Heaven on Earth
What’s Heaven on Earth for you? When have you experienced Heaven on Earth? What was the situation like? The reason I’m asking and raising this unusual topic is that I recently had the pleasure of taking an online course with Martin Rutte and the Shift Network. The purpose of Martin’s Project Heaven on Earth is to have each of us experience and co-create Heaven on Earth for our life, our work and the world. (We’ve managed to create a good deal of hell on Earth, so why not Heaven on Earth?)
What’s Heaven on Earth for me?
The Grand Tetons in Wyoming, pictured above.
Silence, that all pervasive, deep stillness with no wind, and no human-made sounds.
Laughing with great delight every time I read Hafiz’s poem (see below).
Hearing stories of people doing something really kind to help another person.
Here’s a second question. Imagine you have a magic wand and with it you can create Heaven on Earth. What is Heaven on Earth for you? What would that look like? (As Martin explains, the magic wand allows us to envision the world we want without initially worrying about how to manifest that vision.)
Heaven on Earth for me would be a world that works for all. Thus creating a world that works for all is “heavening.” And yes, believe it or not, there is a verb “heavening.”
An example of heavening for me is forgiving another person who has hurt or let you down in some way. Our friend, Pete, who is the sole owner of his small landscaping business, recently showed me what this looks like. Pete has been regularly let down by his best helper who doesn’t call if he can’t come to work or has something else to do. Pete can’t depend on him so he has had to let him go. Yet time and time again Pete forgives this guy and gives him another chance to work. Lately, Pete reports that his helper has been responsible for an extended period of time, showing up on time to do great work. I find Pete’s forgiveness an inspiring example of heavening.
This leads to the third question proposed by Project Heaven on Earth: What simple, easy, concrete steps will you take in the next twenty-four hours to make Heaven on Earth real?
I think we have a misconception that creating Heaven on Earth has to be some newsworthy event like pulling someone out of a burning house or starting some grand project like Save The Children. But it can be as small and as simple as smiling at someone, sending a blessing to someone who is doing harm, or as a Native American elder has said, “forgiving the unforgivable.” If we’re aware that how we are and what we do has ripple effects we can be creating Heaven on Earth all the time.
There’s no earthly reason why we can’t create Heaven on Earth. I admit that I feel awkward talking about Heaven on Earth. I’m afraid people will scoff at or discount me for being utopian or idealistic, silly or crazy. I take heart from Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs, who says, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” And look what “realistic” has gotten us? Let’s be idealistic for a change! (You can read more about being idealistic in my Reflection of Sept. 2015.)
In light of what Jesus says to us, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within, I hope this poem will carry you off, and in, to Heaven.
Makes a beautiful naked woman
Materialize from Words,
Who then says,
With a sword precariously waving
In her hands,
"If you look at my loins
I will cut off your head,
And reach down and grab your spirit
By its private parts,
And carry you off to Heaven
Squealing in joy."
"That sounds wonderful, just wonderful.
Someone please, start writing
Some great lines.
The Shift Network
Project Heaven on Earth
Martin reports that later in the year there will be both a Heaven on Earth Telesummit and another online course sponsored by the Shift Network. I’ll note the dates in my newsletter when I know. If this idea sparks your interest, I encourage you to join one or both programs. Martin is an inspiring, pragmatic visionary, and an exceptional teacher.
"What kind of heaven do you believe in? Are you waiting for it or working for it?"
(Glennon Doyle Melton)
Back to Blog