Do you feel it? The pangs of unrest and oppression caused by a society on the brink of political, economic and ecological crisis? Does it stir a sacred rage in you that longs for justice, equality and radical change?
If you're anything like me or the people I work with, you feel it- and no amount of coffee or kombucha or yoga or meditation can numb it. And not just because you "get" that society needs to make radical and immediate change, but because somewhere in the core of your being, you want, no have to do something about it.
The Weight of the World
This is how I felt for the last last 6 years as a sustainability professional. Like many of you, I believed that if I worked hard, applied myself and operated with integrity, I would feel happy and fulfilled. So I did all the things I was "supposed" to do. By day, I was a dependable, hardworking professional, throwing myself into my career. I volunteered, I recycled and I ate local and organic. I exercised regularly and voted in every election. At night, I spent hours reading about systems change, human development, consciousness studies and restorative justice- trying to quench my insatiable thirst for meaning and purpose.
But the more I learned, and the harder I worked, the more I realized how bizarrely unjust the world is. From consumption to climate change and economic inequality to corruption, the weight of the world weighed heavily on my mind and spirit. And it wasn't just the state of things that left me feeling overwhelmed. I also felt wildly different from most professionals, who seemed content with the status quo. All my materials needs were met, but there was this relentless existential angst that grew stronger every day. Once an enthusiastic and idealistic young women, I became entrenched in an arduous battle with depression and later, debilitating anxiety.
All my materials needs were met, but there was this relentless, existential angst that grew stronger every day.
From Disillusionment to Self Actualization
I'm never one to give up with out a fight, so I applied myself at various jobs, hoping I would find meaningful work that clicked. But after five years working in DC, it never came. Instead, I grew even more disillusioned with the political scene, the lack of compassion and humility I experienced daily with co-workers, the rampant inequality, the culture of consumption and competition, and the appalling apathy that I knew plagued most of the United States and much of the rest of the world. I can honestly say that for a time, I was broken. How was it that so many people seemed unaffected by the pangs of the world?
Desperate for change, I got rid of nearly everything I owned in December of 2016 and decided to live in my car for a year while working two jobs. The plan was to save enough money so that I could leave society, live in a tiny home off the grid and ask the universe big questions. At some point, between sitting in a government cubicle conducting a greenhouse gas inventory and writing in my car before the battery ran out on my laptop, I realized some very important things.
The reason I am so angry and fed up and bitter with the world is because the system is unjust and my participation has made me complicit. Until I live and work in a way that aligns with my core values, this cognitive and spiritual dissonance will likely continue.Humanity's inability to solve our most pressing problem is not for lack of evidence based policies or resources or technology, but the result of our inability to manage the emotional and interpersonal labor required to enact them. In order to create a more equitable and sustainable world, humanity must actively work on all levels (personal, interpersonal and organizational) to dismantle oppressive systems and embody new ways of living, working and being.
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them” ― Albert Einstein
Taking Einstein's quote to heart, I decided to quit my job and spend some time reflecting, so I could get clear about the life I wanted to live and how I could align my professional work with my personal values. Slowly, I began thinking of new ways to live, work and be. I asked the universe big questions like, how can I live in alignment with my highest aspiration and greatest skills? How can I be catalyst for social change and empower a group of bold professionals to disrupt the status quo for social good? What would happen if a critical mass of change agents had the skills and tools they needed to manage their hearts, minds and intentions with ease?
Less than a year later, I started training with an accredited coaching program, completed a Mastermind facilitation course and launched Be Bold Services LLC to educate and empower professionals who are wholeheartedly committed to changing the world and ready to do the self work required. Now the existential anxiety has been replaced with an unwavering desire to be of service to humanity, and a tremendous excitement to help birth a bold new world.
Join the Be Bold Tribe
If you are ready for a more conscious, equitable, and sustainable world, I invite you to join the Be Bold Tribe of change agents, activists and professionals walking the talk and amplifying their impact. Check out a Be Bold Mastermind or learn about the benefits of coaching to get clear about your professional mission, accelerate your success and help tip the scale of human development for social good.
At the very least, I hope those among you interested in disrupting the status quo will reach out for some honest to good connection. In the meantime, visit my website to learn more about my work and follow me on Linked In for resources and articles on sustainability, social justice, personal empowerment and collective liberation.