Positive Words for Positive Change

The world recently experienced three auspicious events conducive for facilitating positive change: the Third Annual Women’s March, a Super Blood Wolf Moon, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  In this blog, I share my reflections on these events and the importance of mindful speech in cultivating the energies of unity and loving kindness necessary to heal our planet.

IMG951122January 20th was a Super Blood Wolf Moon—a full Lunar Eclipse viewed around the world. 
Here in Olympia, WA, the sky was generally clear, an event in itself!  Standing outside in the cold night gazing at the magnificent red moon, knowing people around the world were sharing the experience, was exceptional—potent and energizing.

I looked up the significance of this eclipse.  Amidst the typical doomsday reports, one astrological website got my attention:  An opportunity for great change; Clearing and transformation; Closing the book on an old chapter of life and opening a new one; Resetting of our emotions; The support of the Universe working on our behalf.

On the previous day, January 19th, the Third Annual Women’s Marches took place all over the world. I participated in the march in Olympia and enjoyed the positive energy of the group as we marched down our main street to upbeat music and smiles.  This was in contrast to many of the speeches and posters being carried, that although the intent was positive, were tainted with negativity.  Those messages felt de-energizing and disempowering.

34459480_sOne particular mother/daughter couple I was marching behind illustrated this contrast.  The mom carried a large sign in bold letters that read “IMPEACHMENT!”, the daughter carried a silver poster with a Peace symbol and the word “LOVE” in rainbow letters. I could feel the difference in the messages conveyed.  The mom’s poster emitted an energy of negativity and divisiveness.  The mom was lovely and sweet; I am certain she had not thought of the impact of the message she carried in this way. The young daughter’s poster felt uplifting, hopeful, powerful.

Where the parade ended and participants gathered in a city park, two women with large colorful umbrellas captured my attention.  The umbrellas were used like posters, with images and phrases printed in each section. They were surrounded by a group of picture-takers, as it was such a clever idea. Taking a closer look, there was a contrast in the tone of the two umbrellas.  One umbrella was filled with anti-messages pushing against something: “Vote him out and lock him up,” “The only minority destroying America is the rich,” “Can we please put smart people in charge now?” The other was filled with positive messages advocating for something: “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” “No human is illegal,” “All you need is love.” Both women projected a positive presence with beautiful smiles and friendly manner.  I imagine the woman with the “negative words” on her umbrella was unaware of the undertones the words conveyed.

Words are energy.  Each word we choose to speak or write holds a specific frequency.
Positive words project a high, coherent (harmonious) frequency of unity and loving kindness.  Negative words project a low, non-coherent frequency of separation and fear.  When we are mindful about our words, we can choose to contribute to the higher frequencies of love that surround us.  We can ask ourselves – Is this message kind?  Is it helpful? Being positive is not about being passive, in denial or uninvolved.  It is about the intention to create connection rather than separation.  Thich Nhat Hanh, renowned Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, talks about the Buddhist practice of Right Speech: “Whatever you say or whatever you write down, be it an email, article, or a poem, can reflect the spirit of non-discrimination.  That is, what you say and write is free from division, fear, hate.  It is full of compassion and understanding.  You can heal yourself and the world just by right speech.  Then right action is what you do with your body.  If you’re without discrimination, without fear, everything you do can help the planet survive.” Right speech and right action are especially important when we are working toward positive change. As Michelle Obama is often quoted, “When they go low, we go high.”

What if the next Women’s Marches in 2020 were truly different in tone, projecting qualities of positive energy, compassion and connection? What if there was a conscious choice to discard the old ways of pushing against, causing further separation and hatred on this planet? Washington, USA. January 21st, 2017. Women's March on Washington

I have an idea for creating a movement: Positive Words for Positive Change.  I love the playfulness of the umbrellas and am thinking about what it would be like to create umbrellas with only positive messages.  Friends and I are brainstorming ideas for positive phrases and umbrella activities.

Back to the Super Blood Wolf Moon.  Just prior to the eclipse, I read an explanation from the internet to my husband, Dan. The description used the term umbra, a shadow cast by the earth upon the moon.  Dan commented “I wonder if that’s where the term umbrella comes from?”  I had not yet shared my umbrella experience or thoughts with him.  I went to sleep wondering if there was a link between a vision of umbrellas with positive words and the eclipse.  The following morning, I looked up the root word of umbrella: The word “umbrella” evolved from the Latin umbella (an umbel is a flat-topped rounded flower) or umbra, meaning shaded or shadow.  From there, I looked up the symbolism: “The umbrella usually symbolizes the canopy of the heavens, shelter, and protection. It is often an emblem of power and dignity.”

January 21 was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, honoring a great spiritual leader who advocated loving kindness over separation and hate.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC

In his words, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” “To retaliate in kind would do nothing but intensify the existence of hate in the universe.  Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough, and morality enough, to cut off the chain of hate.”

With each positive word we mindfully choose, we contribute to a sea of frequencies that heal ourselves and our planet with love, unity, power and dignity.

21213503 - lots of umbrellas coloring the sky in the city of agueda, portugal

May our words be uplifting—inspiring connection, compassion and confidence.  Let the umbrella be our emblem.  In the next blog, I will share more about Uplifting Umbrellas—positive words for positive change.