One of the things that inspired me most is the metaphor of the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into a butterfly. I first heard about this in the context of change and sustainability in a talk by Elisabet Satouris... who put it (roughly) like this:
This post is about almost having a stomach ulcer at 26. And about THE MOST exhilarating question we ALL have to answer: How can we live happily and prosperously AND maintain a living, thriving planet??
And about what one has to do with the other and why the two are the same thing. And a little bit about the Matrix.
Let's get real here folks - we're all addicted. We see stuff - we want it. We own it - we want more. We are like kids in the candy story.
If we stopped buying unnecessary stuff, our planet would be better of. We'd be depleting much less of our planet's resources, destroying less eco-systems, creating much less waste and even stop changing the climate.
And we'd end up with more money in our back pocket- it's a no-brainer, really. But how do we stop??
Typical conundrum of countless changemakers I know: They care so much about other people that they forget about themselves and they live in martyrdom and on the brink of poverty. Which is honorable in some way, but very unhelpful in others.
What I found is that this is often caused by the same few very basic underlying assumptions or thoughts.
I know two things to be true, simultaneously: what you resist, persists. And: revolutions have, at times, changed the world. Which, I think, makes revolutions sound exhausting. But first, let’s look at what this means.
Have you ever asked yourself WHY you want to be happy? Assuming, that is, that you do. Yes, there is that 'feel good' effect created by the 'just right' cocktail of Dopamine, Oxytocin, Endorphin, Serotonin, GABA's, Adrenaline and Endocannabioids (and whatever others I may have missed). Any or all of those flushing through your system, in whatever combination, is a clearly a nice thing. It feels good. Ok. But why?
In this time of change, challenge and turmoil, I sometimes notice resentment about it expressed both around me and within me. As the world groans under our weight and we with her, I hear this idea: that we have been or are being treated unfairly in one way or another.
There’s resentment from those that ‘have not’ (yet) obtained western middle class access to possessions, services or property. It’s the feeling of ‘why do they and I don’t’? And it elicits a feeling of entitlement that, sadly, poses a deadly threat to our planet.
When you look around our world today it's almost easy to believe that our happiness and fulfillment will arrive in the package with our latest gadget, tossed into the bag along with the purchase receipt or maybe it'll just magically appear when finally we just wear those new shoes.
At least I'd say there is an undeniable attempt out there to make us believe that our happiness somehow correlates with - stuff.