My move to the wilderness just got referred to as a ‘young life crisis’.
It got me thinking.
Why is it only acceptable to leave your job, drop everything and buy a porsche / head off into the wilderness (whatever your version of freedom looks like) at mid-life, or when you hit some kind of ‘crisis’?
Why is not TOTALLY NORMAL to follow our outrageous desires every damn day, at any age?
I have a hunch.
Firstly, it’s because we were never taught to trust our knowing.
We were taught how to fit in. How to get the ‘right’ answers. How to be ‘good at’ stuff. (The stuff that was judged worthy). There were a lot of rules to follow, which layered themselves up into a sort of bubble-wrap. Now we’re looking at the world through this blurry haze, checking ourselves against external criteria for something that is actually very personal – our most heart-felt desires.
How many times have you heard yourself say, or think:
“I want this, but I can’t because…”
“Oh, it would be so great to do that, but I don’t think it would work…”
or some other version of “that would be nice BUT…”
We’ve been schooled in that “But”. In all the rational reasons why the thing we feel we want inside probably won’t work out. Many of us have spent so long being trained out of knowing what we want, that we don’t even know what we DO want anymore.
(Ever got to the point where you don’t even know what you want to eat for dinner? Then you’ll know what I mean!)
The other reason – and this is a biggy – is that to admit that we have desires might be painful. It would cause too much disappointment. Or, it could mean – gulp – that Big Changes need to be made. (Like, for example, leaving everyone you know and love and moving from London to Dartmoor). Scary conversations would need to be had. (Like, “Hey everyone I know and love! I’m leaving and I’m not quite sure why…”)
Claiming your desires requires you to step into and face your power and creative authority over your own life, which for many of us is foreign territory. One of my coaching clients this week was worried that we wouldn’t have anything to talk about because she didn’t know what she wanted. She was very skilful at explaining why she couldn’t have what she wanted, and justifying why that was really OK, really.
What I heard, in between the reasons and justifications, was that she DID know. She knew EXACTLY what she wanted. She just wasn’t letting herself go there. I see a lot of memes on Facebook that say things like ‘follow your dreams!’ but this is no flippant feat. To follow them you have to trust them. (And if you’ve never followed them before, how do you know if they are trustworthy??)
At the end of the conversation she said: “I think we just got to the core of how I’m holding myself back.”
Think about that for a moment. What would that mean for you? To be able to see exactly how you stop yourself from living the life you dream of? To see, clearly, on a day-to-day basis, where and how you keep yourself from growing?
As soon as you have awareness of a pattern, you can start to shift it. Our patterns are only dangerous to us when they are lurking in the shadows.
My move to Dartmoor was anything but a life crisis. It was actually one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. I was so clear that I wanted to move here that nothing got in the way. No justifications, no reasons (and there were many I could have used).
But I had to be clear. I had to know what I wanted. Only then could it unfold. I took one spirit-led step of faith and the mossy ground rose up to meet me. Everything fell into place. There was no plan. Certainly no plan B. I didn’t know ‘how’. All I had was a growing muscle of trust in my dreams, and the courage to follow them into the wild unknown.
Click here to tweet: “All I had was a growing muscle of trust in my dreams, and the courage to follow them into the unknown” – @KateWolfTweets
If you’d like to get closer to your dreams and visions, let go of the “But”s and “How”s, and wake up to the possibility of having exactly what you want, sign up here to receive inspiration and much more.
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Photo credit: Neil Barnwell / Foter / CC BY-SA