Take this PeaceOptions project. It started off as a way Laura and I might transition from the front lines of the legal wars into a coaching and conflict resolution service. She had just been certified as a family mediator by the Florida Supreme Court, and had been whispering in my ear about being a lawyer-life coach.
I on the other hand had had my fill of the law, taking a sabbatical to write a book on the inner voice and how our spiritual evolution allows us to do that. And that had been followed closely by the idea that many were awakening to that voice, and it was calling them to change how they related to their lives, each other and the world around them.
Then I got the hair-brained thought I had something to add to their “awakening” and effort to serve. Somehow my work with the inner voice could help them move through the difficult times I saw coming, and also shift out of the practices that kept them in conflict.
But as PeaceOptions unfolded, the economic meltdown of the financial markets combined with the vitriol of the 2008 electoral season to harden the ground for the changes I hoped to foment. People didn’t want to give up their extremes and see how their consciousness of conflict perpetuated the problems and set the stage for greater abuses that were unfolding.
Nevertheless, I kept offering that message in one form or another, beating my head against a wall to deliver a path to peace that few seemed ready or willing to follow. My own inner voice was calling me to go deeper into the darkness of that struggle and the frustration it brought, even while doing what I could to help others see what was going on within them that was contributing to their own difficulties.
So here we are today. We’ve completed four years of our local monthly dinners, had many deep discussions and met a number of wonderful people who have become close friends. I’ve had a number of guest authors add their voices to our call for peace. And we’ve sponsored several projects to spread peace to those who don’t have it — including Hotdogs for the Homeless, Peace Dollar donations to the homeless begging on our streets, and the Lightbearer Alliance through Facebook to give hope and strength to those whose lives were being turned upside down by the turmoil of the times.
I was blessed that several web-publishers picked up my message and shared my articles with their readers. And I thrilled at all the kind words they and all of you gave me, both as to my posts as well as just to meet and stay in touch with so many close friends and wonderful people spread around the globe.
In one sense, it is a success I could never have imagined. In another, it was a failure of monumental proportions. Because I never could get myself to emphasizing the “selling” of the peace I offered, whether a product or service, in order to generate the revenues to keep the effort sustainable, even though they were always available and offered to those in need.
PeaceOptions never contributed to our financial support; like MysticPoet and WhisperZone before it, it was a labor of love that drained our resources from the beginning, subsidized by a law practice headed south because I was called to devote my attention elsewhere, to share the application of a spiritual message in a material world that didn’t want to change.
My illness last year was a wake up call. It brought home that I can’t go on this way, offering myself in sacrifice to an ideal without serving our own needs first. Most of all, the effort stole my own peace as I struggled to find a way to make it work.
Needless to say, it would be hypocritical of me to speak to you of addressing the things that steal your peace if I didn’t do the same in my own life. So in walking my talk, I am turning in a new direction — at least for a while — to restore peace to my own affairs.
Last month I turned over the monthly dinners to the group. I’ve done what I can there. It’s up to them to stand on their own and put it to work, and to show their commitment to community consciousness that I tried to help them build.
Now, I am doing something similar here, announcing the suspension — if not the altogether cessation — of my writing here at PeaceOptions. Yesterday I turned 60, and it is time to move on to explore new experiences and see where life leads.
The energies of my life — and the inner voice that I follow — have called me for now toward building MissionLaunch (http://missionlaunch.com), to empower and guide those who feel called to do something about the state of our world. It is a merger of my spiritual and mainstream aspects, hopefully where I can offer the best of both to those who are held back by the obstacles before them.
It is an experiment of sorts for me, taking spirituality into application, and merging it with the real-world experiences I’ve picked up over my many years growing businesses, building web sites and creating content. And so while it will have a decidedly more commercial focus than PeaceOptions, it will retain the mindset of giving through the extensive materials I’m assembling and creating there to help awakening servers grow their missions and overcome the problems that hold them back.
Among other things, it will include free mission development webcasts, tweetchats, and a learning center where we will make it all readily accessible to visitors, along with posts about upcoming social impact news and events. And for those who need more, we’ll offer mission coaching, consulting, general counsel, personalized training, along with content marketing and message delivery assistance.
I’m blogging there regularly now, too, focusing as much on enhancing mission skills and know-how as I am on the inner factors that affect those who serve. It has a decided social impact focus at the moment, but where it goes from here is anyone’s guess.
Hopefully it will allow me to continue offering my perspectives on peace, so they will have a strong foundation to face the challenges ahead.
I haven’t even started a newsletter there, though visitors can sign up for an RSS feed through Feedburner or following me on one of the social networks. Maybe I will down the road, but we’ll see. If you should want to be on such a list, drop me a line here or there and I’ll make sure you’re included if I do start one up.
I thank you for having followed me here over the years and for listening to what I’ve had to say. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you, and I appreciate the chance to connect in whatever ways we were able.
This doesn’t mean it’s the end for PeaceOptions. Or for me. It may only be a break before it undergoes a new beginning, before it rises from the ashes of my own redirection.
Who knows? I might even post something here on peace now and then. Like they say, I’m just going with the flow. And today it said to write you to tell you what’s going on.
Some still are whispering in my ear to start a church, to be ordained as a minister so I can continue speaking of peace in a religious context. Maybe one day I will. But to me, religion is lived out there in the world, where we put to work that which we develop inside. So that is where I will continue to devote my efforts, in hopes that it might in some small way influence the way that people relate to each other and conduct their affairs. So don’t be surprised if you one day see a Church of Peace or a Church of the Inner Self.
For now, though, let me close with a short reflection on where we’re all going.
Life takes us along a journey of many twists and turns, each bringing new experiences for us to gather, process and demonstrate how we’ve evolved along the way. I’ve found that trying to hold on to where I am makes it hard to let those energies flow where they need to go.
Letting go isn’t easy. The unknown can be scary, and doesn’t always promise something better than what we have now. In fact, that ride can be quite rough at times, demanding all the strength and determination we can muster just to keep going.
All it promises is that it will bring us some new experience that will allow us to look into ourselves and bring out a little more of who we are and what we’re all about. It is this exploration that allows us to expand, to become more than we are in this moment — and hopefully in the process, to add our contribution so that the world in which we live can evolve as well.
Over these years you’ve worked hard to consciously evolve yourself and your relationshp to the world around you. You have come so far — I take no credit for that. It’s all your doing, and you have done it well. And no matter where the future takes you, I hope you will acknowledge and appreciate all you have accomplished to get where you are today .
I’m proud of you, my friend. Keep up the good work.
You are the greatest hope for our world, not by what you do, but simply by who you are. God bless you indeed.
Go with love. I am