how to (begin to) change the world


when we talk about "changing the world", we're often not talking about we ourselves personally changing the planet we live on. we're talking about being a part of a collective that will do the job, or maybe even being part of urging someone in a government position to help implement the change we wish to see in the world. but if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know by now that I'm a massive believer in the fact that we are powerful, sacred beings who were born with everything we need to help change this world for the better. And I believe that change starts right here, right now, with us.

with me. with you.

as i mentioned in my last blog post (in which i talked a bit about how i believe our very purpose can be found in helping to change the world), there's a lot in the world that needs to be changed. if you follow me on social media, you may have seen my post on thursday in support of the end it movement, spurred by a collation raising awareness about the fact that humans are enslaved and trafficked worldwide; there are actually more slaves today than ever before, and that is a staggering statistic.

when we look at issues like trafficking, or how many orphans there are in the world, or how many people don't have access to clean, safe drinking water - or if we look at how much of our beautiful planet has been polluted and exploited, we can often feel extremely overwhelmed and helpless. but we don't have to feel this way; in fact, beginning to change the world is not a complicated process.

notice i said "beginning to" ;)

every movement, every change, everything starts with an idea. the civil rights movement started with some great ideas. going to the moon started with ideas. jacque cousteau's research started with an idea. it blows my mind when i look around at the world and everything in it - every building, every street, every store, every sign, every car, house, and coffee shop - if your rewind far enough, it was all born in the dark solitude of someone's imagination. long before anything comes into material existence, everything begins there.


that said, we can use this as a valuable tool, because the very first step we need to take to change the world is to simply get our idea, whatever it may be, out of heads and onto a piece of paper. that may sound ridiculously simple, but that really is the first step. whether you want to write a book, or start a movement, sitting down and writing out your thoughts is the first thing you need to do to actually begin to make your ideas tangible. and i know this from experience.

when I was a young teenager I co-founded a non-profit organization called Blue Freedom with my sister. together with some close friends, we launched this international volunteer-run group centered around protecting and restoring our oceans - specifically keeping whales and dolphins wild, and out of captivity (a massive and destructive threat to cetaceans). in 2012 we started a blog, chronicling the facts we were uncovering through our research, and sharing them with students through online awareness and presentations. 

but for us, that wasn't enough. we wanted to do something even bigger with what we had learned. so we decided to make a documentary about it. 

i remember the first time we discussed the idea; i'm pretty sure it was just my sister and i, and our parents gathered around our dining room table, brainstorming ideas. the idea for making a film came up...and we wrote it down.

little did i know that the next few years would take my sister and I all over the country, conducting and filming interviews, speaking at events, and getting to know and hear the stories of some absolutely incredible people. it was a lot of work, and it turned into a massive project that went far beyond those simple words i had jotted down in my "meeting notes" that afternoon...but it started there.

we called our film Voiceless, and in August of 2016 we were privileged and honored to be invited to premier it at Superpod, an environmental conference on San Juan Island, Washington that is attended by an international group of scientists, filmmakers, authors, journalists, naturalists, orca advocates and people who want to see killer whales in their natural home.

today our film has garnered nearly 150 thousand views, has been shown in schools both in the US and internationally, and continues to help raise awareness for keeping whales and dolphins wild.

in the grand scheme of things, it can be easy to look at making a film or writing a book and say to ourselves "that's just a drop in the ocean - how can that possibly change the world?" but the truth is, it's the only thing that ever has: our ideas, our words...it takes only one person to take that first step. to have an idea and write it down. that's when everything slowly begins to turn, gaining more an more momentum with your passion.

but the point of my story, and the reason i bring it up, is the simple fact that i was just a kid...a kid with an idea, a laptop, and a lot of passion. so never, never, never let someone tell you that you can't. that's a lie. there is always something you can do. 

“one child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
- malala yousafzai

and as i write this, i'm encouraging myself! because there is SO MUCH MORE I WANT TO DO. i want to help save this planet and the people and animals who live here. i want to keep inspiring people with my words. and the thing that inspires me to no end is the fact that i can make a difference. i actually can do something. there are literally no limiters. 

it's easy to despair and lose hope...but, when you look deeper - when you look at the raw potential for goodness inside of you? you'll soon discover that there is never a reason to lose hope. whether you want to end human trafficking, stop deforestation, or help kids in need, there is always something you can do.

