Initially this gave me a certain amount of anxiety as like most people I want the sun and it’s extrovert promise of conviviality, achievement and easy creativity akin to play.
However now more than ever I need to steer clear of society’s expectations and those of my peer group. I needed to look at what sets me apart from the pack. The problem in life is we meet people who want us to be just like them or dogmatic institutions which say “This is the way we’ve always done it”. In childhood we may have been pressurised to take that career path or perhaps even more perniciously to accept second rate roles because we have been told we are not good enough to expect anything better. The big problem is that not enough people have taken the opportunity to be alone to consider what their natural strengths are or what they would love to pursue.
For many of us these are not easy issues. Pressures loom to earn money to make relationships work. Some people may be threatened by our desire to be different or change. The words rebel, trouble maker, eccentric, outsider, selfish or even weirdo could be thrown in our way to attempt to control or even extinguish our exploratory selves.
Time alone gives us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves to let our imaginations run wild. To look in the mirror and even our own hearts and ask what it is I really am here for. If we don’t do this then many of us are condemned to desperate lives as we try to be what others want us to be or even what we think they want us to be.
It is an important technique to be able to step out of ourselves by imagining ourselves as our guardian angel or even our own personal life coach. We are then creating some objectivity or an outside witness to observe who we really are.
Various techniques are available; some teachers suggest reaching this distance through power animals. What is their power animal, what is he doing etc. My preferred choice is to use the anima or animus approach invented by Gustav Jung. I imagine myself as a male down to every detail.
It is amazing how instant this is; do not reject what you imagine immediately. The gift of perception is sometimes hard to define or clarify. Our other sex self tells us what to modify, what to increase, what to pursue and what we might allow to happen. Ask him or her questions, their answers I promise will surprise you. It is the true art of expression and deliberate personal intervention, even therapy. All great teachers have suggested that all the answers are within ourselves and occasionally seek elsewhere.
The male or female within might challenge that knuckle white ability to hold onto a recognition or promotion but seek elsewhere for happiness. It is an exciting and inventive way of pursuing our life goals and strangely gives us motivation to carry on. As Quentin Crisp once said “It is no good running a pig farm badly for 30 years when I really wanted to be a ballet dancer”