Permission to Pursue the Dopest of Dreams

Permission

Sat around the dinner table this evening with friends, talking about life and our dreams, I was thinking about permission. Too often we hang fire on chasing after our dreams because we’re waiting on someone else to give us the permission to do so. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, we’re awaiting permission from parents, society, our peers or even ourselves.

There are two kinds of people. The first are those who are spoon-fed. The second are those who grab the bull by the horns. The former are those who do things the way things were done before them. Even if it doesn’t feel the best, they do what they feel they ought to be doing. It’s what everyone else is doing, therefore surely it’s the smartest choice…The latter are the people who don’t wait for someone to give them the permission to chase their dreams and do what calls to them. These are the people who instead commit to going after what they want – regardless of how difficult it is and how many ‘no’s’ they encounter along the way.

It seems the pattern is fairly consistent here. It doesn’t matter what the committed pioneer is pursuing. First, he tries and goes against societal expectations. He faces the ridicule of friends and family who are still stuck in old ways. This ridicule only stems from those who can’t imagine doing things any other way, or those who have tried and failed. He then faces self-doubt. ‘Why am I doing this to myself?’ he asks. And then, he wins. And it’s that win that feels more fulfilling to him than any amount of spoonfuls presented on a plate. This is because the meal he’s finally tasting is enriched with the most decadent and exotic flavours, far exceeding twice the quantity in slop.

This is metaphor heavy – I realise – but for someone who’s tasted the freedom of dream-chasing, any other life is a sure-fire path to starvation. It’s slop on the plate and a weevil-infested pantry in the mind.

We wonder why mental illness is at an all-time high. Loneliness and unfulfilled dreams permeating every ‘social’ circle. These brilliant minds are bored. They don’t believe in what they do and they’re craving the satiation – the satisfaction – of dreams come true. They’re craving the boomerang effect of vibrations just like the ones in their heart and soul bouncing back at them from a manifested existence that they want to be a part of. More so – that they want to create.

So if we’re all created equal. If each of us unique, with our own set of skills and strengths, why are only a few of us calling the shots? I call it a disease of awaiting permission unnecessarily. And it has quite simply got to stop.

There’s a formula for how the world works at the moment, and few who dare to go against the system and make an attempt at doing things differently. What would be the wider outcome if this became the way of the world? How would the system change?

Today’s food for thought.

Photo: Flickr

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The Pringles Pop – Creativity Unleashed

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I am sitting in my bay window, eyes to the sky cast grey and searching eagerly for any promising patch of blue that might indicate that I don’t have to carry my umbrella with me today. It’s May, right? That means practically summer, right? And yet looking at that sky I know I must still keep my year-round British accoutrements within close reach – either waterproof or umbrella – because though the patches of cerulean do treat my irises from time to time, the grey is ever-looming in this universe of infinite possibilities.

As I let my mind begin to drift off and take me to warmer reaches of the globe where rainfall is minimal, I spot two crows high up in a tree directly ahead of me. Simultaneously I hear the familiar screeching of a colony of seagulls. I see how the crows begin anxiously hopping from branch to branch high in that tree top. They acutely watch each other’s backs, anticipating the first of what I suspect will be many swoops in a total mobbing. I wasn’t wrong; the seagulls took turns diving, legs outstretched, attacking the crows.

I didn’t think that seagulls would go for crows; after all, those wise black birds are rather large in comparison and as such I didn’t think the seagulls would be so audacious as to try tackling them. But then I got a greater perspective of the scale as I counted ten then eleven then finally twelve gulls darting overhead. I recognised in that moment that to these gulls, the crows were hardly intimidating. If you’ve got many supporters, you feel empowered and as such the risk is lowered and the obstacle or feat at hand minimised.

I don’t know what each one of those gulls was thinking; they may well have all had the same-track mind, the same innate desire to attack. But it is also just as plausible that a powerful few in this colony of strongly hierarchical animals influenced such an aggressive encounter much to the dismay of the rest of the party. We see this in nature and we see this in our own race.

It is a natural instinct to want to be a part of something, to want to fit in and be accepted no matter the internal emotional cost. We see this throughout our time growing up and well into adulthood. And the perimeters of this stretch far and wide across all societies. But some of us – the lucky ones – and I say ‘us’ because I’m feeling the boundaries of creativity in myself crumbling walk our own path despite the odds stacked against us. We are given the formula for how to succeed according to the standards deemed acceptable en masse, but we choose to take off in the other direction.

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Once you start, you can’t stop; just like the Pringles pop. This is what I’ve learned this week. All it takes is the right curious thought, the right trigger of self-reflection that causes you to have no choice but to express yourself and follow the beliefs you know innately to be true within yourself, despite the risks involved. The risks are losing compatibility with the life you have been living, drifting away from people that before you would have named as your friends and facing the pain of shedding layer upon layer of the façade you have so carefully hidden behind for so long that you can’t quite remember life before.

Self-preservation is prevalent in this world. It is a necessity. But there is a difference between seeking shelter, food and water and watching your dreams expressed in another life parallel to yours because you’re telling yourself you’re preserving your life. Who said life was meant to be lived safely? Who said that life is meant to be lived under a shroud of accountability and protection, insurance and insignificance. Is that really self-preservation? Or is it in fact self-abuse and self-destruction? I believe the latter.

What would change if we all accepted that those desires we know to be valid within ourselves, that drive for whatever that we feel as the slow burner of our soul were there because it’s our internal guidance system telling us what’s what, guiding us in the direction of what it is we should be doing? What if I told you that there’s nothing wrong with you? What if I said that you’re perfect exactly as you are and that those creative pursuits you wish to pursue worthy of your time? What would you do then?

