We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do the right thing.
But we put perhaps even MORE pressure on ourselves to do what we imagine others think is right. The “others” may be other people, but they may also be the internalized “others” in your head. This pattern runs DEEP in most of us and has us living for other people’s approval instead of living for our own enjoyment, integrity, and good feeling.
It’s a rite of passage to reclaim YOUR inner authority and give yourself permission to do what feels right to you. To want what you want. To need what you need. To go about things the way that works for you.
And although you’ve likely done this and had some success with it, it’s not a do-it-once-and-cross-a-finish-line experience. It’s a choice you make and re-make daily where you shift from being someone who looks to others, real and projected, to tell you what to do to choosing to be someone who listens to and trusts your heart, inner knowing, desire, and joy to guide you.
There are times when we need to be birds who flock together. But there are many more times when we need to be the eagle who soars above guided from the light within… even if this means something as seemingly innocuous as deciding to take a nap instead of meeting your friend at the gym because you’re genuinely tired… or going to the gym when everyone you know does yoga.
Several years ago I worked with a fabulous Ayurvedic doctor in Los Angeles. He had me on a routine of being up, meditated, and moving by 7, eating a very focused diet, and taking a bunch of herbs. At first this was a huge slog but I soon started feeling much more energized and vibrant. Health issues I had been struggling with rapidly subsided. And, much to my great surprise, I found I loved being up early. The flip side was that by 8:30 pm I was wiped and was usually in bed by 9. This meant I ate dinner around 5. So, when friends would call at 7 to go out to eat my reply was “I’m about to get ready for bed”. I got tons of flack for this, and it put a noticeable dent in my social life, but I felt great so I kept on with what worked for me – and I’m so glad I did!
We all have things like this. We’re either doing them and noticing how they’re not what others are doing but c’est la vie – we feel good so we keep doing it. Or, we’re not doing them because others aren’t either, or we think they wouldn’t like it if we did, and we feel a brewing inner-tension because we’re not choosing what expresses our integrity.
It takes COURAGE to do what’s right for you. Especially if what you need is to follow your unique brand of unconventional wisdom. But at the end of the day, you’re the one you go to bed with. You’re the one you look at when you gaze into the mirror. You’re the only one who knows how you really feel about yourself… and you’re therefore the only one who CAN make choices that boost your feeling of self-trust, self-love, self-worth… and free yourself from the insecurity of living for other people’s approval.
Perhaps there’s an area of your life that’s calling you to engage in a way that works better for you? Or perhaps your whole decision making process needs to be re-evaluated? Whatever the case may be, please take this post as a message from the universe to you that you not only have PERMISSION but are being ENCOURAGED to walk YOUR walk in a way that makes you feel GOOD about being you!
Spread your wings and fly!