Choosing Wellness

Removing Obstacles: When we begin to understand the obstacles that inhibit the Vis, we can better awaken and maintain its momentum.  Often times these obstacles are the limitations we have set on ourselves.  It is also the beliefs we have inherited from our family as well as reinforced through the media and other social institutions.  Becoming aware of our obstacles often entails a paradigm shift in our thinking, understanding of the world, and ultimately, working through our fear.


You SHOULD read this…

It is amazing how much of our lives are dictated by “shoulds” and “should nots.”  It is equally impressive that most of the time we are not even aware of their existence or influence over our lives.  That is, we have become so habitualized and immersed in living by shoulds, that we have lost sight of why we do certain things.  It is as if we are on automatic pilot, like some programmed robot.  All of our dreams and aspirations, our destiny in life, has been put on some far distant back burner.  We also create all sorts of excuses to why we can’t fulfill our dreams–and fear is often a driving force (Explore “Transcending Fear”).  So instead of following what has heart and meaning, we become susceptible to the mundane rule of shoulds.  And the world of shoulds has ubiquitously infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives.  But unlike robots, only humans have the capability for creative and innovative expression.

We desperately need people to step up to the plate and bring their gifts and talents forward, especially for the collective benefit.  “When we don’t fulfill our dreams, the Earth becomes sicker” (Char Sundust).  Imagine if some of the great innovators of our time succumbed to the societal pressures of conformity and always did the things they were told they should be doing.  Bill Gates is a prime example of this.  Instead of completing college, he pursued his dreams and helped develop one of the most transformative forms of communication, the computer.  Most of us couldn’t even imagine a world without computers in our life now.

Lets consider the other extreme of someone who does everything they “should” be doing.   Initially, a person may start out following their dreams, lets say its getting a medical degree.  As the student progresses through the program they become exposed to more and more things they “should” be doing or taking.  These are things that would help build a resume, make money, or be good to know about.  Their focus becomes redirected into always needing to study, accumulating as much knowledge as possible, and getting good grades.  All other personal enjoyment and passions, even small, get pushed aside as unimportant.  The original desire and dream to truly help other people becomes obscured by the shoulds.

While there are the larger shoulds in life that involve our aspirations and dreams, there are also the small subtle shoulds that infiltrate nearly every thought and interaction we have.  This may include the “rules” we have around social norms and behavior.  It also involves the roles we have developed or become accustomed to with family, friends, co-workers, etc.  While the shoulds around social norms make functioning in society possible to a certain extent, they can also hinder the Vis or drain our life force.  Think of the overextended supermom who takes on nearly every responsibility and has a hard time saying “NO” or asking for help, simply because that is what mothers should do (Explore “Differences b/w Responsibility vs. Shoulds”).

While all of these “shoulds” may have some importance, they have a binding-like quality and limit the full expression of the Vis.  Making decisions based on shoulds can feel like a “tempory” sacrifice at times; something that we just have to suck up and get through.  Consequently, our dreams are put on hold, something to be fulfilled at a later time, a time when everything slows down or when we get passed a certain hurdle.  What often ends up happening however, is another “opportunity” will come up, something that will help build the resume even more, so to speak.  It becomes a perpetual cycle, a cycle of fooling oneself with illusion and false promises.

Underlying the cycle of shoulds is often a deep rooted sense of fear.  A fear of not making enough money, of not being successful, of being a good enough doctor, making a parent proud, and so on.  It is far more vulnerable to show your truth and authenticity, than it is to follow a system that is already in place (Watch “The Power of Vulnerability”).  One has to risk the chance of failing, of looking bad, being ridiculed and rejected, etc.  Beyond this fear however, is so much more.  There is a vastness of potential and beauty waiting to be explored and cultivated.  It is therefore essential to understand this fear and to transcend through it, to shape and transform it into something more empowering  (Explore “Transcending Fear”).

When we don’t fulfill our dreams and live in fear, the repercussions manifest similarly to repeatedly promising a child ice cream and then to only give them vegetables–disastrous.  After an extended period of fooling oneself, our inner child, so to speak, begins to act up.  We might develop an illness or an addiction, slip into depression, become irritable and angry, etc.  The funny thing is that we will often blame these problems on other people or factors.  We might even seek outside help, even though it is an internal imbalance in nature (Explore “The Psychology of Labels”).  While there is much more to be said about this, the point is that we have lost sight of our dreams and have redirected any sort of imbalance within to something outside of ourselves.  Not only are we doing a disservice to ourselves, but also to those around us, and to the Earth.

But what about those who do not have the luxury or resources to live more freely, those who have to do certain things because their survival depends on it?  Consider the single mom who has to work multiple jobs to pay the bills and put food on the table for her children.  Or think about those in abusive relationships, or those working under strict labor conditions, such as Chinese workers.  For people under such circumstances it makes it challenging to think outside of the immediate.  Thinking about these matters becomes much more tricky and complex.  Perhaps a change will come about via the one brave soul who can show us and others a different way, a new beginning.

Difference b/w Responsibility…

So where do we start? Importance of intuition, listening to self, listening to needs.

Reflection/ending comments
-What other types of shoulds are there (societal, personal, familial, emotionally, psychological).
-Is it the shoulds that we’ve been socialized to believe in by our parents, our friends, and by society.  It is built into the structure and fabric of society.  Who and what is living in our heads?
-How much of our lives are we actually living the way we want to?  What are your hopes and dreams?  What makes you feel alive and vital?  What prevents you from living this way?  Why are we told it is not possible or realistic?How long will we tell ourselves the same sort of story: “Once I finish this thing I’m going to do what I really want to do.”  When are we going to say, “Enough is enough?  I’m done fooling myself.  I’m done living the life and expectations of someone else.  I’m going to live my own life.  Have my own dreams.  Create my own reality.”  Living in the life of constant repetitive shoulds dampens The Vis.  It robs us of our life force so to speak.  What happens when we actually live out our dreams, our passions, the way we want to live?
-Dreams important in relation to collective consciousness.  For all humanity.  Not just for self and selfish reasons.
-“Imagination is more important than knowledge” (Albert Einstein).

Explaining gifts.

We tend to not care as much about how we treat others and the environment.  If we are constantly angry and irritable for example, we often project this energy onto others, especially our loved ones.  We may also become more wasteful and neglect to think about how we are depleting and destroying the Earth.  On the other hand, if we are inspired, we are likely to inspire others.  When The Vis is alive, we cherish and respect the relationships in our lives, we nourish our selves, we create, and minimize the impact we have on the Earth.

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