Daring to Change


Photo Credit: Andy Spearing

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could overhaul our existence and our societies in one sweeping magical stroke – à la Harry Potter?

One little wiggle of a wooden rod, and suddenly our addiction to fossil fuels is gone, replaced by a perfect network of renewable energy sources fueling all our needs.

Another broad gesture and organic agriculture has completely replaced the toxic practices we currently endorse at our own peril.

Forests are regenerating. Water tables replenished. The mass extinction of species has been reversed. And I could go on…

Utopic? Perhaps not.

It’s up to us. And many women and men are working to make it happen.

But… all too often, the world functions in black & white scenarios. There is a deeply held belief that if you can’t be 100% impeccable and fix everything instantly, then you might as well continue to drive around in an SUV and eat a steak every day.

This is unhelpful.

I for one, have had enough of the voices of doom & gloom, dystopia, it won’t work, no point in trying, there’s a conspiracy, it’s the reptilians, and so on! I refuse to give these voices even a fragment of attention or acknowledgment.

This is not denial. It’s the conscious re-direction of energy into a new narrative for the world.

I believe it is time for all of us to take responsibility for our thoughts and words. It is time to realize that what we think has an energetic consequence. When we acknowledge and repeat certain stories, they amplify and eventually become the reality we live in.

We can transform our existence and the world every second. Thought by thought. Emotion by emotion. Action by action.

It may not be a single magical stroke. We may not get it right immediately. But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. And most importantly, that we should stop believing in the possibility of a sustainable harmonious world for all.

A major problem with our response to the environmental crisis is how we relate to it emotionally. It’s like our reaction to the string of catastrophic events spoon-fed to us daily on the evening news. How does it feel to you? In situations of doom and gloom, we often feel stuck, we shut down.

By contrast, how do you feel after watching a documentary like Demain? Inspired by  uplifting examples, it is easy to feel that we can be meaningful actors of change. That we can spin a picture of hopelessness into an infinite realm of blissful possibilities.

When I was 18, someone told me: “You’re idealistic, but you’ll see, when you get older, that will change.” They were wrong. The way we choose to look at the world has nothing to do with age. It is a state of mind.

This blog is an invitation into this state of mind.

I invite you to become fully conscious of your mental and emotional reactions to the narratives you hear about the future, the environment, the world. Beware for this process can be very subtle…

Which ones are you repeating internally? Which ones have you made your own?

And if you could choose freely, which narrative would you like to see become a reality?

  6 comments for “Daring to Change

  1. Ariane Hentsch
    October 6, 2016 at 13:35

    Thanks Nicole for your thoughts. They strike a sensitive chord in me as I am reflecting upon coming changes in my life: professional but also personal, as I need to decide soon about a new job which will impact my way of life during the coming four years or so. The decision appears to me as “blue pill/red pill” (as in the movie “Matrix”), as if I must chose between a (not so?) big “let go” of habits and comfort, or giving up dreams of a more meaningful existence. I must say I am struggling to find a realistic middle way because all my former attempts to do so got stranded somewhere between the obligations of day-to-day life and losing focus. Fear of change, of missing the superfluous also comes into play. There is a lot to master in order to find our way to freedom. Coincidently, I have recently made a virtual but very moving encounter with one of 20th century’s greatest mountaineers, Walter Bonatti (1930-2011). This exceptional character has led an intense life of adventure in the mountains then in unexplored corners of the planet, as a response to a commanding desire of freedom, but also as a therapeutic undertaking to heal from a tearing disappointment in the human kind (see his terrible experience in the K2). As a result he saw the material conquest of high summits or unchatered land as a lived metaphor of his own self-conquest. His life is a very touching and deeply inspiring testimony of the height and depth of the human nature, but also of the price one has to pay to live freely in terms of solitude, misunderstanding by others, etc. His legacy is very compelling but also frightening: it takes some serious guts to leave the pack, even for a while, and I wonder, in m y case, if even reflecting upon it is not already a sign of failure.

    • Nicole Schwab
      October 6, 2016 at 17:10

      Thank you Ariane for your deep response. I would expect that there are many who are struggling with these same questions. And I would say that reflection is never a sign of failure. Is it not in asking the question that we find an answer… and are able to make a conscious choice? And I wonder if there are not many ways to “leave the pack”, some which may be radical, and some which may appear mundane but are nevertheless breaks from the norm through an inner attitude. Certainly an ongoing journey… =). Good luck (and inspiration) with your decision!

  2. October 7, 2016 at 08:29

    These words, Nicole, are music to my ears. For so long I have thought the doom and gloom scenarios must be relegated to the back. It’s time to bring the positive to the fore. Individuals can and do make a difference, in all kinds of ways. I recently wrote a blog post about the uplifting film Demain on The Good Times site (www.TheGoodTimes.info), my venture into publishing positive news. In each and every crisis there is prospect for positive change and new opportunity to spotlight. Just to give one example, Médecins sans Frontières was formed by French doctors in reaction to the murders and starvation they witnessed in Biafra. Many such examples exist. Few are known. I heartily agree that a conscious re-direction of energy into a new narrative for the world is needed. It is indeed up to us. It’s not magic, it has to do with the state of mind you invite us to adopt. Thoughts and words undeniably make a difference, and I thank you for yours.

    • Nicole Schwab
      October 7, 2016 at 11:18

      Yes. Thank you Fabienne for adding your writing to the shift in narrative!

  3. Susana
    October 7, 2016 at 13:08

    Love you Nicole! Until we no longer need the ‘reminder’, the more often we remind each other of these truths, the easier it becomes to live them. xxx

  4. Mithra
    September 24, 2018 at 17:13

    Yes, we should not stop believing in the possibility of a sustainable harmonious world for all.

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