As a child I had a vivid imagination, able to create stories in my head and by writing things down. Every Christmas my sister and I would script and perform a puppet show making the set and costumes ourselves (Blue Peter style) rehearsing for hours until we were satisfied it was ready for public consumption. I took great pride in these productions completely immersing myself in the creative process, long before I even knew what creative process was.
Growing up I became increasingly disillusioned with the rigidity I experienced in school and the lack of room for creative thinking. On reflection, I think most of my creativity became internalised and unable to find an avenue for self expression, my mood took a dive. I found myself struggling to fit into a system which I would never be able to fit into.
My original ambition to train as a photographer never came to fruition after I allowed myself to be talked out of the possibility of success on the account of being female.
I made choices on the basis of what seemed right, rather than following my heart. In truth, I trained in Occupational Therapy because I knew I would have regular employment at the end of three years. What I discovered was a passion I never knew existed. A relentless quest for understanding what makes us sick and how to prevent the seeds of ill health from developing into disease process.
Don’t get me wrong, this didn’t happen overnight, it took years to realise what I was able to bring to the table, facilitating healing, enabling a change of perspective, a change of narrative.
We are limited not only by social conditioning, but also by our insecurities and lack of self belief.
In reality many people never realise their full potential settling for second or even third best. This may mean giving up dreams as they rationalise choices and make an intellectual decision based on financial security and what is deemed acceptable. What happens to us as human beings when we put away those childhood dreams, out of reach and out of sight. We do this and yet we know all things are possible when we believe them so.
I have a vision of a world in which we are able to follow our dreams with confidence. Where we are actively encouraged to follow those dreams by parents, teachers and care givers. Where we are listened to and taken seriously rather than being laughed at, judged and humiliated.
I have a vision that the way we measure success will one day be gauged by the outcomes of health, happiness and contentment, rather than status and how much we earn. By the contributions we make to economies of health, well being and happiness rather than economic growth.
I see a time when we will value people for who they are rather than what they do. By the contributions they make to their community, the wider community and the lives of others.
However these attitudes and values are deeply entrenched in our psyche and in western culture, it will take inner work and a consciousness shift in order to change the status quo.
If attitudes change and people find a way to live happy, need for the current level of health and social care will surely decline. Illness and disease is not born out of a random health lottery, they are manifest from relinquishing our deepest heart felt longings and desires.
When these longings desires and dreams are realised, good health follows and as long as we don’t stray from the path, will continue. Of course it’s human nature to be seduced by glamour and this is always a potential risk. But as long as we continue to make regular time and space for remembering our true path we will stay the course. Dream big, hold the vision!
From my heart to yours – go well.