In the Game of Dominoes, Be the Catalyst

It’s running rampant. It’s everywhere. You might try and close your door to it, shift the shades, and use the big bolt lock. It will still get in. It will find you in the shower, in the grocery store line, and even at the bathroom at work. Everyone is getting it, and instead of using precaution or warding against, they let it slowly creep up their spine, and hold them hostage. It’s easier to live with than fight against catching it, and hell, it’s not that bad. Instead of a cold or hot bath, you sit in tepid water. Instead of fresh greens and fruits, it’s a myriad of bodega potatoes and onions. It’s grey, and could be worse. And while it’s not quite rain, and not sun, an umbrella remains irrelevant. It is so contagious in fact, that you can spot it on almost anyone. I often try and wash my hands of it, but its grip… that shit is good.

You may not die from it, but you will certainly die with it, crouched inside your coffin, or sitting dusty in your home. When you let it sneak in, it will touch everything you own. Worried you have it? You might. But if you want to remain stagnant, with little movement or jolts of speed and energy, let it hang out. Complacency will get you no where, but you are also then not forced to move. It’s comfortable. It’s easy. It’s thought-less. It’s a lessening of everything, and who doesn’t like to shed some pounds?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately on Complacency (which ironically does nothing for it), and how it acts like fuzzy slippered-shackles, allowing us minuscule movement, and little true joy or happiness. This blanket, this layer of blah is eating humans from the inside out. And what’s worse, they don’t seem to realize. And what’s worse, they don’t seem to care. I watch people, stop to listen, and often get caught in conversation, and instead of focusing on what they want or what they believe in, they let this middle ground of “whatever” take hold. They fester in it. Ughh. It amazes how many people traipse the planet completely at the effect of their circumstance. They let the weather, the time, the waitress, the bus, the television run the show. Circumstances become the higher power, the determiner of All That Is. And in theory, it doesn’t sound that bad. Who didn’t enjoy the Lazy River at the water park? You didn’t have to do much but let the water move you from cove to cove. It’s kind of nice. It’s also disconcerting, unattractive, and mediocre.

As of (I’m not actually sure how long, but I’ll estimate) a few months ago, there is a new grocery store in my neighborhood. It’s very small, expensive, but also homey in that they jar their own hummus, pesto, soup stalks, etc. It’s beautiful inside, and the goodies they have, when affordable, are delicious. As I was perusing their quaint deli section, I began to listen to a couple next to me who were discussing their weekend. It was Sunday, and the girl was explaining how much she hated Sundays because it meant the next day was Monday and she would have to go back to the job she loathed. “I hate it so much, it makes me want to cry just thinking about my stupid little desk.” Her partner kept attempting to console her, suggesting she look for new jobs, and that he would help. “Ugh, no, that would take forever, and who knows what I would even find.” It went on like this for the few minutes I overheard them, and I assert it continued even after. She complained that she was so unhappy, and hated every morning, but when offered ways to change it, she shook them off with “I can’ts, I shouldn’ts, it’s too late’s, and that would be hards.” Instead of choosing to be responsible for her unhappiness and work to change it, she, I assume, continually stews in her inaction. It probably fucking sucks, and no wonder she was complaining. Being at the effect of your circumstance, choosing to do nothing and let the job suck the life out of you, sounds pretty shitty. And if she does that at work, it probably shows up elsewhere.

How many of us are being pushed and pulled by our circumstances, and giving them free reign? Where do you notice you aren’t willing to take responsibility? “It’s not MY job, I can’t help it, it just happened, it’s your fault, so-and-so sucks.” When you find yourself justifying your behavior, or making excuses and blaming others or external circumstances, you are inside of a victim consciousness. You are going through life like a pinball, pinging off everything and everyone. And while it means you don’t have to make any true decision, besides indecision, you aren’t actually getting off free, but tightening the shackles of complacency, of victim, of living your life entirely at the effect of everything around you.

Standing in line at a cafe the other day, the man ahead of me asked for a blueberry muffin. The barista chimed back, “sorry sir, we don’t make blueberry muffins on Wednesday’s, and will have them made fresh Friday morning.” He gasped, or oddly inhaled air in a muffled aggressive fashion. “Fine, I’ll just take a double Americano to go.” After ordering he moved aside to stand near the wall and wait for his drink, soon I was there too, and was able to hear his side of a phone conversation. “I’m freaking pissed! This muffin I was looking forward to all last night and this morning, it’s going to ruin my fucking day.” I get it. When we get something stuck in are minds, and then get let down, it’s a bit crushing. But also, it’s a fucking muffin dude. Go to another store, or get the hell over it. Instead of taking action, or choosing to not let it affect his morning, he sat there sulking and whining to his friend about how shitty his day was going to be now. If one muffin can ruin your whole day, you my friend are not living a life of freedom and responsibility. Your shackles are screwed on real damn tight.

