Thank you Harriet.
Thank you for being awake.
Thank you for thinking for yourself.
Thank you for having a big dream.
Thank you for being brave to lead the way.
Thank you for knowing in your heart that freedom, in all of its forms, is our natural born right.
But, I am afraid, although you made progress, we are still unconsciously enslaved…
“I am tired of just going through the motions,” said my executive female client the other day during a coaching call. “What do I have to do to feel again? Not sure I can afford to do something different…is it too late?”
“I guess I can’t do what I want. I could never make enough money. I guess I have to just wait for retirement…” sighed a mid-manager with three kids and a stay at home husband when we were coaching about her dream of designing and living a life doing what she really loved.
“So, my college loans finally got paid off.” solemnly said my 30-year old client who recently realized she had been working to pay off her college loan for the past decade and not intentionally working to live a life she loved.
This is not a surprise that these conversations, these questions, these sighs, these fears, these uncertainties and these doubts arise regularly during coaching dialogues.
My clients feel trapped, or may I say enslaved, in many ways, but
money is usually at the top of the list.
Harriet Tubman was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and a Union spy during the American Civil War. Honored and memorialized soon by replacing Andrew Jackson, the 7th president of the United States, on the front of the US twenty dollar bill. A woman. A pioneer. A slave. A former female slave soon to be on the same bill as a man who was a slave trader and owner.
A teachable moment in US history for sure.
The irony of it, for me at least, in my ongoing exploration of who are we and what are we doing here, is that the very bill Harriet’s beautiful face is being placed upon is a large piece of what is actually still enslaving us all. The other irony I found was that Andrew Jackson actually opposed the national banking system and paper money and is on an actual paper bill! How funny.
“I have always been afraid of banks!” ~Andrew Jackson
I wonder what he would think about being on the $20?!?
A slave against slavery and a slave trader and owner who was against the very tool that now creates slavery shackles on humans across the globe. It has emerged as a very heavy and cumbersome ball and chain in my client’s lives causing suffering, anxiety, competitiveness and separateness based on a fear of survival.
“The essence of all slavery consists in taking the product of another’s labor by force. It is immaterial whether this force be founded upon ownership of the slave or ownership of the money that he must get to live.” ~Tolstoy
I have been thinking a lot about this concept of slavery. An unaware enslavement we find ourselves in. Enslavement to the powerful dollar. Enslavement to capitalism. Enslavement to more, more, better, better thinking driven by marketing. Enslavement to keeping up with the Joneses. Enslavement to our bank accounts. Enslavement that we fuel every day with our choices. But are we at choice?
“How is it possible that we should need money to live on a planet that we were born on? Like many others before me I realized that we are born into pure slavery.”
― Michael Tellinger, UBUNTU Contributionism
But why don’t we see this, recognize this? Is it a lack of education? And where does that education begin? Are we victims to so many centuries of dumbing down of human knowing that it is too late to “wake up” and think for ourselves and realize the inequities and control that is out of our hands? Are we really free in the democracies around the world? Does democracy mean freedom?
“I think the person who takes a job in order to live – that is to say, for the money – has turned himself into a slave.” ~Joseph Campbell
How do we realize we are enslaved and at the same time find ways to escape this enslavement while still playing this game of monetary economics to thrive vs. survive in the interim. I see that it is not a black or white issue. I understand that, but it doesn’t mean we should not try to wake up! This discussion isn’t about going off the grid! Although I have seriously considered it… It is about looking for the root cause of my own way of Being. It is about helping people help themselves Be the change they wish to see in the world. But HOW?
FIRST, recognize the root of these shackles and chains that are enslaving us. I believe we must first know ourselves and where those chains begin to lock us up, lock us in to our current realities….it begins with
Enslavement to our thoughts. Enslavement to our emotions.
“Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”
I believe self-awareness, self-exploration, self-knowing is what is missing in our education system and in our homes to prevent this confusion – let’s start with recognition of our ability, or dare I say RESPONSIBILITY, to think for ourselves and truly own our own choices. Start by knowing when we are at choice or not. Knowing our natural, spiritual selves to FEEL and EMOTE and THINK based on what we know is truthful for us in our lives. Without starting from emotions of despair driven by our slave drivers’ (???) messages of fear-based thinking and feelings.
SECOND, be curious enough to begin this exploration of self and identify the specific chains that may be binding you. Limiting beliefs, assumptions, interpretations, ….
But HOW? Through
Emotional Intelligence. Energy Awareness. Consciousness. Observing Oneself.
Knowing oneself is the key to unlocking the doors of the prison. Remember what Harriet Tubman says above – “I would have freed a thousand more if they knew they were slaves.”
Begin to get to know if you are a slave to this society! Let me help you. I invite you to start with any or all of the following
self-exploration questions for you, for your family:
“If this were all there was, could I be happy? satisfied? content?”
“Am I always at choice, or do I feel I have to, need to do things in my life for survival?”
“Do I care about what others think of me? my car? my yard? my clothing? my children? my spouse?”
“Do I know how I am being perceived by others as a leader, co-worker, mother, neighbor? Have I ever asked? Can I see myself?”
“Why do I buy what I buy? Why do I live where I live?”
“Do I allow myself to be emotional? Do I allow others to be? my spouse? my children?”
“What matters most to me? Does my behavior align with that?”
“Do I love myself? my body? my life? my environment?”
“What do I really want in life? How is what I am doing getting me what I want?”
“If I am not getting what I want, am I willing to try a different way?”
“Am I handcuffed by my lifestyle? Could I live with less money?”
“Am I a slave to my world and my life choices?”
Are You A Slave?
If you have NEVER asked yourself or explored the answers of any of these questions,
you are destined to continue to be enslaved to living a life designed by others and by your own unconscious thinking and feeling. Is this what you want? It can be, and that’s okay. It is easier in many ways not to do this work.
I simply invite you to know if in fact you are or are not a slave.
As always, thanks for joining me on my journey of questioning everything – I didn’t really begin to learn this skill until I was in my late thirties and it has taken me a decade of practice in asking why? why? why? to realize I have only started scratching the surface of my cell floor to plan my escape. Can I dig out and escape my enslavement like Harriet Tubman did? Can I have the confidence to push back against others beliefs and lead like Andrew Jackson did? Can you? Let me know what you think…
We can. We will. We are.
Always with questions,
your friend Nicoa