Developing a way to find that inner peace we all really desire isn’t always easy.
Like many other boys I grew up with the belief that we have to be strong, assertive and to take no crap from anyone and just get stuff done, no matter what the outcome.
Mistakes and failure were definitely not on the menu of the day and showing your emotions, admitting to making mistakes and failures or not knowing something was a sign of weakness.
“You mean you don’t know how to abseil down that 400 foot building head first?..…. you wimp!” and that kind of thing.
We were meant to be men after all.
But the reality was we were just boys, but we were boys being conditioned to be like everyone else. In other words, we were being taught what to think, not HOW to think.
A world of difference, which wasn’t and still isn’t accepted by many as it goes against the norm.
But in real terms what is ‘the norm?’
That’s exactly the point. Normal is what we have to be, what we’ve always done and what we’ve always got. We have to just be like everyone else and do what boys, sorry ‘men’ do, even when we’re still just boys.
But having read, watched and learned from some amazing people over the years, this way of thinking, doing and being only brings average, anxiety and misery as we go through our adult life until we’re somewhere in our mid- forties….. then we just get used to it.
And it’s downhill from there.
We’re weak if we choose something that is different, something that is out of the ordinary, that doesn’t revolve around making tons of money, driving a flash car and posing on Instagram and other social media ‘looking the part’ and the fear about what others may think or say about us moving away from the pack.
Doing something that adds value to others, that involves helping others, empathy and significance goes against the grain and the norm. It conjures up the fear, doubt and insecurity that lies within us all, if we haven’t been taught how to deal with such things before they’ve even taken hold.
Once they have, they are very difficult to overcome and all too often become part of our character. It would seem the world is full of people eager, desperate even to improve when you look at the number of self-help books, videos and seminars around, as well as the myriad of pills and medicines for anxiety and stress related conditions.
But so strong is the fear and doubt that has been woven into not only our minds but also our physical side that it is almost addictive, the daily feelings and release of stress hormones that our minds and bodies literally become so used to this stressed condition, that when we look to relax or calm things down, we struggle physically, not just mentally…. With almost withdrawal like symptoms.
The body isn’t used to a nice relaxing time out, whether that be a walk in the woods, a game of golf, a warm bath with candles and music, a spa treat or a soothing ten minute meditation.
Just note how many times your mind comes up with excuses why you don’t have time nor the money to do these things. And when you do, you struggle, fidget and become irritable as you tell yourself “I can’t relax”.
The mind’s book of excuses is a large one.
And so the cycle repeats itself. The body and mind have got their ‘norm’ and we’re back in the loop of average. We literally become happy being unhappy and stressed, because it’s what we’re used to.
We’re not supposed to do ‘Woo Woo’.
Or so I grew up believing, but there was always something inside, peace, tranquility and calm that was desperate to come out, but I had to keep chasing, pushing, grinding, doing whatever it takes to get results.
It didn’t matter what results they were…. I didn’t always know. I just knew I had to keep going after them and just get them done. I remember sitting on a river bank fishing years ago, that it was supposed to be calming and peaceful surrounded by nature being away from work, but it wasn’t. It sounded wonderful but peace and calm was elusive.
It seemed I wasn’t allowed to have that peace, serenity and just ‘being’ that I’d heard about and was desperate to have an experience of.
The closest I got was laying on a beach in the sunshine in my twenties I recall. The warm sun radiating over me, with the gentle sound of the sea gently lapping the sandy beach. It didn’t take me long to simply drift off into unconsciousness and bliss.
I woke up some time later feeling nothing and everything, difficult to imagine I know but that’s what I discovered Woo Woo was. Everything and nothing.
It was nothing like I had imagined in my previous thinking and everything I imagined serenity to be. A calm that you just have to feel, you simply can’t describe it and if you did, you wouldn’t do it any justice.
The problem was I couldn’t get to a beach as often as I would like. And that’s when I discovered listening to meditations of the sea gently lapping the shore was what I had been looking for all along, to be able to find my own little Woo Woo, safe place in a world of overwhelm.
Everyone is different, so one way of meditating may not work for another. I found a way to get into the peace and tranquility I had been searching for that I had resisted or rather my mind and body had resisted for so long, until the right thing came along.
If you ever feel you need to unwind, recharge or simply have too much ‘stuff’ going on, I challenge you to try dipping your toe into a short meditation of being by the sea. It’s probably not what you imagined it would be.
You never know, a little Woo Woo may just be what you need to change things.