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Occupy within

I am not on Wall Street. I am on vacation in Texas, and right now I’m sitting on a breezy back porch, looking out at trees and sunshine in their infinite beauty. Everything is okay and I know this completely. There is nothing to hate, only fear to overcome.

Yet fear can be fierce.

I believe love can heal anything, but I am worried, too. Today I got an email saying that Manhattan’s Occupy Wall Street initiative will be shut down tomorrow morning, and that scares me. I visited the site last week because I knew it was worth investigating, and I wanted to see it before I left for Texas, just in case a threat like today’s was to emerge and prevent me from returning.

I really hope the occupiers are not evicted. I’m not quite sure what is happening with the Occupy movement, but from my perspective it is positive: People are showing up. Action is replacing apathy, and that is encouraging.

Every person has a voice, but many of us stay silent, and there is no use in that. Our primary purpose on the planet is to expand our consciousness through love, and repression and judgment don’t help a whit.

So yes, please, let’s all of us speak up. Be respectful; follow the laws (and then work to change them, if you’re so inclined). But don’t keep quiet. Have courage; be heard.

It takes bravery to claim yourself: When I started making my private thoughts public back in January, I knew I was taking a risk, especially since I am a professional writer, so I essentially stake my reputation on my words. But my willingness to expose my authentic self has set in motion a chain of personal growth that far outweighs the fear of being misunderstood or disliked.

I wouldn’t trade the freedom I feel for anything; opening my heart was the best choice I ever made. Every day I choose to “occupy within,” to take responsibility for my thoughts and feelings. Taking action with good intention is empowering, and it is truly loving.

What is loving for me? This is the best question, the one I ask myself all the time, and one that I encourage you to ask yourself. I’m not camping out in downtown Manhattan because that doesn’t feel right for me. But it does feel right to notice what is going on, and to support the First Amendment rights of my fellow citizens. Fear is oh-so-overrated, and actions are the only things worth judging.

This sign, dated 10/4/11, and left at Occupy Wall Street for me to find and photograph that evening, says "The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything." (Online research suggests Albert Einstein's original wording might have been slightly different, but you get the idea.)

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Love > fear