By Trudy Brooke from Begins Within
I hear a lot of discussion & often criticism of today’s youth and younger generations and whilst I agree with certain aspects (such as communication – too much texting! not enough talking!) don’t you envy (at least a little) the ‘enthusiasm, the world is my oyster, my options are endless’ innocence that the youth that are conscious & aware exude?
Do you remember before being bogged down by responsibility, debt, duty & obligation feeling that way yourself? Whilst I am not advising you to tip your life on its head and walk away from your responsibilities I would like to encourage you to really look within (after all it begins within J) and find ways that you can incorporate into your current life the necessary changes to re-ignite some of that passion.
For many of us it takes a major bump in the road to stop, think & put in place these changes. Sometimes that major bump may be in the guise of a serious health issue or injury, relationship breakup, or financial crisis – which at the time seems horrendous however the change it offers can be wonderful. However, why wait for such a catalyst? You be the catalyst, you give yourself permission to live the life you dreamed of – before dreams were put in the “not right now” box.
Many people have been forced recently to reassess their lives. I view the current global financial situation as a financial re-evaluation – it is all about getting back to basics, doing the things that are important, reconnecting with the family dynamic, spending time together & living within our means. I liken it to a bush fire –it can be devastating & life changing, but necessary to allow new growth, purposefulness and gratitude for all life contains. I am not for a minute trivialising the trauma that comes with this however for the opportunity of new growth there first has to be a ‘letting go or burning off’. We’re recreating memories, we’re letting those we love know how we feel about them & their importance in our lives and above all we are getting back to our authentic selves.
Our upbringing has a lot to do with our patterns and programming such as work ethics and the ability to find balance between meeting the needs of others while acknowledging our own individual needs. Whilst we can’t change our early conditioning we can change our views and responses as adults and we can find ways to have our cake and eat it too.
Current research supports what holistic health practitioners have understood for a long time about the potent effect the mind has on biochemical markers in the body. Therefore ignoring the internal drive & desire of making life changes can be the starting point for many health issues.
I had a conversation recently that had a similar theme to many stories I hear daily and it saddened me to think that so many people want to change their lives but either through fear, obligation & expectations (either self imposed or otherwise) would rather live with the idea of not succeeding because of these issues rather than taking that leap. Change does require action and sometimes that action leads to a variety of unknown but all very natural responses. I know from my own experiences to put change in place required me to think a lot differently about my own needs, in fact some might say selfishly, which of course brings with it feelings of guilt, anxiety, fear about doing the wrong thing & questioning your trust in your own decision making processes. Change for many is a scary time, especially for those resistant to change – however change is necessary and normal. If we don’t change then we are not taking anything from our day to day experiences. If you say that you are the same person at 30 that you were at 20; or the same person at 40 that you were at the 30, & so on, then you are wasting time!! – and have taken little from life’s experiences.
I heard an interesting story once of a woman who wanted to study yet what was holding her back was the PhD she wished to undertake would take 5 years and she was already 45. When asked how old she would be in 5 years if she studied, she replied ’50 years old’, she was then asked how old she would be in 5 years if she put off studying to which she replied ’50 years old’. So the point is she could find many reasons to give her an excuse why not to do what her heart desired however in the end the results would be completely different –either way she’ll be 50, one decision will lead her to living her truth (& making her heart sing!) and the other decision living with regret, disappointment and perhaps frustration.
We can find many reasons in our own life to question our own desires, to put them on the back burner, to write them off as missed opportunity or to justify or explain to ourselves that there is no longer a choice. I often hear “I am the provider for my family and I’ve worked so hard and provided a life that is now so bogged down by material expectation & such a high level of financial commitment that my life is now impossible to change”. Whilst change may bring financial adjustments (either short or long term) it is still possible to achieve your dream. Yes it may take some downsizing and rebalancing on the home front but it is important to communicate your heart desire to your partner and discuss the possibility of working together. Perhaps rather than being the financial contributor you are the home provider and adding to the already incredible load you currently juggle the idea of handing over any of your responsibilities to someone else may overshadow the possibility that you can put yourself first and reprioritise your needs. Many of us have been brought up to make a decision about our future at 15-16 years of age and stick with that decision for the rest of our lives. If we even consider moving from what is comfortable or ‘set’ in our lives we feel selfish – we need to reprogram our thinking to understand that this is not selfish – self love is actually giving. When we live authentically, when we live our truth and are brave enough to step out, own and live our hearts desire we are giving our family the very best of ourselves. For those with children you are also setting an example to your children that life is about purpose, personal growth, decision making and owning responsibility for those decisions.
If the shoe was on the other foot and you knew that your partner, parent, family member or friend wanted to bring to light something that was really important to them yet they put it off for the many reasons already mentioned, wouldn’t you want them to achieve – or at least investigate – their options and after all offer them your support. You may be surprised how much support is waiting for you.
If you are resonating with these thoughts it is important to give some consideration to your feelings. Don’t go through life allowing fear & indecision to rob you of an opportunity to turn your dreams into your reality. Sometimes people say “I don’t know what I want to do” – the opposite is normally the truth, you know what you want to do, you are just not sure if you have the fortitude to follow through, especially as change takes work, commitment – and a major dose of honesty.
Whether it’s a complete career change you wish to embark on or a personal achievement; whether you are 35 and want to be a fireman or perhaps you are already a fireman and want to study forensic science; maybe a mum who dreams of being a midwife; or you want to learn to fly or do volunteer work in Cambodia the choice is yours. So in the privacy of your heart ask yourself “What does it take to get you to the point of taking the first step to reclaim your right to inner happiness?…to really acknowledge ‘what makes your heart sing’?”