There are degrees of “robot living”. Some people are perpetually checked-out and just kind of pinball through life as the effect of everything around them. Some people turn into a robot (think: Stepford Wife syndrome) in a relationship. Others go to work and glaze over in a haze of repetitive motion and automatic behavior. I have done all three, and I am sure, to some degree, you have lived or experienced all of the above robot life forms around you!
The problem? Robots don’t have feelings. Robots have no intuition. Robots can’t create strategy, dream or reach. Being a robot is the opposite of being most anything I bet you wish to be. So, here are some ideas to help turn off the very burdensome robot in your own life.
We generally know if we are being robotic. If you find yourself falling into a wormhole of robotic behavior you are probably complaining a lot more than usual about certain things and doing nothing about them, feeling stuck in situations that you feel you can’t easily overcome and probably find yourself bored and cynical overall. Sound familiar?
Here are a few feng shui’d ideas to overcome the robotic in your own world.
Get more present. It was in my Stepford Wife phase of life that I realized my love for diversions like afternoon cocktails became more prominent while my habits like yoga and hiking fell away. All the positive activities that made me feel alive- running over the Brooklyn Bridge from Soho in the morning, meditation sessions on Friday evenings, even my journal- were too hard to confront as I was sliding into a relationship that took me far away from my true nature. Its hard to be really present and healthy while you spend most of your days trying to be something you are not. It was easy to “check out” of the present and sort of dreamily float somewhere else, but it was really hard to keep floating along. Its hard to be happy in a haze.
When I realized I was becoming a thin veil of who I was, I started pushing myself to exercise, to spend time in nature, to sleep and eat well. I was breathing. I was meditating. Suddenly it was easy to work my way out of the situations that were just not “for me.”
Getting present is as easy as feeling the ground under your feet, unplugging from a computer for a half hour, taking a nap, touching the ground, engaging in more sensory richness. THIS article I wrote for Mind Body Green a few years back sheds even more light on getting present using simple feng shui methods.
Add layers. Even the most sophisticated robots have no empathy or dimension. If you add more layers to your own life and environment you will feel the texture and richness. Layer color for emotional depth. Layer fabrics for a greater sense of security. Layer rugs to create a feeling of being grounded. Add layers of interest to your own life by allowing yourself to explore subjects, projects, adventures and experience that are missing from your present-day world.
Become larger, take up more space. The more space you can “command” with your presence, the less you will feel yourself the effect of your environment. One of the fastest ways to create a bigger space is to look away from the computer monitor and focus far away from you, as far as possible, preferably out a window with a view or, at the very least, at a landscape with great depth on your walls. Music can create a greater sense of open space to expand into, and a more lucid mindset in the process.
Create separation. The life of a robot is one-track minded. You are not! When I had a job that ate up my world, I carried it in my pocket. I slept with a work phone. I ate while scrolling through messages. I worked in my bedroom. I would go to “relax” by talking to more people involved with my job, by complaining, commiserating. My walls were filled with art from my job. My wardrobe morphed to become more symbiotic with that space, not out of my want but out of necessity. I had no place to shut off and no way to escape until I created real separation.
I shut down at 9pm. ( I know, how late that sounds!) I found a group of friends that had no idea about my work stuff. I took work out of my bedroom. I stopped talking about it when I wasn’t there. I took real vacations. I have never been a robot since.
Create separation in your home and life. Shut the door to your office. Take work out of your bedroom and into another space. Close bathroom doors, close toilet lids. Separate where you eat from where you work. Go outside. Allow yourself to rest.
Write your own story. When I was a full-time glamorous zombie, I spent most of my days comparing myself to others and their “beauty, success, happiness, love lives.” It seemed that if I couldn’t really be myself, I should pick other people to be like and hope to do at least as well as they did. My plans for the future were their plans, except, of course, they were not my plans. I was hoping I could find a a path, a through line to make something of my life drained of purpose. I could not get a single thing done. I had absolutely no motivation.
In a total meltdown of frustration, I took an acting class that was all about experimentation. I wrote monologues.I performed my own one-woman show of sorts. I created characters from my childhood. I got really into being me. Some stuff was epic and some sucked really badly. I remember each one. It lasted for less than two years, this “workshopping” of myself on stage, but man was it amazing.
Whether you write your own story on paper, or start making choices that are more uniquely your own in any facet of your life, you are writing your story. When you speak up, step up, become more uniquely you and less like everyone else, you create a new narrative. When you bring more personality to your office, more of your style to your wardrobe, more of you to your life… everything is suddenly alive where it was dull and limitless where it was carefully restricted.
Really, you have nothing to lose except stress, misery and powerlessness! xoxo Dana
Awesome article. Time to turn off the iPad and go look out the window. Thanks! Xoxo