A conversation about our current state as a whole needs to take place. I’ve been thinking about the system we have built and how we need to address those flaws. People are raw and scared and that is a difficult place to recover from. That is a difficult place to identify where the issue really originates. So I wanted to start the conversation from a high level.
In order for anything to be built we need to eliminate what we have in its place. This can be anything from thoughts that no longer serve to a job that doesn’t fulfill you to ending a relationship that no longer fits. The first step is recognizing that something doesn’t feel right. Then it is examining why. Then it is removing those pieces that aren’t in alignment with our authentic selves.
Sounds simple—which is why it is so challenging.
We are meant to be happy and joyful creatures. When we are in a state of joy, we bring light to this world in the form of creativity and love. In our society we are taught from birth that our worth is determined by our productivity. We have no frame of inherent worth let alone belonging. We are taught independence and that we need to build a life. While there is incredible freedom and privilege in that, there is also an incredible pressure and heaviness. We are free to do what we want as long as we can do it on our own. It is weak to rely on others. It’s a burden to ask for help. The truth is we are social creatures and we are not meant to go it alone.
I do not discount that we are also human and have inborn qualities of competition and survival based power struggles, but overall, being with a pack has proven more beneficial than being a loner. There is an African proverb that says “if you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” That used to bother me because I struggle with a competitive nature and my goals were incredibly skewed toward the personal. As I’ve settled into a new routine, I understand the value and the need of being with people and creating an environment that serves the collective.
Let’s talk about understanding that we can do things differently—we have to do things differently. I decided several months back that I needed to take steps to do things I love. I couldn’t sit back and wait for the time someone would tell me that it was ok to do something for myself because that day would never come. We have to create that time for ourselves. My work was very focused on making money to pay the bills and it felt miserable. There was no joy and I felt suffocated. My anxiety about time was through the roof as each day passed by and nothing changed; I knew at that rate I would wake up 20 years from now and still be in the same place. I understood that wanting things to change wasn’t enough to make them change. So I started to change my time.
There is immense power in reclaiming your time. The days that passed so quickly on repeat suddenly slowed down and felt a little more alive. I created space for joy simply by stopping what didn’t serve. A lot of that was letting go of other people’s expectations. When work was done, I left. I didn’t sit there waiting for the next thing to drop. I went about my day and left the 9-5 behind. I made time to do things with my son during the week. I made time to write during the week. Slowly the creativity started flowing again. And then it sped up. Life felt…alive again.
In speaking of the broader picture of breaking free of cages, this is the first step. We have to learn where our power really lies and we have to release the fear of breaking the routines. We are not meant to live as rigid creatures stuck on repeat day in and day out. We are meant to dance and sing and celebrate life in its natural flow—not to tame it. More to come.