Many people boast that they live outside of the box, but they still spend time in front of a box allowing other people to think for them. This by the way, is not living outside of the box. Considering the idealism and wild concepts of other people who live outside of the box at least brings you to the edge of your box, but you’re still inside it as long as you let other people lead the way.
And I don’t promote anarchy and I’m not saying that we should all go our different ways because that would just bring chaos and violence, not to mention narcissism. We need to achieve the correct balance between following our inner guidance and aligning that guidance with the Highest Good. However, I will also warn you about group think which happens with the conservatives as much as it does the progressives. And why wear a silly label at all? I choose to join neither group because I don’t want to shout a bunch of empty mantras or feel like my life has turned into bumper sticker mentality. Besides, I read somewhere that the famous quote we see everywhere, attributed to Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world” never came from the Indian leader’s mouth. Just like Chief Seattle never gave a flowery speech about the bison connected to the stars in the sky, but he probably did say something along the lines of everything being connected since this is an indigenous belief.
So how do we think outside of the box? Here are ten signs that you are on your way out of the box or already living outside of it.
1. You find yourself questioning mass belief–both liberal and progressive.
2. You refuse to join or support a political party and prefer political leaders to jump off those bandwagons and find humanity inside them which does not wear a political party label.
3. You don’t let ads and commercials tell you what to wear, what to eat, where to live or how to live. You find amusement in the commercials and maybe you glean some useful information, but then you ask your inner self about your true needs.
4. You no longer dress for success, but dress in a way that promotes your authenticity which means that you no longer follow fashion or societal trends. Fashion is just another “f” word. You dress from the inside out as an expression of your creative spirit. You wear what feels soft and gentle on your body.
5. You eat healthy food, not because of the latest food trend, but because you feel better when you eat these foods. You eat the diet that is right for you no matter how many of your friends and colleagues tout the vegan, raw-foods vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, macrobiotic or other dietary trend. You refused to be swayed, but you at least glean information from each diet, decide if it is right for you, and discard the rest. You make the final decision about what goes into your body.
6. Trends amuse you, but you don’t follow any.
7. You practice no religion, but instead find your own special way to communicate with God and nature. You take control of your soul and your spiritual destiny rather than handing your soul over to those who think they know better than you do.
8. You go where your spirit leads you and sometimes this involves wandering until you find your home or right livelihood. Only you can decide.
9. You spend more time in nature (hiking, skiing, photographing, meditating, praying, or just being there) than hanging out in shopping malls, busy places, or watching television. You also spend less time on the computer and more time living in true freedom.
10. You don’t glorify the rich and famous or think entrepreneurs have all the answers. You don’t treat Bill Gates or Steve Jobs as demigods of technology. And instead of praising technology, you wonder what life would be like on the planet had we gone in a different direction that brought us in greater contact with the natural world. How’s that for thinking outside of the box?
If you find yourself living more on the fringe and less engaged in the world or if you find that you truly march to the beat of a different drummer, congratulations! There is no shame in not fitting in and in fact, if you don’t fit in and if you feel more secure outside of group think and even find yourself at odds with popular thought and idealism, then you live outside of the box. Only when enough of us leap out of those proverbial boxes will we find real change in the world. And some day you can quote me on that, but please don’t put flowery language in my mouth. Just give it to them straight.