Giving yourself permission to explore options

by Bernadette Healy

binoc woman

Perhaps you just have to get out and try something else for a while.

Did you have any physical reaction when you read that sentence? For example, a sense of stomach churning, or chest tightening or your head sort of closing in on itself or perhaps even a sense of a muscle group relaxing? It is likely that your body knows about your true reaction before your mind does – and sometimes we practice not allowing ourselves to know our real reaction for so long that we are at risk one day of waking up and not being able to find it at all!

If you have been feeling for a while, as if nothing much is of interest to you; if you have long been wondering what it would have been like if you had chosen x instead of y; or even if you just have a niggling little sense that there is another something that you are supposed to be doing – it is probably time to go and do some exploring.

At some stage – if we are to experience ourselves fully – we need to allow ourselves to wander into the unknown. I can imagine that many may cry out with objection that the above is just not practical. That may be the case but it is still possible.

Of course you can do a little of that wandering in a sort of virtual way too – which might eventuate in the need to make actual change but you can at least start the process in this less confronting way. In my experience, the action of throwing up everything in the air as if you might change everything, will lead to a renewal even if, as often happens, the process leads to a re-commitment to the status quo.

  • So how to wander around virtually in a world of possibilities? Annoyingly, and as usual when it comes to personal development, there is no right or even wrong way.
  • You might like to think about your heroes and imagine how you could incorporate a little of their magic into your life
  • You might like to think about a trip and use that as an excuse for leaving your current situation
  • You might like to think about someone who you are constantly finding irritating and play around with the idea that what irritates you about them is something that is actually in you but not yet recognized
  • You might like to go and have a conversation with someone older than you and ask them about times when they found themselves wandering and what came of it
  • You might like to just take the question ‘what if …?’ around with you for the next few weeks and ask it of yourself regularly, being ready (and open) for your own answer turning up
  • You might have to face up to the need for taking responsibility for your own direction – that could mean staying where you are but it might not.
  • If you are into poetry: