Health How to be yourself

How do you know which one of your inner voices you should listen to?

Picture by malias (flickr)

When you want to live life on your own terms, there is one thing that often will cause confusion: our different inner voices. Very often, there will be one voice saying “I want to!” while at the same time, another voice is saying no. And the worst thing is, these voices change over time, so maybe when you first get an idea, it feels totally right, and you´re very exited, but when it starts to get time for action, resistance gets very powerful, telling you it´s too hard, or you´re not good enough or that it´s actually not very interesting what you decided to do. It might even tell you you HATE to do this whatever-it-is that´s on your agenda. So how do we know wich voice to listen to?!

For me, travelling, as an example, has turned into something that´s causing a lot of inner conflicts. When I decide about a trip, it usually feels fun, but the closer to departure, the more I regret my decision.  I have to get organized, decide what to pack and all that stuff needed to be done before leaving the house for some time. It causes me a lot of stress, I really hate it, and I start to think that I  never want to go anyplace again!

Until I was in my mid 20´s,  travelling, on the contrary, was holy to me, nothing I would ever question. Travelling to other countries, discovering new things, meeting new people… That´s what I would do as soon as I had a possibility, this is where I would put all my savings. One of my  friends from the small place where I grew up had a boyfriend who never wanted to go anyplace, and I remember how totally shocked I was about his “small mindedness” as I saw it.

So it´s really confusing  to realize that I´ve turned into such a home body! But then I realize what has changed: As long as I still lived in that small village, travelling would excite me, but somehow it would also make me depressed – when coming back to that small world where I didn´t want to be. I always longed to get away.

Later on, after I had moved to The City, started to study etc. I would still feel that travelling brought me a possibility to be “someone else” and to live a more exciting life than I normally did. It gave me a feeling of freedom.

But these days I´m very happy in my everyday life. I don´t feel the need to escape. I love to have my things around, the stuff I like to have for breakfast, my favorite teacup, my working place. Also I feel that even if I didn´t exactly travel the whole world (yet) I`ve lived in and travelled to many places and I´ve come to know people from all around the world, and what I´ve discovered is that there are many differences of course, but somehow there´s also so many similarities. And wherever I am there will be an every-day-life, and, most of all, I will still be me.

Today I am more interested in the challenge of personal growth than that of learning to orient myself in a new supermarket in a country where I don´t know the language very well. I experience adventures every day, while discovering the world anew through the eyes of my little son or when unexpectingly starting to talk to someone met during a bike excursion in the neighborhood.

Still I do travel, not extremely often, but several times a year, even though my resistance before leaving always is so immense. So why do I put myself in this situation? I think the reason is that I´ve learned that from the moment I´m on that train or plane, I start to relax; I get in to another state of mind where I start to forget about my everyday troubles, become more open, experience things more intense. And every time I get to a new place I will find things that makes me inspired, things I bring back home – sometimes it´s a new dish I had in a restaurant, or an interesting small store or the way someone painted their house. For every time I travel, my life at home become richer, and when I cook that dish, or give someone a new idea about how they could organize their kitchen, these are the fruits from my travels. It makes me feel more connected, part of the world in another way, and it also gives me perspective, making me appreciate many things I HAVE in my everyday life that I might otherwise just take for granted.

So I actually don´t hate to travel, I just hate to do the preparatons neccessairy for getting there. And isn´t this how it often is? When we get an idea, we really LOVE it, the glossy picture our fantasy create. The problem is, we want to get there AT ONCE, without having to do the (often hard) work needed to get there. And this is where recistance kicks in. Telling us it´s not worth the troubble. That it´s probably not going to be so nice once we get there. And that we might as well forget about it all and stay in our grey reality instead of wasting our energy trying to catch a dream…

So, what about you – how do you know when to listen to that “no”-voice and when not to?