Last week we started talking about why we need to stop commoditizing ourselves.
If you missed it, you can read it here:
This week we are going to dive deeper into the HOWS of this work. How to actually shift these patterns in ourselves, the belief systems, the roots of trauma that drive us to harm ourselves and be good players in the very system we say we want to take down. We are going to look together at what needs to change in order for us to create the world we are calling for.
We have to get really real. And it's not going to be fun or comfortable.
But it is worthy work.
Time To Get Real:
Let’s get really real about something right now.
If you are someone who is wanting to ‘change the system’ - if you are a coach/healer/teacher/guide/social activist/creator of any kind - and your work is asking you to disconnect from your own humanity - you are propping up the very system you are working in your profession to try to dismantle.
If doing your work is causing you to have to sacrifice your mental, emotional or spiritual health - you’re being asked to commoditize yourself. This is colonization. it’s propping up the system. It’s in no way your fault - it’s the water we are swimming in.
If your work is asking you to sacrifice being there for your children, your S.O’s, your friends, family, community - you’re being asked to commoditize yourself. This is colonization. It’s propping up the system. It’s in no way your fault - it’s the water we are swimming in.
If your work is asking you to rely upon big business ie. fast food/food that is not nourishing for your body, mindless entertainment, Amazon, and so on in order to COPE with/manage the anxiety/stress/over work, or if it is asking that you neglect being a responsible Stuart of your home environment - ie. your friends and family need to clean up after you/take care of your basic needs in a way that goes beyond interdependence because you are too busy ‘working for something greater’ - you’re being asked to commoditize yourself. This is colonization. It’s propping up the system. It’s in no way your fault - it’s the water we are swimming in.
If your work is making it so that you don't have the mental and emotional capacity to clean up after yourself, be responsible with your emotions, take the time needed to nourish and nurture your close relationships, if you are needing to rely upon those around you to 'make up for' what you can't manage in your life due to being 'busy with more important things' like writing that blog or book, creating that program, doing the tour or whatever it is you do as work in this world you are commoditizing yourself. This is colonization. It’s propping up the system. It’s in no way your fault - it’s the water we are swimming in.
If your work is asking you to sacrifice outside time, time alone in silence, time to BREATHE and BE A PERSON, if it is asking you to forgo having hobbies, interests, making art, listening to music and having time where you are able to be ‘doing nothing’ - you’re being asked to commoditize yourself. This is colonization. It’s propping up the system. It’s in no way your fault - it’s the water we are swimming in.
If your work is causing you anxiety, depression, burn out, fatigue, asking that you ‘push through’ in order to be productive, asking that you show up for others when you are not in a space to actually do so - you’re being asked to commoditize yourself. This is colonization. It’s propping up the system. It’s in no way your fault - it’s the water we are swimming in.
If your work is leading you to into situations where you use your time in leadership positions to unload your personal pain - asking your audience to listen to YOUR pain, YOUR process, YOUR tender spots because this is one of the only places you feel you are SEEN - you’re being asked to commoditize yourself. This is colonization. It’s propping up the system. It’s in no way your fault - it’s the water we are swimming in.
If your work is making you more money than you need to meet your needs and live reasonably comfortably, and you are justifying this as being ok because you are one of the 'good ones' who donates to the right charities, who supports the right people, who knows when and where the wealth should really be distributed - if you believe that SOMEONE has to have the power and control and the reason we are in a terrible place on earth right now is simply because the 'wrong people' have it - if you believe that we should all strive to be millionairs and have more more more/think just the 'wrong people' are millionares and the world will be better when YOU and YOUR CHOSEN people are rich - you're being asked to commoditize yourself. This is colonization. It’s propping up the system. It’s in no way your fault - it’s the water we are swimming in.
If you need to cope to get through your day, it’s propping up the system.
If you need to numb to unwind at the end of the day, it’s propping up the system.
If you can’t reasonably take care of yourself while you do it, it’s propping up the system.
If those closest to you are being neglected - family and community (THIS IS HUGE) - you’re being asked to commoditize yourself.
If you believe that any group or individual should have so much more than they need and that this is in any way benevolent or NOT supporting the very STRUCTURE you claim to want to take apart - you're propping up the system.
