By Sean A. Mulvihill
As you may remember from my prior film, Living Luminaries, I was 23 when I had the idea to make a movie about enlightenment and I contacted many authors, including Eckhart Tolle, to ask if they would be in my project. Most of them either ignored me or said no. I was nobody famous or important, so it was very easy for them to reject me. But I was persistent with Eckhart Tolle’s company (because he was my hero at the time) and I felt inspired while explaining the project over the phone to one of his company’s leaders. Shortly thereafter, the leader called back to say that Eckhart had told me, “Yes.” Soon many more authors wanted to be in the film and investors wanted to invest in the project.
We humans have subconscious drives to associate with leaders and successful people–our DNA has programmed us to be that way. In our tribal past, we needed to be “in” with the leaders of the group in order to eat and survive. This led a hierarchical structure to the tribe, with those at the top getting the best of everything and those at the bottom getting the scraps.
Nowadays, marketers expertly exploit those subconscious drives in us through advertising and propaganda. Celebrity endorsements of political movements or candidates drive us to want to associate ourselves with a particular group. Our survival DNA is triggered by the dangling of a supposedly more secure future by associating with a chosen ideology. But if we keep being led in this way, we’ll continue to only get the scraps. That group is not likely to hand you the reins to your own destiny, they’re designed to make you their devoted follower and toss you just enough food to survive.
That’s what happened to me in the process of making Living Luminaries. Investors, producers, and managers all wanted a cut or a piece of the project and to wrestle the control from each other to get a bigger share for themselves. In my naivety, I gave a lot of my own power away in order to appease people and stay in the good graces of the group. I went from being the king of my own destiny to a beggar rather quickly. I wanted to fit in more than I wanted my own personal, unique power and voice.
Where have you given up your own unique voice to fit in or to avoid ostracism?
Our drive to “social climb” is real, but we can combat it through awareness. I want to encourage you to become conscious of that drive in yourself. There is wisdom in you. If I had listened to all the rejections when I was creating Living Luminaries, I would have given up long before the project ever got off the ground. The world is going to tell you many times a day in subtle and not so subtle ways that you are unsafe, that you need them to take care of you or to enhance your image or standing. But there is a power in you that has “overcome the world.”
After I lost the standing in my own project, Living Luminaries, powerful forces went to work to help me regain control, and to this day I stand master of my own creative destiny once again. It was a long, painful process but that journey solidified the lesson that I have my own voice, and my unique point of view is valid and important in this world. I was gifted with the opportunity to make a new film, Act Social, on my own terms and with my own voice.
I want to tell you that the power of the mystery of being which causes all things to exist–is already fully associated with you and has your back. So stand up to your desire to kiss the ring and bow to worldly power in order to advance your standing. Instead, do what I did at age 23 and INVITE the Empress to sit at YOUR table, instead of begging to sit at the kiddie table next to hers. You have a royalty inside of you that is your innate worth and value and no political affiliation or Mercedes-Benz can add or take away from it.
Access your inner royalty today in a million different ways: be grateful, be helpful, be loving, be kind, meditate, pray, be healthy, be courageous. You have so many opportunities to be the benefactor and not the beggar.
Sean A. Mulvihill