Here is a practice that can help us to envision the beautiful future that we have only imagined can be true. It is a way of bringing into the present something that we believe is in alignment with universal truth–a world where all life can thrive. Here are the instructions:
Step 1: Choose a project or goal or vision you are working on.
Step. 2 Pick a date in the future. Go into the future as far as you would like. It depends on if you are looking to visualize short term goals or long term goals.
Step 3: Start speaking as if you are in the future, and things that you would like to have happened, have already happened. Here is an example of how I envision a project I am working on using the Harmony Story technique:
I am creating a structure for Compassionate Living Circles which are inspired by the movie, Prayer for Compassion. Here is the harmony story about this project one year from now. I repeat–this is NOT happening right now, but is what I imagine could happen.
I am so happy that I was able to collaborate with people in order to create the structure for Compassionate Living Circles. These CLC’s are now a fantastic way of helping spiritually minded vegans get together to do such things as share harmony stories, build friendships, host showings of the Prayer for Compassion, and create non-residential and residential healthy communities.
We also have introduced tools so that people can easily, with need of professional therapist, resolve their childhood and societal trauma including issues with being vegan in a world where most people eat meat and exploit animals. There are now at least one CLC in every city of the world, and these dynamic groups are attracting hundreds of vegans because they need a safe space to connect and also get support for their activism.
CLC’s initiate animal rights activism in gentle, loving ways such as meditating in public holding signs raising awareness about animal rights.
We created a training program for organizers who organize the CLC’s, and this has really been a powerful way to help build leadership in the animal rights community, and the Compassionate Living Circles cooperate with the other animal rights activists in order to inspire those groups to also use more gentle, loving techniques.
We do screen the organizers, who learn how to create a non-hierarchal structure where everyone’s voices are heard, so that the group is truly a safe space. They also are trained in using all the tools that are so effective, and the organizers are required to work on themselves and their own personal growth so that they can be servant leaders.
There are clear values and guidelines spelled out so that anyone who joins knows what is expected. Conflict prevention and resolution are clearly built into the structure of the groups.
End of Harmony Story.
Step 4. People can join in as if they are present with you in the future saying things like:
“I am so glad that you did all this planning and now I am in one of those groups. I love our Compassionate Living Circle!”
“It is so great that now when the Prayer for Compassion film is shown, people have the opportunity to join a group and keep the beautiful energy going. Thanks, Patricia, for spearheading this.”
Step 5: Complete the story with a short appreciation, going around the circle and sharing what you appreciated about doing this process.
Here are some additional things you can do:
- Write out, instead of telling the story, and send it to friends for their feedback statements. But be sure to make very clear that this is your harmony story, not something that has actually happened! Once I sent a harmony story out and someone thought it was real–and they were so disappointed when they realized it was a harmony story.–but their energy of believing it was true was helpful, I’m sure!
- You can tell harmony stories on video and share it via youtube or FB live stream–but keep reminding people of what you are doing!
- Record the harmony story and then take notes on it so that you can glean the good ideas that you got from this process.
- Amazing ideas do come up when you do harmony stories It is so much like brainstorming.
- The feelings that are generated are real, and will produce the positive hormones like serotonin because you can’t help but feel happy when you tell or listen to or participate in a harmony story.
- When people read or listen, they are swept into the reality of the story, and can be more supportive of your goals and visions because they really experience the possibility.
- Sharing harmony stories connect you to those who are listening and encouraging you.
- You can take the harmony story apart and make a project plan.
- This can be a way of introducing a concept to someone you want to inspire to get involved. Just be really clear that it is a harmony story and not real!
- Tell these stories only with people who are receptive and encouraging. I have found that if I explain the concepts, people will at least give it a shot.
- Be as enthusiastic and excited and dramatic as you can. Improvise. Don’t hold back. Don’t think about “this can’t happen” but go for every single dream you have. Maybe all the things won’t happen, but don’t be discouraged. You will be amazed at how much of your harmony story does happen!
- Give each person in a group a chance to share a harmony story. Ideally, time them. Start with 3 minutes and then let people chime in for 2 minutes with their encouragement of the harmony story,
- Always stay in that future place, talking as if something has already happened. If something is included in your story that actually has happened–share that it is true–otherwise we will assume whatever you are saying is happening in the future.
