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The Cost of Zombie Living

“If you want to have a life worth living, a life that expresses your deepest feelings and emotions and cares and dreams, you have to fight for it.”–Alice Walker

I read this quote over the weekend and it has just stuck with me.  What I love about it is that not only is it true, but it is positive as well.  So often I hear living happier is hard.  Being intentional takes time. It is easier to just go through the motions. It might appear ‘easier’ but the cost is too high.  The cost of zombie living is the pain and suffering of your soul.  It is lost relationship with yourself and others.

I put together a little scenario of Mindless Millie or Intentional Ida–which one are you?

Mindless Millie:  The alarm goes off, you hit the snooze button a few times and then stumble down the hall to the bathroom. Taking a shower you mumble to yourself how much you hate Mondays, and think about your to-do list, your annoying boss and the argument you had with your husband last night over who does more to keep the house running. By the time you get to the kitchen for dinner you are in a foul mood and yell at the kids as you rush them out the door. You arrive late to work, like a zombie you move through your day, morning meeting, answering emails, lunch meeting, afternoon meeting, returning phone calls rinse and repeat.  It feels just like every other day.  You make your way home through bumper to bumper traffic spinning on what you can get away with making for dinner. You make rice and chicken–just like last Monday, get the kids to bed and collapse in front of the TV with your spouse watching some mindless reality TV show.

Intentional Ida: The alarm goes off, you hit the snooze button a few times and then stumble down to the hall to the bathroom.  While you are in the shower you make a conscious choice to really be in the shower.  You have a lot to get done today but you know if you take the time to enjoy your mornings the day goes better.  You get out of the shower, taking extra time to make yourself look good and head down to breakfast.  In the kitchen you give your spouse a hug and a kiss and greet each of your kids with a smile. You have set a rule that breakfast is a time for family so you actively engage with your children and spouse.  On the way to work you think about how to best approach your co-worker you have been dreading.  You also remember that you want to approach your boss about the new opportunity at work.  You go through the day smiling, chatting and laughing.  When someone or something annoys you, you are curious with yourself as to why and you confront it nicely, if needed.  At night you have family dinner, it is a Monday which means your oldest gets to pick his favorite meal and you make it knowing he will be thrilled.  After dinner you head out to yoga knowing your spouse will be able to get the kids to bed. You are tired but you know will feel more centered when you get back.

So who do you relate to the most Millie or Ida?  Yes, you have to fight for it and some days you might not feel like it!!   But there is no price too high for a life that is filled with your deepest feelings, cares and dreams.   Who’s life would you rather have Millie’s or Ida’s?  Who’s life seems like more ‘work’?

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