‘Do what you want to do.’ On the face of it, it seems a benign (if overused) statement. But what if what you really want to do challenges or goes against society’s norms? In this case, ‘Do what you want to do’ can suddenly feel contentious, complicated and even fraught with difficulty.
It doesn’t matter if what you want to do is wear ‘age-inappropriate’ clothes, grieve for a stranger, or to stop treating friends and family to gifts that frighten the purse and prick the conscience, any behaviour that goes against the grain invariably raises a few eyebrows (if not the many).
Ignoring such looks of disapprobation or (to be kinder) confusion takes determination, but that’s not all. It requires self-permission and self-trust to be true to who you are and to allow yourself to do your own thing.
This doesn’t mean trampling over others’ beliefs nor does it assume the superiority of one path over another, but it does embrace a wonderful world of difference in which there are myriad ways to find happiness. Give yourself permission to explore them.
Breathe is available in the UK from 21 February in WHSmith, Waitrose, M&S, Sainsbury’s Tesco and other major newsagents. Find your nearest stockist here.
It will be available in the US and Canada about a month later: in the US in Barnes & Noble, Wholefoods, JoAnns, OTG Airports and Books A Million; and in Canada in Wholefoods, Indigo/Chapters, Press Commerce and Michael’s Craft Stores.