distributed one; in other words, it connects people through networks rather than through hierarchical structures. It also represents a more feminine energy that seeks to nurture relationships, and to collaborate, rather than compete and conquer. It is this emerging feminine energy that underlies the rise in global empathy. Furthermore, since people are connecting amongst themselves in multiple relations it impels them to have an active engagement. For those individuals brought-up within the older generation of communication technologies (radio, television, fixed phones), the interaction was either two-way or, for the most part, one way. In this era people were passive receivers, targeted by information they could not engage with. This has now shifted so that the receiver of the communication can be both the user and the producer. Individuals today are shifting from being consumers to prosumers.

We have learnt to democratize our engagement and to activate choice through online social networks, phone messaging, video channels (e.g. You-Tube), and various other broadcast mediums. The younger generation is waking up quickly and learning how to set-up inexpensive, or free, radio sites (podcasts), home websites, newsletters, and are managing their own forms of self-expression. This new model is changing our thinking and behavior patterns. We are now getting used to dealing with multiple connections rather than single ones; and to becoming immersed in diverse relations and not just one-on-one dialogues. We are also being exposed to a myriad of viewpoints, beliefs, identities, and experiences. Within these new arrangements we are being asked to respond and engage with the outside world not in fear or with anxiety but with healthy, creative, and positive energies.

The Arrival of 3 Billion New Minds

We are going to witness a young generation expressing their desire for human betterment through intensified action for social, political, and ecological change. More and more young people are growing up experiencing social relations that transcend space and time, as well as cultures, national boundaries, and local ideologies. This may account for the increasing numbers of young people in developed nations becoming involved in community and social projects and NGOs; such as taking a year out to help in another culture abroad, to learn, experience, and to offer assistance. Volunteering among the young, despite what appears to be the contrary, is on the increase. Young people are even putting themselves into dangerous situations – in conflict zones – to stand up for values of peace, justice, equality, and human rights. Across the world young minds are demanding fair and equal access for all peoples to engage in open communication and free speech. And it appears that many more creative minds will be joining the global conversation as our current generation(s) increasingly ‘wake up.’

In 2012 the planetary population was around 7 billion and the number of registered internet users was 33%, a rise of over 500% from the previous decade. By 2020 world population is set to be 7.8 billion and internet users worldwide is estimated to be 66% – that’s a little under 3 billion new people plugging into the global conversation. In other words, nearly 3 billion new minds will be tapping into the information flows – and that’s many millions of new creative problem solvers, innovators, and visionaries. What is more, the majority of these new minds will be coming online from Asia, the Middle East, and what we refer to as the developing countries. These will be mostly young minds; and minds with necessities, with the urge for social betterment. Can we imagine the collective potential of these creative new minds; many of them thinking outside of the box, and outside of the old patterns?

It is significant that in times of relative social stability, human consciousness plays a lesser role in the behavior of society. However, when a society reaches the limits of its stability then social-cultural systems are sensitive and responsive to even the smallest fluctuations in the consciousness of its citizens. In such times, changes in values, belief sets, perceptions, etc, hold great sway over the future direction of the social situation. Human consciousness becomes a significant stimulus and catalyst for change during these times of social instability (see the history of social revolutions). That is why it is imperative humanity be collectively focused upon positive development and betterment rather than to be coerced, or conditioned, into a fear-based security that resists change. We should not underestimate the capacity for the human mind to adapt and evolve according to social and environmental impacts and influences.

Our modern sense of self-awareness has clearly evolved to root us in our social world: a world of extended relations and social networks. Humanity, it can be said, has been biologically hard-wired to tap into extended social connections and human communication networks. We are also hard-wired to adapt physically in response to experience – new neural processes in our brains can come into being with intentional effort, awareness, and different patterns of concentration. This capacity to create new neural connections, and thus new mental skill sets through experience, has been termed neuroplasticity. The human brain of today has to respond to the incredible amount of energy and information that is flowing through our environments and embedded in our cultural experiences. Thus, how we focus our attention and awareness greatly shapes the structure of our brains. Further, the ability to grow new neural connections is available throughout our lives and not only in our young formative years. This knowledge encourages us to nurture our mindfulness, our self-awareness, and our empathic relations with others. Neuroplasticity also encourages us to be more reflective over our human networks, and to develop those social skills that underlie empathy and compassion. These new ‘wired connections’ are exactly what are becoming activated as individuals increasingly ‘wake up’ to what is happening within our communities, our societies, and upon the planet. Such distributed connections breach cultural and national borders and force us to self-reflect on our identity, values and ethics.

