Have you ever wondered just what you could have been if you’d really let yourself go for it, or if only the opportunity had presented itself? Did you have a hankering to be an actor, a vet, a rock god? To live a different kind of life? Do you wish you’d married, or not married, or run with that free spirit to an ashram, commune or kibbutz? Have you ever thought about doing a ‘Shirley Valentine’ and just not come back from holiday? If you have ever wondered just what could have been, you are not alone.
If you look back over your life you can sometimes see some of those crossroads where a major decision was made to take you along the road to here and now.
Other paths just seem to have been forged by countless tiny little steps without thought for direction or goal. Whole lives can be lived in just such a way where things just seem to have happened that way as moments run into days, into months, into years, and then you wonder just where it’s all gone.
Some people like that, end up living vicariously through their children. I saw part of a ‘Judge Judy’ programme where a mother of a beauty pageant contender, was suing the pageant organisers because her little girl didn’t win and some rules had been broken. The mother was quick to point out that she had been Miss Dairy Queen, or some such thing, for her county before her pregnancy, but those days were long passed for her and maybe her daughter could go further.
It seems to me, that if you don’t pay attention to those every day little decisions about what to do, where to go, how to think, and if you don’t have a direction or a dream you’re aiming for, or a great sense of your own identity, life can very easily feel like it’s passed you by. Those little decisions can easily add up. People trying to give up smoking, alcohol, drugs or to lose weight can tell you that each seemingly tiny decision to desist this time counts. Just because you have one fag or scoff a bun doesn’t mean you have to give up on your overall goal and immerse yourself into your old way of living. You can live mindfully.
We tend to think of life as a noun, something we have, whereas actually it’s a verb. Living is something we do. Living involves taking action, making decisions. We have the ability, nay, the responsibility, to choose in accordance with what we believe to be true about ourselves and our desires and goals in the here and now. There is no point in looking back over the way we have lived and think ‘What if…’. There is only the decision to be made right now about what’s best for me to do in this moment to be true to myself, to feel good, to feel happy, to be the kind, generous, loving, curious, powerful human-being I am.
This is a fantastic revelation! An epiphany! It means that in this very moment you can change your mind. You can choose to live your dream, to take steps that lead you in the direction you want to go, instead of just coasting along or doing what you think is right for everyone else. You can join that am-dram group, enrol at the Open University, or start those guitar lessons. On my psychology course was an eighty-six year old woman who’d promised herself she’d get a degree finding out about herself and all those people who’d crossed her path. A colleague of mine started learning to play saxophone as a fortieth birthday present to herself and now plays in a band. I used to wish I could travel the world and have an adventure. Despite being told it would detrimentally affect my career, I took a sabbatical and journeyed for a glorious, amazing, awe-inspiring year. My brother resigned as a design engineer in a steady job, to become a plumber in demand. The world is full of people who wished they’d done something different and then stopped wishing and started doing!
You can at any and every moment be yourself, admit what you want, and take steps in that direction, or even giant leaps! Things will be different if you choose. It’s up to you. Every decision you make will either be out of love for yourself, your planet and your fellow human-beings, or fear about failing, letting others down, standing out from the crowd, or that you’re not worth it. You are. On my deathbed, however many years away that may be, I would like to look back feeling I’d lived a good life, that I’d made a positive difference to those around me, and knowing I’d chosen to live each day fully and mindfully with decisions based mostly on love rather than fear.
So, how about you? What choices are you making today?
Come see me and find out how you can change your mind and do things differently or come to one of my talks or courses. Overcoming fears and barriers is easy when you know how. Email firstname.lastname@example.org now.