Walking the untrodden path

A square image divided in half vertically. The left side is brought pink, with the logo and web address for Ceryn Rowntree, www.cerynrowntree.com. White text above reads "walking the untrodden path. The right side of the image features a photograph courtesy of Unsplash, which shows a person carrying a surfboard through long grasses towards the shore.

The world is changing. From the political unrest that comes with people refusing to accept the decisions of a ruling class any more to the way that more and more people are moving from jobs with formal descriptions into a self employment they shape for themselves, and the fact that we are breaking down barriers around gender, sexuality and all of the other ridiculous ways we’ve defined people by boxes on a page for far too long.

It’s exciting, seriously so, because we’re moving into a way of life that offers all of us the chance to live a life that we’ve defined for ourselves and to follow what feels right for us free of boundaries, rules and the life-by-numbers approach that has become all too common in the years gone by.

But it can also be bloody scary. And right now I’m inviting us to really, truly acknowledge that, instead of convincing ourselves that walking this untrodden path through life will always be easy and fun.

A good friend of mine is self employed in a job that crosses a number of different traditional roles, and is in a long-term relationship with a woman having never considered herself anything other than heterosexual until well into adulthood.

I know, none of that is a big deal… she does amazing work with her incredibly satisfied clients, and is in a happy relationship with the right person for her. But reaching this point in her life has meant stepping outside of a lot of the traditions once expected of her, and has taken a lot of getting used to on my friend’s part.

We live in a world which likes to have definitions, explanations and rules… and for our entire lives so far we’ve been told that we humans not only should have those same things, but actually need them.

We’re starting to realise now that that isn’t the case. We can be flexible – hell, it’s important that we are flexible – so that we can be ourselves in the most perfect way for us, whatever society says. But doing that is not always easy.

Photograph (courtesy of Sarah Cervantes via Unsplash) of a woman with dark hair and lipstick and bright pink nails. Her hands are wrapped in pink gloves or tape and she has her right hand up to guard her face in a boxing pose while her left fist is outstretched towards the camera.

It means going our own way, walking the untrodden path and doing what is right for us regardless of what anyone else has to say or do about it.

​Sometimes that means speaking up to others when they disagree with our decisions or criticise and tell us we “should” be making a certain choice.

Sometimes it means doing things that can’t be defined by an elevator pitch or a single label.

Sometimes it means challenging our own definitions and the understanding of the world we’ve carried with us our whole life.

And sometimes it means sacking off the labels entirely and getting to grips with the fact that this thing we call life was never meant to fit into neat little boxes or a pretty, formulaic plan.

All of that can be confusing and tiring and it takes time. So go easy on yourself.

Photo (courtesy of Kira Auf Der Heide via Unsplash) of a brown leather journal and coloured map album, both on top of a dark wooden desk.

Be sure to tune in with yourself regularly – turn inwards and listen to what your own gut has to say away from the traditions of society, the beliefs of the people around you and what you’ve always believed to be “normal”.

Find the people that love you without conditions and the places you feel comfortable no matter what and embrace those relationships and situations whenever and wherever you need to.

And when the choices you make bring up confusion, fear, uncertainty and their other painful bedfellows within you; do the work to delve into yourself and dig out the roots of those feelings until you can make peace with your own truth.

And most of all remember that you were put here to do your thing and to be yourself, and that it is your birthright to be happy and successful in the way that is right for you.

If you’d like to do more of that delving, and a hand to hold as you walk that untrodden path, then check out my Soul-Centered Counselling and Soul Support sessions.

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