On this podcast, it is a deep honor to welcome my new friend, Michael Bernard Beckwith, minister, best-selling author, and founder of Agape International Spiritual Center in LA. Michael has spent his life in service to love, peace and harmony. His teachings are incredibly relevant in today’s rapidly changing world and inform so many critical disciplines from personal resilience to leadership. Together we discuss how he guides people through this time of exponential change, the topic of “What’s Your Assignment”, among other incredible thoughtful and insightful topics.
You can learn more about Michael Bernard Beckwith at Agapelive.com, where his teachings are live-streamed on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. The theme of their upcoming annual international meditation retreat (May 25-28) is especially fitting for this podcast AND the era in which we are currently living: “Whole Soul Devotion: Navigating Through Vibrational Turbulence”.
I’m excited every day because it’s just beautiful to be alive, to be breathing, and to be awake. What a blessing that is. I truly love my life I hope you love yours. You’re about to love it even more because I have this blessing. I get to share somebody who has been a gift in the world for many years. In all transparency, he’s a new friend to me. I’ve been watching and following his work. I’ve been in his flock for a while now which is wonderful. I get to spend some time with him and more importantly, I get to share his message, and his gift, and his wisdom with all of you.
His name is Michael Bernard Beckwith. He’s a minister and a bestselling author. He’s the Founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center. He’s done so many things in his life that are just in service. People that are in service don’t necessarily want to have all their accolades paraded ahead of them. It’s important that we’re committing so much of our time and our energy to following our hearts and doing beautiful work in the world that they are acknowledged. I want to start with that acknowledgement and welcome him to this podcast.
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Michael Bernard Beckwith Asks “What’s Your Assignment”
Michael, thank you for being with us.
It is my joy to be with you. It was wonderful spending time with you in my office getting a chance to just dialogue and speak. I echo what you just said, I’m very enthusiastic about being alive and very grateful that I exist. Every single day is another day of being in service to life, love, peace, and harmony. I was just grateful and thankful that I’m awake to who I am at this moment and always being available to what’s seeking to emerge even in this moment for the next moment.
I was invited to speak this morning at a friend’s business conference. I had an outline of the things I wanted to talk about with leadership and how to create great teams and what that’s all about. I’ve been blessed to be a CEO of a big company with a lot of employees, and so I was going to come at it from that perspective of management. I allowed myself as I often do just the space to be guided, and I explain that to them I said, “I have an agenda, a syntax of things I want to cover here. I’m being guided not to deviate from it, not get to it, but to follow another path for a little bit. We’ll just see where it leads and hopefully it’ll lead somehow back to center.” I said, “I have absolute 100% faith that it will because I trust in the process, I trust in God, I trust in myself.”
That’s the essence of leadership because to be a great leader, you must have people trust you. People will never trust you, if you do not trust yourself. I don’t find that I can trust myself or that it’s possible to trust oneself if we are afraid and if we can’t deal with our fear. That’s where I started with this talk. It was a business talk. I just started with the need to deal with fear. This idea of changing direction in life and reinventing things is so difficult for many people. It’s been difficult for me, too, because we fundamentally fear change. We’re living in exponential change time. What are your thoughts on that? You have guided so many people around fear and around change. I would love to get your thoughts on that.
I’m certain as you already know that changes is the only constant in life. In the world of phenomena, things are always changing. It’s either stagnancy or it’s evolution or unfoldment, and there’s nothing that’s standing still. Everything is energy, everything is always moving. It is interesting that individuals want to hold on to that which is known when the real good that we’re seeking is always in the realm of the unknown. It’s the next stage of our unfoldment. When we look at it from a spiritual point of view, the emergence of more good within us, the emergence of the activation of talents and gifts and resiliency and entrepreneurialship and creativity, all of these qualities that are emerging from us when we engage it, that’s called Heaven. When we are stagnating and seeking to hold on to the known, that’s called Hell. When individuals are taught that change is going to happen, to be in front of that change, to participate in that change through vision, through articulation of what life you want to experience, through articulation of how you want to serve and what qualities you want to share, you get on top of change. You’re participating in your own change.
