Who are you today? Are you mother? Colleague? Husband? Sister?
Who chooses the label you are wearing? And how will that label dictate how you think, act and feel today? Right now?
Many of us don’t start our days off with a conscious decision to tune in to ourselves and pay attention to how we actually feel. The alarm goes off, the smartphone is checked, responsibilities beckon and it’s all we can do to manage breakfast, much less actually listen to the voice at our core.
Maybe we take time later in the day tune in or maybe we tell ourselves we will but we then end up getting distracted with the never ending ‘busyness’ of the modern day world.
Often our unrealised dreams and yearnings present themselves in a physical sense. Blocked energy can show itself as an ache or pain or maybe a feeling of listlessness or longing. Instead of using our intuition to truly pay attention to what our body is telling us, we all too often have a tendency to want a quick fix and stop any sensation that we don’t feel comfortable with. The emphasis is on the cure rather than the cause. Suppressing the parts of ourselves that want to shine and be seen is a sure fire way of creating disharmony within.
When did you last allow yourself the time to consider who you really are?
Try it now.
Ask yourself what stirs your soul. What is it that makes those bright eyes truly burn like fire?
Sometimes we feel ‘stuck’ but we’re unsure how or where to start moving forward. We feel overwhelmed with workloads and commitments and the idea of choosing a new direction seems like another effort that is more challenging than inspiring. One of the key things that I’ve learned in life is that we often tend to over complicate things. Sometimes our fear of the unknown is far more deep rooted than we realise and, although we may complain about our circumstances, we hang onto that fear and use it as a safety net of sorts. We let ourselves get all tangled up in it, wrapping it around us tightly whilst all the time professing how we long to be free. Our self made captor becomes our protector too. After all, better the devil you know, right?
Whilst it makes sense on a practical level to live with a degree of responsibility and respect for ourselves and others, doing so does not mean that we have to let society attach labels to us and then dictate that we must live within the confines of who we are ‘supposed’ to be.
I used to work in an office. In fact I’ve worked in many offices. I’ve had job titles that were fairly meaningless and I’ve had job roles that added little or no value to my day or anyone else’s. (Yes, I did say that). I’ve also had jobs that I believed in and worked for companies I respected. But I always had that nagging feeling that there was something else. Something more.
Five years ago I travelled to India and spent the best part of six months opening my heart and mind to new sights and sensations. I learnt more about value in every sense. I told myself that when I returned to London I would never again end up in a job that I didn’t want to be in, never again would I find myself feeling a lack of value in my contribution to the world. I completed a photography diploma and looked for work in that field. The competition was high and although I had a genuine passion for photography, I found myself feeling disillusioned about my savings running out and the lack of ‘security’ that I had.
I did what I promised myself I wouldn’t do. I took a job that I didn’t truly want and listed all the reasons (excuses) necessary in order to convince myself that it made sense. After all it was just a stepping stone.
And then I stayed there for three years.
Some stepping stone. It wasn’t an entirely negative experience. I met some wonderful people, completed my yoga teacher training and fell in love with my now husband. But it was still three years of not being happy in a role that arguably took up the better part of my life. That’s a long time.
Thankfully it was also a time of beginning a shedding process, letting go of what I didn’t want so I could create room for what I did. I don’t believe any experience is ever fully wasted and allowing myself the permission to experiment with different options was enlightening and empowering. In addition to my day job I taught yoga in London and did a stint teaching at a retreat in Cyprus. After a while I realised that being a yoga teacher wasn’t something I wanted to pursue further at that point. Was it a waste of time? Absolutely not! It was another part of a journey into self discovery which proved invaluable. But once I recognised that the yoga teacher ‘label’ wasn’t serving me any longer I took steps to move into something else that would.
Today I live in New York City and I’m a freelance writer. I have the freedom to write in a style that’s authentic to me and I don’t have to hide behind a job title, role or label that feels like its sucking the soul out of me. I also have my own dog walking and pet sitting business which is something I love. Being around animals brings me a huge amount of happiness and I genuinely adore what I do.
Do I ever worry about money and security? Yes. But I won’t allow myself to fall victim to the idea that I have to work at jobs I dislike immensely in order to provide myself with a false sense of safety. There are no guarantees in life – read the small print.
Sometimes we have to just strip back the layers of conditioning and ask ourselves what we really want versus what we’ve been programmed to think we must have.
Try this exercise. Picture yourself on a screen. Imagine the biggest movie theater you’ve been to and see yourself on that huge screen. You. Not an actor who you think ‘deserves’ to be up there, but you. How do you seem? Happy? Content? Miserable? Frustrated? Look carefully. Be objective. This is the movie of your life. How will the story unfold? How will the scenes develop?
If you don’t like what you see then ask yourself what you might change? What could you do to make a difference? Critique it. Get a pen and paper and write down what you’d like to see instead. Your starting point is right there.
Don’t hide behind a label. Find your truth. Do that thing. Live that dream. Because life won’t wait for you. Life will carry on, the minutes will tick tock by and the days will rapidly follow, chased by the months and pursued by the years. Who gets to deliver your dream if not you?
Rewrite the scenes that you don’t need anymore. Develop the plot. Shine! Make the movie of your life an Oscar winning one. A movie that you want to watch again and again because it’s that damn good.
Skylar Liberty Rose is a big believer in the healing power of creativity and the freedom found in living your truth. She is a writer, blogger and street photographer and believes in manifesting dreams through action and visualisation. Skylar is an advocate of stripping away layers of conditioning and instead discovering the person you are truly meant to be. She is inspired by souls with spirit and courageous hearts. Skylar grew up in London, and now lives with her husband in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter, FB, and her blog.
Featured image courtesy of scottnj.
Image courtesy of Wally Gobetz.