A World Without Marketing

Photograph © 2019 Peggy Kornegger
“Imagine no possessions.
I wonder if you can…”
—John Lennon

Marketing drives our world today. Everything from political candidates to clothing to cars and cell phones is presented to us through a filter of manipulative images and languaging. True needs (supporting life) have been replaced with artificial needs (unnecessary, even detrimental, to our lives). What would the world be like without marketing? Some economists say it would fall apart, no longer driven by false monetary incentives. I don’t believe it.

In much of the Western world, possessions rule daily life. From the time we are born, toys and playthings are dangled endlessly in front of us. Artificially created cravings begin very early. And now that smartphones are often in the hands of very young children, this trend is intensifying. Yet alongside all these distractions is a movement for conscious awareness and simplicity that is becoming more wide-spread.

There is a new consciousness emerging on the planet, one that sees energy as the force behind every thought, interaction, and event in the universe. Positive energy uplifts and moves us forward in our lives with open hearts and open hands, centered in our own inner peace. Negative energy freezes us in place with closed hearts and closed hands, yet always anxiously longing for something else. Positive energy is dynamic and reciprocal; it brings people together in sharing and love. Negative energy pits people against one another and promotes material goods to fill the subsequent holes in their lives.

As people choose simpler lifestyles and are more mindful of global connections and interdependencies, this positive energy flows out to the collective and gradually shifts consciousness. Recycling, reuse, and repurposing are now in the public vocabulary. Many people make donations rather than buy physical presents at holidays. They volunteer at food banks, homeless shelters, or nature sanctuaries throughout the year. The circle of life and generosity extends energetically beyond a few to include the many.

The marketing mentality tells us that selling, whether objects or ourselves, is the baseline for survival in this world. Out of this approach arises written or spoken language that manipulates consciousness to “buy” what is being promoted, whether it’s a T-shirt, a pizza, a drug, or a person with a skill or service. Nothing is real in the world of marketing. It’s usually targeted to specific audiences to create a buying magnet that is irresistible. And often even when we know we are being manipulated, we buy into it anyway! That’s how powerful that particular kind of energy is.

It takes continuous awareness to resist the siren call of the marketers of the world and choose another path. One centered in authenticity, integrity, and the common good. It is entirely possible to present information about life-sustaining products and services with honesty and simple truth. We need to support those who do so and turn away from those who use false hyperbole to promote the accumulation of possessions.

All of us on this planet can live deeply fulfilling lives without poverty, deprivation, or suffering anywhere. We don’t really need houses full of the latest items trending in the popular media. Those things don’t bring lasting happiness and peace of mind anyway. So why not give up the illusory solo quest for “having it all” and choose instead sharing it all. And being it all. Meaning, being rich in spirit, in kindness, in caring. In friendship, in love, in sister/brotherhood. These are the true jewels in the treasure chest of life on Earth.


You Were Born Shining!

Photograph © 2018 Peggy Kornegger
Claim your own life. Your soul knows what it wants from this lifetime. So does your heart. Your life plan is imprinted in every cell of your physical form. If you pause quietly for a moment or two, you can hear your inner wisdom speaking. It will guide you steadfastly to the destiny that awaits you.

Don’t think about it; just listen. Be silent and receive the download of God’s plan for you. You were born with it; it’s in your genes. You breathe it in and out every moment of your day. The key is to stop distracting yourself with the cacophony of other voices all around you, and pay attention to your own voice within. No one else knows you as well as you. When you align with the inner truth of your being, that truth lives through you into the world. You begin to sparkle and shine with authenticity.

Then you no longer need try to copy someone else’s lifestyle or follow the 10 quick steps to success in all those self-help books and articles. Success, in truth, is just being you. That’s why you’re here and why there is no one else exactly like you on Earth. Your soul knows this. You have a sacred responsibility to be your own true self, not a half-hearted imitation of someone else’s idea of what it means to be human.

We live in a culture that tells people they need an expert motivator or life coach to show them how to plan and live their best lives, but that just isn’t true. Times are changing. Towers and platforms are collapsing, and collaborative circles are forming in their place. Individually and together we are finding our own way to freedom of expression in the world. Within each of us is emerging wisdom that will guide us as we move out of the shadows and into the light.

Don’t unquestioningly follow anyone else’s well-intentioned advice, even that of a gifted spiritual teacher or advisor. Yes, there are individuals with great wisdom in the world, and they can remind and inspire us with their thoughts and presence. However, we don’t really need intermediaries between ourselves and our own lives, between ourselves and God. Because we are God, in human form, and we carry the wisdom of the universe within our consciousness, if we but open to it. The energy of transformation in the world is speeding up everything now, including our own evolution into highly aware, super-connected human-divine beings.

So take a deep breath and inhale the sweet fragrance of your own inner essence. You are so much more than you give yourself credit for. Every one of us is. The world around us often makes us feel smaller in our own eyes because of misguided societal ideas about how to live and ways to achieve worldly success. Many who follow this path are miserable because they are out of touch with their inner spirit. Don’t make the mistake of thinking superficial impermanent “achievements” are the real deal. To live your inner truth, your inner beauty, is the real achievement in life because that connects you to others and makes you one with the universal soul of humanity.

Look within yourself and discover your own uniqueness. Live the dream of infinite possibility that is you. No one else on Earth can do that for you. It’s why you were born. The entire universe is gently smiling on you and encouraging you to just be yourself. That is the gift that only you can give to everyone in your life and to the greater world as you pass through it with the light of inspiration shining in your eyes.


