December 8, 2014

Living the New Paradigm (4): New Possibilities

Written by Gillian Maxwell

We are approaching the end of 2014 and naturally start to evaluate how it went. Some of you may have already read my characterisation of the year as "intense and difficult" which it certainly has been from the level of loss of loved ones or those close to friends and family. It is curious to notice how my mind focuses on what is difficult and challenging. Perhaps yours works in a similar way? I tend to seek out what is not working and dwell on it. Perhaps that is why the media gives us only bad news, because it sells their product. I wonder what came first - is it our innate nature, or have we been conditioned to respond that way?

My other big news of the year is that apart from turning 60 and having the honour of being celebrated by many extraordinary friends, I am morphing into a new part of myself. It may not be fully formed, but certainly is taking shape.

The easiest way to describe the shift is to tell you what has been happening in my career. As most of you know I have been a champion of introducing harm reduction at the level of policy and providing services for the most marginalised people in our society – the homeless, mentally ill and people with problematic drug use. There has been success in Vancouver. 15 years ago we were experiencing an HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Downtown Eastside, along with an intolerably high number of people dying from drug overdoses. It was a horribly perfect storm, where the authorities knew they were out of answers from the old paradigm, and were forced to look at something new. We were able to open INSITE the first sanctioned supervised injection site in North America (one of two, both in Vancouver) and the situation improved dramatically in recent years. Even though the push back from the old paradigm warriors (we know who they are) continues, today we have policies rooted in reducing harms, even if they are not always explicitly stated.

So now what? Even though there are troubled communities across Canada, there has not been the galvanising extreme of our Downtown Eastside storm, and as such, in my experience, the urgency is not there, and the dialogue comes and goes without traction. I have been spinning my wheels.

This year, a series of events, new people, new information and conversations occurred that opened a new possibility for me. It is not new! I have been passionate about the intentional and therapeutic use of spirit plant medicines, (psychedelics, entheogens,) for over a decade. It is my next adventure on this journey. Looking for 'perfect storm' conditions that are the incubator of paradigm shifts. My inspiration comes from the potential they offer in raising consciousness.

Of course, as within, so it is without. What I describe above is a metaphor for my own journey. It has been a long road of 'harm reduction' – letting go, healing, and learning new. I discovered that the person I described above who dwells on negativity is not real. It is simply an identity that serves to keep me stuck in the old paradigm, rather like the newscasts we are bombarded with on a daily basis, replaying the same old story, over and over again. Sound familiar??

In my internal world I have moved from harm reduction to expanding my consciousness. I am having glimpses of new possibilities, and look forward to 2015 with anticipation.

I am here to support you letting go of your own stories about who you are. Please do not hesitate to contact me to arrange a session.

Gillian Maxwell

I am committed to raising consciousness individually and collectively to transform our world. We live in remarkable times. It feels like we are waking up from a long, deep sleep and encountering opportunities everywhere. As we awaken to our personal power, roadblocks that looked insurmountable dissolve.

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Gillian Maxwell

I am an experienced public speaker, facilitator and connector committed to raising consciousness individually and collectively to transform our world.

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