More groundwork is needed before making the leap from changing our minds to changing our country and understanding our role in creating and resolving national conflicts, so bear with me as I till the soil.
Imagine an upright tree, and assume it represents our country. Next, see the roots (individuals) that are planted firmly into the ground. Note that some of them are larger than others and have smaller roots branching even deeper into the earth, while others are directly connected to other larger roots and move directly to the core. The larger roots (leaders) may be connected to more individual roots (people), thus, having tremendous influence, but they also depend upon the individual roots to dig deeper into the earth to pull up the nutrients, strength and energy that exists at the core.
All are ultimately connected and pulling energy (thoughts, ideas and emotions) into the tree trunk. This is why a person holding a positive outlook can influence others’ state of being. Interestingly, though, if someone is forgetting about this capacity and disallowing it, this can only influence someone else if he/she is questioning its truth, too. Otherwise, the ones who remember and continue to draw up strength will trump those who forget or question it, allowing for the trunk as a whole to be strong and healthy. If enough people are infected with doubt, even the largest roots and the trunk can suffer. Given this power each of us holds to influence thoughts, ideas and emotions on a macro level, individual accountability for this power is key, regardless of the size of your “leadership” role.
It’s easy to know when one is grounded and connected because it feels like a positive current is flowing through and we know exactly what to do. Click to Tweet! A decision feels right: we trust, follow it and it pays off. Neutral to blissful states (and every positive emotion in between) signal this intuitive wisdom. There are also times when intuitively we may know something, but our mind questions it (the why will be explained later), and we don’t follow it. Negative emotions are associated with this conflict. Then, when unfolding events confirm that what we “knew” was correct, we regret disregarding it because some form of chaos results. (But, beneath the chaos is wisdom to help our trust in this intuitive power growing stronger. Seeing through the chaos is key to expansion: a goal of this series.) Click to Tweet!
We all have this wisdom, and we all have the choice to trust and act on it or not. One reason we don’t trust it is because we don’t understand it–how do we know what we know? There are many labels for this “knowing” connection. Some of them are scientific. For example, there are studies showing the heart is more intelligent than the brain, and others focus on the power of subconscious and unconscious communication between people. (Even Einstein had quite a bit to say about it.) Some explanations are spiritual or religious.
Although explanations build our confidence in this innate capacity, this series will not discuss or debate them. Whether a person is more scientifically based or spiritually/religious based (or in- between), the assumption that we all have this intuitive capacity is relatively universal. At the very least, most, if not all, of us can relate to these times of listening to and ignoring intuition, as I have described. I have yet to meet a person who can honestly say they followed their intuition/gut and regretted it or didn’t follow it and liked the result.
When most people are following their inner-wisdom, things run smoothly on a macro level. This generating, organizing and destroying power that runs through each of us is pretty powerful. When we don’t trust it, the whole nation reflects this conflict within each of us. While not understanding it may be one reason for not trusting it, this series will focus on another reason: The protective part of our subconscious/unconscious mind often erroneously forms decision-making rules that dictate behavior that is opposite from our innate wisdom. These are called limiting beliefs or illusions. Safety/protective instincts often trump creative/intuitive instincts whether they are right or wrong. Luckily, these instinctive programs can be changed to follow intuition (which also knows how to protect), but let’s discuss why and how they are formed first.
Our protective systems work a lot like the legislative and enforcement branches of government:
Legislative Arm: On a national level, there is much talk about over- and under-inclusive aspects of healthcare and other laws. Here’s what I mean: When we draft laws, we are regulating behavior with the intent to create a positive outcome or solution to a problem. Our hope is to have a rule that everyone can automatically and effortlessly follow to ensure harmony. Truly, though, when we create laws, the focus is on protecting ourselves from disharmony, whether one is “right”, “left”, or in between ideologically.
And, then, after a law is enacted, come the exceptions that reveal the under- and over-inclusive aspects of the law. A tragic situation that no one intends to allow often surfaces because a factor is not considered or embraced in the rule. “We did not mean for the rule to apply here.” (over-inclusive) OR “We meant to control such behavior or situation from happening, yet the rule doesn’t address it.” (under-inclusive) We flip-flop between these extremes until we are confused in society as individuals, as organizational leaders, and as lawmakers, interpreters and enforcers about what the rules are and what they should be. No wonder law school sometimes made my brain hurt as we logically dug our way into holes.
Enforcement Arm: By design, our enforcement agents faithfully, swiftly and automatically enforce the laws without questioning them. They run on autopilot, although in unclear situations, the laws may be enforced differently. Also, depending on the perspective of the current enforcement agency leaders and the circumstances of the times/locations, laws may be enforced in some areas more than others. The overall practice and intent is to swiftly and unquestionably enforce them.
Individually, we all do the same thing without consciously realizing it: We draft laws (beliefs, rules, habits and regulations) to keep us safe, healthy and successful. Some of them are based on wisdom while others are fragmented and false, resulting in conflict: over-inclusive and under-inclusive.
 Although the subconscious and unconscious aspects of the mind are slightly distinguishable, for purposes of this series, “subconscious” refers to both parts, as those distinctions are not important in these high-level discussions.