What started out as personal development became a spiritually healing experience that transformed my life; mainly because I learned to love myself. In 2017, I was laid off for what was the 3rd time in my 10ish year career as a graphic designer… I said to myself, “no more”.
I set out to start my own business and work for myself. For the first time I didn’t have to rely on going into work, and punching a timecard so to speak. I learned a lot about myself and how best I work. I think that a lot of folks realized some of these things during the Covid-19 lockdowns… but I am a highly sensitive person, I value relationships, rest is both my resistance against the system and my human right… and I’m a better all around person when all my needs are fulfilled. Living in a capitalist society is trauma. Generational poverty happens because of a myriad of reasons, but the foundation of it is rooted in capitalism.
Because of capitalism, land was stolen. Because of capitalism bodies are commodities (but only if someone else is profiting off of your body — not you/example: s3x wrk). Because of capitalism, plastic is killing our ocean life and our global climate. Because of capitalism — people constantly choose between paying rent and buying groceries (if they even have access to fresh food in the first place). Because of capitalism…we get involved in wars. Because of capitalism we have “third-world” countries. Because of capitalism animals are in captivity. Because of capitalism — we have race, and racism and subsequently white supremacist culture. Because of capitalism not everyone gets the same education, or at least access to it. Churches. States. Politics. Time. Gender. I can keep going; but I won’t, this blog would get too long and no one will read it.
Have you healed your inner capitalist? What about the wounds from existing in these social systems? I didn’t ask to be born in a capitalist society… I just was.
So, Naomi — how did you heal your inner capitalist? — that’s what you’re wondering… right? I will tell you for free… how anti-capitalistic of me, right? I stopped defining myself by the systems I didn’t agree to live in. I didn’t have to go big or go home… I could do the amount of work that I could handle. Nothing is as urgent as capitalism will have us to believe. Your success is different from my success. Everything looks different for people because we have different literal and figurative perspectives.
We all have different dreams, skills, experiences — and we as humans who live on this earth can coexist and be interconnected and thrive. It happen when we remove the restraints of capitalism in our minds. How can I thrive in a system that was not designed for me to thrive in? I can’t, and I never will. One thing I depend on, is that capitalism will always be capitalism but I don’t have to define my identity based in a system that does not value me as a human. I can create my own social constructs, my own agreements… and I see the shift happening because I’m a part of the shift…
I think we all have a desire to rest because capitalism has us burnt out. Rest is vital to living, so by all means — we should all be listening to our bodies. When you are hardwired by trauma like me, the anxiety is worse than the experience. Money has always been a personal trauma trigger for me, I grew up the youngest of seven children in Gary, Indiana — so just imagine “sharing slices of store brand american cheese product” and “Nine people and one bathroom”… One of my early memories was standing in line with my mother to get government cheese, powdered milk, and butter.
As I describe that, my heart races and I get anxious. Generational poverty is learning that on my paternal grandfather’s army discharge papers it lists his occupation as “cotton picker” and that after he got back from serving in WWII, he goes back to picking cotton in Texas because that’s what he knows. It’s learning that my maternal grandmother was denied a library card because she was a brown girl in Kansas. People always want to discuss the way that the system divides us — but the racial caste systems that we still live in divide us not just based on race but by class (which is wealth).
If I defined myself by how much money I make, like capitalism does I would be frozen in trauma. Giving myself the permission to think beyond the boundaries of capitalism has allowed me so much liberty, abundance, love, joy, and brings a vibrancy to life that I’ve never experienced trying to keep up with “The Joneses”. I define how I live my life, no one else does. That’s the power that capitalism doesn’t want you to know that you have.
Hegemony is the culture that is produced by the social constructs we as a society adopt… How about we adopt some new constructs? How about we allow for change to naturally occur? Keep saying “no”, when your body doesn’t allow you to go on. Stop pushing yourself, killing yourself for the benefit of someone somewhere who doesn’t know your name or anything about you. I had been a line in spreadsheets so many places I’ve worked. A name with a number attached and I was let go three times in ten years. I’m not the only one, there are plenty of millennials and gen-Xers who have had their lives and livelihood destroyed by capitalism. Why are we making memes about not owning houses and start with why people think the earth belongs to them, but they don’t have to take care of it — only use it for extraction to their advantage. The insatiable hunger for wealth, power, and control of resources is destructive and has left entire populations decimated. So why are we still buying into capitalism if it’s not for us? Because we never chose to envision a life outside of the system. So, I charge you to dream of a world where there is a new hegemony, where we all can thrive and be our best selves, where we can dream and be free of the pressures and stress we put on ourselves to be productive and perform.
So, continue to dream of a liberated life, and I will continue to dream of mine and make it a reality.