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I don’t usually post mid-week, I like to save my thoughts and collate them on a Sunday evening because things happening throughout the week usually have a neat way of tying together. This week has been different, this theme has been popping up everywhere and it is impossible to ignore anymore.
There seem to be a lot of people in my life at the moment who are feeling conflicted. They are conflicted because they feel confused and trapped by what they feel in their heart and what is expected of them.
Since Matt and my relationship became serious (i.e. ‘legally binding contract of marriage’ level of seriousness) we have had a lot of expectation thrust on us. It doesn’t bother Matt so much because he has an amazing ability to ignore things whereas I used to let my feathers be ruffled more easily.
The expectation is because we are getting married this year we will start planning to have loads of babies soon. We will stay with our secure office jobs and continue on this path of corporate success. Of course the dream of traveling the world is now over seeing as we are office-bound baby makers living in the suburbs with our golden retriever and hybrid car (p.s I love hybrids and golden retrievers).
It isn’t a bad thing that the people in our lives want this for us; it is a social norm and an accepted benchmark for others to measure success against. It is the natural progression of most people’s lives and for our friends and families who just want to see us happy it easy to accept we truly are happy if we follow the set path.
But here’s the thing, that may not be our path and it may not be the path a lot of other people in the world either.
I watched a video today on The Little Sage website, Helen was speaking about how to know if you’re on the right path. The simple answer was ‘it will just feel right if you’re following your heart’. There was one other thing that really struck me from the video, she said “There are 7 billion people in this world. That means 7 billion paths”.
Your path is unique. My path is unique. What Helen didn’t say was “There are 7 billion people in this word all doing the exact same thing. Huzzah!”
Half the time I just want to walk around the city with a megaphone yelling, “You can do whatever you want with your life! Be free earthlings” but then I would be considered crazy and probably locked up, which I suspect is not my path either, and there would be Matt’s awkward first visit to the Psych ward where the inevitable conversation of ‘how did this come about?’ would need to occur. But I’m getting off topic here.
You will remember the introduction of my good friend Positive Claire in my post ‘the not-so-zen master’. Yesterday I received a text message from Positive Claire saying she had cut her hair and felt amazing. It is something she had wanted to do for a long time but never did because she was scared. Now she had done it, all she could think was “I wish I did it earlier.”
If you are on the wrong path right now, chances are you know it. Maybe it’s a feeling deep in your belly or a whisper of a thought which only comes out when you’re laying in bed at night trying to go to sleep. Maybe it is screaming out at you and you are trying to ignore it or maybe you don’t even know you’re on the wrong path.
There are so many reasons we come up with in order to put off happiness. My very good friend Jo sent me an email on Tuesday which contained a blog article about happiness. The writer spoke of how they wanted to start their life but there had always been an obstacle in the way, something they were waiting for before the happiness could begin.
Here’s the thing the writer realised and it is the same thing I realised earlier this week; happiness can start right now and it is already happening right now. Each day you put it off is another day you’ve missed out on.
I’ve always looked forward to the next big thing in my life and sometimes I blame a materialistic society and a materialistic me for it. There are so many times in my life where I thought getting the next thing or getting to the next stage would make me happy.
I had been so busy wishing away the time just to get to the next thing hoping it would make me happy when it turns out I have everything I need to make me happy right now. By acknowledging this and identifying the things in my life which truly make me happy and eliminating things which don’t, I’m following my heart and I know I’m on my right path because it feels easy, it feels right and I’m pretty much always happy (winning!).
Looking from the outside in I could see how people don’t understand my path, it’s a little unconventional. Matt and I aren’t planning a family, we’re planning an adventure. We aren’t planning to buy a house, we’re planning to see the world. Neither of us is planning our career, we’re planning our dream job.
The opportunities are endless for you if you open your heart. Another part of The Little Sage video I watched today spoke to this point, something which has been going through my mind lately and something I was discussing with a colleague. The mind is limited by social norms, fear and what is considered right and wrong but our hearts are unlimited and full of potential.
You don’t need to be bound by anything. There are no wrong decisions if you make a decision from your heart and are honest with yourself. You may even find yourself in the same position as Positive Claire wondering “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
You don’t have to make a choice about which path you are going to follow; you just have to not let anything be an obstacle to you and start following your path. It really is that simple, just follow your heart along your life path and you will be happy because it is exactly what you want to do with your life.
Since this new way of thinking entered my life I have already experienced people putting me down, challenging my ideas and trying to stop me following my heart into writing by insisting it is not a sustainable career for me. I don’t know why but when it happens it makes me smile and all I can think is “You just don’t know yet”, they just don’t know how good it feels when you know you’re doing exactly what you should be doing.
I don’t proclaim to have all the answers or know everything, but I do know how I feel since I started appreciating what I already have and living my truth; I feel amazing. Don’t let other people, fear or social ideas get in your head, don’t let anything stop you or hold you back, just follow your heart.