‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’
It’s a question we all face when we’re little. Did New Zealand’s young female Prime Minister turn and say to her questioner, ‘Well, I’m going to study really hard, become a Politician, lead my Country and one day be heralded around the World as a beacon of light, forgiveness, hope and inclusion.’
I doubt it. But that is what she has become. It is easy to think that it’s only people in high-profile positions that can have such an impact – but that is wrong. We are all capable, at no matter what level, of delivering a message. In fact, daily we all convey messages, purely through functioning as a human, and all of us at all ages have something to say that is unique to us.
Laura, my niece, springs to mind. She is twenty-four and has set out on a journey to bring people together in a community of love, respect and inclusion. She came out to France recently and I talked to her about her ideas, of course, starting with the dreaded question:
‘What do you want to be when you grow up, Laura?’
She laughs. ‘Hah! You probably asked me that years ago- did I shrug my shoulders? I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to be: the only thing I knew was that I would be anything but a slave in an office. Since, however, I’ve decided I am going to change the world, be a free-range human, live simply, follow my heart, and spend time with people that make me feel alive.’
‘I used to spend a lot of time at holistic/conscious festivals, workshops and talks with Mum, and I internalised the underlying message: which was to look after yourself, all other beings and the planet. I joined in dance therapy sessions, had gong baths, went to talks on sustainability and shamans. I found it all, and especially the people, fascinating. One afternoon I talked to a 30-year-old lawyer turned yoga teacher, a 60-year-old nomadic crystal healer, and spent the evening with a bunch of people with normal day jobs who loved coming along and meeting new people and learning new things that opened their minds. I felt part of a non-judgemental community where everyone was my friend, and I loved every second of it.’
‘Do you think those festivals and gatherings rubbed off on you?
‘Absolutely! I loved them. I thought about what I was learning at them and I became more interested in environmental and social issues and quickly came to the realisation that if I could encourage as many people as possible to get to inspiring events, like the ones that have changed my life in such incredible ways, we’d have a peaceful army ready to start the restoration project our planet and spirits so desperately need.’
‘So you think anyone can be part of the peaceful army?’
‘Definitely. It’s easy to feel paralysed in our hyper-individualist society, but that paralysis can quickly turn to power when you feel part of a movement that’s making positive change - and that’s what’s needed: empowered people with positive intent, and an understanding and respect for their interdependence with the rest of the living world.
‘And that’s where your idea for Fresh Evoke has come from?’
‘Yes. Fresh Evoke aims to make it easier for anyone to find the mind opening events going on near them – those events that teach and empower you to make positive changes in your life. It’s also a platform for organisations with good intentions to list their events without the big fees of other event listing platforms. Over the past few years I've become aware of two groups of people who desperately need each other:
1. Those in the 'mainstream' who have come to the heavy realisation that the system they believed had their best interests at heart has neglected them. Their souls are aching, their minds are restless and they know they need SOMETHING, but that something can't be found on Amazon.
2. Then we have those that asked the questions, worked out the answer and shaped a life around fulfilment and joy. They've realised that a big bank account means nothing if life isn't enriching. They've found their passion, their community, their cause, the fire in their bellies and they're truly living and inspiring others to do the same.
I believe we need to build a bridge between these two groups, and Fresh Evoke's aim is to be the online facilitator for that bridge.’
What I learn from Laura, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Greta Thunberg, or the young French girl I had a good laugh with in the local bar the other night talking about the merits of using Awareness Cards, is that no matter how small, a positive thought that comes from a place of love and hope can be a really powerful thing. Young women like Laura are suggesting ways to bring about social change. Many others are fighting for environmental and political change. I truly hope that if we listen and we share more love, and talk of positive, hopeful things, we will one day be helping our beautiful planet and one-another as members of the peaceful army.
By Sarah Tyley