The Age of Authenticity—Coming Out as You

Photograph © 2012 Peggy Kornegger
Photograph © 2012 Peggy Kornegger
We are living in an age of authenticity, one in which we are being called by the spirit within us to be true to our soul selves and to live from a place of love. When my partner Anne and I married a year ago after 31 years together, we were very conscious of stepping into an expansive collective energy of love and acceptance that was unparalleled in our lifetime. Within the time span of our relationship, the world had shifted profoundly in its openness to many different kinds of people, partnerships, and life commitments. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision for marriage equality throughout the 50 states further demonstrates the power and momentum of these changes. To me, the increasing acceptance of marriage equality is symbolic of a larger acceptance of diversity and individual authenticity in the world.

Even the mainstream media is beginning to reflect this shift in consciousness. In an Ellen interview a few months ago, Jill Soloway, creator of the TV series Transparent, talked about her father, who became a transgender woman at 74, as the inspiration for her show. She explained how trans people are moved to make a break for freedom, for authenticity, to save their own lives: “It really is an example for all of us about leading authentic lives.” Individuals like Jill’s father have been standing up for their own inner truth within the trans identity for many years now, opening closed doors and closed minds for those who followed.

At this year’s Tony awards, broadcast on national TV, lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s poignant life story Fun Home won five awards, including best musical. It made history as the first Broadway musical to feature a lesbian protagonist. Alison has humorously chronicled the feminist movement and lesbian life for more than 30 years in “alternative” publications. Her 2006 memoir, which is the basis for the show, brought her national recognition—fascinating to those of us who have read and loved her comic strips for many years. There she was—authentic down-to-earth Alison—on stage at the Tonys, praised as brilliant for sharing her very real life story.

These individuals are living their soul selves. Alison has done it for most of her life; Jill’s father aligned with it later in life. Each of their lives is a sign of something much greater coming into being. Something that will touch all of our lives eventually, in one way or another. We see it played out publicly in the media, but those better-known examples are singular reflections of countless private lives around the globe. The Great Shift we are experiencing now on planet Earth is moving us all to consciously choose change, evolution, and soul truth over prevailing social expectations and outdated behavioral models.

The term “coming out” has historically been associated with the LGBT community and those who have had the courage to live the truth of their lives, even in the face of danger, derision, and ostracism. Now the term appears to be expanding to include all those who are coming to a deeper soul-self awareness and bringing that unique expression out into the world. The rainbow symbol is truly all-inclusive. The LGBT community has been standing strong in our diverse expressions, challenging the sexual-identity status quo, for decades. In so many ways, we have been breaking new ground and speaking out for all those who don’t fit into prescribed social norms, those called “different” for whatever reason.

As new waves of acceptance of diversity of all kinds continue to sweep across the globe, language itself will change. “Difference” will no longer be shunned because we all are different. We won’t have to “come out” because no one will have to be hidden. In the age of authenticity, you, in your most awesome authentic soul expression, will be the protagonist of your own life, loved for your brilliance by all who know you. Applause, applause—for each and every one of us!


Being True to Your Soul Self

© 2010 Anne S. Katzeff / Artist
© 2010 Anne S. Katzeff / Artist
It’s challenging to be your authentic self in the world today. Marketing seems to have taken over every aspect of life. There’s been a blurring between business, sports, and daily life in the personal coaching and self-marketing phenomenon. People seem to want to be “cheered on” to greatness, yet is it authentic, soul-guided greatness, or a “greatness” defined by social values that tout fame, financial gain, and material acquisition above anything else?

Ultimately, life is not a business (or a sports event), and marketing yourself without awareness can lead to inauthenticity and an unhappy life, both at work and at home. In author Susan Cain’s recent book Quiet, she discusses the cultural bias in favor of extraverted behavior in our society. In schools, homes, and workplaces across this country, individuals are encouraged—nay, pushed—to be outgoing, super-productive team-players. Quiet contemplative solo time is heavily discouraged, and those who do their best creative work alone or who like to balance social time with solitude often find themselves as either uncomfortable full-time group participants or total outsiders.

We have lost touch with the value of authenticity, a life lived in alignment with the soul’s deepest flowering, unique to each person. It’s time to “get real,” as the saying goes. There is no cookie-cutter prototype for the best way to work and live on this planet. We need fluid social/work structures that allow for variation and individuality. Some of the most creative innovators in history did not fit in but walked their own path to greatness. It’s time we recognized this and allowed each person the freedom to expand and grow in his or her own way. Hardened social paradigms stunt individual expression and authenticity. Fluidity and flexibility open the door for all people, whatever their creative style, to be their soul selves in the world.

Of course, we’re facing a monolithic business prototype that values competition over cooperation, profit and product over people, and that too has to shift. So many men and women are caught on the hamster wheel of achievement and acquisition, but as the planet begins to rebalance itself, these values will change also. Status and material objects do not equal happiness. It’s like the old Frank Capra classic film You Can’t Take It With You, in which friendship, family, and community are found to bring greater joy (and much more fun!) than corporate boardrooms. Capra had a penchant for making those kinds of films. It’s a Wonderful Life has a similar message: money is valued only when it’s shared and can help others.

So what exactly is “real” in our rapidly changing social matrix today? Real is looking deep inside yourself and living from that soul place. There is a quiet voice within that will guide you to your own creative expression in life. In listening to and living in alignment with your inner spirit, you will “be the change you wish to see in the world.” You don’t have to wait for validation from outside. In being true to your soul self, you will inspire others to do the same, and together we will co-create a reality that fulfills our greatest dreams.