When my husband and I married, our honeymoon was a memory making adventure. Part of this adventure included tours. I’m usually not someone who enjoys tours, I kind of like to do, what I want to do, when I want to do it, but my stress level, over-doing, over-worrying and overwhelm was at an all-time high.
Concepts such as letting go, surrendering and going with the flow had yet to enter my consciousness. So, trotting along behind someone who was telling me where to go and what to do was a welcome opportunity to ‘check out’.
At times I mentally check out when I’m in a situation that doesn’t require me to think – such as being a passenger in a car. The downside is if I’m now the driver, heading to the same destination, I won’t remember how to get there and soon I’ll be lost.
In this age of information there are millions of people telling us how not to be lost, how to do life and even telling us what words mean. Look at how Brené Brown has brought new (and valuable) meaning to words such as vulnerable, trust, courage and bravery.
However, there is a term ‘collective consciousness’ sometimes referred to as hive mind, that drives us to want to be apart of the crowd; to fit in, to belong and to follow along. It’s part of our human nature.
As very young children we danced to the beat of our own drum, but as we grew, we learned to dance to the beat of the family or cultural drum, essentially becoming one with the hive.
Self-help has become a $9.9 billion dollar industry because (my opinion) this process of growing up, is largely about waking up to the person you were born to be. We are craving ideas, direction and information. But, with so much information available, we must be careful to not let others drive our consciousness car.
I love to read, learn and listen and human behavior has been an interest of mine since I was 14 years old. But what I didn’t do for decades, is drive my own car. I assumed that the ‘experts’ knew what was best for me and I trotted along, not thinking for myself and often ended up on ‘tours’ that were not the best fit for me.
Today I ask myself questions like these: How does that concept or idea feel to me? What direction do I want to go? What does that word mean to me? What do I want? What is my definition? What works for me and what doesn’t? It’s a process of sifting through information and finding what lights you up and what opens you up to healthier ways of living that are for your highest good – not someone else’s.
Being the driver of your own car, is a practice in mindfulness. Being mindful of your emotional landscape allows you to begin to chart your own course, write your own definitions, create your own dance and beat your drum any way you like.
So, what’s your opinion on all this? I’d love to know – comment below!