Sometimes the unconventional becomes conventional. The run of the mill which for many is mundane, for the few is full of movement, difference and appreciation.
Today I’m going to write about the importance of daring to dream and how to encourage your children and yourself to do so. 25 year old Connor Stringer is my son. He has recently become a performer with the world famous circus troupe – Cirque du Soliel.
To say I’m proud of him would be the understatement of the century.
I’ve always been an advocate, for my children leaning towards doing those things, which makes them most happy and encouraging them to keep moving forward on that path.Their minds may recognise meaning and purpose in life experiences encountered and opportunities tried but I leave it to their conscious decision making skills, to decide in what direction their life must continue to take.
Maybe it’s due to the fact that as their mum, I hold a humanistic perspective and utilise positive psychology and emotional communication in my relationship with them but what I’ve always believed, what I know, what I’ve experienced and learnt, is that if someone is personally happy – then they are on the right track in their own lives. No matter what else is going on.
Now this doesn’t mean that they dismiss difficulties in relationships or ignore anything which doesn’t fit within that realm and live life hedonistically. What I mean is, to live a happy life – you deal with the difficulties as they arise. You remain in the direction of your choosing. Until you choose differently.
You may not always be able to feel happy, as life & relationships expose challenges and obstacles. In this way – your understanding of the self grows, you develop wisdom, self awareness and most importantly discernment. In this process, being human becomes a spiritual practice.
This is how you build courage, stamina, trust and self efficacy.
The more you go in the wrong direction, the more your intuition, senses, thoughts and feelings, attend to steering you back on the right course. Ever been in the situation, where you’ve experienced your internal world wanting to go in an opposite direction to what your mind thinks is right? Its called cognitive dissonance.
Learning to listen to yourself and using your discernment -from this point you build trust in all aspects of yourself. Body, mind and soul. Yet if you recognise that a difficulty has arisen – it is finding the courage to deal with that difficulty head on and knowing which part of yourself to follow at each given transition.
Instead of doing what you don’t want – explore what you do – assess your thoughts to see how accurate they are and look at the results of what you’re doing to achieve your dreams.
- Explore what success means to you not to society.
- Think in short, medium and long-term goals.
- Keep stepping forward in the right direction for you.
- If something you want doesn’t become a reality. Then look at the need behind it and create some sort of change with that understanding.
Connor has worked hard to get to the point where he is within his profession – committing to a daily practice of training. He never would have reached this point, if he didn’t stick with it, when others around him gave up. He knows his downfalls and pitfalls, has been able to learn about fear and courage through the art of freerunning and has challenged himself to become better at what he does. He’s had fun, met some amazing people, performed in some wonderful places across the globe ( New Year 2018 – the Maldives). Working with Cirque du Soliel is the result he’s gained, in working as hard as he has, connecting with the right people and being brave enough to take the opportunities which have come his way.
Part of the process is realising that what you want, does not always come to you in a straightforward manner or in the way you think it should – at times, I believe the universe may not agree with your decision and so it guides you in a different direction which you just have to trust. One thing I do know, is if you want to live your own life, then you need to understand how your internal compass is working – allow it to guide you forward. To build on the inner trust, confidence and wisdom that you already hold inside. Recognise how natural happiness can change the way we think and be willing and open to explore what is needed to move you into the direction you desire to grow and go.
I also understand that as a parent, you may choose to stay in one place for the benefit of your children – you grow emotionally, create stability – a home. When they’ve grown, it’s time to turn the cogs of your own wheel and begin to grow in a different way again.
As I watch my children grow ever older as adults, I recognise they are making their own choices, which we support as much as we can. Sometimes our world views are different and we don’t always agree but I’m always proud internally, when they stand their ground and do what is right for them, even if it means disagreeing with us. Happily I”m pleased to say this doesn’t happen very often.
What I’ve learnt as a Mother, is that our experiences have a hand in shaping us but somewhere in there, is a choice on how to behave and what to do. Maybe its unconscious and comes through lack of wisdom or emotional understanding. Without growing in awareness those choices can be great or damaging – our thinking can both help or hinder.
We can continue to decide on each step we put in front of us, mindfully. Doesn’t make it easy or less challenging. But it does keep us working towards our goals, desires and dreams.
My son continues to embrace learning, grow in his way and direction – set goals, explore and make the most of all opportunities in the process. He’s done more in the last 7 years than many will do in a lifetime. He reminds me how to truly live on those days when I forget or over look it.
Where each life leads who knows, who can say!
Yet if you don’t consciously participate – lean into the work involved. You’ll then have no choice in how it unfolds and believe me, if you’re still breathing its not all unfolded yet. So be willing to engage and do the work and create something different, better or just be more engaged with this thing called life. What have you got to lose!