These days dying and death seem to be coming around quite a bit in my life. Last week I heard that a dear friend’s husband, drummer Paulo Mattioli, has passed away. He died of brain cancer. This comes on top of Melissa’s mom, whose situation I have been writing to you about.

My friend Ninaya shared with me that Paulo was ready to go. He had always been very spiritual, unafraid of what would come after life. He had a strong presence, and one of the most amazing and welcoming smiles I’ve ever encountered.

It’s been said that the year 2012 is when we are nearing the end of the world. Dark predictions have been made. Others say that just because the Mayan culture died out before they could extend their calendar the world most certainly won’t come to an end.

Personally I believe that we are seeing major shifts in the way people think and feel. From protests on Wall Street to our planet being shaken in every corner, something is going on.

I remember the feeling I had during the big 1994 Los Angeles earthquake: it was as if someone had taken you by the shoulders and shaken you violently back and forth, as if to say: Wake up, wake up!

Back then I actually did wake up and made some major changes in my life.

Ready or not, the world continues to change. The white alpha-male-dominated world is not working as it used to. New leaders are stepping up. Social media has leveled the playing field. A simple idea such as the TED conference (for technology, entertainment, design), has brought forward an incredible number of thought leaders. Google has given us the ability to fact-check just about anything.

Our tribes and communities become a more important part of who we are. Finding others who are like us, who believe in similar things, has to be one of the most liberating circumstances in life. Just yesterday I watched a 60 Minutes segment in which autistic children used iPad programs that gave them a voice they didn’t have before. The systematic and consistent approach from a computer program offered them the security, comfort and even a joy to communicate.

This explosion of new ideas, thought leaders, new processes and devices is what is making old ideas obsolete. No longer can we function simply as individuals: we need to belong to a larger group. Social, social media, a more social me.

Ready or not, here it comes, the new you. Who are you going to be?

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