Why Your Personal Problems Are Collective Problems

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Almost four years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and scribbled down five words: Discover, Create, Value, Express, and Heal. I had no idea what they meant. And it took me weeks before I began to unpack what would soon become the crux of my work and the foundation for the Sacred Circle and Sacred Mastermind.

It explained everything that I was and why every moment of my life happened to me.

Saturday night, I woke up in the middle of the night and scribbled down five new words: Repression, Corruption, Extraction, Suppression, and Disassociation. This time, I had some more sense of what I was writing down. And it didn’t take me long to figure out that these were the shadow forms of the original words—what we in the Circle call the Master Energies.

That same night, I was up two more times. Feverishly writing—and drawing—things I didn’t understand. And unpacking them the next morning.

This idea of shadows is something that plays out strongly in our work. We’ve long looked at the shadow form—or antonym—of our Brand Energies to begin to understand the most painful moments of our life and our deepest trauma.

But it’s only been recently that we’ve been able to see how the Master Energies, too, have their own shadows. Their own ways that they can be corrupted, perverted, an objectifying.

They are the collective to our Brand Energies’ individual. In the same way that collective trauma is personal trauma and personal trauma is collective trauma, the Master Energies are showing us how they may set the stage for Brand Energies to show up a certain way, or be affected by the way Brand Energies show up.

Because problems don’t happen in isolation. You don’t randomly get depressed or hold shame or have sexual trauma. All of that exists within a context. We sort of touch upon this idea when we talk about ‘rape culture’—a cultural context that normalizes objectification (of mostly women) and hyper-aggressive masculinity. Because then, within that context, there’s already fertile ground for acts of sexual assault to occur.

But collective context is so much bigger—it creates the very underlying patterns that allow for individual acts of any kind to occur. And that collective context is created by individual acts in the first place. So a endless loop is formed—one that ties us intricately to the rest of our society, and the rest of world.

In a world so focused on reductionism—on reducing plants to chemical constituents, fashion to mass-produced clothing, and culinary art to fast food—is there any wonder that objectification is the norm? Since the Industrial Revolution, efficiency has been prized over craftsmanship or art, and we’ve seen a continued devaluing of essence in favor of its container. Making empty materialism the new norm.

Through sugar, pornography, and social media, we’ve corrupted our simplest desires for glucose, sexual desire, and connection. We’ve corrupted the natural production of neurotransmitters with false, empty imitations of reality.

We’ve suppressed certain voices—both within ourselves and externally—that don’t fit the conditioned narrative. In fact, conditioning in and of itself has suppressed natural expression—trusting our authentic response in any given moment. A baby may cry when he’s hungry. But we quickly learn when it is and isn’t appropriate to cry. Continuously eroding our self-trust and self-expression when our natural response runs contrary to what is culturally acceptable.

We don’t see the parts of all of this that are inconvenient. When we’re mortified by one young girl being molested and killed by her father, but barely disturbed by the decimation of an entire country through the use of an atomic bomb, there is mass repression running rampant. We see what we want to see and no more.

And we live in a world of unprocessed traumatized, afraid of—and even distrustful of—our own bodies. Disassociated and unable to integration our disparate experiences.

Of course this will all set the stage for particular individual pain. But that pain can only exist within its context.

It’s easy to want to point fingers at that ‘bad guy.’ That ‘psycho killer.’ That one outlier. Except, if extracting that outlier from society really was the problem, it wouldn’t keep coming up again and again and again.

We know that individual trauma is always collective trauma. For the simple fact that it was created within a particular context.

So what’s the solution—right? Is it all this bleak and dreary? Turns out the key to our own salvation is always hidden in the shadows. We can choose—at any given moment—to turn Repression into Discovery. Corruption into Creation of what our Soul truly feels called to do, share, and feel. Extraction into Valuing all things’ infinite Divinity. Suppression into Expression and using our voice. And Disassociation into Healing and embodiment.

We are individuals part of this cultural—and global—context. And that means that each individual step we take to live in alignment with our Brand Energies (if you use the framework of our work) is automatically changing the context. In subtle and overt ways.

You refusing to deceive yourself any longer already puts a huge rift in the widespread repression. And you choice to express your voice fully already begins to shift the collective suppression. As you inspire others. As you begin to change the context. As the world around you changes.

Don’t for a second thing that you’re powerless. Because context can only be created through individuals. It’s both the container for and result of individual experiences. Just as the Master Energies are to the Brand Energies.

And, with each step you take, you are changing the world. In a very real way, you are changing the world.

What world do you want to live in?

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