Dear Willow: How Do I Choose?
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I’ve been following in the footsteps of many people and do what I think I should be doing for a career and how to live my life. I’m just not happy, though. Part of me really wants to do what will please my family and peers and make them happy. The other part of me wants to do what I want to do and pursue a different career and be my whole self. A lot of the choices I would be making would impact the people closest to me and I don’t think I will receive the support I need to make such a bold step into a new life. What should I do?
Who Am I
Dear Who Am I,
This is a fantastic question and a topic of dozens of conversations lately. I hope the answers provided will help other people in a similar situation, whatever it is you are choosing or wanting to choose in your life.
Your obligation in how you live your life is to live it for yourself. Go in the direction of what makes your heart and body sing with vibrancy. It is time for us all to wake up to the realization that the more we step into all aspects of our personality and traits, we can be with a colorful spectrum of diversity leading the way for other people to do the same in their own life.
We do harm to ourselves when we choose to suppress our prana, or essence, that caters to our unique and individual selves. In this way, we disobey Ahimsa. Living a life that is different than the one we want to live creates a deep-rooted internal conflict - one that can wreak havoc on our nervous system and immune function. Common day ailments such as an autoimmune disorder can represent thinking patterns that tell the body’s T-cells to seek out and destroy healthy cells within the body. These warrior cells become trained to look at the self as the enemy and set out to destroy it, cell by cell.
Many people shy away from passionate living and opt to play it safe so as to not disturb the current of normal thinkers and doers. There have been several phases in my life where I followed this current and eventually the wilderness inside began to overrun “normal.” What I was not able to domesticate internally grew like a wild fire burning with the spirit and will to live a soul-full life. There was combustion when I broke free of my own restraints and I recall the precise moment I took a breath back to my passion-filled life.
You can make small steps or a quantum leap. Align with your peers and ask them for support, you might even ask them to help you write out what your gifts are and try new ways of opening up.
How to renew your spirit-filled self:
- Take a deep breath.
- Write about what meaning you give to life and living. What is your purpose?
- Write down words that currently have a profound meaning to you.
- Write 25 of your greatest strengths.
- Create words and phrases stated in the positive and direction you want to move towards.
- Decide who will be your greatest allies in this process and practice talking with them.
- Be acutely aware when others tell you their interests, goals, and passions. You will hear a lot of your internal dialogue, rules, and values that, if spoken, may be words of discouragement or judgment directed toward them. This will help you listen deeply to what may now be an area to explore and try out in your new ways of living.
- Stay curious and do new activities that stretch you past old boundaries. The deepest mode of learning is by experiencing.
- Prepare for words of discouragement from others by remembering not everyone will agree with your amendments or decisions. You might explain that by your living life with greater meaning it helps others feel encouraged and even inspired to do the same.
What will you change first? Be brave, be bold & be you and you give permission for others to do the same.