• Aedan Tanner

"You are Who You Choose To BE" or Atlas Integrated & How to Be Your Own Inner-Boss

Updated: Aug 31, 2019

Feel like you have the world on your shoulders? Feeling down? Crushed? Like the whole civilization is crumbling and raining on your head? Hail stones of a life you didn't choose...?

This isn't an antidepressant commercial. This is a call for embodiment. A call to not just support the world, but to become the world.


How in the name of the Ghost of Christmas does one become the world?? The entire world? Even the poor, dirty parts? Yes, even those. The Dali Lama doesn't discriminate and neither should you. Or do. It's your choice... Really.


In Greek Mythology, the Titan Atlas was punished to carry the world, naked and alone, in the dark void of space. If he failed, made a mistake, fucked up, the entire earth would be destroyed and all life would perish. The Titan Atlas was resigned and stuck with the job no one else wanted. He was powerless, immobile, set up for an impossible task.


You are the infinite expanse and anything is possible. Why struggle? Up in the sky, the black and blue twinkly heaven curtain does a much better job at holding the world. So why do you try so hard?


The postmodern answer to powerlessness was Ayn Rand's masterpiece "Atlas Shrugged." I picked that tome up one hot Mississippi River summer during college to enter into an essay contest. I suffered and made those pages greasy with worry & sweat. All I remember was how fickle the narrator was, how strong and bold the romantic interests were. How the world was populated by have's and have-not's. It was a world the color of gunmetal gray and blue with the smoke of incinerators burning the midnight oil. Every strong, stark, bleak, successful, was in·ter·mi·na·ble in their way of thinking. No heart, only by the fruit of their loins did their self-proclaimed genius wrench the world out of chaos into their own glorious awesomeness.


However, this outlook on life only arose because they took the emperor Palpatine approach to the universe. "I'm gonna conquer the people by giving them what they want: More MEEEEEEEE." That dark sith lord was the biggest diva in all of movie history: "YAAAAASSSSS! Kill him and join MY side!! Embrace your inner bitch-witch young boy!!"


Ayn Rand's principles make selfishness virtuous. I completely agree. 100%. Selfishness makes us triumphant enough to say "enough is enough," "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" It makes us go within and see we are not alone. I wouldn't harm myself so why would I harm another. Selfishness taught me the golden rule. And honestly, the cruel ones who hurt us were suffering with lonesomeness, separation, desertion, fear of failure. So they stuck their cigarette in our eye and said "deal with it." I forgive them not by burning them, but by letting them rest their sorry asses in my ocean.


Where I differ in opinion with Ms. Rand is how Atlas Shrugged, like in the actual physical act of shrugging. I didn't even finish the book so this is neither a critique nor a review. This is just speaking to how I FELT reading that book. I was a broken, broke college kid reading about these titans speaking smart, and dealin' deals even smarter. Mile-by-mile, blow-by-blow, like the train systems they engineered, they hammered the stakes of being oppressed into their own hands and feet, calling it success and merit and excellence. I call it angst, nervousness, self condemnation, acting from a place of misery and contempt. And I know that all too well. I was the pogrom of American teenage Isolation. Think Green Day meets Eeyore.


Shrugging is something one does when they have a "I don't care" or "whatever" attitude. "The world is heavy and I've been screwed over" so "fuck em." I took dead end jobs as an immutable truth day after day after day, just to prove I couldn't shrug the world. That I was the best victim this world could brew. I made myself that way. I succeeded in killing myself and wishing myself dead. Job after job, city after city, running away into the arms of self-aggrandizing "The Struggle." The struggle is only real if we give it power and focus. One day in January many years later I almost froze to death trying to prove something. I didn't ask for help, I didn't know who to trust, I put myself into Death's arms and was thankful to go...


But I didn't go. Something called me back. And it wasn't self-preservation. It was SELF-preservation. Unity and love. That poor man never returned, but I loved his determination and still do. Holism was on the other side.


Okay, okay. That was grim. But you can see the hope. You can see the light-saber cutting through all the bullshit. A New Hope is on the horizon...


Here's the turn. Here's the lowdown. Here's the embodied response to a mental circle jerk that is our past. Shrugging is also something you do in the weight room. Raise your shoulders and create tension with gravity, build muscle, train your neck and back to take the weight of the globe aka your mind. You look good, feel good, and if done with the proper mindset, do good.

Embodiment is about turning a struggle into a desire for evolution, personal and societal. It's only work if you say it's work. It's play and perseverance if you choose to see the earth is light as a balloon.


I give voice and power and focus to abundance, freedom, and choice.

I love yoga and chi-gong. Yoga makes me lithe and limber with the ligaments and light-body that I am. Chi-gong gets me rooted into the sinew, tendons, blood, bone, marrow and muscle that run the city beneath my skin. Both together ground us into the truth of the heart. With the heart's support we can authentically be the fire that churns beneath the crust. (Dr. Evil saying "Maaagma" comes to mind...) Hold the earth in your heart, not on your shoulders and you'll be much happier. You'll be selfish with love. I love you as much as I love me. And I practice sincerity and chutzpah at the same time.


There is hope my friend, my dear soul sibling. Life is painful only when we linger in the head. When we realize we are in control of everything we take ownership. We are the tycoon of triumph, tact, and tenacity not the robber-baron of remorse, regret, and resignation.

Become the world. Remember who you are...


Remember this is not a punishment. This is a choice. Choose who you want to be...

The little kid in me finally gets to write. I let him take the wheel... My favorite movie of ALL time is the Iron Giant. If you've never seen it, drop everything and check it out. It is literally the cat's pajamas. It's got a giant hollow robot with the heart of an angel. Any time I need to remember how to cry and feel ALL the feels I watch Hogarth and The Big Metal Guy save the day. Remember, "souls don't die" and "You are who you choose to be."


And one more thing, lighten up, have some fun. Embodiment is all about choosing what makes you feel good. Enjoy...



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