"There is within human nature an amazing potential for goodness."
- rev. dr. martin luther king jr.

so, let's start with the very first thing: writing it down. even if you don't have a specific idea, write down something you want to see change in the world: anything. write it down in a journal and keep in on your desk or in a place where you can return to it often. when you think of ideas spun from what you wrote down, jot those down beneath what you originally wrote. chronicle your own ideas for change.

this afternoon, just before i began this post, i stat down at the table with my own journal and pen and wrote down a very big idea of my own, and i'm glad i did, because i'm going to return to that idea every single time i get discouraged or feel overwhelmed to remind myself that we are here on purpose, and for a purpose...and nothing we do to make this world a better place is ever wasted.


okay, your turn - what's one thing you want to impact the world for the better with - in one word? truth? love? peace? comment below and share your word + thoughts, I would absolutely love to hear them. i hope this post encouraged and inspired you...and i hope you see a potential world-changer when you look in the mirror today. :) Oh, and if you get a chance to check out Voiceless, let me know what you think of it!


stay stoked!
kate

the roar on the other side of silence



purpose.

lately, i've been thinking a lot about this word. i've been thinking a lot about this big, spinning ball of earth, and light, and water that we call home; why we're here and what we were made for. i deeply believe that we cannot pinpoint just one reason...i think there are many reasons why we are here, but i also believe that each of these roots back to something even bigger and more ultimate: love.

we are here because of love, to give love, and to experience love. what greater purpose is there than to treat others and ourselves with love, and to truly find and understand our own identity within the context of true, beautiful, unconditional love?

i recently tweeted on a spark of inspiration:


when i find myself sitting alone on a quiet night, or lying awake in bed, i often catch myself thinking about this...changing little bits of the world by living each day in love...we each share that reason for being. regardless of what field you may want to work in, or what job you may have, or where you've journeyed in life so far, this is a massive part of your purpose. the reasons above are part of why you are here.

you are here to change the world. and that takes love. because in order to change the world, we have to start with ourselves. we have to start by treating ourselves as we would treat a hungry child or a vast ocean crying out for help. we have to love ourselves deeply.


it makes me weep when i think about how much irrelevance we build around life...oh, goodness how we make it about so many things that don't matter. the long, lonely cries of every living soul - of the ocean and all it's life, of the stars in the sky, of every tear screaming out from the ground on which it fell - it's all lost in the chaos of the noise we build up around ourselves. it's all lost in the mess we make. and sitting here, drying my overwhelmed eyes, i cannot make sense of any of it. i've resigned myself; i can only make sense of the cry inside my own soul:

we weren't created to dwell within the vacuums of our own fabricated universes; like life teaming up from the ground, like flowers pushing through the dirt, we were meant to rise and help others reach for the sun. we were made to blossom and to encourage and enable those beside us to unfold their own beautiful petals.

we're here for so much more than the noise; the buying and the selling and the pictures on the billboards. to reduce ourselves to this kind of "success" is like...oh gosh, it's like confining a supernova to a streetlight. 

because when it comes down to it, there is much to be done here, and if we haven't rolled up our sleeves yet and jumped in...what are we waiting for? if we're wondering why we're here, or what our purpose is...maybe it lies in the undertones of those cries; maybe among the rubble and the rebuilding...maybe that's where we find our purpose. maybe we find our meaning in the smile lines on the orphan's face when they finally find a home. maybe we find ourselves in the gushing of fresh, clean water as it rushes from the dry ground. maybe we're in the forests that are left to grow wild, or in the ocean that rolls ever onward, cleaner and purer for us having dove to its aid. maybe our anthem is in the breaking of chains.

maybe this is who we are. maybe this is why we are here. 


i heard this quote the other day while watching a film adaptation of George Elliot's Middlemarch, and it stuck in my mind like haunting lyrics:

“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.”

true success i think, is to have such unadulterated senses, that we can clearly hear that muffled cry on the other side of silent complacency - and reaching out, we can tear through that veil to find our own souls on the other side; to find humankind as it should be.

maybe our purpose is found in the roar on the other side of silence.

oh goodness, i hope these restless churnings of my mind make sense! i'll write more about this some other time, no doubt in a more expounded way. there's just so much on my mind, it's hard to get it all out, sitting still at a desk like this. i feel like i need to just go out into the woods and shout all my ideas to the mountains and the trees and see what they have to say about them before i even think about writing anything else down.


i'd originally thought i should talk about the fact that i launched my patreon page yesterday, but my soul just wasn't stirred to. i did launch it yesterday though, and i'm looking forward to building a community there. i would love and appreciate your feedback on the page if you have a moment to check it out. <3 i do want to say that i would never want you to feel obligated to give on patreon though, because i love you and the sheer fact that you are here is more support than i can find adequate words to thank you for.  if you're interested in the patreon community though, you can check it out here.

next week we'll talk more about the world and everything.

what is one thing you would change about the world if you knew you could not fail??


stay stoked,
kate