We are entering the time of a hard rain, we are told from every quarter. Enormous inflation; exploding energy prices; terrifying climate change; mortgages and interest rates spiralling out of control; a foreign war that threatens to wash up on our shores; unimaginable corruption at every level; governments themselves too corrupt to tackle it or too clueless to know where on earth, for the vast clean-up job needed, to begin.
Of the more sensitive of my generation – the Baby Boomers – we’re feeling vaguely guilty about all this. In our hearts, we know we are at fault. We had our opportunity and we squandered it – we went to sleep. We forgot about Woodstock and raging against the machine.
Instead, we got busy making money, buying Hummers, investing in Big Pharma or Big Tech, embracing the Me ‘Greed is Good’ Generation, and woke up to discover that the big corporations had taken over everything – our banks, our laws, our governments, our Supreme Courts, and indeed us.
As Stephen King once wrote: “I don’t want to speak too disparagingly of my generation (actually I do, we had a chance to change the world but opted for the Home Shopping Network instead). . .”
And so we feel we’ve blown it. And worse than that, we feel powerless to do anything to modify it.
And perhaps on this Thanksgiving weekend, even though surrounded by your loved ones, you may be feeling that this year, there is little to be thankful for.
But I want to assure you that it’s not too late for us – or indeed for everyone who has been born after us.
I want to shake you awake with some acknowledgement of the enormous power you hold – and a power that nobody – no government, no corporation, not the most depressing of front-page news stories – can take away from you.
In fact, a power so miraculous that virtually every other power pales in comparison.
It’s a power that I stumbled on in 2008 during what was meant to be a little experiment in a workshop. A year after I began the global Intention Experiments with groups of thousands I decided to try to scale down the entire enterprise in my workshops by creating small groups of eight or so, and having them send healing intention.
For me it began just another, more informal experiment—until it too began to work in ways that eclipsed everything I’d imagined would happen, and people with long-standing conditions reported instant, near-miraculous healings.
At some point I’ve had to acknowledge that the group-intention experience itself causes big changes in people: changing individual consciousness, removing a sense of separation and individuality, and placing members of the group in what can only be described as a state of ecstatic unity.
With each experiment, no matter how large or small, whether the global experiments or the Power of Eight® groups, I’ve observed this same group dynamic, a dynamic so powerful and life-transforming that it has enabled individual miracles to take place.
I’ve recorded thousands of these instantaneous miracles in participants’ lives. They’ve healed long-standing serious health conditions. They’ve mended estranged relationships. They’ve discovered a renewed life purpose or cast off workaday jobs in favor of a career that is more adventurous or fulfilling.
Many of them have even transformed right in front of me.
Old enemies like Arabs and Jews, and new enemies like Republicans and Democrats, have come together in love and forgiveness during Intention Experiments. The group intention experience has ended the most intractable of enmities and enabled the heart to leap across the fence.
And there has been no shaman or guru present, no complex healing process involved—in fact, no previous experience necessary. The inciting instrument for all of this was simply the gathering of these people into a group and having them carry out a form of collective secular prayer.
But the secret sauce of the entire experience was the giving part of it. In group healing, most of the time, you’re involved in an altruistic enterprise: sending healing to someone else. And of the thousands of groups I’ve run by now, I’ve noticed that when people are stuck and they intend for someone else, invariably they, the senders, also get healed.
As you may know, a run Intentions of the Week every Sunday, where my entire community sends healing intention to three people with serious health challenges.
Christina Wolff, for instance, had been faithfully carrying out our Intentions of the Week most Sundays, each time intending for those we had selected, despite the crippling arthritis developing in her own hands. She was an artist but by that time she’d found it impossible to paint anymore.
‘My fingers started to be crooked, I was in agony, they were swollen, so were my toes, when I moved my fingers they were grating, bone to bone,’ she wrote me.
Not long ago, she wrote me to say that her arthritis was gone, thanks to her involvement in the weekly intentions. ‘Yes, cured,’ she wrote.
Now she’s back to painting and cooking – everything she couldn’t do before.
This is what I want you to be thankful for - the miraculous power you hold inside of you to heal your own life, the lives of those around you and even the world. And this extraordinary power - and your own healing - gets unleashed, ironically, the moment you stop thinking about yourself.
Never forget this power. You and I and every human being have it – innately – the power to change the world. Be thankful for it. Tap into it. And for heaven’s sake, don’t squander it this time.
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