I always counsel people that every month, every six months, every year, you want to look back and realize that you’re not the same person that existed at the beginning of the year. If you are, that stagnation and that’s hell. You don’t want to just change for change’s sake, change must be evolutionary. It must be on a dimension of unfoldment. You must become more of your essential self. When we’re operating primarily from survival only, then we hold on. We don’t want change. We want to stay within the paradigm of which we are living. When we begin to operate from “I want to grow, I want to magnify my gifts, I want to extend myself, ”the universe responds to that song and gives us new dance steps. The nature of our song then provides different music from the universe, different dance steps, and it’s all about change. I don’t want anyone to be the same person they were six months ago or a year ago or three years ago. Change is a constant so let’s participate with it rather than fight against it.
Utilize what it is. The law of utilization. I remember reading in an Emmett Fox book. I have this around the year book of his. It’s daily readings. I remember seeing in there that he said that change is the cosmic law for manifestation in the universe. That’s what came up that it is the only constant. It’s also exactly what you said, how it is that we create something new? How do we manifest? Otherwise, things that are stagnant become stale, they become rancid. They eventually become death itself. What’s known on some level? To me, what is known gives us our identity, it fuels or ego. I’ve got my 10,000 hours in this thing. I’ve got my degrees. I’ve got all that. That’s wonderful, and yet everything that’s known is dead.
Everything that we can see and taste and touch, I call that the past. It was originally a thought, an idea, and then it manifested. Once you can see it and it’s known, it’s the past. It’s already dead. People are seeking to eke out their existence from something that’s already happened when the all original thinker, the presence, is full to overflowing with new ideas waiting for those ideas to take shape through people who are receptive and people who are ready to manifest them. Those individuals stay eternally new. They stay vibrant because they’re not living on their laurels. They’re living for that next original idea to take shape.
As you live at that level, you literally become impervious to the thought forms of fear and doubt and worry that plague the human condition. You’re not running around trying to protect your life. You’re waking up trying to extend who you are and become more yourself. I’m with that. That which you can see is dead or that which you can see is the past. The unseen is where the juice is. The invisible, the inaudible, the intangible, that’s where the juice is. As we expand our awareness, where we would have see the invisible and hear the inaudible, we become the individuals that can do what was used to be called the impossible, because we’re living in a different space.
It’s an alchemy.
It’s interesting you use the word alchemy because every alchemist knows, that the metaphor is changing lead to gold. In order to change led to gold, you have to have a little bit of the frequency of gold existing already to transmute the rest of that lead to gold. We are alchemists, we have to have a little bit of faith, a little bit of vision, of joy, we have to have a little bit of it, the grain of a mustard seed so to speak, then we get alchemicalize the rest of our life. Instead of focusing on that which appears to be obstacles or hindrances or adverse, what an alchemist does is take the little bit of good that exist and places the full attention there. Then the rest of it begins to vibrate at that level, and then what was a leaden becomes golden in our life. We were invited to be alchemists.
That’s an art form, the arts and the science of living successfully. Most people are focused on successful, they want to be successful financially and otherwise. That mustard seed is the mind. It could be just that seed in the mind. The science of mind is something that’s been very important to you. I came upon that metaphysical work later in life. What’s your thought on the thoughts that make what you’re talking about possible?
We have to remember that a thought is a unit of mental energy. We have the wherewithal to measure it. You can actually measure thoughts. Some thoughts oscillate at a higher frequency than other thoughts. A thought that emanates from an awareness of love and connectivity is way more powerful than a thought form that’s emanating from a sense of separation or fear. They all have a tendency to transmute just as ice can transmute itself into water and water can transmute itself into gas. A thought transmutes itself into perception, experience, and manifestation. When we talk about the science of thought or the science of mind and spirit, we’re talking about becoming adept at real thinking. Thinkingness or the regurgitating of the same habits or perceptions or opinions that we’ve had over the years, that’s not real thinking. That’s called mentation. That’s just a regurgitation of thoughts and opinions. Real thinking is putting ourselves in a position where we’re catching a new thought. It’s called inspiration and being breathed through by the spirit.
Something is breathing through us, that’s real thought, when one can operate at that level. In the Japanese language the word to think is called “kamkuru” which means literally to return to the realm of God. When we combine that with the English definition of thinking which is to create, you create by returning to the realm of God which is inspiration. What we’re inviting individuals to do is to do some real thinking, to stop their previous thinkingness and opinions and points of view, put it to the side for a moment and begin to be receptive to a new thought. What do you want to experience in your life, not what do you want to not experience, not what you’re resisting, not what you’re fighting but what do you want to experience. Begin to allow those thoughts to flood your awareness until they become more real to you than the present circumstance.