The opportunity is here for change and betterment like never before in our recent history. This means that the responsibility is also here; and these two factors may never be present again at exactly the right moment when they are so badly needed. What the human species may now be witnessing during these years is the rise of intuition, empathy, greater connectivity to the world and to people, and a sense of ‘knowing’ what changes need to be made. Furthermore, within each person is a growing sense of the greater cosmic whole: the realization that humanity exists and evolves within a universe of great intelligence and meaning. This serves to impart within humanity a more profound spiritual impulse. As a new global empathic mind emerges, people worldwide will grow up with new expressions of mindfulness that are more caring, relational, and compassionate. The 21st century is likely to be the era that births and nurtures such an evolving consciousness.

Many of the younger people across the world do not accept the social conditioning of anger, fear, and insecurity of their past generations. They want to reach out for change and betterment. Around the world there are examples of young people rejecting the conflict mentality of their elder generations. In conflict zones especially, where young minds are conditioned into unconditional hatred of fixed enemies, there is a backlash against this old programming. Younger people are reaching out across artificial borders to engage with the so-called ‘enemy’ and to start a new dialogue of peace and reconciliation. Such minds realize that the conflict mentality has no future, and will be left behind if it cannot accept change. Whereas many of those from the older mindset thought that a future meant putting up borders, and viewing the ‘others’ with suspicious eyes; many of today’s young minds see differently. We can see this in youth movements worldwide as there is change emerging in the mindset of young people everywhere. This is especially so in Middle Eastern territories where restrictive regimes are now encountering rising youthful demographics who are not accepting the old mentalities and old ways. A lot of the young people today want the same thing – peace, justice, equality, freedom, etc. There is a new spring in the step of young, tech-savvy, energetic minds that are by-passing the old models. In these years ahead – at least for the next two decades – we will increasingly see the signs of the changing of the old guard (the dinosaurs!). And this time they will not be replaced by those with the same consciousness. With generational change we will see the gradual transition to an era of individuals who think differently, feel differently, connect differently, and who will want to work toward a different world.

Yet we also need to acknowledge that this transition may not be a smooth one – the shifting of one mindset to another rarely is. We have seen this play out many times; think of the scientific revolution as one example. The reaction of the status quo has always been to strengthen its ruling apparatus. In the case of today, this means increased physical and digital surveillance; increased militarization of the state; and violations of individual privacy. And the first wave response from people is generally to fight back – head on. I contest, however, that this form of response also constitutes the old mind. The newer consciousness does not seek conflict. Rather, it seeks to create ways around the current blockages. Or, in the words of Buckminster Fuller – “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Over time, the old models will fight their way into obsolescence. Those who express the ‘newer mind’ must be patient, positive, and incredibly creative.

In summary, a new narrative is emerging, one where each person is integral to the larger picture; the journey of each one of us being a part of the journey as a whole. This new story informs us that the possibilities are open for humanity to engage in consciously creating its way forward – with harmony, balance and respect to all. This new narrative is part of humanity’s evolving empathic mind and which compels us to seek greater connectivity and meaning in our lives. This most recent human story is one where we create the story of the future.

[1] Jacob Needleman, New Religions (New York: E P Dutton, 1977)

Kingsley L. Dennis, author of The Phoenix Generation: A New Era of Connection, Compassion, and Consciousness


Occupy, Meditate, Activate, Change

WE ARE THE 100%: Thoughts on the rEvolution

By CC Treadway

Earlier this year, I found out about these things called “meditation flash mobs.” Excited at the prospect of being in my heart with others in some of the busiest places in New York City, I became a meditation flash mob junkie. The experience consists of picking a busy, public place and then gathering to meditate together for an hour. Following the meditation we usually chant and do a little dancing.

The crowd consists of indigo and crystal kids all grown up, actualizing their mission, and then others flock around them. These flash mobs have been happening all over the world, from Sedona, AZ to Moscow, Russia. The intention is to bring light and love to that area.

The first time we meditated together was in Union Square, the busiest section of downtown New York. I was shocked at how blissful the experience was, how many people came to join, and how many people thought we were entertaining enough to watch.

