How much of our life is led because we were told it should be?
Today I was on Facebook and saw an article with the title “Can you be a yogi and eat red meat?” Intrigued, I clicked on the article. The answer: Yes, you just won’t be a good yogi.
Oh, well thanks for making that clear, random person on the Internet. So if I eat meat, then I am not a good yogi.
My outrage at this article got me thinking- how many things are we told each day that affect the way we think of ourselves? For me, a few immediately came to mind.
If I eat chocolate/sweets, then I am not a healthy eater.
If I put on weight, then I am not attractive.
If I have short hair, then I am not feminine.
If I burp, or god forbid, fart, then I am not a lady.
Now note- none of these judgements are intrinsically true. They are all judgements that have been pushed down onto me, telling me what is acceptable and non-acceptable behaviour.
How much more of my brain, and my life would be free, if I wasn’t constantly trying to meet the expectations of others?
What could I accomplish if I were to shed these expectations that have been put on me by society, and by myself? If I woke up in the morning and asked myself “How do I feel today? What do I want to do? What would make me happy?” would my decisions throughout the day be different?
Would I still go to work? Work a 10 hour day so that I can feel like I have achieved the status of a “good employee”? Would I come home and exercise so I can feel like I have been “healthy” for the day? Go to bed early so I can reach my status quo for tomorrow well rested?
Or would I be free to do that which I actually crave to do?
I haven’t been blogging lately because I’ve been very selfish with my time. Moving to a different country has made me reassess the entire way I was living my life. Some things came up that surprised me- such as, suddenly realising that it is important to me to achieve something in this world. I use to think I just wanted to enjoy my time with friends and family- but I’m now learning that isn’t enough for me. I want more. At this point, I don’t know what that’s going to look like, or how I’m going to accomplish it. And that’s ok- I’ll get there.
I’ve been spending a lot of time doing yoga (and will start teaching a class for some people from work in January, which is exciting), and spending time with friends I’ve made here. I’ve been going out and drinking and dancing like I was in my early 20’s- crawling into bed on Saturday morning around 4 or 5 am after a night out. I take day trips to London, and I went to Italy last weekend- just for a quick trip away with Mark (who has now joined me).
I had a period before I left for Europe where I thought I had it all figured out. But when you uproot your entire life, it uproots some long-held beliefs. And suddenly I realised- there is so much I just don’t know about the kind of life I want. But I do know that I’m tired of living a life filled with meeting other expectations.
So here’s to more articles about things that I find interesting, or moving, or just generally interest me. And less articles about what I think I should share on a healthy living blog. I hope you enjoy the change. Thanks for waiting for anyone still out there who’s reading.