Starting in this very moment, what do I want to experience is such a powerful question. How am I experiencing myself in this moment? I’m curious where this is all going to lead, coming out with a beginner’s mind and a child’s perspective. A part of what we’re talking about is about perception and how are you perceiving yourself in that moment and what else are you able to perceive in that moment, which gives you this heightened sensitivity and awareness to what is actually happening which is fresh and is new. The next moment is unknown which could bring up fear and put you right up against the wall of your box and your growth edge. That’s life.
In talking about perception, I’ve been teaching that your context determines your perception. If your context is, “I’m merely human,” or, “I’m merely the son and daughter of my parents,” or, “I’m merely the school I graduated from, or the neighborhood I grew up in,” then your perception is limited. If your context is, “I’m living, moving and having my beingness in divine intelligence. I live and move and have my beingness in a field of love and infinite good.”If I expand my context, then my perception changes. I’m not just a little incy wincy insignificant human. The context says, “I’m loaded and coated with infinite potential.”When that perception changes and now I’m able to draw and obtain new thought from the expanded perception, the inspiration happens. This is very important because you either drawing thought forms from what is called the sea of mental garbage or you’re drawing inspiration from the ocean of love intelligence.
It all depends on your context. Like you say, you woke up this morning and you’re thankful for existence, you’re thankful for being alive, you’re thankful for the great possibilities that can happen in your life. You’ve expanded your context. Inspiration can come from the ocean of love intelligence and move you in ways that you couldn’t be moved. If you woke up saying, “I’m just a little human being and my mother didn’t love me and I didn’t know who my dad was, and this, that and the other,” then I shrink my context and I prevent the higher order of thinking to take place in my life. We get to choose that. We get to participate in whether we’re operating from the sea of mental garbage, thought forms emerging from a sense of separation, or from the ocean of love intelligence, great inspiration arising from a sense of connectivity. It’s right here based on our perception, based on our context.
This is particularly relevant for me when you use that metaphor. I was born under the sign of Pisces. I’m a swimmer. I was a lifeguard. It sounds as though when we approach the sea of infinite possibility, infinite intelligence, everything we cannot see, we can come to that sea with a thimble and dip a thimble into the water, that thimble being represented by the context, or we can come with a five-gallon jug or something much larger. We have to decide what the size of that container is. The size of the container determines what it can hold inside.
We can actually jump in and swim in it and realize that we are oceanic with unlimited possibilities and then actually be inspired, we can actually be pulled by great vision, motivated if necessary. Many people are going to the ocean with a thimble and keep going back with the same thimble over and over again rather than going back with a much bigger container until they can just leap in and just swim in that mad buoy and practice the law of buoyancy and float in it.
It was in one of Deepak Chopra’s books, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, 1994 or so. I hadn’t read it then. I was practicing law and grinding at that point in my life for many years. I didn’t make any time to think about these things. In that book, I remember Deepak talked about going into the gap. I’m just thinking now that some of what you’re describing here rings of that idea that we can we can deal with our circumstances in three ways. We can suffer. That’s the path that most people choose, the path of least resistance in some ways, as painful it is to acknowledge that. You can you can transcend that difficulty. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is the result of transcending an awful thing and making it a gift and a service to other people. Then transmuting it all together, going into that sea, floating around in that infinite gap.
We’re invited to transmute, to change the frequency of thoughts and experience. We have the capacity to do that. Thought is a unit of mental energy. It’s not stagnant. It’s oscillating. The moment we look at something differently, it changes. We look at something from a perspective of what lesson am I learning, what blessing can I get from this. It changes the whole dynamic of what we’re looking at. The observer effect, everything changes at a subatomic level based on observation. If we observe something with an intention, that’s putting the observer effect on steroids. You are shifting something which you have an intentionality behind it. You’re able to take any circumstance and instead of it becoming a tombstone, it can become a stepping stone to a greater experience of good to the shifting of our perception and establishing of intentionality.
You’re looking at situations every day. You’re seeing them through some lens. For example, if you’re looking at it through the lens of love, even someone who is giving you a hard time or trying your patience, you can see them see them through a lens of love. That changes the picture entirely.
