The Road of Conformity
Ever since I could remember my parents drummed into my head that I needed to ‘conform’ in order to achieve success in life and have a good place in society. Their definition of ‘conformity’ and ‘success’ were based on the following:
- Obtain distinctions in key exams at high school in order to be accepted in the best universities
- Successful jobs are limited to being a professional job, for example a doctor, lawyer or accountant
- Make enough money to have the financial means to afford a house in a good neighbourhood
- Marry well into a ‘good’ family to have a status in society
- Have the financial means to educate your children well so that they can follow your path.
For my parents that was the only way to become “successful” as they themselves grew up indoctrinated with similar convictions by their own parents.
All of us are still walking along the “Road of Conformity”
As I grew up along this path, my life and happiness became dependent on material things. I became increasingly focused on other people’s opinions of me and my actions, whilst I chased ambition in my corporate career, on the constant hunt to find the ‘perfect job’. It was never enough! Or rather, “I was never enough!”
I was completely controlled by my Ego. (see my post on The Ego, Friend or Enemy).
- I became a total workaholic, constantly pursuing the ideal job as the current one was never enough
- I was constantly highly stressed
- I was tired all the time
- I was too busy to find time for myself and loved ones, and the list went on…
I knew something was missing in my life but struggled to understand what it was exactly.
Recognising the Signals of Losing Connection with Our Body
This race against the clock and hectic pace of life affected my well-being significantly and it manifested itself in parts of my body where I was the weakest, namely my spine (see chapter 1, “At the Beginning”). Visits to the osteopath and physio became more frequent as my spine was regularly in spasm, tense and unable to relax, and coupled with back pain I was stressed and on the edge all the time. These were the signs that I was gradually disconnecting with my body. It was only after my spine operation (see chapter on Mental Health and Self Discipline) that I started realizing how disconnected my mind and body were.
This realization was my first step in my journey of awareness and mindfulness. My whole attitude changed. It was during that time that I understood the need to recalibrate my body and restore the balance
Find Balance that Works for You
I would be lying if I were to say that finding balance came easily and naturally. To be honest, I really battled! In theory it all sounded easy. Balance could be achieved with meditation, doing creative activities, laughing, taking long walks in nature and breathing fresh air, and the list goes on…I was however missing the ‘link’ that triggered within me this feeling of happiness and inner peace.
The Carefree Feeling of being a Child
One night, I had a dream. I was six years old again, on the beach and flying my kite. It was a special kite because this was a kite that my dad and I designed. I spent hours painting and decorating it until it was ready to fly! And fly it did, with its rainbow colours against the blue sky and trailing behind, a beautiful silver tail. What a sight! I was proud of myself and happy. I closed my eyes and imagine myself seated on the kite’s back, flying freely in the sky…..
Then I woke up. Although I was disappointed that it was just a dream, it left me with a feeling of happiness and contentment. These were happy memories that I had chosen to forget while I was racing in my fast lane lifestyle. I realized right at that moment that I needed to reconnect with these happy moments again. I found my ‘link’.
Keeping the Child Within Us Alive
Since then I have realized that in order to enjoy life and be truly happy, we need to keep the child within us alive. My morning routine always starts with 10 minutes meditation, and I begin by visualizing myself flying that beautiful kite in the sky on the beach. It automatically calms my mind and bring me joy and becomes my ‘link’ to start my meditation.
Find your link and rediscover the things you used to love to do as a child and revisit them again
Sharing some of my favourite quotes on “Inner Child”
Don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing
It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child
Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up
When you are in doubt, just reach out to your inner child – you will find that this child believes that everything is possible
Meditation with Pauline Guerin
Let us now listen to Pauline Guerin, as she shares her experience of finding her own inner child.
Wishing you good health!