For many years now, a lot of people have been talking about “The Shift,” this mysterious transformation of human consciousness that is supposedly underway. Ever since the end of the Mayan calendar in December of 2102, New Age types tend to twitter away about the evolution of the species, the revolution of love, and other hopeful but fuzzy seeming changes in what it means to be human. I want to take a minute to help us all ground this floaty notion a bit.
See if any of this sounds familiar:
- Do you have a vision of some aspect of a more beautiful world, and you know it’s your sacred purpose to help bring it into being?
- Do you sense that something is out of alignment in the world, and you want to be a part of the solution?
- Have you experienced a life-altering event that changed everything for you, and now you want to use that experience to help others?
- Do you have an innovative idea that might make the world a better place?
- Do you feel called—the way a priest is called to the priesthood or a doctor is called to medicine—to help others heal, transform, connect, love, create, succeed, and thrive?
Yeah, I thought so. I had a feeling you were one of us! Welcome to what my friend Martha Beck calls “The Team.” In her book Finding Your Way In A Wild New World, Martha Beck defines Team members by the following characteristics. You may not recognize every single attribute, but if you’re a Team member, you’re likely to be nodding your head a lot as you read through these characteristics of those whose souls incarnated here on this planet right now to facilitate this mystical shift in human consciousness. See if any of these Team traits resonate with who you are and how you feel.
- A sense of having a specific mission or purpose involving a major transformation in human experience, but being unable to articulate what this change might be.
- A strong sense that the mission, whatever it is, is getting closer in time.
- A compulsion to master certain fields, skills, or professions, not only for career advancement but in preparation for this half-understood personal mission.
- High levels of empathy; a sense of feeling what others feel.
- An urgent desire to lessen or prevent suffering for humans, animals, or even plants.
- Loneliness stemming from a sense of difference, despite generally high levels of social activity. One woman summed up this feeling perfectly when she said, “Everybody likes me, but nobody’s like me.
- High levels of creativity; passion for music, poetry, performance, or visual arts.
- An intense love of animals, sometimes a desire to communicate with them.
- Difficult early life, often with a history of abuse or childhood trauma.
- Intense connection to certain types of natural environment, such as the ocean, mountains, or forest.
- Resistance to orthodox religiosity, paradoxically accompanied by a strong sense of either spiritual purpose or spiritual yearning.
- Love of plants and gardening, to the point of feeling empty or depressed without the chance to be among green things and/or help them grow.
- Very high emotional sensitivity, often leading to predilections for anxiety, addictions, or eating disorders.
- Sense of intense connection with certain cultures, languages, or geographic regions.
- Disability, often brain-centered (dyslexia, retardation, autism) in oneself or a loved one. Fascination with people who have intellectual disabilities or mental illness.
- Apparently gregarious personality contrasting with a deep need for periods of solitude; a sense of being drained by social contact and withdrawing to “power up” again.
- Persistent or recurring physical illness, often severe, with symptoms that fluctuate inexplicably.
- Daydreams (or night dreams) about healing damaged people, creatures, or places.
You! You! You!
If you read that list (like I did) thinking “Check, check, check,” you’re definitely one of us visionary healer mender way-finders on The Team. And the world needs you to fulfill your sacred purpose—pronto! As Martha wrote, “If enough people start mending their true nature in the incredibly interconnected world we’re creating, the cumulative effect really could begin healing the true nature of, well, everything.”
In my new book The Anatomy of a Calling, I wrote about Team members, but also about the “karass,” which is its own special form of Team gathering.
In Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut writes about how God organizes the world into units which he calls a “karass.” A karass is a unit of incarnated beings whose job it is to bring into being one of God’s holy ideas. Members of a karass all further the collective purpose seamlessly, though many never even know they are part of this karass. Even if they never meet, they work together in harmony, in impeccable service to God’s holy idea. Everything about their lives furthers the purpose perfectly, even though they may be furthering the purpose unconsciously. When you meet someone who is a member of your karass, even though it may make no sense to you on a human level, you will recognize them as a family member instantly. Your souls will resonate, even if you appear to have nothing in common on the human level. This is how the Divine gets important things done in the world. Your karass is like a peaceful army that activates to bring light into the world.
Vonnegut compares the karass to its polar opposite, which he calls “The Granfalloon.” The Granfalloon is a group of people who think they are connected to each other in some way, but they have no spiritual connection whatsoever. For example, the Harvard class of 1986—or the Republican party—or Mets fans. They are completely unrelated to each other when it comes to their soul purpose. They may think they belong to the same tribe, but the bond is shallow, whereas the bond between members of a karass runs deep and pure. Members of the same karass are held to their purpose like electrons around a nucleus. Some live very close to the purpose. Some are further out. But all are held to the purpose by a spiritual magnetism. They may have never met each other, or they may be married to each other. They may work in the same field, or they may have very different careers. But their lives fit together in service to this shared spiritual purpose.
We are all here for an unknown purpose. Serving this purpose makes us feel fulfilled and enriched. But if we get seduced off purpose—by ambition, fame, money, or the ego’s grasping at comfort—our vitality gets stolen from us. When we commit to this purpose we’re here to serve, when we give ourselves to serving it with great impeccability, everything begins to fall into place.
10 Attributes of Successful Visionaries
To help support Team members who are in service to their karass, I wrote a free e-book How to Uplift the World: A Guide For Inspired Visionaries, which you can download as my gift here. Included in this book are the “10 Attributes of Successful Visionaries,” along with practical tips to help cultivate each of these attributes. When we gather together to support each other, we uplift our shared mission and help to uplift the world together.
Joseph Campbell said, “So that’s what destiny is: simply the fulfillment of the potentialities of the energies in your own system.”
Nobody has forged this path for you because it is your unique path. Nobody can predict for you where the path will end, because every twist and turn of the path will be a surprise, and anything is possible. But one thing is guaranteed. When you fully commit to the realization of your vision, free from the ego’s grasping attachments, unseen forces are likely to help you out. My new favorite word is “pronoia,” the opposite of paranoia. It’s the unshakable belief that everything in the Universe is conspiring to support you and shower you with blessings.
If you have been called to serve one of God’s holy ideas, you will not walk this path alone. The perfect people will show up to support your journey. The check will arrive in the mail. The tools you need will be offered to you. You will be given opportunities to learn the lessons you must learn. And when you look back upon your whole life—the triumphs, the challenges, and everything in between—you’ll discover that you were groomed for this task your entire life. There is no greater gift in life than this.
Blessing to you on your journey,
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