I remember being the odd ... the one who didn't have a great interest in education and did not value it much as others or in context of societal conditioning 'as much as others thought I should'. This path was laid for me - it was what was expected of me. The only way round it was to follow through with the path halfheartedly.
From birth you are under pressure. The stress of what is expected of you is piled on. The freedom of being a child becomes lost... creativity is blocked...communication is controlled...expression needs approval....in fact for most people you are thrown into a life created by your elders, your culture, your community, you friends, your teachers, your family and the institutions in life. The only way forwards is to follow what is expected of you. When intuitively this doesn't sit right ... you life does not feel right. Yet you conform to make others happy.
In terms of my cultural background, I am definitely at odds with society. I really don't fit in. Didn't get married or have children. Not even divorced with children - at least then you would have attempted to live the life even if you failed - only in terms of society expectations. If there is one place you are expected to fit in it is within you family and culture. People have a very subtle as well as obvious ways of letting you know you don't quite fit in. Success is Seen only by how well you fit in. This powerfully prevalent in Indian culture.
At work it is the same. Recently, I decided to see if where I work I would be allowed to do the free training course for teaching mindfulness - specifically MBSR, Having practiced meditation for over 20 years with all it's ups and downs and not attributing my practice to a particular religious bias would enable me to be a good teacher "officially". I hadn't done the 8 week course - which needed a minimum of 6 months regular practice but I was willing to do the course to allow me to understand show it is taught. I've learnt that psychology is claiming this pathway... I bought the 8 week course. It teaches what I know and understand through my experiential practice for many more years than was required. Therefore more than equivalent experience in the world does not count - unless you have followed the approved route.
All parts of society at home, socially, work and formal education show you how to follow life. They celebrate with you when you follow the normal way of doing things. So you graduate you get a special hat and a paper with red ribbon to show you how special you are and you get photos for memory. When you get married you get presents. When you produce a child you get presents. When you have been married for different number of years it's another celebration. When you study further at work in the expected ways you get the promotion. Only by conforming are you allowed to receive gifts freely and celebrate life. This realization was quite shocking at first.... but that is what is experienced.
Now I realize that people are actually uncomfortable with people who can be happy without following the crowds. Happy and accepting of life as it is because you understand the process of living life on purpose by being true to your true nature. You express things positively and differently therefore difficult to talke you as you are not being in past or your future because you focus is about being fully present in this moment. In order to function in this world you express things within the 'norm' at work, at home and even with some friends. Simply because you don't want to explain yourself. Living in the world draws you back into normal patterns for a while but these you find draining.
So how do you proceed.
Now. Be fully present now and enjoy the present moment and simply be free from living up to expectations. When you attempt to live up to expectation you are not living true to yourself. The more you live being true to you; the more you feel empowered. Though you may not always manage it the more you practice the more your life become aligned to your true self and your own path with true non-attachment to the outcome. The more there is non-attachment to your outcomes, the true taste of freedom envelopes you.
Allow yourself to celebrate the success of freedom in life. Feel the freedom and invite more.
Remember - you can choose what to celebrate in your life. You don't have to let others decide for you. So celebrate you as you are now and live life in freedom.
Peace Truth Love Light
Life Healing Values