Religion 2.0, or what it is all about
Changes are afoot. Life is always afoot. Growth and evolution are, too. Just like many other things. I would like me and you to always remember about the process-aspect of things. That’s why I chose the word afoot as my brand name. To remind myself and the people I encounter that it is perfectly normal to take our journeys step by step. That we are not obliged to know all of the path in front of us. One step ahead is enough and this one is all I know now, as I am starting this website.
So that sums up the format.
The idea for content of this blog is rooted in acknowledging that there is a huge shift now happening on our planet. I would call this shift an evolution rather than revolution, although it is quite rapid. The core of this shift is living more conscious life in the present moment.
I see it as a much bigger shift from what the 19th-century Marxists witnessed or what the French revolution rebellion was about. I believe it is an extraordinary époque that we now have a privilege to participate in. This is because the roots of the change happening now are embedded very deeply and the potential fruits will be enough to share between all humanity. Let me explain it in a less metaphorical way, so you cannot accuse me of bullshiting.
One could say that a new egalitarian religion is emerging in front of our eyes, or rather – something beyond the concept of religion as we know it. It is like Religion 2.0, allow me to say. It doesn’t require dogmas, rituals or commandments, although one may still choose to obey some according to their own will. However, the changes I am talking about resemble religion in the sense that they guide our consciousness – or spirituality, if you will – to higher levels. More and more of us start working on widening our everyday awareness of things, of ourselves and of how we relate to others. We hear more and more people talk about the world as an entity built primarily from energy, not matter. Moreover, physics and scientists are talking about it as well.
But this energy- and spirit-related stuff is not the only dimension of this shift. And it is not about discussing abstract concepts and opinions related to how things are anymore. It is the tangible experiences that come into human societies that are signalling the “wind of change” blowing stronger than ever. Many of us are not concerned with physical survival anymore, we feel we have it granted, yet more and more of us do not take it for granted. We consciously start exploring the areas of life that were not seen as relevant a couple of decades ago.
Eating, body image, physical well-being. We realize how much our food influences our physicality and overall health, as well as the environment and well-being of all life. We start paying attention to it. And it is not about searching for universal diet or ideal body image that would fit everyone. People start exploring and experimenting to find what works for themselves. Body image “gurus” are appearing all around, spreading the gospel of loving and caring for your body in the first place, regardless of how it looks like. Eating and physicality are being embraced as they are, and more and more often they are celebrated.
“Loving yourself” trend. Know sites like MindBodyGreen or Enlightenment Is Sexy? There are plenty of websites, books and other resources putting forward the idea of self-love as a starting point to improving quality of our experience and initiating positive change in the world. And people start getting this message, and they are loving it. There is a huge and growing community of folks gathered around the idea of self-love, treating it as a tool to make the world a better place, rather than as a sign of selfishness. Embrace your feelings, know your own worth, accept yourself no matter what. This is the new base to build healthy society on – emerging as an alternative to the well-established attitude of always putting everyone and everything before yourself.
Omnipresence of yoga, meditation, breathwork and other mind-to-body exercises. This one is as huge as it is diverse. On one hand you have Instagram yogis showing off their sexy and healthy bodies and on the other – local meditation gatherings that accept everyone, regardless of their “level of enlightenment”. Meditation apps for our smartphones, holidays in Buddhist retreats… We are obviously looking for something more than improving physical health or our breathing. It seems to be a search for states of consciousness which until recently were out of our reach or imagination.
Coaching, psychotherapy and other tools for the mind – they are not reserved for “people with problems” anymore. Anyone can use them in order to become the best possible version of themselves. We are trying to consciously figure out our habits, discover how to be more productive and balanced, understand ourselves better and be more empathetic towards others. It is often the people who are seen as successful that reach out for those tools. And it becomes more and more accepted and common to do so. (Even though in our Polish little backyard it might still take some time before the word “coaching” loses its ridiculed meaning.)
New outlook to business and work. Why are initiatives like crowdfunding or sharing economy becoming more and more popular? Why is the importance of NGOs and transnational agreements increasing? People, including big corporations (which are also made of people, remember!), are discovering the new meaning of “profit”. Profit is either collective or non-existent. We are slowly moving away from the idea of benefiting by taking away from the other, because we noticed it doesn’t make sense in the long run. Hence, the new models of business and working culture. Hence, the European Union and willingness to pay more for fair-trade products.
In my perception, these are all signs of massive transformation encompassing the whole world, which can also be felt by each of us individually. So on AFOOT blog I want to acknowledge this transformation that we are witnessing. I am extremely excited to be able to observe it and to be a part of it at the same time. I believe that we really are moving towards a better and more advanced world, even if sometimes we need to go there through wars, populist politicians, epidemics or terrorism. We can be afraid of those, of course, but we can also choose to see them as important parts of a bigger process. Just like a growing child who goes through severe measles, but at the same time gains immunity to it for the rest of its life.
The focus of my writing here is going to be twofold. On one hand, it is an observation of and reporting on how the world is awakening to a more conscious life. On the other hand, it is sharing my personal experience and insights to widening individual awareness. Sharing lessons I learn through interactions with other people, through big and small travels and also through my moments of aloneness. Anything that can help us be more conscious, attentive and present in life.
And this reminds me of as yet the shortest and most concise way to tell you what I mean:
Conscious living basically means the ability to be present in the here and now.