Master Facilitator Journal


Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0340, Apr 22, 2008
Dear Friends,
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Today in the honor of Earth Day 2008, people all around the world are celebrating and rejoicing our planet. We also wanted to honor our Planet Earth by doing what we do best, facilitate an increased awareness of our Personal Social Responsibility towards our planet Earth.

We hope this article rekindles your thought and soul so you can participate in facilitating a positive change on our planet.

Happy Earth Day!

Keep your wonderful feedback coming as it is much appreciated and valued.
Look forward to seeing you next Tuesday.

Thank you for being a part of this growing community.

Blessings,

Neerja
Site Manager, FacilitatorU.com

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The Point

Unveiling Consumerism
Facilitating a change to honor our planet


Intervention Skill


Our vision for the community at FacilitatorU is that we are awakening, freeing and empowering world change agents—catalysts helping people shift from judgment to discernment, from greed to grace, and from egocentric to worldcentric consciousness.

As facilitators, how invested are we to create sustainable changes that will lead the world to a promising future? What is in our power to begin to create a positive change? Having a vision is great, however without having one foot in reality, the vision becomes a pie in the sky. Do we as leaders understand where we stand in terms of our economy and its impacts?

Our economic structure is built on consumerism. When consumers spend less it impacts our economy. Sadly the economy is measured by performance of the stock market, profits and how much is being spent on the latest and the greatest. We do not distinguish between our needs and wants. Most of us want the better gadget; we get sucked into marketing schemes that paint a pictures of the next best ‘necessity’ compelling us to spend billions for a so-called ’must have.’ We are charmed by snake charmers and move in herds, consuming as though the next fad will fill our emptiness.

We can’t really blame marketing geniuses. They are paid to create an illusion; the sad part is that they don’t know how their actions are impacting our world. It is like the blind leading the blind or if I may say so, addicts leading other addicts.

Let us examine society from the top. The politician is addicted to power, corporate America is addicted to profit and the average worker is addicted to a false sense of self, too afraid to break free from the rat race. We may think we are in charge and powerful because we consume goods and services for our benefit. Think again and look deeper; could it be that our addictions are consuming us?

The impact of this consumption is visible all around us through global warming. We may believe that the earth will suffer and we shall be spared. Dr. Cohen reminds us gently that we don’t live on the surface of Planet Earth. We live in our planet, ten miles deep in its biosphere, the web of life that includes its natural systems, atmosphere and sunlight. We survive as a part of the life and flow of nature's plant, animal and mineral community. It is us, we are it.

Every seven years the flow replaces every atom in our body. Radioactive isotope studies show that 98 percent of our 'personal' atoms are replaced by the biosphere every two years.
Our thinking is our destiny. We suffer our troubles because we disconnect our thinking from nature's ways and lose the grace, balance and restorative powers of nature. We can't afford to do that."

We may think our new gadgets will rescue us, technology will save us but think again; our addiction is beginning to consume the planet and we too are part and parcel of this planet.

Unconsciously we are all involved in slowly destroying it, the very planet that nurtures us and keeps us alive.

Before we go on, let us take a look at some of the results of consumerism…

 

Global Priority
US Billions (S)
Cosmetics in the US
8
Ice cream in Europe
11
Perfumes in US and Europe
12
Pet foods in US and Europe
17
Business Entertainment in Japan
35
Cigarettes in Europe
50
Alcoholic drinks in Europe
105
Narcotics drugs in the world
400
Military spending in the world
780

Source: The state of human development, United National Development Report 1998

I too have been a victim of this disease of insanity and it was not till I began to take Dr. Cohen’s courses on re-connecting with nature that I began to wake up and realize how insane we have become.

At the root of this insanity is the disconnection we feel because we lose touch with nature. Dr. Cohen’s activities awaken the sleeping senses within us. So many of us have stayed removed from nature and yet, we have all experienced the great feelings that arise when we are part of it.

Have we ever stopped and asked what it is about nature that makes our troubles look small, stills our crazy mind, brings peace to us, gives us strength, is therapeutic and fulfilling? We don’t ask these questions because we take nature for granted. The profit focused society has been bottling water, our natural resource; you think it will begin to bottle oxygen too??? Will it begin to make profit by selling oxygen masks when our air gets polluted by the insanity of consumerism?

I used to be proud to be a consumer and would feel great after buying and owning new items; today my stomach turns as I see through the destruction that is veiled by the empty promises and false hopes consumption portrays and offers. It is like quick sand and will ultimately engulf us if we don’t stop now.

My colleague Mark Van Buren and I were driving to co-facilitate a workshop in Philadelphia and when I shared my thoughts about consumerism, he asked me if I knew the dictionary meaning of ‘consume’. As he stared to blurt out the different definitions, I was stunned, not because he was telling me something new but because I never thought of consumerism as such stark destruction. Never before did I look at consumerism as such a disease, a plague that is annihilating our planet.

Consume = guzzle, gobble, stuff, burn-up, devour, demolish, eat greedily, engulf, obsess

What kind of a sick society have we become? What will it take for us to wake up? How can we see through the insanity? Look around; we sell coffins to people who are alive; our food industry sells synthetic goods that make us ill and the pharmaceutical industry sells drugs that perk us for a short time causing long term damage with unforeseen side effects. Our country has people living below poverty levels and we are spending billions on wars.

Our economic system has excelled in enhancing the power of riches but it is killing the goose that lays the golden eggs in the process.

Application


How do we as facilitators begin to create the awareness to undo the damage that is reaching the core of our planet earth?

To see through the illusion we must practice staying awake for long enough. Ask yourself when you feel the need to buy something - what do I need more; the goods or oxygen to breathe? What will sustain a safe and healthy life for my future and that of the coming generations? Recognize that the most essential and life nurturing gifts come from our planet. Not just for us but for future generations and we have no right to rob them in the guise of adding to our wealth.

How can we replace the addictions of consumerism the brain perceives as good feelings to great feelings that come from being a part of nature?

How do we express our values in our client groups, trapped in this cycle of consumerism, without abandoning our role as facilitators?

We speak of Corporate Social responsibility, however, without the Personal Social Responsibility, where do we stand? When we as leaders begin to shift and model the change, the worldcentric vision will become a reality. Just as Martin Luther King’s dream lives, our dream can live by courageously stepping into our Personal Social Responsibility and being the change we want to see in the world.


Action


How can we shift from being egocentric to worldcentric? Today is a day to give back to Earth that nurtures our existence. What are you willing and able to do to make small changes that will go along ways?

Make this Earth Day special and spend the day by visiting nature and feeling fully alive, thanking her for her gifts that keep you healthy and sustain life, now and in the future. What will you do for earth day today?


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