You don't have to live stressed out and exhausted.

Blast from the Past; Walking Zombies

This week I am continuing the retro-post theme. I thought I would share some oldies but goodies from the the archives.  This was originally posted in April 2012.

Yesterday, I was working at a local coffee shop. When I looked up from my computer I was watching the people walking by. Have you ever stopped and looked at people as they go about their day to day activity? I was amazed that 75% looked totally unengaged with life, whether they be hurrying to the next event, ambling along, talking on their cell phone or even walking next to someone…they appeared disengaged and uninterested in life. They looked, in fact, like zombies. Walking zombies. Now the other 25% were laughing, smiling, looking intently or listening with vigor. They seemed engaged in whatever was going on around them even if it was just walking down the street. It got me thinking about how often we check out of our lives, our work, and our relationships. How often are we nothing more than zombies going through our life?

Maybe that is why there is such an influx of zombie shows these days because on some small level we can relate, or we want to relate. Perhaps we are all so tired of being pulled in a thousand directions. Overwhelmed from engaging in activities we don’t really want to be a part of. Just down right unhappy. So it becomes easier to walk through life like a zombie. Or maybe we have stopped questing for more. Perhaps a part of us has given up, we have gotten the excitement and passion beaten out of us and so being a zombie has just become our default mode. We become stuck in old patterns, home, work, lunch, work, dinner, TV, bed, home, work, lunch, work, dinner, TV, bed and over and over and over we repeat the cycle. Only to be shifted up with the occasional Saturday of laundry, chores and errands.

It’s time to re-engage!! It’s time to ask yourself what do I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want out of my life! What little or even big changes can I make in my life that will give me the energy to be more engaged? What do I need to snap out of it and join the walking (even dancing a little) living and not be one more walking dead?  Even if life has beaten you down, even if you are exhausted, tired and depleted, just ask yourself what would make me feel good today, what would add to my life right now? What can I do in this moment that will bring me connection with myself or others–make a phone call to a friend, write an email to a loved one, ditch the to-do list, order takeout from your favorite restaurant, schedule a date night, look up grad schools, research a new job!! The first step is to recognize the danger (and comfort) of joining the ranks of the zombies. It might appear easier, it might appear joyfully mindless, but over here on the other side in the 25% of the world that is laughing, crying, joyful and enraged–life is bright and vibrant. Life is engaging and exciting. Life is full of unexpected joys and challenges–here life is anything but monotonous.

So I am curious–are you feeling like a zombie? Are you tired of walking through life controlled by your to do list and/or other people’s expectations?

Thanks to Scott McLeod for the photo!

2 Responses to Blast from the Past; Walking Zombies

  1. I think what’s interesting about all the zombie shows is that the protagonist is never a zombie, for obvious reasons. We’re meant to identify with the ones who are awake, on the move, facing new challenges and solving new problems. And here’s the thing: the zombie-show protagonist is not like, living the dream. The zombie-show protagonist is surrounded by adversity and tragedy (much like the viewer.) They come from all walks of life and a range of abilities (much like the viewer.) I think we sometimes blame the wrong things for making us zombies–the work-lunch-work-home-sleep structure isn’t necessarily the problem.

  2. Oh I like it–way to make me think! I never thought about it like that–but you are absolutely right! Such an awesome point. I agree it isn’t the complete problem–I believe the problem comes from when we do that work-lunch-home-sleep-structure without any consciousness to it. When we are doing those activities because we ‘should’ or because we ‘have always done them’ without any real questioning or awareness it is easy to become a zombie in our own lives. Even when we are living a life full of adversity and tragedy or maybe even not up to what we thought it would be–we can still make a conscious effort to stay engaged, take baby steps, find joy in the mundane, make quality choices and live a life that is engaging and rich. Which is what the zombie fighters are attempting to do get back in the game without all these damn zombies trying to eat their brains 🙂

    Along the same vein and a completely different genre–I found this really great graduation speech video that gets to the idea of conscious living called This is Water: http://youtu.be/xmpYnxlEh0c

    Thanks so much for the comment–I love to think about these principles in new ways!!