Since I’ve been doing my 30 Day Challenge, I’ve been meditating every single day. At first it was a little bit tricky, and I was just mainly focusing on…well, on not focusing. I would observe my breath and the sensations in my body, and every time I noticed my brain wandering, I would gently draw it back to my breath. This was incredibly relaxing and gave me some space to just do and be nothing, which in an overwhelmed mind, was invaluable. But I noticed that there was a particular thought that kept coming up for me, and it showed up nearly every time I quietened my mind enough to hear it.
What do I want?
At first the thought was kind of annoying, because the idea of trying to figure out what I wanted made me feel the way I had been feeling everyday – overwhelmed. I know that I want lots of little things, trivial things like a new handbag, or some more motivation at the gym, or a new container of pea protein. Like I said, trivial! But then there are the bigger things that are always nagging at me, like – I want to go on holiday. I want to get through one day without feeling anxious. I want to write a book, I want to travel more, I want to go to events and celebrations held at places I feel like I can’t get to, I want to live my life in a different way to the way I have been for the last three years.
And when I really let myself think about these things that I want, it makes me feel like there is this huge hole in my life, a giant door with a sign saying ‘EVERYTHING THAT YOU WANT IS IN HERE’ that I keep locked for no particular reason. Every now and then I unlock the door and peep inside, just checking, yep – all that good stuff is still in there! But then I close it and lock it and go on about my day. I think a part of me is happy just to know that I have all those goals and desires. Look at me! I’m normal! I have hopes and dreams! It seemed like enough. But then I started meditating, and the fun thing about meditating is that you can strip off the everyday life kinda stuff that gets in the way, and it becomes blindingly obvious what is actually driving you.
And it’s not folding the laundry, it’s not returning the library books, it’s not watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead (even though right now that seems extremely pivotal to my life – JUST TELL ME WHO DIES, DAMMIT!) and it’s not cooking healthy dinners or doing more squats or organising your wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong – these things have their place in your big picture. But they aren’t the entirety of the big picture.
What is driving you is what you keep behind that door. The things you really want. The person you really want to be. And even though it’s far easier to keep that shit high up on a shelf just out of reach so that you can keep doing the things you pretend are important, it’s not fulfilling. It’s not what you want.
I know that personally, I hold myself back because of some seriously limiting beliefs. You know the ones – I’m not good enough, I’m not deserving, I’m not well enough, I don’t think I can for X reason…..hands up who thinks one or all of these thoughts several times a day? But I also hold myself back because I’m afraid of not being able to reach those goals or desires. What if I try to write a book and it’s shit, and no one reads it? What if I go to an event and I have a shit time or I have to leave for whatever reason? What if I go on holiday and I experience some anxiety? The crux of it is that it’s much easier not to try than to try and risk failure.
So how do you go after what it is that you actually want with the assurance that you won’t fall flat on your face and make a dick of yourself?
You don’t. (D’oh!)
But search inside yourself and ask, does it really matter if I fail? If I write a book that’s shit, will I not just write another one? If I go out to that event and have a shit time or have to leave for some reason, will it actually affect me at the end of the day? Unlikely. If I go on holiday and experience some anxiety, won’t it be exactly the same as being at home and experiencing some anxiety, except I’ll be in a beautiful location instead? If any of these things happen, won’t life just keep on going like it always does?
A resounding ‘yep‘ is that answer to that question. Life will keep going whether I’m doing what I really want or whether I’m not doing what I really want. Life doesn’t care what I’m doing – it’s job is just to keep on. I, on the other hand, will care. I can keep spending my time and energy trying to get the house in order, or watching Come Dine With Me, or planning to fold the laundry tomorrow and then not folding the laundry tomorrow, or I can take steps to go after the Things I Really Want.
What is it you really want?
Do you want to change jobs? Start dancing lessons? Visit a country you’ve always wanted to go to? Ask that person out? Start a youtube channel? Do it. Take those goals and desires of the shelf, dust that shit off and Do it. Don’t let those limiting beliefs convince you that you have to wait, because you will be waiting forever. It doesn’t matter if the things you want seem trivial, it doesn’t matter if they’re things you’ve never done before, it doesn’t matter if your Uncle Ted might not approve (pipe down, Uncle Ted), JUST DO IT.