Zombie-fied: Living life on autopilot
[Originally posted September 7, 2013 on my old site The Spirituality Seeker (now owned by someone else after I let the domain go).]
You’ve probably heard all the jokes and references to the “Zombie Apocalypse” and roll your eyes at any mention of it. That can’t possibly be a thing, right? Well, it is already upon us! We are living in the Zombie Apocalypse. A lot of people are zombies and don’t even know it! Scary right?! To some people it’s a 9-5 world and all they have and all they know is routine. Get up, shower, get ready, get the kids ready, go to work, work, come home, dinner, bed, start up again. You can tell who these zombies are by the way they react to deviations from the schedule they’ve set themselves. We need to revive these lonely souls so they can live again! Or maybe YOU are the zombie. I know I use to be. I use to be a retail zombie. You know the type, the ones that ask if you found everything alright, but didn’t really give a rats ass.
Believe me when I say that living a life with purpose is a much happier way to live than as a zombie. It’s far easier to do than you realize. How on earth does one hop off the dreaded autopilot? You make decisions. You change your course. Change the plan. Slow down and observe, listen, understand. Really take your time and stop to feel. You want to know where you are, not zone out while driving or during a meeting/lecture. Eat food you love and savor every. Single. Bite. ENJOY LIFE! That is the only lesson there is to learn here.
If you aren’t enjoying what you are doing, let go of it, or don’t freak out if it gets taken away from you. That was a hard lesson for me. I did freak out when my retail job was taken away, but I despised it with all of my being. It wasn’t making me happy, and it certainly wasn’t paying enough to get me where I needed to be. I had talked for years about quitting, but I never did, I kept myself on autopilot for years just so I could cope with the job. It wasn’t a particularly hard job, my boss took advantage of my good nature, and customers got ruder over the years, but it was a job and I needed one. The day I lost that job was horrible, and I won’t go into details, but it forced me out of my comfort zone, and for that I thank the universe for throwing me out on my ass. It took me over a year to find a new job and it is by far the best job I could ever ask for. I know I stayed in zombie-Sierra mode for almost that entire year, but slowly I crawled back into the land of the living. I made some really great friends and found some awesome teachers during that time that opened my mind and switched off the zombie. At times the zombie does rear it’s ugly head, but I try to beat it back down the best I can. I’m not perfect, but no one is. I can accept the fact that sometimes I’m gonna be in autopilot, in those cases I just need to make a little extra effort to do something different.
Trying to help the zombies in your life can be hard, very hard, but you can’t force them back to humanland either. They may not want to be human, or they might be one that doesn’t know they are a zombie. In the past 12 years I’ve watched my dad turn into a zombie. That shit is hard. My mom, sister, and I try every once in awhile to get him out of his funk, but he tends to reject our efforts. He’ll refuse our suggestions on interesting things to do, or a new tv show to watch compared to watching re-runs of something he watched 2 days before. He’s a yard work, work, eat, sleep, and poop, kinda guy. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dad, and I wish there was something I could do to help him out, but I can’t force him to leave his comfort zone. Neither can my mom, sister, or any one else. He has to learn for himself that he’s a zombie, and he needs help because we know he’s not happy living the way he is. All we can really do for the zombies in our life is to love them and let them stumble around for themselves until they realize (or don’t realize) that they would be happier if they’d flip that switch and start living again.
Part of being alive is finding what makes you happy, excited, sad, terrified, surprised, etc. If you go through life as a zombie, you never really live, and you’ll regret that in the end. How do you keep yourself from being a zombie?
January 7, 2015 Update: My dad isn’t zombie-fied anymore. He’s found Master Gardeners and he’s happily volunteering at the zoo.
P.S. You can read my article “Are You a Zombie? Using Reiki to get Back to the Land of the Living” on Reiki Rays.