How conscious are you? Are you aware of the world around you, or are you sleepwalking through life, with your eyes wide shut?
We all come to different realizations at different times. What usually happens is: you have an intellectually stimulating conversation, you stumble upon an illuminating blog post, or a friend lends you a must-read book. Suddenly your concept of the world, of yourself, of how life works shifts into something new. Lately I’ve been frustrated to look around and see that alot of people are still unaware and unconscious of the way life works and how people and things around them work.
When I got on the train on Friday, I sat behind these two girls. By girls, they could be anywhere from 15 to 22. They were admiring each other’s nails and hair, and another girl asked one of them who her stylist was and for the stylist’s phone number. When they got up to leave though, one thing I noticed was all 3 girls were significantly overweight.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not pointing fingers. I can stand to lose a few pounds myself. And who knows if these girls aren’t gym buddies or encourage each other to make healthy food choices. I pondered, not for the first time, how black women spend so much time and effort being concerned with periphery matters – our hair, nails, clothes and accessories, tv shows, celebrity trivia – but we neglect the two things in our lives that have the most value and we have the most control over — our minds and bodies.
Stop Making The Donuts
I remember these Dunkin’ Donuts commercials when I was growing up, where the Dunkin’ Donuts guy got up so early he shuffled around like a zombie on his way to make the donuts. Then he came home late, exhausted from his day, only to get up early and do it all over again. So many of us are traveling through life in this unaware state with our brains on autopilot. To compensate for our lack of feeling – not feeling satisfied in our careers, in our love lives, in our financial lives – we mask feelings of inadequacy by overconsuming.
Instead of feeding our brains with knowledge, challenging and utilizing it and consuming stimulating material, we ‘zone out’ with hours and hours of TV, romance novels, games, etc. We allow our bored minds to drive us crazy with worry and self-doubt, avoiding the difficult task of controlling our thoughts, because we ignore that our minds are bored and need something constructive to do. Instead of feeding our bodies with nutritious food and large amounts of water, we overeat and drink sugary juices and sodas, hoping to get that same enjoyment that we don’t know we’re missing. We consume too much sugar, too much salt and too much fat, when our bodies really crave fresh fruits and veggies and water. But we ignore the sluggishness, the fatigue, the illness, and medicate those symptoms with drugs instead of self-care.
I’m so tired of living this way; aren’t you tired too?
Or are you asleep at the wheel and disconnected from the truth that’s before you?