- Hold this energy of imagining the ideal future all the time. Fill your thoughts with continuing to visualize your harmony stories, including lots of details.
- Set goals from your harmony stories, and make a to do list.
- Keep track of what things have actually happened and celebrate that they have happened. Read your harmony story goals or your written harmony story–daily–and imprint them in your mind.
- Create a visualization so that you can close your eyes and envision the story.
- Pray for your harmony story.
This concept of harmony story was developed by Joanna Blad and I separately. I used to call them “future stories” but I like “harmony stories” better. So we are collaborating on sharing this concept with others. Joanna is great at writing out the theory behind why harmony stories are powerful. Here are her words:
Internal Activism Paradigm
By Joanna Blad
All us vegans do our external activism to bring about change and the ending of the war against animals. It is very important indeed, and yet it is incomplete, in my opinion, without internal activism.
I am offering for the asking, my INTERNAL ACTIVISM PARADIGM,(IAP) method, the quickening of the ending of the war on animals, a celestial speed up if you will, as I would love to see this happen in my and our lifetime. Let me explain a bit about it.
Our minds are the fertile sprouting ground for form to begin to percolate and then appear as manifested physical reality.
Invisible mind, not the brain is the center for creation, one with our invisible Source, which is where thought first appears and then with intention, belief, emotion and persistence becomes physical reality.
Ponder this, if a brain surgeon slices into your brain he will always find brain matter, but he will never locate the ever potent, ever powerful invisible thought. Thoughts are the pulses of energy responsible for the manifested physical matter we see in this world.
Now, knowing that, IAP the method is a new paradigm I have created for us to use in solo, or in a group which I think is more fun and more powerful. The only cost is using your mind.
Included in this technique are quantum physics, unconditional love, laws of attraction, and understanding a bit about the viciousness of the ego thought system, allowing us to maneuver around it, all adding up to a positive energy vibration circulating into the human collective consciousness, aligning it with light and love.
This technique will add to your peace of mind also.
So here is where your participation comes in, if you want to learn more about this technique that needs to go viral amongst vegans, please private message me and let’s connect over a phone call so I can present this to you.
Below I have gotten some reviews from some of FB friends, who have allowed me to share this idea with them. Enjoy reading and thanks for letting me share. Namaste.
“As animal activists, we work on both the physical and metaphysical levels to help elevate human consciousness and to liberate animals from human violence. Our thoughts, prayers, and visions for a vegan world, have tremendous power.
What we think and hold in our hearts affects our own well-being and ripples out to the rest of the world.”
Joanna Blad’s technique, I believe, can empower all activists to further their work of liberating animals and to find their own inner joy and peace.
Judy Carman, M.A. Author of Peace to All Beings: Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul and co-author with Tina Volpe of The Missing Peace: The Hidden Power of Our Kinship with Animals.
Founder of the Animal Prayer Flag Project (peacetoallbeings.com)
Co-founder of the Prayer Circle for Animals (circleofcompassion.org)
“After one conversation with Joanna, I realized how much dormant powers we have to change the world. I also am no longer feeling down and depressed and focusing more on the outcome that I want instead of focusing on what “is”. Thank you Joanna to help me see the truth and knowing that the most powerful energy is LOVE and how we can use love to heal a world that needs it so badly. I highly recommend for all vegans to have a conversation with her and incorporate her simple but very efficient techniques in your daily lives.”
Ladan V Cheybani
“As a compassionate vegan I needed a way to comfort myself. Joanna taught me a simple and heartening inner activism technique that I am able to use to relieve my stress about the suffering our animals sister’s and brother’s experience. Her method is calming and reverses the sense of doom I feel when I think about their plight…the unfairness and actual insanity in the world caused by the denial of these horrors. This simple mental process allows me to feel better, have more hope and carry the vegan message in a positive way thereby allowing these positive feeling to move through my activism and more easily attract others toward the shift. Veganism is a message of hope. It is essential to remain positive to be effective as an activist”
“As a psychotherapist & vegan animal rights activist, I find Joanna’s inner activism practice to be a powerful complementary tool to our activism in the world. To be our most effective in speaking to others about non.violence and compassion, Joanna’s inner activism practice helps us cultivate an internal vision in which we manifest our highest potential for ourselves and our world.”
Susan Endlich, M.A. LMFT