It changes the picture because we’re all at one with each other on a subatomic level or we are one with each other even on a spiritual level. As I change, what I’m looking for and get in touch with what I’m looking with, changes the whole dynamic. It can happen in an instant if you realize you’re awake, if you stay awake and not get caught in the undertow and the turbulence, that which is trying to pull you into the human condition, that’s practice there. To be able to maintain a level of gratitude, a level of high observation in the midst of seeming conflict or in the midst of confusion or embattlement, that’s how we become masterful. The old metaphor is a sailor doesn’t become a master sailor by sailing in calm seas.
The master sailor becomes a master by ultimately navigating rough turbulence. When we’re in the world in this rough turbulence, we’re not wishing that the turbulence goes away. We become masterful in the turbulence. We use the turbulence to maintain equanimity and seeing things to the eyes of love until we become a master. Whether things are calm and beautiful or whether things or plans don’t go our way that day or if there’s turbulence in the world, we’re able to maintain looking at life through gratitude and asking the question, “What do I want to experience?”and looking at it through the eyes of love. We become masters. You’re not going to become a master in your little harbor.
You’re not going to become master in sailing without wind. I couldn’t think of anything that’s more appropriate right now to chat about than the disruption that you’re describing because it is definitely with us. Without the details, meaning the granular discussion of politics, it’s that people are disturbed, they’re perturbed in many ways. What an amazing opportunity we have, as you were describing as opportunity, in that experience to be more, to be better, to be our best or just better than we were yesterday and better still tomorrow. You use the word practice.
This is a fundamental principle of Pivot and also something that I’m endlessly fascinated about in writing a book about rituals. I think of rituals as conscious practices, these habits, the things that hopefully we develop, good habits. Stephen Covey wrote a book about the habits you want to have to be effective. For most people, they don’t have great habits, which is why that book was helpful. To me, rituals have a sacred quality to them because they’re very much conscious master habits that we create for a better life. Would you share maybe the practices and those master habits that you have to be as awake as you are in the midst of the turmoil that is everyday around us?
Like yourself, when I wake up in the morning, I breathe and then I wake up. I stand up and I put my arms up and I proclaim that I am grateful to be alive. What’s my assignment? I invite an assignment for the day but I do it from the consciousness of gratitude. Then I walk over to a place in my bedroom that’s established itself as a place where I do spiritual work. I have two big magnets there that I practice qigong on. I have a bench there that I meditate. I have a couple of notepads and some books. I’ll do some variation of meditation, breath work, study, and writing, very briefly not a long time. I get ready, put my sweats on. I go to the gym, I work out for an hour. Then I come back and I have a greater extended period of time in which I’m in meditation. From that space, how do I want my day to go, what do I want to experience today. I peruse what I know on the surface I’m going to be doing. I know I’m going to see you today.
I know I have another interview later. I know I have a couple of meetings. I bless that all, then I open myself up to what I call spontaneous goodness, that beyond what I can see, beyond what I know was planned, I’m available to spontaneous goodness. That the unknown has permission to take over my life and bring into my life good that I’ve never experienced before, blessing that I’ve never experienced before, or someone that I am to serve that I don’t know about yet. I leave all of that open. Then I take my shower and get ready to come to the office. I have my staff. We get together and establish intention, throughout the course of the day, just checking in. We go back to the evening, I’m going to bed now. I have a brief sitting. While I go to sleep, I do one of two things. I invite, even as the body is sleeping, if I can be used anywhere, take me there to be used as a force of healing, a presence of encouragement, or teach me even as I’m sleeping whether it’s spiritual guides aids and helpers, whether it’s the presence.
When I wake up, I have a ritual. When I go to sleep, I have a ritual. I don’t waste. I told people recently at Agape, “You don’t waste. Don’t just fall out and go to sleep. Don’t do that.” That moment actually establish some intention before you go to sleep so that the subconscious is operating on your behalf even while the body is taking a deep rest. You go into a unified field when you sleep. You might as well use it. You might as well give it a signal, give it an instruction. That’s how it rolls. Sometimes, some days more intense than others, there’s more time to practice than others, but I don’t let a day go by without some level of practice. It’d be akin to going a day or two without taking a shower. You’re not going to go into the world and not clean yourself up.
