Reading Everyday Signs
We live in a world where we are bombarded with information about how we ‘ought’ to live our lives, how we can achieve ‘success’ and the supposed guaranteed pathways to happiness. We can feel pulled in many directions and become overwhelmed by signposts everywhere telling us which way to go. There is so much to look at and listen to; information comes our way from many people and places.
How do we sift all this information, so as to discern our own true path?
How do we listen to what is within us?
How do we hear our own wisdom?
How do we notice things in our ordinary lives and learn from them?
These are the questions we explored through activities and discussion.
We began by looking at statements about everyday living and considering what aspects of our daily lives we felt positive about and satisfied with, and what we would like to shift or change. These statements covered areas such as relationships, level of organisation, daily routines and wellbeing. Our lives are made up of many ordinary days – so the way we shape these impacts the entirety of our lives and our bigger decisions and dreams. People noticed many aspects of life that they could affirm as well as areas they would like to explore further or change. We talked about what happened within our body/emotion selves when we thought about the positives compared to when we thought about the challenges or struggles. This is an important sign to pay attention to.
The Energy in our Life
To further explore this we had an imaginary conversation on paper in which we described our life to someone. We used two colours to write with – one for when we felt ourselves being animated and energised in what we described and another for when we found ourselves feeling flat and drained by what we described. We held open the question: How can we shape our lives so that we increase what we feel energised and good about and decrease or manage differently that which drains us?
Signs That Point The Way
At any one time, in any situation, we have a range of responses available to us. Depending on how spacious or pressured we feel, how open or closed, how well or stressed, we can respond to what is before us differently. Responding well is about expanding our sense of our choices in ways we could respond and knowing what responses are most life giving for us and for others.
People were invited to explore some pairs of words through art.
What comes to your mind when you consider these words?
Love – Fear, Energising – Draining, React – Respond, I Should – I Choose
Through art and conversation, we reflected on how these pairs of words help us to consider our behaviour, our interactions with others and the world, and also our decision making. We talked about how, in the end, everything comes down to love or fear, and that there is often a mixture of both.
We looked at these words and thought about how we can choose either direction at any time and how important it can be to weigh up these possible directions. We can shape our lives in positive ways that reflect our own truth. Noticing our daily lives, listening to our inner responses, weighing up the signs around us and making considered choices are all ways that can help us to find the pathway that is most life-giving for us.