Today I feel “normal.” I’m trying to do normal things – like paying the bills, cleaning the clutter and the floors, watering my thirsty garden, cleaning the kitchen, and yes, writing. Your list may be longer, but with a similar sense of urgency I’m guessing. This feels normal to me.
But there’s a longer view. A bigger picture that is pulling me in. It’s starting to come into focus for me. Seeing through the glass darkly all my life, I’m now beginning to see face to face.
Here’s the bigger picture. We are living in a time of rapid evolution. A few visionaries know this and talk about it, but most of us just keep on living from the skills our species evolved thousands of years ago.
And those skills – honed to live in a very different world – are killing us now.
Let’s examine our Ancestral Survival Skills (ASS for short).
Those ASS skills – the skills that gave our ancestors enough years of life to reproduce – include the famous Fight/Flight/Freeze response to danger. That danger/stress response has become chronic in many of us. Stress is now linked to the top 6 causes of death in the US, and 75% of all visits to doctors are stress-related.
Those Ancestral Survival Skills – that Darwin examined as he wrote of the survival of the fittest – include a Negativity Bias, an alertness to whatever “bad” thing there is that might threaten us. Our media knows this and sells issues or shows based on blood, conflict, trauma and especially, fear.
Those ASS skills include a strong preference for sweet, salt, carbohydrates, and fat, to keep our bodies healthy through famine times. Foods with these flavors but without innate nutrients contribute to innumerable health issues.
Those ASS skills include a brute strength to take on any enemy. We live in a time of quick reactions to perceived aggression—which sometimes results in innocent lives lost.
Ancestral Survival Skills. Fight/Flight/Freeze. Negativity Bias. Appetite for Sweets, Carbs, Salts and Fats. Reactive Aggression.
Those served our paleolithic, tribal, close-to-nature ancestors so well that they survived the large mammal attacks, the snakes in the grass, the brutal winters, the times of famine, the hostile neighbors. They thrived and built civilizations and had babies and kept learning.
They gave us life and the world we live in today.
But the world we live in is not the world they lived in. And it’s changing so rapidly none of us can keep up, using our normal ASS skills.
Danger? or Opportunity? Depends on the Tools you Choose
Did you know that oxygen was once a toxin? Yep. For the anaerobic bacteria that were the dominant species on the planet oxygen was a poison and fortunately for them, there was very little of it. Then the blue-green algae began to flourish, throwing off oxygen as a by-product. Eventually there was so much oxygen there were massive die-offs. Other life forms – tiny plants – developed which could use oxygen. The anaerobic bacteria were relegated to the bottom of the ocean. Those other life forms began to flourish. Suddenly a whole new world opened up. A world where oxygen was no longer a toxin. (Read more here)
We are in the midst of another evolutionary leap. There are no guarantees. There are dozens of ways we could end human life on earth right now and create our own mass extinction.
But I believe we won’t. I believe we will instead evolve to the next level of humanity. I believe we will let go of the ASS, and will discover and use new tools that serve who we are now and where we are headed. And with enough of us using those new tools, we will make it.
Here are the tools – the Connective Survival Tools (CST) – that we need to “breathe oxygen” and to make it into the future:
1) The ability to live in two worlds at once – the physical, and the mental/spiritual – and maintain sanity.
2) The ability to acknowledge the negative, the dangers, without focusing there and feeding that negativity with our creative energy.
3) The ability to sort through the vast information swamps and choose what is actually helpful to our own peace and harmony and growth.
4) The ability to activate the Heart – to become aware of the ASS stress response and instead to train our bodies to live in Heart Coherence.
5) The ability to know our own Evolutionary Appetites, and to choose beneficial foods for our bodies instead of partaking from the vast buffet available to us without regard for consequences.
6) The ability to use intention, meditation, visualization, intuition, imagination and creativity from a place of peace, of mindfulness, to create the world we want to live in – to reinvent our selves and our world.
7) The ability to choose our Tribe based on the tools that Tribe is using and our desire to grow and thrive with them.
8) The ability to enjoy our Tribe while interacting with other Tribes in peaceful ways.
9) The ability to practice – and identify with – Love as the Creative Connective Force which underlies all Life and all of these principles.
Each of these invites exploration and expansion and I’ll write more about each in the coming days.
Alma, Eva, and my New Normal
Today, my ASS( Ancestral Survival Skills) told me to clean the kitchen, sweep the floor, pay the bills. My ASS self (we’ll call her Alma)
insisted that was the only responsible thing to do. But today I’m learning to breathe that seemingly dangerous oxygen… I’m learning to cultivate Heart Coherence, and to make new choices. My Connective Angel (Eva we’ll call her) quietly but firmly nudged me to walk away from a messy kitchen (I never do that!) and to write instead.
I’m learning to retrain my body out of its habitual (feels normal to me!) stress state, which has resulted in hypertension, and into a state of heart coherence and peace – which is actually measurable by simple to use instruments.
My sister once told me that we overestimate what we can do in one year, and underestimate what we can do in five.
We are in an accelerated period of evolutionary change. Humans must begin to recognize and use their creative power wisely. Humans must recognize that many of our Ancestral Survival Skills are now devastating our bodies, our communities and our planet.
I’m training myself to a New Normal. Teaching my body the Connective Survival Tools means putting Creativity ahead of house-cleaning. Peaceful Body ahead of washing dishes. Connecting ahead of negativity bias.
Just like it took me several months and intense training to learn to drive, so it now may take focus and intense training to teach my body new tools. I must remember I overestimate what I can do in 5 days, and underestimate what I can do in 3 months.
I am part of the evolutionary process and I will do it with Love and Open Eyes.
I’m creating a New Normal. Will you join me?