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Flying Bald Eagle

Saying No with Conviction

“No” is a complete sentence.”
—Anne Lamott

As I reclaim more of my inner power by unplugging from the authoritative cultural systems that hurt the soul (i.e. banking, insurance, technology, media, education, “health” care, politics, etc.), I’m realizing with greater clarity how the domestication of the human spirit has devolved species homo sapien into a rather docile lot of compliant mutants. By normalizing the prevailing abnormal story of separation and not questioning the systems that hold it in place, we preserve the status quo at great expense to our own lives and also to life on Earth.

Joseph Goebbels, minister of propaganda for the German Third Reich under Adolf Hitler once said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

In the past few months, I’ve had visceral premonitions of an imminent collapse. I have little content beyond the deeply intuitive sense that grips the primal wisdom of my body. Is it economic, ecological … both, who knows. The last time I had premonitions this persistent, the twin towers went down in New York City. No amount of meditation, contemplation, or sacred time in nature can subdue this deep sense of unease. As a result, I’ve been feeling compelled to aggressively sever as many systemic ties as possible.

In the past month, my partner and I have paid off all remaining debt, destroyed all credit cards (not an easy task in a society identified by plastic), ended our relationship once and for all with mobile phone technology, purchased a used Prius to reduce our dependence on the oil conglomerate, and virtually extracted ourselves from the banking system (save for the minimal necessities).

The momentum for this cultural liberation has only just begun. It has been a hell of an interesting cultural experiment that has exposed the dysfunctional intricacies of a series of systemic webs that seek to silence all inner wisdom. Without the aid of an inner GPS, we blindly fly into the strategically placed webs that surreptitiously throttle our power.

For a fly caught in a web, the spider is attracted to struggle. He captures his prey, wraps her in silk, liquifies her insides, and leisurely sucks the life out of her. A pertinent metaphor.

The corporate human spider has built an intricate societal web of greed, debt, and mistrust. He wraps us in fear and authoritatively preys on the low self-worth that promotes unconscious consumption and a false sense of safety externally sourced from his seductive offerings. We buy into the systems without thought, justifying the increasing lunacy with phrases like, “that’s just the way it is”. We become blindly complacent as our joie-de-vivre is slowly replaced by anxiety, addiction, stress, debt, illness, and depression.

The cultural machine conditions us to believe that we are at its mercy. It is genius at isolating us from ourselves while mercilessly capitalizing on our ignorance. In our uninformed stupor we willingly give our power away. How many people do you know who don’t live with a dark cloud of debt infecting their psyche? How many people do you know who aren’t struggling to make ends meet? How many people do you know who don’t chant the “I have no money” mantra? And how many people do you know who don’t live with a mindset of scarcity? We’ve been duped. And the systems are beginning to sag under the weight of their own lies.

With my nagging premonitions of late, I’m being forcefully guided from within to remove myself from the last oppressive remnants of the system. I can tell you this, the system doesn’t allow for smooth exits. Their last-ditch efforts to hold me in check include pathetic attempts to seduce me to stay, which often morphs into an upgrade in fear-mongering as I firmly hold my ground. This resistance only serves to expose the desperation behind their lies. As Krishnamurti said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

You see, the greatest danger to status quo is someone who thinks critically for their self and says NO with conviction.

For most of my life, I’ve moved against the prevailing flow of consciousness. While the collective has mindlessly zigged, I’ve chosen to zag. It’s a lonely place to stand and one that doesn’t garner much support, but it has shown me the important things in life: truth, love, simplicity, compassion, purpose, creative expression, and authentic relationships.

As I continue to reclaim my power, I’m realizing more than ever the necessity for like-minded, like-hearted community to keep me solidly grounded in my Self. I won’t deny that the state of the world and the ignorance of the reigning anthropocentric worldview doesn’t bring me down. But as the saying goes, there is strength in numbers, especially when united in truth, love, integrity, and respect.

Accompanying the premonitions that are leading my ongoing exit from the system is a more refined definition of an authentic relationship worthy of my time and energy. I no longer tolerate those who tell me what to do or how to be in the world. I don’t want to be “fixed”, coached, judged, denied, or patronized. I have no interest in advice, stories or opinions. I refuse to engage in the “power-over”, dominance game of shame or blame. I will not be elevated or belittled. I choose truth, integrity, reciprocity, kindness, equality … or nothing.

The relationships I now choose include people, communities, businesses, and vendors who align with life. This means turning my back on institutions and corporations, and instead, supporting farmer’s markets, home-based businesses, and smaller community efforts that unite rather than divide.

In my personal relationships, I no longer tolerate indifferent conversations about weather or other such trivial matter. I am no longer “fine” when asked, “how are you?” I am fully authentic with my response, even if it makes the recipient squirm. I know what I want. I know what I need, and it has nothing to do with the culture of separation that is ruining our lives and our planet.

Mata Yogananda Mahasaya Dharma once said, “You can walk about on this earth planet for years, working, eating and playing without any true realization that you are hungry for something else.”

I’m hungry for something else. I’m hungry for authenticity, compassion, kindness, passion, purpose, creative expression, truth, simplicity, and a return to our purest human essence.

I’m hungry for authentic relationships built on the foundation of deep trust.

I need to be seen, felt and heard. I need to be inspired by people who act more than they speak and who follow through with their dreams. I need to be held by pure unbiased presence when I feel raw, and soar together when I feel strong. I need to feel as safe in my grief as I do in my joy. I need to be wild and free and all of who I am meant to be.

Our culture was designed to keep us small, because smallness breeds compliance. And a compliant, domesticated mind is easy to manage. But domestication only serves the collapsing system. It does nothing for the pure wild nature of the heart, the true mind, or the soul.

I don’t know what the final outcome will be with the collapse that is currently playing out in an accelerated manner, but I do know that I choose to stand strong in my inner power surrounded by like-minded community who choose life, love and truth. By renouncing the status quo of social and economic standards, I accelerate toward a deeper sense of my Self in my ongoing quest toward wholeness.

Alone we can only do so much, but together, we can live in a better world for whatever time remains. It all starts with the choice to say NO to status quo and YES to life!

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