These days, I find myself becoming increasingly vigilant about how I spend my time. How about you? I’m not sure if it’s because I feel like I have less time, or because I care more about how I spend it. Whatever I do, I want it to count. I want it to move me forward in a beneficial way, rather than being just an item I’ve crossed off my “to do” list.
By nature, I tend to spend a lot of time in my head. Ruminating, reflecting, analyzing…it’s just what I do. I know that I’m not the only one either. The thing is, when we don’t allow our internal landscape to change, we run the risk of recycling through the same old thoughts, patterns and approaches. If new thoughts aren’t introduced to expand or challenge existing ones, what’s your guess as to how that will impact the actions we take. Round and round on the hamster wheel we go. Is it any wonder that we’re not getting to where we really want to be?
Societal and parental conditioning can be powerful and pervasive forces that shape our lives. Many of us may grow up following “blueprints” which outline what is possible for us, who we’re expected to become and how we’re expected to live our lives. As well-intentioned as this may be, it can prove to be severely limiting and stifling of our true potential. If our sand castles are not coming together and taking shape, perhaps we need to consider if we are playing in the right sandbox.
When a confronting type of thought does manage to slip in and pierce our awareness, it can cause other long-held, deeply embedded thoughts to shake loose and rise up to the surface for examination. The waters we’re used to swimming in may become muddied, and the optics may not be as clear as we once thought. Doubts may start to creep in, as we begin to question the merits of the mindset we’ve held. We may find that our mind transforms into a mass of jumbled and chaotic thoughts. Gone is the familiar, internal labyrinth we once traversed, where we intimately knew who we were, what we wanted and where we were headed — or so we thought.
In my experience, there’s nothing like going outdoors for a long walk, to clear out the cobwebs from one’s head. I soon find myself seamlessly shifted from being inside my head, to noticing all of the fascinating things around me, clamoring for my attention. For instance, I was quite captivated by the stocky branch in the photo below, which found a will and a way to defy the constraints imposed upon it.
There are times when our mindset, behavioural patterns and choices may be subconsciously driven by the rules, conditions and social mores we are influenced by. If we don’t take the time to check-in with ourselves and honestly examine why we do what we do — or don’t do — we are forever destined to remain “fenced in” and held hostage to the dictates of others. We will abdicate our sovereignty to live life on our own terms.
It’s critical to allow new ideas in and to explore all of the options we have available to us. At least then, we can objectively determine whether our actions and choices actually stack up, in terms of the results we are after. We can choose to remain fenced in or we can take some time to sit on the fence, do some research and weigh our options. At some point, if we are truly committed to moving forward, we must make a leap of faith. It is the only way we can discover our destiny. The one that has been eagerly waiting for us to make our move. Ready? Let’s do this and see what’s on the other side!