I wonder how much stress, sickness and disease is caused by compromising the promises we make to our self for the sake of fulfilling our obligations. How many people are left feeling resentful because they have put their dreams on hold until? Many of us discipline our self to do the things that must be done.
Many of us discipline our self to do the things that must be done. I was no exception. I spent what seemed like a life time trying to get off the merry-go-round of ‘shoulding’ on myself – you know what I mean – doing things that I thought I had to do or I should do.
Disciplining one self to a life of fulfilment is often like returning to that child-like state of mind, to that ‘make-belief’ place, where we made-believe we were already that which we wanted to be. Kids do this very well. Then we grow up and we leave the best part of us behind. As a Kidult (kid and an adult), the journey means being aware of all the excuses and so-called logical reasons why we can’t do it, why we keep putting things off until ‘one day.’
For some, that day never comes. Instead, their dreams remain on the ‘to do’ list, forever
I have been fortunate enough to make lots of money, holiday and own wonderful possessions. I have also been unfortunate enough to lose it all, including my health and I had to start again. It was when I started over with what seemed like nothing that I found another way. It meant turning my way of thinking upside down. As I started to undo my conditioning, I began to discipline myself to do the things I loved doing.
Was it easy? No of course not. Having spent a life-time ‘shoulding’ on myself and doing what I was conditioned to do, stepping out of the box and going against the mass seemed like an impossible mission. And it was scary.
It meant having to overcome many old- fashion and out-dated beliefs that had me convinced that I was mad. I had to let go of the idea that I couldn’t have everything, or that it had to be ‘this or that.’ Somehow I had to convince myself that I really could have love and happiness, and money. I had to dig deep to really believe that there was a way to enjoy my work and get well-paid for it. And I could let go of having to label myself and I feel at home being who I am.
It also meant putting aside any ideas of obligations and become what some would consider selfish. After all Olympic athletes, famous artists, writers, dancers, singers and many more people have broken free of their conditioning and have disciplined themselves to follow a dream. I too had big dreams that I came to think would remain just that – a dream, particularly after losing what I thought was everything.
Finally, I overcame the fear of what people would think. I accepted that I was no longer like others I knew. I was different, and not necessarily wrong. I let go of the ‘What if it went wrong or it didn’t work and I began to ask myself What if it did work? Many times I wanted to quit and go back to being normal again. Finally the time came when I accepted that although my life may not have looked right through the eyes of the average person, it felt right for me. I was no longer ‘normal’ – I had crossed that line and there was no going back.
I made a new decision to make my purpose to live a joyful life and I became open to finding out what that might be and what it might look like. I was in for a very pleasant surprise. Along the way I found much joy and appreciation doing some simple things which cost me very little and at times nothing. I found so much pleasure in the miracle of nature, and taking time to smell the roses, as they say. It didn’t always mean that I didn’t have to do some things I really didn’t want to do; it simply meant I had a new reason to do it and I could do it with a different attitude. In time I found the joy in doing the most mundane things.
Being committed and disciplined meant that I had to go beyond logic and re- connect my head with my heart so I could get in touch with my feelings. Through my feelings I attuned to that natural child-like intuition and I let that be my guide.
Through trial and error and much pain, I finally surrendered to doing what I love and finding a way to get paid well loving what I do. With courage, and one little step at a time, I made my way through my doubts and dis-beliefs. I dealt with other doubting Thomas’s and non-believers until I recovered that natural self-belief I came to know as faith. I went through the frustrations and set-backs and often it was during the times when it looked and felt like I was staring failure in the face that the break-through came. I responded to that deep-seated desire to better connect with the world, and I am. Instead of giving up I kept giving in to my dream of being who I really am until one day, one moment the tables turned and I wondered why I ever waited so long.
Oh what a decision that was; but it was worth it.