The zombie apocalypse is upon us.

Armies of scattered, distracted, numb, mindless men are stumbling through life.

Hungry and aching for something more, but they can’t seem get what they desire.

What does it take to become fully engaged and alive again? To enjoy the optimism of positive momentum towards our dreams?

There are many strategies and tools for achieving this objective. Today we’ll explore a couple of my favorites.

What is the opposite of being scattered, distracted, numb, and mindless?

Focused. Present. Feeling. Mindful.

We’ll jump into those ideas in a minute.

When I was much younger, I suffered with great inner turmoil.

Being a twisted up mess of anxious, racing thoughts and emotional tumult, I was always looking for some way to escape myself. I felt like I need to crawl out of my own skin.

Listening to punk rock felt good—it gave expression to my angst and rage.

Getting fall-down drunk also created a little internal breathing room. Which, of course, was unsustainable.

Fortunately, I was in a serious car accident that revealed something about my physiology that would put an end to my drinking days.

that’s a story for another time…

Drinking made me feel better because it would dampen the internal static.

Sometimes life can just feel too overwhelming and we don’t want to deal with it. So we numb via self-medication in one form or another. Some use alcohol. For others, it’s pain pills.

Most of us do it with food (emotional eating).

If we’re not trying to turn the dial down on our nervous system via numbing, then sometimes we seek to escape from this reality altogether. Netflix, video games, social media, porn, a good novel.

Nothing inherently wrong with these things, but they can become doorways to sub-optimal (or dysfunctional) living.

And then there’s distraction.

The world is designed to pull our attention in every direction. Ads, notifications, emails, texts, updates…

We’ve become habituated to it. Our scattered state makes it hard to get meaningful, productive work accomplished. And it feels terrible.

Not being able to focus our attention is a great way to waste our precious lifetime. To get to the end of the week, year, or our lives and ask, “What have I been doing? What did I accomplish?”

Fortunately, I had abundant wholesome experiences in my early years that provided clues for how to live a fully engaged life.

For today, I’ll leave you with 3 fundamental practices to begin jumpstarting your engagement:

  1. Question courageously. Ask hard, scary questions. Be honest with yourself.
  2. Spend as much time connecting deeply with nature as you can.
  3. Move, play, and be as active as you can.

They sound basic. If you do them, you will begin to shift. There is so much more we can do, but this is just one post…

Watch for part 3 of this post.