Breathe Issue 26

Remember being a kid and having to get permission to stay up late on a school night, play outside on a cold day or eat a second biscuit? Remember, in fact, having to get permission for what seemed like, well, everything?

That was then. Now, it’s a different matter. The only approval needed is from the self. But if that’s the case, why do so many feel uncomfortable deviating from the path that’s expected of them, even if it might be the first step to breaking out of a situation that feels static or suffocating?

It’s often easier said than done, of course. Practical considerations can preclude major change and many are quite happy as they are, thank you very much. But for those who aren’t, or who deep down crave different things or greater self-fulfilment, it can be helpful to recognise choices are out there and changes can be made without external sign-off.

This isn’t about clearing a path to goals or ambitions. It’s more fundamental than that. It’s about recognising the power within to say, ‘I give myself permission to believe I am worthy of happiness’, ‘I give myself permission to be different’, ‘I give myself permission to change’.

Physicist Albert Einstein once said: ‘The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.’ The days when approval from others was a prerequisite for any deviation from the norm have passed.

Want to stay up late on a work night? Do it. Fancy heading out for a long walk on a freezing winter’s day? Go for it (what better excuse to wear all those winter woollies). A second biscuit? Yes, please, plus a hot chocolate. No external permission required. That was then. This is now.