As I listen to news from around the world constantly filled with reports about people attacking others physically as well as verbally, it often seems surreal; even unbelievable. Open prejudice and violence, which causes injury and often death, are painful to witness for those of us who choose love over hate.
The majority of us – like myself - look on, horrified, from the sidelines, as events beyond our control make us feel powerless.
As a professional problem solver until recently, I found the powerlessness beyond frustrating because I couldn’t see a way for good to triumph over evil. I experienced huge relief when a feeling like a light went on in my head as I considered how different life on earth would be if we focus on that which is within our control. We should concentrate on mindfully loving more, hating less and doing random acts of kindness for each other because we can. Whilst that may seem a naïve concept, my attention remains with it. It made me wonder if the conscious ones amongst us could band together with love on the agenda, no matter what religion, and turn the tide on hate and fear.
I decided to discuss it with Judy Piatkus who several years ago set up a network, ConsciousCafe, which gives people the opportunity to engage in conscious conversations with likeminded others, to raise awareness of all that is meaningful in our lives.
Synchronistically, the very next day I received an invitation to a conference ConsciousCafe were holding in London on 27 November on the topic of Raising the Vibration of Love. It brought together leading-edge thinkers, opinion-makers, authors, therapists and respected senior executives to explore ways of reducing fear and increasing the expression of love in our lives with a common goal of making the world a better place. I bought a ticket in a heartbeat as it felt like a group I wanted to be part of.
The conference was opened by Elif Shafak, author of several non-fiction works and ‘mystical realism’ novels, whose bestseller Forty Rules of Love has sold a million copies and blew me away with joy when I first read it a few years ago. Elif highlighted the fact that knowledge and information are different from wisdom, which requires emotional intelligence. She emphasised that we should allow ourselves to be changed by love and that empathy is the key to positive change, promoting less violence.
On personal love Elif played with the idea that we may have unrealistic expectations that one person can fulfil all of our needs. Maybe validating our loved one for what he or she does bring to the relationship, and choosing wise friends to fulfil our other needs is the way forward for a successful loving relationship. Not surprisingly there were many questions after that which Elif responded to with great wisdom.
Elif’s thought-provoking words were followed by a panel discussion which focused on love in the workplace. Leading experts Oonagh Harpur, Norman Pickavance and Francis Briers, chaired by Judith Clegg reflected on how individuated many have become through technology. Yet through re-connectivity we can raise our consciousness and by doing so open ourselves up to empathy and learn more about meeting each other’s needs. The panel shared stories of initiatives connecting people worldwide and giving them a voice to generate ideas and collaborative action.
After a networking lunch I took part in a workshop facilitated by Dr Dina Glouberman on intimate relationships. Other people chose sessions about embodying love in everyday life or expressing love through art. These were followed by a World Café session where we moved from table to table, engaging with others at a very deep level as we considered how we could each and collectively raise the vibration of love in our own lives as well as in the world.
The day ended with a guided meditation from Tom Fortes Mayer accompanied by singing and music from Virginia Thorn who sounded like an angel.
I had arrived at the conference tired from a punishing week. I came away feeling energised and clear. I felt increased certainty about my own abilities and mindful of the positive outcomes resulting from likeminded group initiatives. I felt significantly increased optimism about the chance, if together we step up in the name of love, that we could ensure good will triumph over evil, enabling us to thrive together on our beautiful planet.
The power of the day was palpable. Apart from examining the power of raising the vibration of love, I made a number of connections with people I hope to collaborate with and learn from. I am already looking forward to my next encounter with ConsciousCafe.
Videos of Elif Shafak speaking at the ConsciousCafe Conference and of the business panel will be posted on Youtube and on the ConsciousCafe website shortly. Raising the Vibration of Love was ConsciousCafe’s first conference. www.consciouscafe.org
ConsciousCafe is a not-for-profit organisation, a friendly and welcoming community, a place to live life consciously.