This Is Colonization.
It’s propping up the system. It’s in no way your fault - it’s the water we are swimming in.
The system we are all so ‘against’ is built upon the COMMODITIZATION of the human being - spirituality being one arm of the mass machine that turns EVERYTHING into some form of PRODUCTIVITY to be used to KEEP THE SYSTEM GOING.
Colonization IS the DEHUMANIZATION of the human being in exchange for productivity. The productivity we think we need to acquire the right amount of resources that will protect us from our two main fears - death and isolation.
It's the fundamental belief that we are separate and that that there isn't enough to go around that got us here.
Living in any of the above ways, is siding with this belief system, and supporting all the structures that have been born from it - thus supporting the system we currently have were the few have SO MUCH MORE than they need, at the cost of everyone else - and we are all just trying to be the ones with more, none of us are actually working to create a fair system.
Because we all believe the core lie - we must 'work to earn our place' and humans decide what is and isn't valuable.
It’s SACRIFICING the ‘self’ for the greater good, or sacrificing someone else for the self. It’s the idea that if we accumulate enough wealth we will be happy/safe/freed from all our anxieties - rather than seeing there is a limit to this. We need enough to feel secure YES, but anything PAST THAT that then requires that others GO WITHOUT - is the system.
It’s founded upon the idea that HUMANS ARE NOT HUMANS but rather production machines. It’s founded on the idea of NOT ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE so one must sacrifice for the good of others - rather than seeing that the liver can’t sacrifice itself enough to ensure the health of the kidney any more than the liver can attack the kidney and ensure it’s own well being.
If your work is asking you to sacrifice your HUMANITY on any level - it’s propping up the system. Again this isn’t your fault. It’s the water we are swimming in.
Your Impact Isn't What You DO For Work:
Your biggest impact on this planet isn’t your writing, workshops, client sessions, courses, website, programs, interview appearances or anything else.
You see the system here?
You are not WHAT YOU PRODUCE.
You are not a COMMODITY.
If you believe your impact comes from what you DO FOR WORK you are bought into the system. You are perpetuating it by over producing and over consuming. By believing in levels of value instead of equal value within all life expressing differently. You are holding the system up in yourself as you work harder, push more, consume more, neglect more.
Yes you have gifts. Yes you have things to offer society - but any time this is done at the EXPENSE of yourself or requires the EXPENSE of someone else - it’s out of synch with truth.
WE ARE ALL ONE - thus you can’t sacrifice yourself enough to make this world better for anyone else any more than people can abuse others to try to make he world actually better for themselves. You can't get rich enough to make this world fair. You can't be benevolent enough in your 'giving' so long as that giving is about taking FROM someone and giving TO someone else you deem more worthy.
THIS IS THE SYSTEM WE ALREADY HAVE.
We have seen this. Again those at the top of our current system are miserable. Those at the bottom are abused and miserable. No one is winning.
Your ACTUAL impact on this planet and the world, the REAL thing that helps you either take down or prop up what is - is your EVERY DAY LIVED EXPERIENCE.
Your connecting with your humanity, working to make yourself MORE HUMAN every day ie. you have a body you must take care of, a home you must take care of, social connections you must nurture and a community you must pay attention to (side note - huge injustice could not take place if each person actually payed attention to what was going on in their community. It’s our disconnection from what’s going on right in front of us - not our not knowing what’s going on ‘out there’ that is allowing all this stuff to go down. Again, if ALL COMMUNITIES took care of one another the world would be taken care of, you see?) You have a creative side you must nourish, a spiritual side you must dive into, an emotional inner terrain that needs constant attention.
And yes, this is a lot - so if you have time to do more work that is needed to support these human life activities AFTER you have done all of this - great! If not, then perhaps it is time to consider where your motivations are coming from.
It's Up To Us Who CAN Change To Make The Change:
We have a MASSIVE number of humans on our planet who CANNOT attend to all their needs. Who don't have the means to get all their needs met.
It's BECAUSE so many of us have HOARDED, believing in this false idea that 'abundance' is going to make US feel secure/safe/good enough/will be a tool we use for 'benevolence'.
