Google ‘millennial’ and you’ll find countless articles telling you that our age cohort is lazy, narcissistic and spoilt. Apparently, no generation has ever had it as easy – maybe we have it too easy. We are told we have it all, that we’re frivolous and uncommitted, hopping from job to job, wanting full flexibility. We are shallow, valuing money, fame and image over self-acceptance and community. Worst of all, we aren’t having sex! On the plus side, we are open-minded, confident, self-expressive and receptive to new ideas and new ways of living.
The Easy Life?
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Wow. Is this really us? I guess life is easier for me and my peers. You could even say we are spoilt, with a vast range of possibilities out there for us. I don’t have to work in the same line as the generations before me. I get to choose my workplace, my friends and community, my spiritual path and my sexual preferences.
Yes, I am a millennial. I’m all too aware of the privilege I enjoy and I’m very grateful for these opportunities. Never before has humanity had so much choice and freedom. Everything I want is just a swipe, click or text message away. The whole world is ready and willing to fulfil my deepest desires, truly accessible in a way unimaginable to previous generations.
So, as a millennial with this new found freedom, what do I need now that I don’t have to just settle for survival and safety?
I need passion for life, adventure and excitement! I need money. I need friends, family, love and support. I desire intimate relationships and satisfying sex.
Great! These needs and desires are so achievable in this digital age, right? I need an adventure – just book a trip on Expedia. Need to fund my life? Better look for work on LinkedIn. I need more flexibility – check out UpWork to find a freelancing gig. I want to connect with my friends and find a community – easy! I have Facebook, Meetup, WhatsApp and all the rest. I want to explore dating and sexuality – I don’t even know where to start on the number of apps promising me that they’re going to get me laid or find my soulmate. I even have apps to develop my spiritual practices.
So it’s easy, right?! Life is so easy for us. What more could I possibly ask for? All my problems and issues solved with the simple tap of an app.
What’s Blocking Me?
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Wrong! The flip side of all this freedom is insecurity. With life more complex than ever, I, like many of my friends, feel plagued by a sense of having to compete with the crowd. How can I possibly be good enough when there are thousands of other people like me that can just as easily be swiped past? What makes me so special? What is blocking me from finding my unique talent, creativity and place in this world? What’s my place? Sometimes, the depression kicks in and I feel paralysed from making any productive changes in my life, feeling further and further behind.
As a human being, I have challenges that no amount of ‘freedom’ can resolve. There’s no point having the world at my fingertips if I have emotional blocks and barriers preventing me from accessing it all. The reality is, I have mental conditioning and unconscious beliefs that have been passed down to me from my parents and to them from their parents. Ancestral wounding that prevents me from believing that I am good or worthy enough.
Some time ago, I found myself feeling fear, anxiety and insecurity, anger, resentment and jealousy. Just like any human does at times. My life was so rich with opportunity – I had a good job and supportive friends but somehow I couldn’t see all this through the unconscious blocks and patterns that were running my life, keeping me trapped in limitation.
These looked like thoughts, emotions and feelings that weren’t serving me. The recurring themes: I know what I want but I fear I can’t get it. I’m scared that I’m not worthy of it. Faced with these mental and emotional barriers that kept me imprisoned, I realised: no, I am not free at all.
Breaking Through to True Freedom
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What can be done to fully take advantage of this age of abundance, opportunity and freedom? How do we break through our blocks and conditioning?
We start by befriending our negative emotions: the parts of us that we are ashamed of. The parts that feel fear, insecurity, anger, resentment. We stop running away, doing everything we can to suppress, disown and ignore these parts. We are honest with ourselves, acknowledging that these parts exist and are preventing us from living the life that we want to live. For me, these parts were keeping me disempowered, isolated and alone. As soon as I became aware of what my problem was, the work could begin. I began to walk the path of freedom.
I discovered that I need to go into these negative parts of myself. I need to go in and feel these uncomfortable emotions. I need to explore those thoughts that are not serving my life, to really take a good look at what is going on there. Where are these thoughts from and who do they really belong to?
How do I do this work of deep inner transformation?
I found that I couldn’t do it alone. I needed help and support to break free.
A Gym For the Soul
I have found somewhere that is a gym for the soul. A place that supports me to explore myself, challenging me to really look at areas of my life that I have been avoiding. It provides a safe, nourishing environment filled with friends that are also on the same shared journey as me. A place where I can drop all my unnecessary protection, masks and emotional barriers. Where I can allow the real me to be seen, loved and appreciated.
Osho Leela is a school of self-awareness and exploration. Self-exploration is the greatest adventure I have ever been on. I have made the deepest connections of my life. I’ve learned to work through my fears and insecurities and how to truly hold myself with love and compassion.
What is the Work?
Meditation is key to everything you do at Osho Leela. You use it to become self-aware. You practice active and social meditations as well as silent sitting. You learn to hold and witness disowned parts of yourselves and bring them into the light
Emotional Release & Bodywork
You use emotional release to dig into repressed emotions and blast through emotional blocks.
Psychodrama helps you to play out the negative roles that you were never given permission to act out, so that they can no longer sabotage you from the inside out. Body-based therapy is used to release emotional baggage, blockages and trauma that are stored in the body. You work on the past to look at your parents, examining programs or patterns passed down from them ancestrally that do not serve you here and now.
You work with deepening friendships and intimate relationships so that you can learn to connect authentically. You explore your needs and how to express them within a relationship or friendship from a place of truth and honesty rather than a place of always needing to be a pleaser for the other. Only when you learn to look after yourself are you then in a place where you can really support and love the other.
Osho Leela is not all about digging up the difficult stuff. It’s also about just having fun with your mates. Fun and playfulness tap into that childlike place of joy and wonder. Playing, dancing, laughing, relaxing and sharing.
If you are ready to explore your beautiful hidden depths and release the blocks that keep you from having the relationships, friends and life you desire, you can dip your toe in the water with one of our gentle weekend workshops or challenge yourself for deep transformation in a week-long intensive. We are situated in the beautiful Dorset countryside in South West England and offer a range of workshops focusing on different areas of life.
There is no greater adventure than the journey of self-discovery.
“If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down” – Buddha
Shivani Ottaway is a writer, facilitator, event coordinator and promoter at Osho Leela, having spent 10 years travelling and working for corporate America. She now dedicates her life to personal and spiritual development and endeavours to help others on the same path. firstname.lastname@example.org