In growing up you have become immersed in a shroud of rules, rules that simply do not serve you; shed the shroud and unveil the life you intended to life.
Did you ever stop to think what a ludicrous world we live in? We invent so many rules it is ridiculous. There’s the written rules, the doctrines of religion, law, politics, then there’s the unwritten rules, society’s conventions. Tune into your own moral compass and let go of the cumbersome impossibility of living to everyone else’s standards.
Freedom is the essence of our soul, every emotion we ever experience is in relation to how free we feel. We are too willing to put up with feeling bad, feeling powerless, it’s time to start tuning in to your inner knowing and turning the dial to feeling good.
As I would walk to work each day from the ferry, there was one guy I’d often see – well, hear - who would walk along with his headset on and belt out a tuneless rendition of “Whiskey in the Jar”. He was completely sober and, as tuneless as his singing was, it brought about a frission of energy, a wonderful zest for life and ‘letting go’ we all paid attention to.
Like many of you, I was encultured into a life full of ‘rules’. From the minute you wake up to the minute you go to sleep your life is dictated by rules. Rules that we, as humans, have simply ‘made up’.
Let me give you another example. When my daughter started at daycare last year, she was almost 4, and – unknown to me at the time – the centre had ‘rules for eating lunch’. They raved about the healthy meals that the kids get cooked, and I assumed it was the process of their friends eating a new variety of food that would encourage the new kids to give it a go, surprising themselves that something new tasted good.
But no, at 11.30am the kids get their lunch, and it’s a cooked meal. I don’t know about you, but I can’t face anything with any taste until after about 1pm, prior to that I need bland offerings. However, each to their own. The kids are told time and again (the teachers call this ‘encouraged’ but I’ll call it what it is to illustrate my point) “eat your veges, they are good for you”. Like Pavlov’s dogs they are applauded for eating the good stuff and punished if they don’t. “Oh no, we don’t punish them” I was told.
Mm, so re-presenting the broccoli they didn’t eat at lunch and withholding the afternoon tea until it’s eaten isn’t punishment?
No longer is my daughter in an environment where she can choose what she eats and when, she can’t go with her flow. There’s no need to dictate what they eat, provide a healthy variety and kids – heck let’s widen this to anyone – will choose the food and quantities their body needs. Yes, sugar and refined flour will mess with our chemistry and therefore our choices, but I did say provide a healthy variety of choices.
We have rules and more rules. Laws that make no sense. I have decided the next time I get stopped for speeding and they ask why I was driving over the limit I’ll say “because I felt it was safe to do so” as it will be the truth. I saw an article in the AA magazine on ‘form’ versus road signage. It’s been proven that a tree lined road will slow motorists down, whereas open landscaping speeds things up, much more effectively than signage.
You are born knowing right from wrong. Truly, you are. I know it’s hard to believe given the level of stuffing we’ve all had knocked out of us in the process of growing up. Most of us are conditioned into thinking we need someone to tell us the rules or society will collapse into chaos. This was in actual fact what the daycare centre told me “we can’t let the kids choose, there would be chaos!”
Who are these people who decide the ‘rules’ we follow? Politics has become a game of power and ego. In religious doctrines you will find rules taking you down a rabbit hole further and further from the essence of its teaching.
You are born with an inner knowing, innate wisdom. All growth adds to our collective consciousness, we evolve and our children are born wiser than we. Just in the last few decades alone we have evolved at a pace beyond previous decades, centuries even, with many social intolerances now starting to dissipate.
It is a battle of the mind versus inner wisdom and knowing. There is a deeper part of you, and you know it exists because you connect with it in every moment of clarity you have, that knows right from wrong. You know what is right for you, and you don’t need others to tell you what it is. As adults we have years of conditioning to unravel before we can get there consistently. You can start today though, you get clarity through stilling your mind.
As I wrote in Live the Best Version of Your Life the most common regret of the dying is “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”. If you wonder who the real you is, just start with any activity that helps you to free your mind of those cloudy, crowding “what if’s” – go for a walk, dance to loud music in your living room, take a ride on your bike, go for a swim, whatever works for you, that helps bring you back into balance.
It’s from these points of clarity that you make great decisions about what works for you and what doesn’t. Over time you can learn to get in that feeling, that headspace, more readily, and for longer. Reading through some of my earlier takes you through this step by step.
In the meantime, go break a few rules. Start with things that are inconsequential, maybe you’ll take a pee on the hillside when you go for a walk, or do a rendition of “Whiskey in the jar” on the bus, whatever it is, be free to do what is right and feels good for you.
This article was originally posted on LinkedIn.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/16903262@N02/1802363801">Ice hole swimming</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>
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