It's not. Over consumption and hoarding are just that. No matter who you are. It's coming from the root belief that there isn't enough and so more for us = security and happiness, and that some of us are better at choosing who is and isn't deserving of resources.
No matter how 'woke' you or your work is - if you have so much more than you need, this is hoarding from those who don't have enough. We want to believe in enough for everyone to have more than they need - but we have not yet come to getting everyone what they need. We have no idea if there is enough on this planet for each to consume and hoard the way most of us do in the Western World - and if we look at reality, we can make a pretty good guess that if all wanted to live like us, we would extinct ourselves rather quickly.
The abundance teaching is based in fear - not love. It's trying to put yourself in a position of power over others, and a position of 'safety' through things protecting you from loneliness and death. OT have things define you and bring you happiness and fulfillment. It's the system through and through.
At the same time it's because so many of us SACRIFICE OUR OWN HUMANITY - which then turns us into BIGGER consumers, people who unwittingly drive the machine because we need it to prop US UP in what WE ARE DOING. Ie. fast food, netflix, luxury items, parties, spending money and time on things we don’t NEED that help us to NUMB or STIMULATE. If we have enough, and we then drive ourselves to get MORE in ways that lead to our burnout, our disconnection from being able to attend to our humanity without asking the world around us to help us out - we are the system.
Again if the work you are doing to try to help others decolonize, connect to their true selves, to heal their wounds and traumas, to find peace and connection is leading YOU to have to BE IN TRAUMA (because that’s all that leads to - our ONE human trauma is this dehumanization/disconnection from reality) you are propping the very system you are saying you want to take down.
You’re not a commodity.
You are not what you produce.
Your life is your offering to humanity.
How you live is what matters.
How you live is your impact.
The Foundations Of Our Way Of Being Are Rotting:
You can’t re-arrange the furniture enough to make a house with rotting foundations stable.
You are either rejecting the system of commoditization and disconnection through re-connecting with your own humanity, or you are propping up the system with a costume of wanting to take it down.
It starts with YOU.
YOUR way of life.
YOUR nourishment of yourself and your community.
Anything that comes AFTER THAT is a bonus.
If EACH ONE did this - we would have the new world we want over night. That’s how we know it’s the truth. If EACH HUMAN decided to connect to their humanity, to reject their own commoditization, the system would fall. We would no longer tolerate in OURSELVES being able to have so much more than others. We would no longer desire to have the lux life when most don’t have basic needs. We would no longer see success as accumulation, but getting our basics covered and then working to make this more accessible to all. We wouldn’t hoard beyond need and true joy. Those at the ‘top’ would stop being there because they would see that this pinnacle is a hellscape. Those at the bottom would not longer be oppressed by them as there would not longer be this fight. The division we see would end. Because we would FEEL each other. Through being able to actually FEEL OURSELVES. If we could see that we are truly one, no one could win at the expense of another. If we all took care of our actual FEELINGS - none of us would be driving ourselves the way we are. None of us would treat each other as though we are either ‘doing or not doing something for me.’ The entire thing would topple.
I know this is harsh and hard. But actually decolonizing yourself is radical. It doesn’t look like what everyone else is doing but just slightly different words. YOUR LIFE will look RADICALLY DIFFERENT from everyone else if you are really doing it.
Love and light are not going to save us. Humanity will. Decolonization doesn’t come from shifting your vocabulary or giving everyone equal ‘access’ to a system that’s rooted in destruction.
We are HUMANS. Stuff won’t protect us. There is enough for all of us, but we have to let go of the dream of more until we can figure out getting enough for everyone. THEN we can let those who want to fight over the left overs do that.
I get that the system makes ‘stopping’ all of the above things almost impossible for most people. I get that. Change is going to happen slowly as each one of us re-claims ourselves. The one thing - how can each of us participate LESS through commoditizing ourselves LESS? Don't go into shame or guilt either. It's not your fault grind culture is the standard and what most HAVE to do to have enough (or not even.) It's a whole big system.
Just where can we witness it in ourselves and start to pull back so as to shift it for All?
That's the question.
I'm asking me this every day.