For many years now, people have been talking about “The Shift” — a mysterious transformation of human consciousness that is supposedly underway.
Ever since the end of the Mayan calendar in December of 2102, New Age types have been busy discussing the evolution of the species, the revolution of love, and other hopeful but fuzzy-seeming changes in what it means to be human.
My friend Martha Beck refers to those whose souls are incarnated to facilitate this mystical shift in human consciousness as The Team.
In her book Finding Your Way In A Wild New World, she defines Team members by the following characteristics. You may not recognize every single attribute, but if you’re a Team member, you’re likely to be nodding your head a lot as you read through these.
1. You feel like you have specific mission or purpose involving a major transformation in human experience, but you might be unable to articulate what this change might be.
2. You have a strong sense that the mission, whatever it is, is getting closer in time.
3. You have a compulsion to master certain fields, skills, or professions, not only for career advancement but in preparation for this half-understood personal mission.
4. You experience high levels of empathy — a sense of feeling what others feel.
5. You feel an urgent desire to lessen or prevent the suffering of humans, animals, or even plants.
6. You have a sense of loneliness stemming from your differences, despite generally high levels of social activity. One woman summed up this feeling perfectly when she said, “Everybody likes me, but nobody’s like me."
7. You're highly creative and passionate about music, poetry, performance, or visual arts.
8. You harbor an intense love of animals and sometimes even a desire to communicate with them.
9. You had a difficult early life and maybe a history of abuse or childhood trauma.
10. You feel an intense connection to certain types of natural environments such as the ocean, mountains, or forest.
11. You resist orthodox religiosity, and feel more of a spiritual purpose or spiritual yearning.
12. You love plants and gardening to the point of feeling empty or depressed without the chance to be among green things and/or help them grow.
13. You're very emotionally sensitive and this often leads to predilections for anxiety, addictions, or eating disorders.
14. You feel an intense connection with certain cultures, languages, or geographic regions.
15. You're fascinated with people who have intellectual disabilities or mental illness.
16. You have a gregarious personality that contrasts with a deep need for periods of solitude. Social contact feels draining and you often have to withdrawal from social interactions to “power up” again.
17. You have persistent or recurring physical illness, often severe, with symptoms that fluctuate inexplicably.
18. You have daydreams (or night dreams) about healing damaged people, creatures, or places.
If you read that list (like I did) thinking “Check, check, check,” you’re definitely one of us visionary healers on The Team. And the world needs you to fulfill your sacred purpose — pronto!
As Martha wrote, “If enough people start mending their true nature in the incredibly interconnected world we’re creating, the cumulative effect really could begin healing the true nature of, well, everything.”
In Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut writes about how God organizes the world into a unit he calls a karass.
The karass is its own special form of Team gathering, which I describe in my upcoming book, The Anatomy of a Calling. It's a collection of incarnated beings whose job it is to bring into being one of God’s holy ideas. Members of a karass all further the collective purpose seamlessly, though many never even know they are part of this unit.
When you meet someone who is a member of your karass, even though it may make no sense to you on a human level, you will recognize them as a family member instantly. Your souls will resonate, even if you appear to have nothing in common on the human level.
We are all here for an unknown purpose. Serving this purpose makes us feel fulfilled and enriched. But if we get seduced off purpose —by ambition, fame, money, or the ego's grasping at comfort — our vitality gets stolen from us.
When we commit to the purpose we're here to serve and give ourselves to serving it with great impeccability, everything begins to fall into place.
Your karass is like a peaceful army that activates to bring light into the world.
To help support Team members who are in service to their karass, I wrote a free e-book How To Uplift The World: A Guide For Inspired Visionaries, which you can download as my gift here. The book includes “10 Attributes of Successful Visionaries,” along with practical tips to help cultivate each of these attributes.
When you fully commit to the realization of your vision, free from the ego’s grasping attachments, unseen forces are likely to help you out. My new favorite word is “pronoia,” the opposite of paranoia. It’s the unshakable belief that everything in the Universe is conspiring to support you and shower you with blessings.
If you have been called to serve one of God’s holy ideas, you will not walk this path alone. The perfect people will show up to support your journey. The tools you need will be offered to you. You will be given opportunities to learn the lessons you must learn.
And when you look back upon your whole life — the triumphs, the challenges, and everything in between — you’ll discover that you were groomed for this task your entire life. There is no greater gift in life than this.
Lissa Rankin, M.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine, The Fear Cure, and The Anatomy of a Calling. She is a physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic. Passionate about what makes people optimally healthy and what predisposes them to illness, she is on a mission to merge science and spirituality in a way that not only facilitates the health of the individual, but also uplifts the health of the collective. Bridging between seemingly disparate worlds, Lissa is a connector, collaborator, curator, and amplifier, broadcasting not only her unique visionary ideas, but also those of cutting edge visionaries she discerns and trusts, especially in the field of her latest research into "Sacred Medicine." Lissa has starred in two National Public Television specials and also leads workshops, both online and at retreat centers like Esalen and Kripalu. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her daughter. She blogs at LissaRankin.com and posts regularly on Facebook.