sacred commerce

Occupy Wall St - The Revolution Is Love

by Ian Mackenzie with Charles Eisenstein

This video by my friend Ian Mackenzie features one of the greatest thinkers of our time- Charles Eisenstein. what could be more patriotic than this stand for your country and community? i invite you to sit down and really listen to what he's saying here. Wisdom abounds....

The New Paradigm of Business: Reflections from an Aerial Perspective

This morning I departed from San Francisco heading to Vancouver, BC for our third Sacred Commerce tour in Canada. If I can help it, I always reserve a window seat so I can watch the earth pull away from the sky over the Bay.  It fill my heart with joy and flying is, funny enough, one of the most relaxing adventures in the world for me.  As usual, my eyes were immediately drawn to the Financial District: skyscrapers towering over the rest of the city below. I realized my focus often lingers on these, the highest spectacles in the Bay, whenever I have an aerial view opportunity.  The awareness of my tendency to refer to the skyscrapers as “the City” puzzled me.  Though downtown is just a small section of the seven mile peninsula, from an aerial perspective I often see it as the entire "city". I wondered if I was alone in this tendency or if others referred to the City in a similar way from a similar vantage point and began to ask myself why and how this tendency was my default.

At first the answer was immediately obvious: because the skyline has the tallest/biggest/most noticeable buildings, right?  I then asked myself what I was actually looking at. According to Wikipedia, there are only 21 skyscrapers taller than 492 feet in the Financial District and they are primarily used for banking, law offices, and corporate headquarters. Below those 2 dozen or so buildings are all of our big retail and service enterprises and of course a variety of hotels. As the plane elevated, the view widened until the whole city and eventually the entire peninsula was visible. It occurred to me then that skyscrapers are a symbol of the collective priority on commerce we've adopted as global citizens. Just look at 9:11.  The terrorists didn't bomb our churches or our governmental buildings, they targeted what they perceived we valued most: the Twin Towers, the pinnacle representations of our business enterprises.

From a wider aerial view, San Francisco is actually largely residential with a few parks and the beautiful bridges over the water like lace trim on the fringe of the peninsula.  I could almost make out each neighborhood from the Haight to the Richmond to the Sunset District and back to the Mission.  The awe-inspiring beauty of the bay, the Pacific, and every San Franciscan's pride and joy, the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges was unavoidably breathtaking.

 

As Ayman Sawwaf, author of Sacred Commerce: The Rise of the Global Citizen, says, whether we "like it or not commerce has become the primary force propelling our species and human society forward." Sawwaf's statement is exemplified in the perspective of infrastructure I observed this morning.  Where church steeples and awe-inspiring cathedrals once gracefully loomed above our cities and townships, where our nation and state capitols once dominated the views of our main thoroughfares, today hundred-floor buildings hosting heavy hitters such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Charles Schwab now prevail.  Investment companies and corporate offices for some of the largest corporations in the world now command the skyline.

There is an emerging industry of pioneers championing a culture of “locally made” and sold products and services. They are home-makers, home farmers, potters, designers, brewmasters, and craftspeople...and they are on the rise.  What if, as Matthew Engelhart, author of Sacred Commerce: Business as a Path to Awakening, says, “life is an inside job”?  What if what we focus on internally via our thoughts, beliefs, speech, actions and attitudes, is what creates the world “out there”?  Look at the world we've created where big business and fortune 500 companies are what we revere and strive to emulate regardless of the impact to ourselves, our souls, or the environment and planet at large.

What if this rise of focus on the home and the growing sexiness of daily rituals our ancestors held as sacred is a symbol of us reclaiming and shifting our “inside job?” What if the growing global attention to our local impact is actually a reflection of our collective decision to focus on love and the notion that our deepest desires, dreams and passions are not only important but vital to our survival as a species?  What if getting that we matter was the single most important shift we could make for ourselves and the planet?  If life is an “inside job” then we have created a world of corporate greed and materialism by holding those aspects as dear accomplishments in our hearts and making them a priority there as well.  As Erin Ross of Get That You Matter says, “we all know where this line of thinking has gotten us...” With this in mind I wonder and hope that others are wondering too, what would a world that valued inner peace and alignment with self love look like from an aerial view?

