Redefining the “should”

You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it is better to listen to what it has to say ~ Paulo Coelho “The Alchemist”

The first few months of 2014 have shaken up my life quite a bit and I couldn’t be more grateful. In January, I left a full time job for a freelance career in bookkeeping and yoga. Most of my time is spent bookkeeping and I am still getting used to making my own hours and working mainly from home. As a social, people lover, it it strange that now I sometimes go a whole day without a single verbal conversation. It was actually my best friend that pointed it out to me when I was having a bit of a breakdown in January. I spend most of my days alone. That’s a big change for me, and this change has been a catalyst.

PassionateAs I recognized that I wasn’t feeling happy in what I was doing, I realized I had to seek that which made me happy. I signed up for the #100HappyDays challenge, feeling like it’d at least help switch my focus. So far so good, my daily tweets mean I find at least one happy thing each day. Because I am focused on finding happy every day, I started thinking about what I love and what I’ve always wanted to do. More nature, more travel, more out of life that doesn’t involve staring at a computer screen. I’m pursuing finding more yoga teaching opportunities which I’m hoping will be easier now that I have a flexible schedule. I’m making it a priority to keep an active lifestyle, be it running, cycling, rock climbing, yoga, weights or a 22km walk across the city. I’m keeping my body working because mental and emotional strength can only take me so far.

In addition, I’m looking back at life at making a mental list of all the things I never did that I wanted to; all the things I said I’d do more of because I knew they made my heart happy. And I’m doing them! I spent years, if not decades of my life, worrying about money, worrying about where my job will lead me and at nearly 33 years old what I learned is that things will work themselves out and that often the plans I make change and I change with them. I am definitely not the 19 year old, eager to get a PhD in Psychology and start her own Marriage Therapy Clinic but I am still very much a soul who desires to heal others. What else I’m realizing is who I still am.

A break during my 22km walk at Evergreen Brick Works

A break during my 22km walk at Evergreen Brick Works

I am the 17 year old who thought it’d be really cool to be a lifeguard. I am the 13 year old who dreamed of spending a week camping and canoeing in Algonquin. I am the 26 year old playing my first solo show with lyric sheets taped to my microphone stand, so so nervous but so excited to own the stage. I am the 24 year old trying to figure out what my next life adventure will hold. I am the 29 year not sure how I will make it on my own. I am the 32 year old wondering why it takes me so long to follow through on what makes my heart smile. Is it a fear of success? A fear that it will change me? Or am I afraid to step out of my comfort zone?

What should I do? What does society think I should do? What do my parents think I should do? My bank? My friends? My mind? My heart? Yes…how often do we stop and think about that? What others tell us to do, even what our mind convinces us for decades, is best for us, the long lists of “shoulds”, are only one sided. What if, just for a moment I looked at it from another angle and maybe lived in a world where what the heart wants, what the heart deserves, is what I “should” be doing? What if we all lived like that. I’m not saying throw out the rules, I’m not suggesting we resort to living in chaos or some unrealistic utopian society. What I’m suggesting is listening to what the heart wants, and letting that be what we *should* be doing, even if just for a day. But wouldn’t it be a beautiful world if we could do it for a lifetime? Some people are lucky enough to find that. I want to be one of those people and I want you to be that person too. So, what do you say we try to redefine all the shoulds, look into our hearts and truly find what we should be…what we can be…what we truly always were.