I’m tired of hearing people bitch and then do nothing about it. I’m also tired of being victim to my own complacency. I play a small game, so as to not shake up the routine, the schedule, the challenge. And then I am surprised when success moves at snail speed? Serves me right. If you want to ride life on a stationary bike, choose the route of complacency. If you want adventure, possibility, and exhilaration, either have true desperation or true commitment be your driving force. Those will change the scenery real damn fast, complacency on the other hand? Enjoy your slow thoughtless pedal to no where, fast. It will be incredibly easy for our generation to sit back and do nothing. We are taught we don’t have to go grocery shopping, Amazon will bring it to us; that we don’t have to go out and meet people, an app will swipe us into a relationship; go onto the street to connect with others, you can scroll their pics and see all the super cool shit they are doing that you aren’t; go away to college, shit sit at home in your jammies and get a degree. We have tools for everything, so we often have to do nothing but click, type, scroll, swipe, and like. If we don’t shake ourselves out of our neatly packaged every things, we will have no control over where we end up. If that interests you, please watch your step as you enter the Lazy River to your left. If not, DO SOMETHING.

Stop bitching about our government, call your representative. Don’t like the way you are being treated in a relationship, ask yourself what has you be in a relationship with someone who would treat you like that. We can’t possibly be the change we wish to see in the world from victim. Be responsible for YOU. Make shit happen. Let’s put down this story of mediocrity, and be the generation the world needs us to be. It starts with caring, but we can’t stop there. Be responsible for everything around you. The cafe doesn’t have your muffin? Go to another one, or choose to not be affected by it. You hate your job? Quit. Can’t figure out the direction you want to be headed in? Ask for a road map. I spent last week at a conference of females coaches, all who coach to different topics, themes, styles, etc. There was a woman who coached people who date narcissists; a woman who coached around Angel Card readings; a woman who was a holistic coach and supports people in aging gracefully. Everything one might need is out there, there is an entire industry built to support people in whatever they need, if it be grief, financial success, career reinvention, motherhood, trauma, triggers, mental chatter….We so often get caught up in our “problems,” that we actually fail to release our grip on them. Instead of taking control over our “stuff” we let it take control over us, and then we hold onto it for dear life.

Every person will run up against multiple road blocks in their life, and depending on who you are being when you reach them, determines their height. Complacency breeds higher and more frequent walls, as does victim consciousness (“why does this always happen to me?”). The block turns into a stop only when you are at the effect of it. But living from Cause, and Responsibility, you then have the power to determine its impact. Complacency is an epidemic of wild proportion. What are we settling for? What if we weren’t just willing to take what appeared to be given, but asked for more? My assertion is that until we demand more of ourselves, we won’t get much from the world around us. It starts inward, “the pollution of the planet is only an outward reflection of an inner psychic pollution: millions of unconscious individuals not taking responsibility for their inner space” (Eckhart Tolle). When we give ourselves permission to accept what is and stew in it, it actually allows the world around us to do the same. Unhappy with the state of things around you? Hint: look inward first.

We are magnets. Keep experiencing the same patterns in different relationships? Keep ending up at jobs you don’t like? You are the common factor. What you put out into the world, is what you will get back. There are two things I am sure of when it comes to humans: 1. We are meaning making machines, and 2. We love to be right. It’s a dangerous combo. We create an idea in our minds, and then what we do is go out into the world looking for evidence to prove it’s true. So then we end up attracting and “creating” exactly what lies in our minds. Think everyone is rude? Great, chances are you will go out into the world and find evidence in everything and everyone, around how/why that’s true. We cannot expect the world to shift, if we aren’t willing to shift either. If you spend time stewing in your unhappiness, IT IS GOING TO BREED UNHAPPINESS. We actually have to make conscious decisions to create different lives, feelings, etc.

This morning in yoga before we got started, I heard a woman telling her friends “how hard it is to get motivated.” I started pushing this around in my mind, and digesting just how odd this was. For example, say you really really want to look and feel a certain way, and that involves working out. Consider that if it’s hard to motivate yourself to get to the gym, then you probably aren’t that clear on how important it is for you to look and feel a certain way. If we really want something, motivation won’ be the stop. If you can’t inspire yourself to do something for something you want, you might not really want it. Or you aren’t clear on how much, why, etc. The story that motivation is hard, is simply that: a story. It’s not fact, it’s an interpretation inside of a victim consciousness: “I can’t, this is hard, why isn’t this easier?” It’s a disempowering relationship we easily slip into inside our minds, which then constructs our realities. We are apt to walk around finding evidence for what is in our heads, even when it’s not in our best interest, and keeps us in places, relationships, jobs that don’t serve us. What are you telling yourself is hard? And, what do you get out of it? And how does that simple message impact everything you are up to?

In a world where it’s becoming easier and easier to be lazy, to convince ourselves we are satisfied with something so we don’t have to take action, to manipulate our thoughts just enough to believe we are at the effect of everything, we have an uphill battle to stay on the road of our dreams, and not let complacency and victim take us down. If we want to see grand shifts in the world, they must start from within, particularly with how we interact with our circumstances, and what it is we tell ourselves. We are the creators of our realities, and one the most powerful tools we have is Choice. How will you use yours? For good or evil? Lazy River or Dream life? Ideal career? Or shitty side job? The relationship you want, or the one stew in? Be the Cause of everything in your life. Be the first domino, don’t get swayed by the rest. Try on Responsibility, believe me, it fits and looks better than your Complacency hand me down.

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