In my twenties, I proudly wore a black T-shirt with Question Authority plastered across my chest. As an angry young man, this phrase was indicative of my attitude toward life and all things I judged to be unjust. A run-in with the police and judicial system at twenty-six added fuel to justifying my anger. I believed it was my duty to right the wrongs of the world. Through activism and protest I was determined to change others.

Later in life, on one of my frequent hikes in the Santa Fe National Forest, I sat in contemplation on the banks of a stream, just listening. I observed the graceful water easily traversing all obstacles. I want to live fluidly like this water! I exclaimed. An inner voice immediately answered my cry. The obstacles in the stream are much like your treasured beliefs about yourself, others and the world. It continued by saying, Practice applying the Essence of your being to all perceived obstacles. It will bring much fluidity into your life. Like the water, resist nothing. Trust in that which unifies you with all things. The unity of all things is the one simple truth you can always rely upon. All things are unified by a common origin.

Returning to my car from this extraordinary experience I recalled a Bucky Fuller-ism: “Rather than fighting an old system, invent a new system that makes the old one obsolete.” I also remembered that after witnessing an outburst of my anger, a wonderful teacher once reminded me that, “I have an equal and opposite capacity to respond to others and all circumstances with tenderness, as I do react in anger.” Considering the connections between these aphorisms, I set about opening my thoughts, feelings and actions to the deepest yearning of my heart: to trust my capacity for tenderness to design for myself, a new way of being in the world, making obsolete all beliefs in my separateness.

Exhausted by all manner of discord in my life from my belief that anger and self-righteousness is justifiable, I found a new way of being. With daily practice, I get better at applying unity principles in my life situations. A self-empowering side effect is the freedom I feel from the repetitive and depleting dictates of my ego’s conditioned belief in my separateness. At peace with myself and aligned with my heart and Essence, I’ve also recovered my sense of humor. I consider my ventures into beliefs in my separateness as laughable lessons learned in the world of illusion. I am now fulfilling my life’s purpose: designing experiences of interconnectedness. My life is filled with child-like wonder once again.

It is also my nature to apply what I’ve learned to many scales, from small to large. Today, rather than outward activism, I am infusing my thoughts, feelings and actions with unity. Then I infuse tenderness and the vibration of Order (honoring all thing) into events I encounter involving the illusion of separateness. I follow Pablo Neruda’s pearl of wisdom, “Changing the world is an inside job.”