I call it a social contract. Just as you have a social contract, you’re going to go into a meeting, going to meet some people, everybody’s assuming that you showered that day, you brushed your teeth, you washed your hands. It’s a social contract, it’s given. I extend the social contract and teach that that also includes taking care of your interiority. Have you connected with the presence today? Have you connected with a high intention? Have you opened yourself to an assignment so that’s you’re not just meeting people with a bad mood or with some unresolved conflict? You’re actually meeting each other fresh. I believe that just like we don’t want stench from not showering, we don’t want the inner stench from not doing an inner shower.
It’s very much a cleansing practice in some ways. For me, I believe it’s vigilance that we’ll have the rest of our days, if we’re lucky. It’s a self-responsibility. It’s a self-authorship in our own unfolding which is just so beautiful.
We talked about you had a green drink that you were drinking, that include the habits that I have around my nutrition, my hydration, my green drinks, something that I take. I take care of the body temple, the mental body and the spiritual body. It’s a part of our responsibility.
Serving is not easy. Serving is a humbling task. I said this to our leaders in that meeting. I said, “You got to be at your best because there are a lot of things that will take you out. You got to be at your best in order to be humble at the same time and resilient in that humility.
Humility is the fulcrum for power. The more humble you are, the more there is an availability to the great power of the universe flowing through you. Once you yield and surrender and you’re humbled that the power flows through you, and if you try to take total credit for that and lose humility, then you’re cruising for a bruising. There’s going to be a fall at some level because you’ve cut yourself off and you think you’re doing it all by yourself when there’s a power back of us. Beyond Niagara Falls, is Lake Erie. Niagara Falls thought it was doing it all itself, “Look how great I am. I’m rolling, “but behind Niagara Falls, before it was polluted and everything, there’s Lake Erie that was actually feeding Niagara Falls. We may be looking like Niagara Falls at times but behind us is a gigantic ocean of infinite potential that’s using us to express itself. It raises us to a deep sense of humility. The more humble, the more power.
In listening to you, I was thinking about this book by Michael Singer. I love his book, The Untethered Soul, but The Surrender Experiment was one that took me to some wonderful places for several months where there was this idea of surrendering. Creating an opportunity for spontaneous goodness, spontaneous right thinking, spontaneous inspiration is in many ways as surrender. It’s our better way of thinking. My way of thinking gets me in trouble. A while ago, a friend gave me Chapter 30 of A Course in Miracles to look at, Rules For Decision, the new beginning and how to create the day we want. One of the first things it’s saying is, “Are you making decisions by yourself or with your creator?” You’re making decisions all the time anyway, so it’s just a question whether you’re making it with the creator or you making it with our fear of God or the devil. That just blew my socks because to surrender to another possibility other than the one that my ego, mind, or my “I know that” mind is both humbling. It fills me with humility and then also fills me with awe because it is a path that’s dark and unknown and scary on some level.
There are a lot of people right now that are in some pretty dark scary places. It could be that they’re concerned about what’s happening in the world. They’re concerned about the planet. They’re concerned about their kids. They also concern themselves about how will they serve, what’s their right livelihood in a world that’s changing so rapidly and where the rhetoric is so divisive. I’m shamelessly promoting my book Pivot. I wrote it for the kids originally out of my own pain and my own having come to a bit of a roadblock in my own life, and rather than having a midlife crisis, I had a calling. I know you’ve pivoted in many ways in your life to create new things. It was an unknown dark road and you had to show up in a particular way to navigate that territory to the point where you’ve helped a lot of people. Would you share a little bit about your own pivot experience?
There’s been many. I’ve been teaching for four years and Agape has been in existence 30 years. It’s just hitting me over the last year because you never really start something and say, “I’m going to do this for 30 years.”You just do it in a moment. I remember a number of pivot experiences. There’s a whole bunch of them coming to mind. I’ll start with an original one as a young man attending college. I was pretty much agnostic and I was a psychobiology major at USC. I was on the path to go to med school. I began to have a series of inner experiences that at the time I labeled pathological because I hadn’t done any study on this interior awareness that was happening through me. It culminated with me being killed in a lucid dream. The pain was excruciating physically and hard emotionally, and I died. When I woke up, I could see that we’re all surrounded by this presence of love and beauty and intelligence.
