The Occupy movement continues to spread around the world despite beatings, arrests, evictions, and the loss of so much personal property, frequently by people who have little personal property. The energy in general, as far as I can see, is not defiant in a superior way or angry in a personal way. As Martin Luther King, Jr., said in his famous I’ve-Been-to-the-Mountain-Top speech the night before he died, There are some kinds of fire that water can’t put out. He was on fire and so was the civil rights movement in the United States with courage, clarity, and commitment unto death. Now another fire is burning. Its intent is not to consume Wall Street, but to occupy it, to make it our own, to become one with it in order to change it for the better. There is no other way to change something or someone for the better except to occupy it first. The only person you can occupy is yourself. That is why the only person who can change you for the better is you. Without your decision to change and your commitment to change, you will not change.

Religions cannot change you. If you are angry, you will become an angry Muslim or Hindu. If you are righteous, you will become a righteous Christian or Jew. No dynamic other than your own ability to distinguish within yourself between love and fear and choose love can change you, moment by moment, decision by decision. In other words, the only things standing between you and the compassionate, wise, and creative person you want to be are matters of choice. Your choice. No one can occupy your generosity except you. Who can occupy your patience when impatience roars through you? Who except you can choose not to act with judgment when all of your thoughts are judgmental? Your life is yours to live, no matter how you choose to live it. When you do not think about how you intend to live it, it lives you. When you occupy it, step into it consciously, you live it.

At its best the Occupy movement expresses this, draws from it, and creates with it. It is a movement of self-responsibility uniting countless self-responsible participants an impossibility for the mind to grasp but not for the heart. Commitment and creativity cannot be captured and handcuffed. Inspiration cannot be jailed. The heart cannot be contained. Who can occupy your heart except you? What will happen when you do?



7 comments on “OCCUPY YOUR HEART”

  1. peacenter1 says:

    May 23, 2012

    I am tempted to say that I am in the midst of a personal crisis, a deeply painful event over which I have no control, my fate as yet unknown. It’s true that I am experiencing anger, frustration, fear, desperation, humiliation, rage, wanting to lash out, blame, criticize, a dark soul of the night. Your words, teachings I learned in my youth from a courageous, committed minister, fundamental practices that require one to become still, turn inward, allow all feelings, thoughts to be, to embrace compassion, self-forgiveness, to authentically ask for guidance, to proceed with grace, reverence, gratitude, to create intentions of peace, harmony, cooperation. I am consciously, humbly moving my whole self toward this plateau, to this higher ground, so that I may see what I cannot yet see, feel what I cannot yet feel, to know what I have yet to know. God Bless. Thank you.

  2. EdBotsko says:

    I am new to Soulblog and Gary and Linda. I was really taken by what Linda wrote, because her reaction to Seat of the Soul was very close to mine. I have been studying with a Spiritual Teacher for about a year and find Gary’s message in sync with my teacher but with a different set of words. So glad I found this source of inspiration.

  3. free one says:

    It is so simple and yet so powerful!! It should be so easy by now to realize the truth in what you are saying!! If we claim that we are for freedom , equality, can we select who qualifies to enjoy it and who does not? If we realy truly love humanity, how can we reject some parts of it??? It would be like judging certain parts of your body , and trying to get rid of them!!! We ARE ONE , whether we see it or not, that is NOT NEGOTIABLE! !If some parts are less aware then others it is more reason to show our own awareness, not to retreat from it…We teach our children by our actions more than our words, so same applies here. No one says it is easy to occupy your own space in this times of distractions so easily available to us, yet, it is the only way to freedom!! happines is not the goal, it is the way, right?
    God bless, namaste!!!

  4. Lauren says:

    That’s an interesting question: “Who can occupy your patience when impatience roars through you?” I think the key for me-and maybe for most of us-is to realize that it actually roars. I, like many others, have been trained from the cradle to suppress, deny, and control my emotions, but only outwardly. What happens within me tends to be something I hide, or I won’t be accepted out there in the world. Because I want to be “OK” and acceptable, I often try and talk myself out of whatever I am feeling-rather than just feel it. Over the years, I have tried various ways to overcome my “unacceptable” emotions- drinking and “partying” when I was young, frenetic busyness so that I would be “doing good” and my life would have “meaning.” Seeking validation outside myself through social acceptance. But I always come back to myself in the end. I always like how you say that what is inside us is there to teach us. I agree with that. I have some pretty forceful teachers! I try now to pay attention to these teachers, but it is uncomfortable. And I admit that there are plenty of times when I would rather try and be “comfortable” again. But I have found that once this learning process begins, it doesn’t just “shut off.” It wants to continue. The challenge for me is to act with patience even when the impatience is roaring. To treat others without judgement even as my judgemental thoughts are racing. I don’t have to wait to be “perfect” on the inside before I can do better on the outside, but I do have to feel what I am feeling! A tall order!

    We will probably see more “Occupy” movements,and “Tea Party” movements-as we try to evolve society the way we are trying to evolve ourselves. I know for myself, I’ll probably be pulled this way and that, as I agree with some and not with others, as I strive to figure out what seems right and wrong. The Tea Party movement contains a lot of hard-working small business owners. The Occupy movement contains a lot of good people who would like to see things like health care for everybody, not just those who can afford it. Everybody is just trying to find their way in a very confusing and changing world. And deep down, we are all just trying to feel a sense of peace and security…and love. How do we get there when so many of us are so confused and afraid? You say that we have to have the courage to actually feel the fear, and then act in love. I like that.

  5. binra says:

    Religious identity or any other kind of identity – is a mask isn’t it!
    The mind that wants to play in mask is not the true desire of the heart – but engaging in the thrill and self righteousness of blame and conflict, feeds the mind of the mask as an effective distraction from the true desire of the heart.
    We are choosing what we accept into our minds and seeding as our experience whether we know it or not.
    Where there is willingness to listen of an innocent curiosity, fresh thoughts will arise that speak of and for the true desire of the heart – which knows the way of releasing an insanely complex masquerade – and redeeming all that is beautiful, good and true.

    Thanks for sharing out from a willingness for love.

  6. Elizabeth Peterson says:

    I have been with you ever since 1989’s Seat of the Soul. Your ideas and ideals resound with me on every level, and I’m one of your steadfast “likers” on Facebook. However, this is my first disagreement with you concerning the “occupy” movement. I found that most of these people wouldn’tknow Wall Street from Main Street, and leap at the chance to indiscrimately throw their hat into any anti-established norm no matter what. I am on the side of the Tea Party movement because they represent true freedom – the kind this country was originally founded on. We are being taxed to the hilt under this administration, and we, as Americans are not being listened to, nor heard by the powers in Washington.
    The Boston Tea Party was concerned with taxation without representation, the misuse of power was recognized back then, and the American people felt the need to do something about preserving their rights – be they fledgling rights, they were precious. Like you, I feel we cannot occupy anything other than ourselves, and we must be accountable not only for our ideas, but with the means to implement those ideas. The Wall Street occupiers want something for nothing, and rely on someone else to get it for them. “On the Dole” was never in the sights of the original framers of the Constitution. Just my opinion as to how I see it…Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you.

  7. reSource says:

    I agree with your assessment of the Occupy movement. Never before has the earth seen such a coming together of so many disparate philosophies but all gathering with the idea of improving the world. It is not only inspiring but I believe it is changing the way people think of themselves and others. It is making a mockery of the political processes and that is appropriate too. When we come from our heart center how can we not care about self and other? How can we not agitate for freedom? for the rights to be the best we can be?

Leave a Reply