Notes on our development as Get That You Matter

As we each commit to Being Love in our thoughts, beliefs, words, attitudes and actions, we will measure the outcome in our growth as an organization in each of four areas - profit, awakening, sustainability and service, what in Sacred Commerce is called a "PASS." Each month, we will take on BEing a different quality in every area of our lives and measure the results in terms of our P.A.S.S. as a company. We're very excited to see how this new metric for our business brings us all to new levels of leadership and accountability, and promise to keep you up to date with how well we are playing our BEing Game. Join our monthly newsletter and keep in touch!

Happy Birthday, Wendy... don't forget to write!

I hardly know how or where to begin it's been so long since I've actually sat down to "just write." No agenda. No strategy or plan. Just writing. I've forgotten.... This weekend, I had the great pleasure of leading a Sacred Commerce workshop in San Francisco with an amazing dear friend, Batul Trueheart, and it brought me to yet another round of deeper thinking - the spiral "peeling of the onion," so to speak. In coming up on my 50th birthday, I'm experiencing a re-assessment of my life in a more thorough way than I have in a while. I was saying to someone the other day, "It feels like my soul is being roto-rootered" - scrubbed with about 25 boxes of steel wool, so nothing is left undone. It's as if every spot of whatever has been stuck on the walls of my heart for the last few years is getting a fair amount of extra elbow grease from God.

One of our homework assignments we invite our participants to do is make an "Integrity List." It's a list of all the places where we're out of integrity in any way- unpaid bills, unspoken communications, broken agreements - to which we attach dates for completion (sooner rather than later) that we can use to recalibrate ourselves. It's what helps us "course correct" to stay in alignment with our mission or purpose and step up as leaders in our own lives. Some of the items on that integrity list may include communications such as requests, apologies and acknowledgments.

In reflecting on the weekend as I was driving back home to the mountains, I realized that I have a longer integrity list than I care to admit, including some fairly size-able apologies and requests. Let the roto-rootering begin! Waking up this morning to a mosquito buzzing in my ear and a slight breeze whispering in the branches above, I knew it was time to start writing again - regardless of what it was about. I knew that one of my biggest out-of-integrity pieces was the commitment I made this January to write, no matter what - even if it was for five minutes a day, to keep up my blog and write a monthly newsletter for Get That You Matter.

I have utterly failed at keeping that commitment. And I know that failure doesn't mean anything unless I make it so. And, in all honesty, I have made this particular failure mean so much that I've actually started to avoid any substantial writing because I've made up a story that there's so much to write about, I can't even begin to begin. I got so caught up in the "doing" of starting this company, I kept putting off the very thing that was the catalyst for this whole enterprise in the first place.

In honor of working on my integrity list, I apologize to myself and anyone else with whom I shared that commitment. And... I re-commit to writing as much as I can - even if it's only for five minutes. The great thing is, now I actually have an amazing team with whom to share the work of Get That You Matter. This is truly helping me to give myself the experience of feeling more spacious and peaceful - the qualities I cherish for my writing time.

 

It is also a special day today... August 21st. It would have been my mom's 72nd birthday.

In reflecting on her life, her impact on everyone around her and her legacy, I feel a nudging from her spirit... as if she's saying, "Don't forget to write," which are the words on a pencil I found almost exactly two years ago while hiking in Topanga Canyon with my wonderful friend, Alejandra. We were actually talking about my mom when, suddenly, I got this urge to look down and I saw a pencil lying in the dirt. I picked it up and noticed along its length, in small silver letters, were inscribed the words, "Don't forget to write." Of course, I got chills all over and knew it was a message from my mom.

Despite our challenges, she always, always encouraged me to be myself, to listen to my heart and to follow my dreams. She was an unparalleled cheerleader who made everyone around her feel as if she was always there for them... and she often was, even when she was sick and barely able to get off the sofa. She had more of an influence on me than I will likely ever know, and I'm grateful for those moments when I look in the mirror and see her in the shape of my mouth, the look in my eyes or the expression on my face.

Mom, thank you. Thank you for being such a vibrantly creative person. Thank you for being such an invitation to everyone who met you - an invitation to fun, joy and celebration as well as to reflection, deep conversations and connection. Thank you for being such an amazing friend - to your siblings, your neighbors, your colleagues, your grandchildren and to me. Thank you for BEing Inspiration... your spirit lives on. I love you and am so grateful to have had you with us for as many years as we did.

Happy Birthday, Mom! We miss you... don't forget to write!