It has been a big week and today is Veteran’s Day – 11.11.11. – remembered all over the world also as Armistice Day. I know many veterans and for me the date now has a resonance beyond chanting as a child, “On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour we shall remember them.”

Today the 11.11.11 stories hurt my heart because now I know that the remembering is not only for the dead but the terribly injured at so many levels.

It is also (and this feels so unimportant in some ways), a date that those in tune with the Mayan calendar recognize as a date/doorway/major opening for love and alignment, or the end of the world, or whatever interpretation is surfacing. I am quite open to the power of a date in providing us a time to reflect upon our history, possibilities and the need for change.

This leads me directly to the other thing that happened this week – the shocking, sickening and almost unbelievable series of events at Penn State. Uncovering the appalling lack of responsibility, common decency and courage that festered, hidden beneath the rock of the sports’ lights, has been painfully unremitting. The rape and sexual abuse of young boys by the adults they worshipped and to whom they looked up, not only occurred (we have seen that before) but this time was witnessed in real time by other adults, who did nothing.

My book, Personal Magic, is about Empowerment as a conscious choice. The endless cycles of war, and the re-learned and forgotten and re-learned lessons of that, the disturbing lack of moral capacity exhibited at Penn State, and the idea that the world is perhaps on the brink of ending – or is it realigning with love? – makes some kind of sense to me today.

We are in the midst of waves of change, coming into awareness of who we are not. The crop grown from the seeds of greed, fear, selfishness and irresponsibility is being reaped today. This is perhaps one of the most disempowered cultures in a long time. Lack of discipline, of healthy pride, courage and kindness leads to what we are witnessing on a grand scale now.

As we honor and remember the veterans from wars past, we are still failing those in need so that we can pay for the ongoing wars and be ‘prepared’ for others. The adults with the most power over the young people in their care not only fail them, but do so deliberately from their place of disempowerment and lack of discipline. And we cling to a date as means by which all will be either mercifully swept away so we don’t have to deal with it, or magically healed.

There are no short cuts. We need to face our fear, find the courage to move deeply into our inner, wiser, selves and do the work. In Chapter 3 of Personal Magic I write:

“I think it is a neat little paradox that the Empowerment that comes with being in Joy entails a certain Responsibility as well. Just as the journey to Joy requires Discipline, so when you have that Empowerment, it will only remain if you behave with Responsibility. It takes Discipline and Responsibility to grow your Empowerment, (and thus open you to your Joy,) and that will stay with you only if you behave Responsibly. A circle, a spiral, but not a straight line to nowhere.”

You can get there, you can help others get there. Embrace your creativity, allow your heart and soul to be heard, and begin to experience true empowerment, your Personal Magic.

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