One impetus of P:5Y came from asking What is the truth that I’m stepping over in my own life? What am I spending a lot of energy repressing or making excuses for?
These are Very useful questions if you want to start discovering your purpose and take the next step in it.
I was in a year long course called Power & Contribution with 140 people who flew in from 40 different countries. For six weekends in San Francisco for a year we explored one question: “What is the contribution I was uniquely born with, to give for all people?”
We asked that question in various ways from “What can I not get enough of?” “What can I do all day long and not get tired of it?” to “What is something I remember wanting for all people as a child?”
One of the main distillations that I want is: All people living from the truth of who they are and consciously creating their lives, communities, nations and world from that place. World Peace is a milestone.
Nathan and I started exploring what ways we are living from truth and what ways are we not. This became more personal as I felt what I wanted, yet seemed impossible.
One truth that I kept stepping over and the majority of people seemed to be stepping over is world peace. It’s been dreamed up as this utopia and impossible ideal, but I knew many successful people who have made ‘impossible things happen’. I’ve done my share of deadline productions. I also grew up in the generation who idealizes Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. I won third place in the Omaha, Nebraska Martin Luther King speech contest. Our heroes are the peacemakers who fearlessly fought for what they knew was true in the face of ‘that is impossible’. I knew from their example that impossibility can be a mirage masking hard work, strategy, and an aligned purpose. So why was I doing making excuses? All I have is this ONE life. How do I want to live it?
It eventually became obvious in a moment, that stepping over the nagging feeling was no longer tolerable. That moment came in a business strategy session with Nathan. We were in a semi-circular room overlooking the ocean and hills of Santa Barbara. The room was full of white boards, dry-erase markers, and audio recording equipment. We were charting industry metrics based on a book called The Blue Ocean Strategy for our business Dharmamix. We got into a discussion about the power of cognitive dissonance to influence action. The sun had just set over the hills. There was a moment looking around the room when we asked “Why don’t we do this for World Peace? Why don’t we treat peace like a business? Give it milestones, within a project and deadline?”
We had been involved with an international peace conference for a couple of years. Nathan had been working on an academic piece on the technology of conversation that creates world peace. We thought there was something new that needed to happen about the conversation of world peace but we did not know what yet.
“Peace is always one day. It’s never been now.”
“How about peace in five years?” At that moment an unavoidable clarity emerged. Neither one of us could deny it.
I remember being seven years old. One Saturday various church friends came over to our farm in Iowa. Standing in our living room near the window that looked out to the large Weeping Willow tree I could see several older people standing in the front lawn talking. They looked perfectly loved and yet I felt sadness. I remember thinking “I wish they new how great they are. I wish they saw what I see in them.” Seeing this essence in people stayed with me.
Sitting in Santa Barbara with Nathan looking over at me, we both knew something bigger than us had just come out of our mouths. We knew peace in 10 years was still more of peace some day. We would both rather put a concerted effort within a natural time-frame humans can plan within of five years. We wrote out a promise that created an unprecedented, productive, most-frequent-flyer-mile-fully-engaged-year of my life… and it’s just starting!
“By February 14th, 2014 I promise to create world peace as measured by The Economist Newspaper.”
Do you have a purpose that’s been following you around your whole life? I invite you to take the pledge and create world peace with me.. and With Us. Watch out for the though, for the extra energy, miracles, and resources that seem to flood in…
With Love, Amber
p.s. You can start looking at YOUR Contribution to World Peace by asking yourself the questions underlined above.
“You cannot tell the truth if your telling your story. You cannot tell your story if your telling the truth.” -Gangaji