For those familiar with the university/college application system in Ireland- the CAO is a stressful process for most young adults. How did we make this decision? What guidance supported our thought process? Were we considering what we most enjoy, what is expected, what is practical or what our parents and teachers think we should choose…
I recently found my CAO form and was really curious about the preferences I had made- top of the list was international business with languages, following this- media studies, dance and performance, film studies, drama and theatre studies… For this application your top one or two choices were the courses you highly considered as they were likely what you would get- I remember being told that the rest of the form you can fill in anything else as it was largely irrelevant. I remember enjoying researching these options the most- they were the creative, “wouldn’t that be fun” choices I honestly felt were not available to me due to the “practicalities” I was educated in as a young student.
It is interesting to see that when less pressure was placed on the course choices further down the form they were in fact more aligned to my natural interests and aspirations. When we give ourselves the freedom to choose and drop away any fears of expectation or consequences, our choices become more authentic and honest to who we are.
I remember the huge pressure of this big decision and the crossed wires and confusion I felt trying to determine my wishes from those of my peers, parents, teachers and society norms. Thankfully my life is weaving in all of my true preferences and I gladly benefitted by all paths of experience to date!
But how often do we continue a path unquestioned.
When we give ourselves the freedom to choose and drop away any fears of expectation or consequences, our choices can be very different…
Our paths lead us in complimentary directions, opposing crossroads and parallel avenues. Whatever your age and background, every day is a new opportunity to make the choice that feels best for you… not best to someone else or preferable to another- what is best for YOU?
Listening to your truth may not be apparent at first, here are some practical steps:
1. Take 30 minutes (set your timer) to yourself everyday to free write, filing A4 pages with sporadic thoughts for 15 minutes.
2. After this mental clearing, comfortably sit in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed (tell others you are busy for this 30 minutes).
3. As you sit connect with your breath, tune into the texture and quality of your breath for 10 minutes.
4. Repeat within your mind the mantra “I am” or in sanskrit “So Ham” – inhale breathe in So, exhale Ham.
5. Release the mantra when you feel guided to rest and enjoy the silence that follows.
This introductory practice will create space in the mind to allow natural intuitions and ideas to grow forth.
When you have more time follow it with creative expression activities such as the techniques practiced in the monthly Soul*Dance workshop and mentioned in related posts.