Rob's Blog #5 - "Whoa There Tiger "
Every so often a spark ignites within you and makes you want to shine brighter and reach for your full potential. Like you are finally going to break free and be what you always knew , somewhere deep down, you could be.  So – you make a bold statement or do something different and out of the ordinary. You essentially get a little bigger than your old self. And as this spring is welling up inside of you and the joy that surrounds it envelopes you – you think of how proud all of the people that you love are going to be of the bold new you. How excited the world will be that one of it's children is breaking free of the shackles and reaching for it's fullness.
But instead of excitement – you are greeted with shame.  Is that really the statement you want to make? Is THAT what you plan on wearing? Do you really think you are going to change anything? You should think twice before taking that on. Get back in line. Little big for your britches aren't you? Whoa there tiger! Calm down.  And the people telling you this shit are the people that are supposed to love you.
People that barely know you and don't really care about you are even worse. If you get too big for them – they will fire you, humiliate you, take things from you, or trump up some charges and arrest you - if that is what they have to do to keep you small.
If you make the bold decision in this life to be your full true self – understand going in that it is not going to be greeted with parades and accolades. At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist – the power structures of this world are set up to keep you small, quietly doing your job, keeping your mouth shut, and keeping those power structures in place. As soon as you decide to question them – you are threatening the very foundation of the ones in charge. How dare you!
But this is America. Land of the free – home of the brave right? Our first amendment protects our rights to speak and stand against injustices – doesn't it? Tell that to Marcus Frejo – a Pawnee Native that went against centuries of conflicts between tribes and chose to stand with his enemies, the Sioux, to oppose the construction of a pipeline through their sacred burial grounds and under their river. He stood unarmed in peaceful protest to protect the earth and the water. He was arrested while his phone live streamed his arrest on social media outlets. His phone was seized, his entire social media presence was erased from existence, and now he sits in jail without a voice and faces felony charges. Did our society greet his bravery with support and encouragement? Hardly. It squashed it as quickly and silently as it could.
The good news is that thousands of people still stand in North Dakota against the pipeline. That even if the world's power structures are set up to squash that kind of defiance – with enough determination and numbers – we can still peacefully fight for the right thing. The other good news is that if your friends don't like it when you get a little bigger in your own life – you can find some new friends. Anyone in your life who doesn't like it when you move forward in your personal journey isn't your friend anyway. Surround yourself with people that support not only who you are, but also who your are becoming. And if enough people become determined to make this a way of life – the tide will turn. Eckhart Tolle calls it the shifting of the collective conscience.
Right now – the pervasive cultural message to us is to adhere to social norms, to look and dress like the models they show you, buy the products they tell you to, take the safe job with benefits, buy all of the insurance you can, make it to retirement, take their medicines, vote for the one of their two candidates, keep up with the Jones', and don't question any of it. But what if we did? What if I said I won't adhere to social norms if they are not me, that I don't care that I have a pony keg instead of a six pack... I like me – so there! What if we didn't take the safe job and said no to assurances and securities we don't need? What if we refuse to buy products from companies that do shitty things to our health and our planet? What if we question the prescription drugs they push on us and starting looking to the earth for healing. What if we stopped caring about what the Jones (or anyone else) think about us? And what if we stood in opposition to injustices as bravely as the people of Standing Rock are doing right now? We might just be the thing that tips the collective conscience tide in the other direction and changes what the pervasive cultural message is saying. And that might just change the world.
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