Artist credit: drawingyourattention
This is repost from one year ago. It still gives me hope today, so I am sharing it again : )
There is a crazy woman moving to California today in a car with an engine light on. She doesn’t have enough money to pay this month’s bills, so she will need a job as soon as she lands in this town where she knows no one. In the midst of a severe drought, with wildfires raging to the north, her move makes no sense: she is leaving behind everything and every one she has loved for the past fifteen years to follow a dream that has sucked her in and refuses to spit her back out.
That woman is me, someone who has hated change my whole life. I still fiercely resist it if it catches me off guard. But after a year of studying Michael Jackson’s life and work, I am riding the winds of change on this journey with a shaky sense of confidence and curiosity mixed with occasional terror.
As I drive, I’m remembering how Michael loved change and challenge, and how he encouraged Kobe Bryant to follow his dreams:
“One of the things he always told me was, don’t be afraid to be different. In other words, when you have that desire, that drive, people are going to try to pull you away from that, and pull you closer to the pack to be ‘normal.’ And he was saying it’s OK to be that driven, it’s OK to be obsessed with what you want to do. That’s perfectly fine. Don’t be afraid to not deviate from that.”
This is how miracles happen. And you could say Michael was the King of Miracles.
If he could imagine it, he knew it could be done.
The “experts” would insist that his goal was impossible, but he would do it anyway. From the number of albums he could sell, to special effects innovations, to the numbers of starving people he could save, Michael made big things happen.
Of course, being human, he still made mistakes. And being the King of Pop, they were sometimes very public mistakes.
But in interview after interview, his collaborators marvel at how Michael politely insisted that the impossible was possible, even with a limited budget. Eventually inspiration struck, and a breathtaking innovation like morphing came to life (see the “Black or White” video).
MJ did not claim this as his special prerogative—he told us we could do this too.
They say the sky’s the limit
And to me that’s really true…
We could change the world tomorrow.
Lyrics from Bad
You can change the world.
(I can’t do it by myself)
You can touch the sky.
Lyrics from “Cry”
Don’t be afraid
To know who you are
You are much more
Than you ever imagined
Dancing the Dream
Madonna said, “…his music had an extra layer of inexplicable magic that didn’t just make you want to dance but actually made you believe you could fly.” That was intentional: Michael was trying to get us to believe that anything was possible.
This belief is closely related to the most powerful tool for changing the world, according to systems analyst Donella Meadows.
In her work, she looked for leverage points: those places where people can create the biggest shift with the least blood, sweat, and tears. During her lifetimes, she was deeply involved in progressive movements and traveling the world seeking to understand and assist radical transformation.
I listen to people like that cuz, at 53, I’ve helped move mountains to protest for change, only to have those in power ignore us. It seems like we’ve been heroically pulling people out of a raging river, but we are unable to stop them from being thrown in the river, or stop those who pay to have people thrown in that river. That’s not good enough any more—too many lives have been lost. It’s time for real change.
But in her work and travels as a systems analyst, Meadows recognized that the most powerful pattern for change was pretty wild, and she wasn’t afraid to say it.
In a nutshell, Meadows says that changing our story about how the world works is the second most powerful tool we have for creating change, and the greatest tool we have is to recognize that any story we tell will be “a tremendously limited understanding of an immense and amazing universe that is far beyond human comprehension.” She compares this to the Buddhist “don’t know” mind and says, “It is in this space of mastery over paradigms that people throw off addictions, live in constant joy, bring down empires, get locked up or burned at the stake or crucified or shot, and have impacts that last for millennia.”
Michael Jackson came pretty close to achieving all of the above.
He was shifting the story we were telling ourselves. He had experienced first hand the power in the invisible realms. And he firmly believed that that we’d barely begun to understand the nature of reality, for he was a student of quantum physics, as well as ancient wisdom traditions that have shared the same knowledge using different words.
In 2002, investigative journalist Lynne McTaggart published The Field, a groundbreaking book which explained in great detail how quantum physicists all over the world were beginning to piece together evidence suggesting that anything really is possible. Today there are many teachers explaining how to use quantum principles to change the world.
While quantum physics says everything is possible, it does not say everything is likely. (It was not likely that a poor black kid like Michael would become the world’s greatest entertainer, meet with heads of state all over the planet, or change the world significantly. It is not likely that we can heal the world.) But there are ways to shift those probabilities, and Michael practiced, used, and taught others those techniques.
Some will say Michael is the exception that proves the rule. Anything is possible…for a few. The token individual of color or woman or poor person or transperson… who is allowed to rise a bit higher than the rest.
But Michael didn’t just rise a little bit higher–he blew out all the stops! He reset the bar for what is humanly possible. What if Michael really was tapping into power that we all have? He believed that, and he was trying to encourage us to do what he did.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of telling myself, “No, that’s not possible. No, we don’t have enough money. No, nobody has ever done that before. No, the corporations are too powerful.”
Thanks to Michael and and quantum powers teachers like Amit Goswami, Jean Houston and Deepak Chopra, I finally understood myself that science is confirming the ancient wisdom: everything is possible. I’m ready to grow whatever wings Michael discovered and start creating some miracles of my own. Healing myself and others, sharing Michael’s approach to change, moving to California, and joining everyone else who is ready to imagine and give birth to a world where people of color people matter, women matter, transpeople matter, homeless people matter, animals matter, the Earth matters, and so do all beings who have suffered and are capable of suffering.
A different world is possible. We have the opportunity to be her midwives, to listen to her heart beating. Will you join me in preparing for her birth?
(My own cross-country drive ended with me in Ashland Oregon, instead of California. Though the journey was full of unexpected twists and turns, I am happier, more nourished and more challenged than ever before. I am thriving.)