This may make me sound slightly more radical than I would like, but honestly people, with love, I’m sick of the rules and the stories. I’m sick of listening to people’s stories of how they “can’t, because…”. I’m sick of it because it’s hurting you and me and the people who work for you and live with you and it’s hurting our beautiful world.
YOU CAN. I CAN. WE CAN.
And here’s why.
Most people in my part of this planet have seen the movie The Matrix. When they think about it, they recognise on some level that we are all living a matrix-y experience. Most people don’t actually go deep into what that actually means though. About how you are moving in the world according to rules that you didn’t actually agree to but are implicit in maintaining with most of what you do. This happens on a personal level (unconscious bias, acceptance and belief) and on a societal level (the way things happen because generation after generation collectively moves as if things ‘should’ be that way – political systems, schooling, work environments, city building, collective ideals, the food industry etc.
There are several things that hold this in place.
1. Not seeing the wood for the trees
Being in the woods and seeing the four trees around you rather than the whole wood, or even the location of the woods on planet earth, or the relationship of the earth to the universe. Let yourself be with the bigger picture. Get perspective. Rest into the patterns that you notice. See the ant colony in it’s wider habitat, not just the dusty ground underneath one or two ants. Swim in the ocean, don’t try to live within a drop of water!
2. A lack of awareness of how unconscious programming works and a lack of desire to find out.
We are living in an age of sophisticated marketing. Corporations spend billions on working out how to sell to you and how to influence your thinking. Most people know on some level that this happens and agree by using their computer online, using store loyalty cards, accepting cookies on websites etc. But how aware are you of the perhaps more subtle unconscious influence by broadcasters, your parent’s unconscious beliefs, their parent’s beliefs, the beliefs and values that you agree to in your workplace, that belong to your friends, that your gym tells you, the ‘truths’ you hear every day..? Any time you hear a statement as fact you are stepping into an agreement of a kind. Most often you are actually, or metaphorically, nodding your head as you hear this. What do you absorb as the ‘truth’? Hold it all much more lightly as a first step. Assume there are no absolute truths. None. You don’t have to agree yet, just move ‘as if’. It will open your world if you do.
2. Difficulty in seeing the patterns and/or questioning them.
Does the way society is set up work for you? Do you like how and what your children are being taught in school? As a leader in your life or in your workspace, are you deciding the rules or following them? I would be willing to bet that however influential you are, if you haven’t gone into a deep questioning of ‘the rules’ you will be following ones that don’t implicitly work for you but are habitual. Do they have to be that way? Really?
4. Being trapped by the illusion of the financial system.
Here’s how this works. We set up societies that cost a lot of money to live within and in which people are beholden to earning the money to maintain the lives they always feel dissatisfied in. It’s almost funny when you see what is happening. Except it isn’t. We are building more and more and consuming more and more of what we don’t actually need. And killing the planet whilst we do it. This is not ok. It hurts people, places and things. More of what isn’t working is crazy. A new way must be found.
Make a list of your implicit agreements. What have you agreed to as a daughter or son, as a parent, as an employee, what are you agreeing to when you watch the news or shop in the supermarket? Did YOU decide what to buy? Who to vote for? How much do you hold as true? How much less can you?
Take a moment to close your eyes, put your hand on your stomach and breathe. Sink down to that quiet place inside of you. From here, if you were new to this world, how would you choose to move, how would you wake in the morning? What would you put into your body? Where would you live and how? What would you choose to believe? How would you set up your company differently? How do you actually want to live and lead?
Why not create an open space for possibility to enter.
Seeing this is like having all of life begin to reveal itself. You don’t need to worry about the details so much as open yourself to the possibility of creating from a place of choice. A place of agreeing to what you want to rather than what is spoon fed to you. It’s a journey of a second and of a lifetime. I’d love to hear what emerges for you when you explore these themes.
This article is with credit and thanks to Don Miguel Ruiz, who’s writings are clear and beautiful on this subject and have been a big influencer on me and my work.