My thoughts haunt me in my sleep as my unconscious slowly makes sense of my conscious. In a defining moment yesterday I made a decision to stand up for myself. To surround myself with people I want to be and leave behind those people I do not want to be. Yesterday I made a decision to close the door on a path I’ve spent so many years trying to attain. I selected a new branch on my life’s tree.
In a single moment I questioned where I’ve been and where I want to go. How my values play into my life. I questioned whether I was living those values. Was I surrounding myself with the people I want to be? Or was my judgment clouded by where I thought I wanted to go? Or by social norms?
I believe that to bring new things into my life, I must let go of old things. In my daily yoga practice, my teachers present: let go of those things that are no longer serving you. I believe we are clouded by where we think we are going or ought to go.
Perhaps my unconscious was merely thanking my conscious for finally listening.
I recently met with a man who asked me what I am passionate about. What would I do if I could do anything? If money, time, commitments were not part of my decision? If I could live my life my way, what would that look like? I cannot answer those questions in entirety. Maybe because I don’t really know or maybe because the truth would scare the crap out of me. Yesterday, somewhere inside of me, I answered, in part, where I want my life to go. Now it is up to me to pay attention to where that is.
This year my commitment, my resolution, was to take better care of me. It is easy to tackle the obvious, decrease sugar intake, eat more vegetables, exercise, commit to a daily yoga/meditation practice, weekly acupuncture, and monthly massage. The less obvious side of taking care of ourselves is the mind and the spirit. Paying special attention to what makes our heart sing. Am I dying a bit every day because I’m letting myself stay in a position (whether at work or in life) that I truly do not want to be in? When I leave the house am I cheerful? Do I want to go where I’m headed? Or do I dread my destination?
I believe we cannot commit to wellbeing without first consulting our spirit. I can draw a picture of what I want my life to look like. I can envision the details, what the library will look like inside the house, the fresh-cut Shasta daisies in a vase on the old barn wood table, the sun filtering in through the windows dancing across the floor as it moves through the sky with my dog chasing its light. What has always been a challenge is the detail of the spirit.
Who do I want to be inside? Who do I want to have as my friends? What values are really important to me above all else? What serves me? What moves me? Why am I holding onto things that do not fit? It is hard to tell if something does not fit if I do not know what fits at all. It is the philosophy that ultimately shapes our being.
I can look into the world and say that stealing is bad, murder is awful and rape may be the worst. But what about the lies I tell to myself every day? Those little lies to get me through the day. The lies that “just this once” it will be OK to stick with this or that, to hang around this person, or make that decision. The lies I tell myself so that I can live within my skin. The lies that oppose my values, yet conform to society’s view of where I’m supposed to be.
And when we stand up for ourselves, what happens? Ridicule. Judgment. So then we jump right back on the merry-go-round, and round, and round.
Sometimes when it’s really early, quiet, the birds still asleep, I find myself looking at my surroundings and wondering how in the hell did I get here? Not that all of here is bad or good, it just is. Did I choose here? Would I choose here again if I had it to do over? Or should I just be happy I’m here? Live in the moment, follow the cliché? Ignore my spirit with reckless abandon?
I say no! A defining NO.