 

Photos: Konstantinos Dafalias via Flickr, Samy Abul Wahed via Flickr

For each is an artist with his own tone

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The imagination is an incredible asset both on a personal and collective level. Our ability to bring fantasy to life via film, the pages of books or canvas magnificence is the colour palette of this world and our lives whilst on planet Earth.

I was glancing over at some new additions to our living room library – Tolkien’s epic Lord of the Rings series – and began to think about all the writers who have brought joy, inspiration and escape to so many of us purely through their desire to see their work through to fruition. From Tennyson’s ‘The Lady of Shallot’ to J. K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’, the ripples of creativity from these stories are felt around the world as they are read and digested. And it’s not in the hard labour of the grind that we use these worlds of fantasy, but in our leisure time. The writers of these mysterious passages ignite the fire in our belly that longs for parallel universes, foreign realms in the back of our wardrobes, fairies, elves, higher dimensions, talking animals, castles in the sky and a middle earth.

So after my moment of quiet gratitude for the great writers who walk amongst us and the secret worlds they create, I began to gather thought on the counter-side to this nirvana. I began to wonder how many other worlds are out there – waiting to be explored by us all – because the minds behind these miracles have not yet committed to bringing forth their idea to ink-point.

Unfortunately we co-exist in a world where doing what feels best and nourishing the fruits of our soul are not prioritised. How many creatives float amongst us on the busy city streets, bursting at the seams with ideas yet hushed under lock and key?

I feel like artists are often viewed as lazy or flaky up until the point where they make a name for themselves and a substantial income from their projects. They are frowned upon by the suit-donned of society pacing faster and faster to their prison cell of an office with each new day. These people who don’t really like what they’re doing (but find it too painful to admit that truth to themselves) will of course project their sourness onto those pursuing a path which feels good to them. Projection and judgement are the enemies of connection and calm. If we lived in a world where we truly encouraged each other to do what feels good and make that a priority, we wouldn’t have the sour-patch kids flying up their high-rises, or the teachers pained by how detrimental and soul-sucking mainstream schools are.

We are plagued by a bitterness of feeling the inner knowing to do one thing, but forcing ourselves to pursue another. Choosing to live for yourself will undoubtedly bring you conflict amongst people it pains you to disappoint or disagree with, whether this is family or friends. But what if I told you that this is a small price to pay if the outcome is absolute bliss and abundance? If you think about it on the most basic level, the people you should surround yourself with are those who support you and encourage you to feel exactly what you’re feeling and not try to ‘fix’ you because they project onto you their idea of how a person should or shouldn’t behave, act or feel.

When you think about it on this most basic level, it can be a painful realisation that those of the same DNA as each of us may not be on the same energetic level. Some of us are blessed with a family unit who are supportive and encouraging and allow us to grow in whichever direction we decide to thrive. Others are strangers with familiarity in the form of a similar biological composition and pretty much that alone.

Now this isn’t to scare you or discourage you from persisting with your family or friends after you’ve had a disagreement; at the end of the day we are all human, despite whatever higher self we are able to attune to and as such all make mistakes from time to time and let baggage, resentment and built-up emotional suppression get in the way of understanding each other and overcoming conflict. What I am proposing though, is an openness to realising that everything is not what it seems and that your gut instinct will tell you whether those in your company are fuelling your freedom or feud.

So let’s go back a moment to this gratitude for the many wonderful writers – living or dead – who have graced this planet and appreciate them for chasing after their dreams, recognising their gift and trusting the part of them that voiced with an almighty bellow, “this is simply what you’re meant to do!” The end result was pleasure for all the rest of us on this revolving rock.

If we follow this line of thought then, it makes perfect sense to encourage each other to do what feels good as we all benefit as a collective in one way or another from that individual’s creation. The inner artist lives in each of us. Stripping back the layers of brightly-coloured acrylic, eloquent synonyms or rhythmic toe-tapping, we reveal the aspect of ourselves that lives in the aura of beauty, love and connection: source energy itself.  The only difference between an external artist and an internal artist is that those pursuing it on the outside have committed to the path of alignment. I think the person living this life deserves the utmost respect and encouragement.

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Insipid is an insipid word.

If you were a flavour, what would you be?

Or better still, a colour; which best reflects your energy?

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In the same way that you don’t mix chocolate and lemon or aubergine and lime green, you’re never going to please everyone or even see eye-to-eye with every human being.

Amicable, yes, and quite rightly so, you should not object to give respect if you expect to get it back in return.

But don’t kid yourself that you’re happy in that closed circuit circle where you’re never really listened to or ever really comfortable spitting the words that make the circuit of your world spin.

Nobody likes to be lonely, but likewise it is vital that you take the time to be present with yourself and learn about who you really are. Don’t smother and cover and hide beneath another because you’re too scared to admit to yourself that you are doing it all wrong.

Having one friend that gets it; feels what you feel and sees into your mind’s eye and the soul of your soul outshines any number of people you party with. And they’re worth more than all the small-talk tepid types you could quite easily surround a numbed mind with.

I’m referring to the people that see you for you and allow you to grow from that delicate little shoot into the tallest of trees. I’m talking about the people that aren’t trying to slot you onto their pedestal that they rest on top of in a daze.

What did you come to this planet to do? If your answer is cruise along the Insipid Highway, you’re reading the wrong blog.

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