Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Living Consciously or By Default?

against the grainJust because something is popular does not mean that it is right for everyone.

Many times, things become popular because people don't always take the time to determine what is right for them; we simply do what most people we know are doing.

When life is approached this way, it is not conscious living. It is living by default.

Our lives are designed to be customized...by us. We were born to live a life of purpose, meaning and joy. But all too often, despite the options available for us to explore, we cave to the pressure of family, peers, and humanity at large to do things "their" way because "that's the way it's always been done."

To live more consciously, it's important that we decide for ourselves what to do with our lives rather than jumping on the bandwagon of popular opinion. Customizing our lives means to make decisions that sometimes require us to go against the grain.

It's not always easy, though. When our friends and loved ones see us diverging from the choices they are making, they may feel threatened, confused, abandoned and become quite defensive.

Meanwhile, we may feel unsupported and misunderstood because we are thinking for ourselves. We may become frustrated and defensive when we have to explain or re-explain the reasons for our points of view.

When this happens, we must remember to exercise gentleness, openness, tolerance and patience. As we communicate why we are making the choices that we are to those closest to us, it helps to do so with integrity. Be calm. Be consistent. Be clear. At the same time, we have the right to ask for our choices to be respected as we respect their choices.

Our lives belong to us. So do our decisions. Every day more and more people are waking up and walking away from what's considered the norm. They are being called to create and customize life on their terms. Those who truly love us will stand by us and support us, even if they may not fully understand.

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