Our travels around Australia taught me so much about change. We fear it because every time it happens, it takes us out into the unknown. We are taught very young to stay within the boundaries, to follow the rules that have been set.
Who set these rules?
Why were we taught that there is a RIGHT way to be?
Why are we challenged so much when we want to do something different?
I think it all starts from the right place; teaching children to be kind and helping them learn our values. We all try and do that, but I think we’ve taken it too far. We decided at one point that we have to teach them how to be, what to learn, how to learn, which paths to follow and how to fit into our society. As a result many of us struggle with stepping out into the unknown and to follow a path that is less conventional and different from the paths we were taught to choose from.
From the time we made the decision to sell up and travel Australia to the moment we pulled away from the house, we experienced chaotic mind chatter and a rollercoaster of emotions as we contemplated and planned a massive change in our lives. Something that continuously surfaced for us was the question, “ Are we doing the RIGHT thing?” In fact 8 weeks in, 2 months in and 12 months in this question continuously raised its head. I have realised that I have been paralyzed in my life by this exact question. I have an incessant need to know what I SHOULD be doing, whether my choices are the RIGHT choices for me and if they are the RIGHT choices for my family.
I have found that one of two things happen; I either begin and never follow through or I end up doing nothing at all; keeping my dreams, my crazy ideas and my inner callings in a safe little box in my heart. Both these actions, or ‘inactions’ as they are more inclined to be, have kept my life safely manageable and I guess on the playing fields of mediocrity. I am not saying I do not adore many aspects of my life, however, I have always felt that it wasn’t all that it could be.
When I thought of what changed, I immediately observed the physical changes, all that you could see. A house and the picket fence, the children going to school, coffee with my friends, weekend BBQ’s and gardens to manicure! It was all gone for a time and it was not devastating! We were okay; in fact we were more than okay.
The dramatic change I noticed was actually the change within me. By choosing to follow my dreams I felt that a light had been lit inside. I was slowly acknowledging and letting go of the loud shouting of my fear and my socially conforming self. I was embracing the confidence, the peace, the adventure and the freedom of listening to my heart and living into all that I love.
I have realised that I could spend my whole life preparing myself, my family and my circumstances for the life I dream of living, or I can choose to live it. I have seen myself in a boat, floating in the middle of the ocean of life and when we set off on our adventure I felt proud and excited. I felt I had finally put an engine on that boat and was moving to where I would love to be.
Since the moment we left my life has been different. We have been in constant motion. We constantly challenge our assumptions, question our beliefs and we are not afraid to grow. We have experienced more clarity and have allowed the deep yearnings we feel inside to surface, be noticed and fuel our day-to-day decisions.
One of the greatest things we are doing for our children is sharing with them our dreams and showing them how to achieve them. You can tell children to believe in themselves and to follow their own hearts but until you show them and involve them, they are mere words. By living the full extent of our own lives, as parents, we gift them with the capacity and belief that they can do the same.