I began my adult life feeling very dissatisfied, and anxious to become someone new. Neither my parents, nor my education had taught me who I was and what I was really good at, and all I could cling onto was the idea that a career, financial stability and maybe even a husband and children could remedy all that uncertainty. I was seeking fulfillment from outside myself and that’s just what our culture wants us all to do.
Why? Because it makes us reliable workers and consumers, and too busy to organise any sort of uprising. We must work and earn in order to buy an identity and that’s what makes the economic wheel turn in every modern country. And since money, with a sprinkle of social status, has become our overarching master, we don’t question it.
So much is changing on our planet: big institutions are being questioned and dismantled, respected public figures are being outed as abusers, and governments are being seen more and more, as failing the average person. The system as we know it, is breaking down.
We’re all, to a large extent, the products of the system we’ve been raised in. Sure, our parents had a big influence on our development but have you ever wondered what’s truly driving your beliefs and aspirations? Because from what I’ve experienced, very few of us have been raised to be independent thinkers and questioners of the status quo. Our culture permeates every choice we make and desire we possess. We’ve kind of been brainwashed.
Our parents and their parents were taught to tow the line, fit in and don’t stand out. Is that what you were taught? Were you also taught that your worth was bound up in material wealth, job status and the success of your offspring? I wasn’t taught any of this overtly but I still somehow managed to absorb it.
Escape to the ocean
Seven years ago, my husband and I quit our mainstream, mortgage paying lives, and moved to the country. We have much less income than we used to but we also have virtually no debt, and that’s where we’re different to the majority of Australians under the age of 70. Just recently, we went through the slightly stressful experience of having even less income, and it raised all sorts of questions for us. We’re both self-employed so when things go quiet on the work front, we feel it instantly and must adjust our spending. We normally have savings in the bank but as luck would have it, we’d spent the majority of them on a garage build and a new car, right before the slow down.
So what did we do? We allowed life to flow on around us and trusted that either some fresh inspiration, or new work would flow in, and after a couple of months, it did. The reason we have the luxury to not freak out and overreact to these financial fluctuations, is that firstly, we’re not especially identified with our work roles anymore and secondly, no one can take our home away from us. Furthermore, we’re satisfied with life. We’re no longer searching outside ourselves for validation, recognition or indeed permission, to be who we really are.
Any hey, our lives aren’t perfect. We’re just muddling along, trying to do our best to raise two teenagers, keep ourselves fit and healthy, earn some dollars and keep up with the housework and gardening. We’re just like everyone else, we just have a bit more freedom. Just no money for a holiday this year, that’s all. And that could change. I’m an optimist.
So, how much of your deep rooted dissatisfaction with yourself and with life isn’t really yours? Have you unknowingly been striving for things that don’t really make your heart sing? Because over the last seven years, there’s something I’ve discovered about following your bliss. It’s that when we prioritise the basics like health, relationships and our creative path, life supports us. And even when there’s a wobble here and there, if we stay true to what makes us happy each day like a walk on the beach, a phone call to a friend or a yoga session, things are never as bad as our imaginations might lead us to think.
It’s my passion to help people discover theirs and to help them cultivate more self-confidence and belief in themselves.
I’m available each week for free 15 minute pre-appointment phone chats. Click here to read more.