When we sit down to meditate, it’s like the universe knows exactly what to do. The click into bliss is immediate. Every time we do these meditations, I see crystal cities of light descending up on us. The energy is very strong, and will usually affect me for days.



I didn’t want to stop there. Sure, unifying in our hearts anywhere unexpected is an amazing experience, but there was more. I had a dream. I yearned to infuse the financial system with love. This dream has pulsed inside me for years. You see, I don’t hate Wall Street, bankers or any other kind of successful person. I loooooove them. I was raised by a pack of ambitious wuvable Wall Street wolves who looooooved me.

Every time I hear someone saying how much they hate the system or money, I want to send love to them, and to the system, and to money. (Please read this article: Money, Power, Sex and the Snakefor more info on this.)

Some people can’t wait for the system to crash, for money to disappear, for bartering to become the main source of exchange again. In fact, I hear predictions of the global economy crashing daily from all kinds of reliable and unreliable sources.

And yet the economy hangs on, we hang on, somehow we are all still functioning in this fluctuating system. Grass roots communities form, and Bentleys are still purchased. Could a shrinking middle class result in a growing grass roots movement for a new kind of society? Because being stripped of our material wealth creates resourceful thinking, shared thinking, and creative solutions.

How many of us have had this happen in the last few years? I went through it. What a blessing. And we are doing it within this current system… because we are the system. We are the 100%. The system is not out there somewhere being forced upon us, it reflects all of us and our actions, feelings and reactions. The masses (we) went to sleep and let the overlords control us, and now we don’t want that anymore. It’s simple at the macro level.

So perhaps there is a better way than everything going to hell in a handbasket all at once. If we are the 100%, then let’s walk our talk with the oneness stuff, and let’s infuse our love into every aspect of life, including the economy. Economies, whether based on bartering or currency need our love. Something better is happening. Somehow we all still get up in the morning, using what has been built in our past, to inform and help create what we would like in the future. And I see that we are changing things for the better, together.



We are well aware of the powerful energy that the financial industry is working with… and somehow most people feel that energy, that force, that world, is separate from them or does not belong to them. It’s only separate if you let it be. Do not be afraid. That energy can be reclaimed and integrated in the heart. Imagine if that most powerful energy was infused with Love? Think of the possibilities for abundance!

Wall Street is the center of many ley lines coming together and creating a strong vortex that broadcasts to the rest of the world. The experience of being down there is actually very calm, like being in the eye of the storm.

In August of 2011, about six weeks before the #Occupy movement took hold, my friend Anthony Finno, owner of City Life Wellness here in Brooklyn, put on a suit, called on the meditators and headed down to Wall Street. We set up an unassuming meditation flash mob directly in front of the New York Stock Exchange! My dream was becoming a reality! Anthony, a master negotiator, had the police, the paparazzi and the bankers in the palm of our hands instantly.

Our intention was simply to hold a loving and grounded space for whatever transition needed to happen. We were aware that there was a lot of chaotic and fearful energy around financial fluctuations, people losing jobs and homes, corruption being exposed and so on and so on. What if we held the space for all of that energy to be met with love? What if we allowed ourselves to channel that energy deep into the earth so it could be supported and nurtured?

It was important that we be outside, that we be seen, instead of doing our lightwork thing in secret like it’s been for so long. Anthony made a huge banner with our intention statement so everyone knew what we were doing and encouraged us to talk to people if they were curious. We were not protesting or challenging anything, just loving. We were peaceful, non confrontational and respectful. Proudly, we made the New York Times and several other news sources.

We continued these meditations about once a week for six weeks until one day it was enough. On that last day we were accompanied by an ancient Olmec crystal skull affectionately called Pancho. Three days later, the #Occupy movement came in.



It was never just about the hippies. Everyone is down there, representing all of us. And the movement grew and went global so quickly. 70,000 people took to the streets in Israel, hundreds of cities participated and continue to participate all over the world. Northern Africa is liberating itself and choosing democracy without the US Army forcing them to do so. What is happening in the world right now is nothing short of amazing.

Our meditation flash mob team set up shop in Liberty Park with the protesters, and have continued with bi-weekly meditations since the movement began. It is unbelievable the variety of folks that are down there. We see our part as simply balancing and participating in the adventure.

Each one of us collectively created the reality we are living in now. Each one of us, whether we are members of the elite, whether we are the shrinking middle class, whether we are on welfare, whether we are the farmer in the US or abroad, have made decisions to support the current reality. And now, collectively, we are making the decision to improve it.