That set me on a path to discover what had happened to me. It totally changed the direction I was going in life. I knew exactly what I was going to do. I was going to finish school, I was going to go to med school, etc. I thought that was the thing I should do, but I always think there’s a should-do and there’s a meant to be. The should–dos come from an external authority figures, our parents think we should do something or society says, “You should do this.” We all have a meant to be. In studying what had happened to me, I realized that my meant to be was actually to teach and to uplift, to inspire, and to help people lift their consciousness. It totally pivoted one direction I was going into another direction. Then you fast forward, a lot of things happen. I’m the Director of Training of a prayer ministry. I’m teaching at a university as a faculty, teaching spiritual programs. I have a private clientele. I’m doing seminars. The inner prompter was guiding me to actually start a community of which at the surface level, I didn’t really want to do that. I liked my life. It was a good successful life.
The inner prompter was like, “No, we have more work for you to do.” I resisted it. Things began to become stagnant in my life. I used to have a crook in my neck in which I could not turn right. I didn’t have full mobility. Every time that I would go to a chiropractor, I would become adjusted, I’d be fine. I could turn left and right. Then after a couple of weeks, it would start being stagnant again. A number of things happened that ultimately I caught a vision of Agape. It was for real. I went back to my place of employment and I said, “I’m giving you my resignation. I’ll train the people behind me to do what I’m doing, but I’m called to start a new work.”One of the individuals said, “Where are you going to start to work?” I said, “I’ve been guided to start in Santa Monica.” She said, “Why don’t you start something for your own people?”I said, “I’m not going to take offense to what you’re saying,” but I’m being guided. That pivoted me from a secure situation that I was in regular paycheck, seeing clients every day, doing workshops, teaching at the university, to going to this unknown where I had pulled together a vision group.
You had a safe, secure situation that a lot of people would say was an enviable place to be.
I had paychecks coming from numerous places. I had my weekends off. I was pulled to leap into another expression of what was trying to emerge through me. The joy that I have is quite awesome and profound. The number of people that I get to serve and the places I get to go and the places around the world I get to travel and new people I get to meet, the evolutionary collaborations I get to be a part of are all an extension of the work that I do at Agape. The ways that I get to inspire individuals and work with individuals is beyond my imagination. I can remember a couple of years ago, I was facilitating a meeting with world leaders and spiritual leaders at the behest of his holiness, the Dalai Lama. I was the facilitator. I’m sitting there next to the interpreter and the Dalai Lama sitting next to the interpreter. I just thought when it crossed my mind, “How did I end up here?”
I saw this through-line of this young boy growing up sitting in front of a tree at my father’s house, looking up into the sky. I can remember saying, “I want to make the world better.” I remember that thought. That through-line created all of these experiences and insights. Some things happened in my life that were tragic and seemingly negative at the time, and some beautiful and wonderful, all the way up to that moment, here I am sitting with his holiness being a part of this group facilitating the synthesis dialogues. There was a lot of pivot moments that occurred to get there. Ultimately, the yes factor has to be stronger than your no. It has to be stronger than holding on. It has to be stronger than “I’m afraid” even if you can’t see how it’s going to turn out. If your yes is strong of taking on your assignment and activating your gifts and sharing, then paths of righteousness will open up. Doorways will open up. You can’t even see the doorways now from this present paradigm. You can only see it from a higher point of view.
When you’re eight years old looking up at the sky, you created a bigger context. That was a greater context. Fast forward a few years later and a couple of strands of hair, and it’s just the fruit that grew from that small seed that you called context earlier. That’s a beautiful circular expression but yet it’s still unfolding now because there’s just more. It’s infinite.
I feel like I was going through a rebirth and I symbolize that when I came back from Egypt. I took about 87 people to Egypt, went through all the temples and prayed and meditated and vision, did a lot of inner work. I felt like I was going through a rebirth. The day I got back from Egypt, I cut off all my hair and it symbolized of releasing the past regardless of how good and glorious the past has been and how negative some things have been, just releasing all of that and being available to the next step of my own evolution. I still feel that I’m in that initiatory vibration.
In essence, you’re pivoting even as we speak.
Even now, there’s a pivot happening that I can see to a degree, and a lot of it I don’t see.
That’s the part that is empowering for others because it’s a tendency. We’re very much a voyeuristic world in some ways, watching celebrities or people who’ve created great success and seeing them in their presence saying, “They’re all that. They’ve got all that, things I want and all this.”The truth of the matter is that where you stand now is no different than where anybody is potentially at in that pivot, which is unknown. It’s also where all life is. It is the unfolding of something that we know is divine.
