I never thought I’d hear those words coming out of anyone’s mouth. Let alone hers.
“I wish I’d killed you when you were born.”
Her disdain echoed in my head. It was like we’d moved from the living room of my mother’s house to a valley deep in New Zealand, and she’d just screamed the words out loud. Her voice bounced off every surrounding surface. Startled birds screeched and flew away in the distance.
Anyone who’s ever watched a Bollywood movie knows exactly what I mean. (Walking along the street one minute, dancing in a field in Sweden the next, right?).
What are you thinking after reading what she said to me?
That those words from my mother were unacceptable?
That a parent should never say anything like that to their child? That I should have walked out and never spoken to her again?
Or are you thinking – your mother has her own story, Raz. Her own struggles. And those words? Are a result of both of those things.
They’re less about you, and more about her.
If you’re thinking the latter, you’re practicing forgiveness. Just as I’ve learned. From Vishnu himself, no less.
But this post isn’t about forgiveness.
It’s about pushing boundaries.
Because pushing boundaries not only makes you grow, it changes the entire social environment for the next generation.
When people witness you taking steps to move your life away from the norm, they’re encouraged to do the same themselves. It’s how new communities are built.
And that’s a movement that’s starting. Today.
My generation of women – born in the West, to families who migrated from the East -, are experiencing an awakening. It’s happening one woman at a time. With small actions, and major show stopping ones.
They’re looking back at their childhood, when they were told that they weren’t good enough to compete with the boys, and realising that they are. Only it isn’t a competition. It’s expansion through unity.
They’re replaying those messages that conditioned them to believe that they were only bound for a life of marriage and children, and they’re redefining it in their psyche.
They’ve learned that they’re bound for whatever they choose to be. Not what their social circle expects of them.
They’re witness to the limitations of their communities, finding ways of challenging the standard, and making tiny changes. It’s creating its own butterfly effect.
And the same is happening within me.
Because when I heard those words from my mother, I decided to uproot my entire life. And I started something new.
I stopped thinking what if I:
Moved out of my home town
Moved into the capital city
Made new friends and turned my hand to a new life
And the thing I started? Is thinking why not?
See the stagnation in my current life and build something new?
Live in the city I’d admired from afar for so long?
Get out of my comfort zone and into new circles?
And so it began. An adventure. An EatPrayLovin’ exploration. And my very own awakening.
Because when you stop dreaming of what if…, and start living why not? Your entire life begins to slowly shift. And it moves you to the direction that was previously possible in your mind alone.
And the most beautiful thing? Is that it can begin with very small movements.
My small movements took me all the way from the North of England to luscious Paris.
Where are yours going to take you?
Changing your thought patterns like this can raise a preposterous amount of resistance (I’m English. Using words like ‘preposterous’ is mandatory). And there’s a hellova lot that you can do about it:
Know that it’s temporary because it’s in your control. Resistance is a result of fear. And fear in your mind can be changed. Read this gem and learn the best way to do it.
And what’s more? It’s a chemical reaction in your body. Did you know that when positive change happens, your body starts to receive Seratonin, the feel-good chemical? But because your body was previously content with receiving Cortisol, the stress hormone, it starts to resist it.
Wanting more of what it’s accustomed to (Cortisol), your body decides to tell you to give up, only start and not finish, or tell you that you’re failing. All this leads you to abandon the change, and give up.
DON’T LISTEN TO IT.
Carry on down the path you started. Feed your body with feel-good Seratonin. Because that’s what it’ll eventually start being accustomed to. Y’see folks? Science.
Resolve to see your bigger picture. What experiences do you want in your life, and how do you want to feel? Take time to flesh this out and write it down. This itself will drip-feed the drive you need to start with limited hesitation.
Once it’s written, read it whenever you feel resistance. It’ll be your personal cheerleader. And who doesn’t need one of those?
And the final thing to do is to simply start small. Baby up those steps. Because Practice makes persistence. And persistence makes you unstoppable.
Today may not be the day you quit your job to do nothing but retire to the Himalayas and monk-out ‘til eternity. The job you have took investment. So perhaps today you simply book yourself onto a meditation retreat, and build from there.
And so it starts. The movement that takes your what if.. and makes it an unstoppable why not?
And today? Is your opportunity to share your story with our community here. What times in your life did you decide to challenge yourself and do something different? What change did you create, big or small? When did you turn your what if… into a why not?
And if you’re feeling like sharing some more, join the campaign. We want you on our team. It would be an honour to have you.
Razwana Wahid is the founder of Your Work is Your Life. A copywriting and online business strategy service dedicated to coaches, consultants, healers and service providers. The ‘what if …. why not?’ movement has started. Are you in? Join us. Right here.
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