On a personal level, one of the things that gets me meditating on the street is the thought of childhood slavery and prostitution. Who else can’t tolerate that? No more. I don’t want an ounce of my tax dollars, of my energy, of my livelihood contributing unknowingly to these kinds of abuses. No taxation without representation.



My wish for those screaming and yelling at the tall buildings and people in suits is to let that energy light up your fire of personal empowerment to help build the new world. Together. This new world requires you to surrender to your hearts, your passions and to bravely step forward and believe that you are taken care of by life itself. It asks you to be proactive in co-creating your dreams. In the new world there is no lack. Let your screams fill the holes in your belief systems that convince you that you don’t have enough or that you aren’t enough. Let the power of your eternal soul light you on fire to the truth that you are abundant and taken care of at all times.

To those who would rather remain silent and disconnected with stockpiles of insider trades in their back vault, I wish for you the gentle letting go of the illusion that hoarding makes you powerful and safe because you don’t believe there is enough, because sinking into life feels so impossible. I wish for you to see that were you to lose everything, you would be taken care of, abundantly, with everyone else. Together. The new world asks you to be softer, more flexible and to experience the joy in togetherness. What are your secrets, and who are you really? We want to know. Let the power of your eternal soul light you on fire to the truth that you are abundant and taken care of at all times.



On October 27th, 2011 I went to the event with the 13 crystals skulls and the Mayan priests expecting something new and huge to hit me. But as I listened, I realized we had already achieved what they were talking about. Global unification was happening as they were speaking.

The revolution will not be televised, but it will be between you and me, face to face, soul to soul. And I think we did it. The years of preparing through lightwork, ceremony, and the reading and rereading of prophecy were all validated when a global outcry for a better world hit the streets. People want a world that more accurately reflects their hearts, and are tired of letting corruption go by unchecked. We will continue to shout it out until our energy and hearts are fully woven into the new system. The new system is global, conscious and requires everyone to bring their full selves in to participate. It will take time to form, but it is happening.

This new system exists within a different experience of time than we have known, it is born from our hearts, and not from our minds trying to fix something broken. As a healer, I know that if I approach a client like they are a problem needing to be fixed, no healing happens. Healing happens when we know and see the true source within, when we tap into the body and soul’s natural way of being, which is health and harmony.

I leave you with a few brilliant quotes by members of our community:

“If you are wondering what type of people are Occupying Wall Street I will tell you exactly what I see. Some people know exactly what’s wrong with the world, some people just have a sense that something’s not right, some people have amazing ideas and plans to heal the world, some people have no clue, but ALL people at Wall Street are STANDING UP FOR YOU and your mother and your father and the guy who you buy coffee from at the deli down the block from your house in the morning. So when you ask me what type of people are Occupying Wall Street I’ll tell you that the only people who are Occupying Wall Street are the bravest people I have ever met! LOVE YOU ALL!!! ? Let’s Turn Our Mother Earth Into the Paradise that it is Waiting to Grow Into.” -Jesse Mejia

“Since following the development of this movement, I have come across such inspiring conversations between people who are seemingly on “opposite sides” but trying to find common ground. I see that some are waking up, looking at ourselves and seeing how we contributed to the mess, taking responsibility and brainstorming solutions that take everyone’s voice into account. There’s a lot of different opinions and it’s messy. But I have been so moved just by witnessing people focusing on their similarities instead of their differences, reaching out across party/race/lifestyle/class/etc lines to have real conversations. There is no 99%. We’re all in this together, and my hope is that more and more people start to see it that way…. But ultimately, what we have already achieved is for people to stand up, speak up, and get together in community. Whatever happens next, it has opened us up to speaking with our neighbors in a city in which that almost never happens. And, to tell you the truth… I feel it’s all about enjoying this big adventure! We don’t know how to create what we want, but it’s so exciting that we are getting together to try to make it happen.” -Melody Kiersz


About CC Treadway

CC Treadway


CC Treadway, founder of Treadway Esoteric, is a healer, channel, sound healer and multidisciplinary artist. She bases her practice out of Sedona, AZ and New York City, as well as long distance through Skype. She is a graduate of the prestigious four-year program, The Barbara Brennan School of healing and teaches a Channeling Certification program, as well as a myriad of workshops on energy healing and consciousness. CC is honored to write for the Spirit of Maat.

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