It’s a great mystery. I don’t know how it’s going to shape up. There are certain things I don’t know, but I do trust. It’s like the old statement goes, “I don’t know what the future holds but I know what holds the future.”This presence holds the future so I have to trust and I have to let go. I have to surrender. Surrendering isn’t waving the white flag and giving up and acquiescing to negative circumstances. Surrender is embracing the next stage of your own evolution and letting go to it even if you don’t know where it’s going to take you. You let go to it.
The surrender is not a waving of a flag. It’s not a resignation of any kind. It’s an acceptance, it’s a letting go, it’s a trusting that we’re all cared for on a beautiful path that’s leading where it leads. In that greater context of how is it that we want to serve in the world, where it leads will only be a reflection of that. If what we are thinking about is scarcity and how to survive, it is a reflection of that. These conversations are so important now because the rhetoric is very much scarcity rhetoric, whether it’s haves and have-nots, and there’s divisive language that’s being used on both sides. It’s troubling and that’s why conversations are important.
The human condition has lain with fear and worry and separation and blame and shame and fault finding against each other. We have to lift that conversation. Our conversation determines our perception and our experience in terms of the world we’re living in. Two people can be standing on the same spot on the earth, but live in two different worlds based on the inner conversation that’s going on. Some people can be living in a world of fear, doubt and worry. Another person is living in a world of possibility. Our conversation is about lifting people to the world of possibility. With all of the rhetoric of negativity that’s going down, one of the main things that we can ask is, “What is my assignment here?” because we’re not here by chance, we’re here by choice.
We chose to have this incarnation. It’s not accidental. We chose to be here at this time in human history where an old paradigm is decaying and falling apart, and a new paradigm is being born. There’s a lot of chaos and confusion as one is emerging and the other one is dying. We all brought an assignment, so we have to ask what is that assignment rather than, “those are bad people and they’re doing bad things and they disagree with me.” We have to ask “what is my assignment?” The assignment coming from the over soul, coming from the depth of our being, is going to carry some level of peace, love, inspiration, genius, and activation of talents. If we all bring our assignment to bear, the world’s going to be different. It’s going to be better. If we all stay in regret and shame and blame, the world’s going to be different as well. It’s going to be different in a downward spiral.
Which is why the practice that you start your day with. One of the things that I enjoyed about that is the steps and the similarity. I have problems, you have problems, we have challenges for sure, and yet the way we begin our day when our mind is so fertile, when the soil is so fertile coming out of our unconscious state into a conscious moment, I start my day with that acknowledgement that this breath I’m taking in that moment regardless of what’s going on in my life is a blessing. As I’m taking my first conscious breath, there are people all over this earth who are taking their last breath. When I’m present to that which is every morning thankfully, I can be grateful for that breath and stand up put my feet on the floor, which is a blessing by itself that I know people cannot do that, stand up of my own free will and declare “I love my life.”
Those are the words that begin my day. What’s really amazing is a Hebrew prayer called the Modeh Ani, the last line in that prayer is, in essence, saying, “To the creator, your faithfulness is great.”I did not understand that line until a friend unpacked it from me and said, “What it means is when you’re saying you’re faithfulness is great, it’s the creators faithfulness to give us another day.”When we put our feet on the floor, we have work to do. What is our assignment? That’s the only reason our souls were restored to us again because we have powerful work to do. Thank you for that.
There’s a hymn called Greatest Thy Faithfulness, speaking of the presence. I like to say that this presence has so much faith in us because it put infinite potential within us. It didn’t leave anything out. It didn’t say, “I’m going to give you a piece of it to see how you do.”We got the whole enchilada. We got the entire cosmos loaded and coded within us. The faithfulness of the presence put everything within us so we can discover it, activate it, cultivate it, and ultimately express it according to our unique pattern. One thing that this presence does in its creation, it never repeats itself. It doesn’t do overs and it doesn’t make mistakes. Every being is significant, worthy, precious. The universal presence has so much faith that eventually that being is going to wake up to the gift that has been given, unwrap it and share it.
Thank you for the reminder. I have felt the presence throughout our podcast. I have a feeling that there’ll be many people that will also have experienced that presence. Share it. That’s the bottom line. We’re here to see the expression of that presence in everything we see, everything we think, everything we speak to. It’s been a blessing. I want to thank you so very much, Michael, for your time and for the wisdom and more of the guidance that you’ve given us. Thank you.
