In our goal oriented society checking boxes is held up as the highest form of accomplishment and self-achievement. I would argue though that with each box you check, you are just shoveling another pile of dirt onto the slow death of your soul. It’s an easy trap that most of us have fallen into from time to time. We can feel our souls smothered by all of that box checking dirt but sometimes we can’t see it for what it is and so the way out is even harder to see, especially as you fall deeper into it.
Here is the problem with box checking. Who created these goals and ideals? Who decided that this one pattern or practice is the ultimate need, desire, vocation, path etc. for anyone or everyone? They are called cannons of society. We naturally long to be accepted and feel achieved. So we go along with whatever are the current cannons of society. They show up as certain patterns we choose to follow for relationships, marriage, life goals, personal pursuits, material acquisitions and so on. Most of the boxes that people strive to check have nothing to do with the true calling of their souls and following a path that makes them feel alive and sets their souls on fire. They have everything to do with the expectations of the society and social groups in which you are living. Imagine how different these automated patterns might be if you lived in a different culture, a different time or simply among a group of very different people? When you realize this it becomes pretty easy to see that the choice to follow along with the box checking is just that- a choice!
When you liberate yourself from the conformity to the patterns of the larger social group in which you are living you open up the space to finally be you. To dream and live bigger than ever before! What becomes possible when there are no set expectations? Why anything of course! How many paths can you choose from if the path has not been chosen for you? An infinite number of paths! But how will you find your way? You simply follow your heart. You already have everything inside you that you need to be who your heart calls you to be. Use your intuition. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. When you let your soul guide you instead of the input of others and cannons of society your eyes, heart and mind will open quickly.
Soon enough the farce of following along a path that was defined for you but not by you will begin to look like the mad magazine fold in that it is. The interesting thing is that using your intuition & following your heart leads to more living in the present too. There becomes less need to plan and project, over think future moves, and reevaluate past moves. Following your soul works in real time. The mental burdens of past and future lift. The factoring in of how this might work or play out based on a myriad of people and factors slips away and there in that lovely space you had been smothering before, you will find life.
Give it a try! Pick just one aspect of your life, maybe your relationship, your job, your daily routine, your recreation time, your eating habits- whatever. Pick one and decide to liberate yourself from the cannons of society and influence of others. Start doing, responding, choosing and taking action in that area based only on what your soul calls you to do. You are not “fixing” anything, you are simply following what your heart calls you to do. It knows the way. So in each tiny choice, response, action or whatever pops up, stop and ask yourself “what does my heart call me to do here”. Go with that, don’t overthink, evaluate or strategize, just go with the flow.