How Epic Change Happens!

In the fabulous documentary film about evolving consciousness I AM, they talk about how we are all connected, and if 51% of animals decide to switch to a new watering hole, everyone else joins in, as if some telepathic email alert has been delivered.

Owning Pink’s editor Melanie Bates and I were noodling this, wondering if that’s how change happens with humans, too.

Did women gain the right to vote because 51% of the population knew how absurd it was to consider their opinions less valuable?

Were people finally ready for Dr. Martin Luther King’s message because 51% of the human population knew blacks were equal to whites?

Will gay marriage be legal when 51% of the population realizes that it’s ludicrous not to grant gays the same legal rights as straight people?

In her fabulous book Finding Your Way In A Wild New World, Martha Beck quotes Max Planx, saying, “New scientific truth usually becomes accepted, not because opponents become convinced, but because opponents die, and because the rising generation is familiar with the new truth at the outset.”

When Will Change Happen?

Many industries in this country seem hopelessly broken – medicine, the legal system, the banking industry, the education system, our divisive political system.

But perhaps we just haven’t shifted the consciousness around these issues in 51% of the population yet.

When I read Owning Pink blogger Dr. Bernie Siegel’s brilliant book Love, Medicine, & Miracles this summer, I fell into a funk. Here I was writing a book about how we might heal medicine, but in many ways, Bernie wrote that book back in the 1980’s! Millions of people bought it and it became a bestseller.

But medicine is worse off than ever.

I’ve been talking about this to a lot of doctors lately – people like Bernie, as well as Dr. Frank LipmanDr. Larry DosseyDr. Richard DiCensoDr. Rachel Naomi Remen, as well as cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton.

Most of us are saying the same thing.

In an email he wrote to me, Dr. Larry Dossey wrote most eloquently, “We really do constitute a kind of parallel medical world that exists alongside the conventional kind. We focus on what [the conventional world] knows, and we honor it, but more besides:  spirituality, meaning, purpose, consciousness, compassion, empathy, love….  And guess what?  We are going to win the competition.  It’s really only a matter of time.  But we need to dance as fast as we can, because time is not on our side. The urgency is real.  So welcome to the dance!”

These doctors agree – the time is now. Maybe we weren’t ready to hear radical new ideas back in the 80’s. Maybe things hadn’t gotten bad enough – or enough of the new guard hadn’t seen the light.

Facing North

The whole notion harkens me back to a powerful dream I once had (I wrote about it here).  In the dream, I was with a friend, walking south to the market when suddenly, to my left, I saw a whole mountain covered with hundreds of thousands of people, wearing costumes from all over the world. They were all facing north, and a radiant, bright light was shining on their faces, as they stood in stillness and faced the light.

In that instant, I realized I didn’t need to convince anyone to face north. I just needed to stop dead in my tracks and face north, leading by example and hoping others would join me, turning around and facing the light.

It feels like the time 51% or more will face north is soon upon us. Maybe I’m delusional or just engaging in wishful thinking. But after a summer of feeling discouraged that no one person could make any substantial difference in changing systems that are massively broken, I now feel differently.

I think all it takes is one person – and then one person – and then one person – until the collective consciousness begins to shift, and more and more people know the truth, see the light, and face north.

What About You?

What truth do you see when you face your own north? What do you wish everyone else would see with you?

Following the light,


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Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), TEDx speaker, professional artist, and health care revolutionary.

Check her out on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Nrk4

    Your dream resignates such a powerful image ibn my mind. Wow. What a message! Thank you

  • Zgirl76

    I am a pediatric nurse practitioner with 31 years of experience.  I am presently enrolled in a functional/integrative medicine fellowship which is expanding my practice greatly.  Many of my patients are open to new ideas and approaches, but if I had to guess, I would say it would be less than 51%!  In fact, there are still many patients that refuse to even be treated by a nurse practitioner because they assume that care by a physician is superior.  We all have a way to go to educate, enlighten, and assist those we seek to heal.   I am doing my part, and I thank you for doing yours.  We are both being the change we want to see in the world! 

  • YES!!! Lead by example – others emulate actions not words. The more people that turn and face north, and follow the light, the more will follow. It is ALREADY happening, change is no longer a thing of the future it is present realization. The more we focus on the positive change that IS happening instead of the crap that still needs fixing – the more power we give to positive change and the faster we all come together and the brighter the light gets! 

  • kc

    I was discouraged for a long time as well in regards to medicine.  When I found infinite love in my heart for myself and others, I knew that it was only through love, and not fear of everyone being “off track”, that I could create change.  I try to remember that if you look at the span people have lived on this earth, these new medical problems are but a small amount of time.  I think that shows that things are always changing.  And, I think there will be a tipping point (that has already started) where we realize we can’t continue down the path we’ve been going down, just as we realized it with so many other things.  

  • lizilynx

     Powerful Dream! Love It! I play more of a patient advocate role in my life. The Dream I have is for patients, also one person at a time in my experience, is to take on more of a role in their own healing. This way, instead of being “patient’ and waiting for healing to happen in response to what the medical practitioners do, they are actively engaged in their own healing process. YES! It’s only a matter of time – but, in the meantime, we need every voice we can get, if only to us there that much sooner. I feel like I’ve just found a “comrade-in-hope” for the future! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! :o)

  • Tractor Girl

    I thought the ‘tipping point’ started already at 11%! (see many articles about it, or this speech about social scientists results by Marianne Williamson

  • Sonia

    The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. ~Thomas Edison

  • Jen P

    “In that instant, I realized I didn’t need to convince anyone to face
    north. I just needed to stop dead in my tracks and face north, leading
    by example and hoping others would join me, turning around and facing
    the light.”- That statement gave me chills and an “a-ha” moment. Thank you 🙂