Thank you for the invitation. I appreciate all the work you’re doing and the work you did with Pivot and that continues to touch so many people. It’s my joy to be with you.
Can you share where you would like people to find more about Agape or anything else that you’ve got going on that you love people to check out?
They can go to AgapeLive.com. That’s our website that’s even now emerging into another expression of itself. It’ll share the address where we are. They can also live stream my teachings Wednesday night and three times Sunday mornings. They can watch it live. I’m having my annual meditation retreat. We’re inviting people to come to the retreat and then come to Agape on that particular Sunday to cap it all off. There are classes. There’s a bookstore. There’s so much happening in Agape. They can go to AgapeLive.com or they can pick up my book Spiritual Liberation or Life Visioning or 40 Day Mind Fast Soul Feast or A Manifesto of Peace. There are a number of books that I have out there.
That’s where I checked you out. Your friend took me to Sunday service and it was magical. It changed my perspective in so many ways and opened me up. This has been nothing but a joy. It’s the Conscious PIVOT Podcast. You can go ahead and go to AdamMarkel.com to read blogs there. Just keep listening and following the podcast. From being with so many people today, everybody seems to be reinventing some aspect of their life whether it’s their health or relationships or business. You can go to StartMyPivot.com and there are some gifts for you, six questions to kick start your pivot wherever you’re at, creating some clarity and momentum, and then ultimately making better decisions, purpose-driven decisions. It’s been a blessing to be here with all of you. Michael, again thank you so very much for your time. We’ll say ciao for now. Peace, love and harmony is what we wish you all.
- Agape International Spiritual Center
- The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving
- Stephen Covey
- The Untethered Soul
- The Surrender Experiment
- A Course in Miracles
- Spiritual Liberation
- Life Visioning
- 40 Day Mind Fast Soul Feast
- A Manifesto of Peace
About Michael Bernard Beckwith
In 1986, Michael Bernard Beckwith founded the Agape International Spiritual Center, a trans-denominational community of thousands of local members and global live streamers. Highly regarded for its cultural, racial, and spiritual diversity, the late Coretta Scott King wrote to Beckwith, “I greatly admire what you are doing to bring about the Beloved Community, which is certainly what my dear husband worked for and ultimately gave his life.”
Agape’s local community outreach programs feed the homeless, serve incarcerated individuals and their families, partnership with community service organizations active in children’s schools and homes for youth at risk, support the arts, and advocate the preservation of our planet’s environmental resources. Agape’s global humanitarian programs provide food programs, retraining programs, schools, libraries, orphanages, hospitals, clinics, homes for unwed mothers, micro-loans, financial support during natural disasters, and human advocacy. Locations range from 8 African countries to Afghanistan, Bosnia, Columbia, Ecuador, India, Iraq, Kosovo, and Sri Lanka.
An eminent representative within diverse religious traditions and harbingers of world peace, in February 2012 Dr. Beckwith addressed the United Nations General Assembly as part of its annual World Interfaith Harmony Week. As co-founder and president of the Association for Global New Thought, he had the distinguished honor of presenting to Nelson Mandela the Gandhi King Award. Beckwith is also an international co-chair of the Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence which was launched at the United Nations in 1998 and is active in 900 international cities and 67 countries. About its mission His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said: “Both Gandhi and Martin Luther King are inspiring examples of the power and truth of nonviolence and the actions that arise from them. The Season for Nonviolence is a very good tool to remind us of their witness, and also the large unfinished work we have together in transforming awareness on our planet.” Beckwith served as co-chair of the Synthesis Dialogues 1, 11, and 111, which were attended by the Dali Lama.
Dr. Beckwith is a sought after meditation teacher, conference speaker, and seminar leader on the Life Visioning Process, which he originated. Three of his most recent books—Life Visioning, Spiritual Liberation, and TranscenDance Expanded are recipients of the prestigious Nautilus Award. He has appeared on Dr. Oz, The Oprah Winfrey Show, OWN Help Desk, Larry King Live, Tavis Smiley, and in his own PBS Special, The Answer Is You. Every Friday at 1 pm PST, thousands tune into his radio show on KPFK, Wake up: The Sound of Transformation.