One of the greatest transitions in life is to grow from Follower to Leader…and to break free from a life based on social norms and beliefs to a life self-driven by your own awakened mind or Rebel Buddha. Standing alone against the massive weight of the world projecting and suggesting methods and behaviors on to you that were never formed by you and your intelligence is not easy. Imagine standing alone against the massive energy of the world following social ideas and culture we were born to follow without question?
And yet now everyone is trying to fix us thinking we are broken.
The image and perception of happiness and well-being in our social culture is upside down and misconstrued, especially during the holiday season where it spins people off into confusion and self-doubt. Standing alone in personal truth as a leader defending personal choices versus choices accepted and followed by the masses can create disruptive doubts.
For example, the celebration of the end of the year evokes conflict. Most of the world follows the mindset of overeating and indulgence as a sign of celebration while in reality, this behavior can be quite destructive and out of control. Yet when one of us says “no” to this type of invitation. And if we do we are looked at with surprise and concern – a difficult experience and transition to go through. Why does the louder and noisier choice for celebration seem more appealing than say the quieter choice to meditate, pray, juice, cleanse or take care and express oneself authentically? Why are individuals and self-leaders who choose creative and different choices bearing a burden of judgment and misconception?
Standing alone on the road less traveled alongside a loud road more traveled is challenging. It is a courageous thing to shine a quiet yet bright personal light when to the right we see people on the road more traveled with noisemakers and party hats in loud celebration wearing appearances of happiness while most are probably on medications and struggling with symptoms that are strangely socially acceptable.
The perception of happiness in our social culture needs serious re-clarification because inner contentment is the state we all truly desire, yet rarely hear of. Inner contentment is quiet whereas happiness is an impermanent elusive concept based on a louder “stimulation happening” which dangerously seduces the world.
To be a leader is to stand strong in the windstorm of public opinion blowing instructions and perceptions as to how to live your life and look happy. To be a leader is to live a life of choices and behaviors that have gone through a process of personal discernment and understanding to which then those become true choices. Following the social standards of life was never a choice, but merely an assumption appointed by an outside entity that doesn’t have to live the unique consequences of those choices. To be a leader is to build inner strength, tools, and character that can carry you through life, challenges and adversity regardless. Some call it the Hero’s Journey or the Quest for Truth, as Elizabeth Gilbert, famed author of Eat, Pray, Love refers to it. This calling, she says, begins when the life one leads now feels worse than the unknown life ahead.
To be a leader is to stand in personal truth and look in the mirror liking who and what you see, knowing your choices come from a place of integrity and unwavering personal standard. And if the reward to this has not yet become evident, my hope is that the universe will soon acknowledge it and recognize it as the ultimate virtue moving forward making noise!
To be a leader is to live your own destiny, dietary choices, lifestyle, daily and spiritual practices with a head held high and a sparkle and gleam in your eyes that reflect a truth radiating beyond the noise and norms set by the world.
This is also my wish moving forward. That the quiet practitioners of truth become the known true leaders and that the path of Rebel Buddha within soon knows how to break free of fear and unhappiness to grow with sharp and clear intelligence that resists the noise of the status quo.