Shackled by ourselves

I have over the course of a lifetime allowed my mind to dominate the real me, I have shackled myself with repeating thought patterns, made up in my head by the unconscious ramblings of others’ minds and the never-ending ramblings of my own.

I have created these so-called ‘truths’ about myself based on utter nonsense and then acted upon them. Thus actually creating the stories in reality. What we believe reality is, is what reality is. We always create and manifest our own reality. If we believe something to be true, then it is. If we believe we can do something we can and, of course, if we believe we can’t, then no surprise, we can’t.

I have felt shackled by those restrictions that I have created in my head and I have been slowly unshackling myself. However, I feel like I am slowly undoing a bolt or just starting to take the hacksaw to the chain and cutting slowly through it.

I feel that I want to jump into the water, but I just put one toe in, maybe a foot, and then I’m scared, the water is frightening, it’s cold, so I run back to the safety of the beach. It’s funny, that I am able outside of the nonsense of my head, to run straight into any sea, in any temperature and dive straight in, I have a cold shower, and during the winter months a fucking freezing cold shower, every single day and have done for 2 years. 

However, when it comes to getting on with my life dreams and allowing my soul to experience the things it wants to, the things I’d really, really, really want to do in life, then I am back to dipping the toe in the water and running back to the safety of the beach. Fear, as in whopping great psychological fear grips us all when it comes to the things we really want to do most in life. It is the fear of the uncertain future, that is just a concept in our heads as, of course, the future does not exist there is only now.

I am building the bravery muscle, as I want to stop just slowly removing the shackles, like dipping the toe in the water, I want to just dive in, I want to tear the shackles off in one go and be totally free of the restriction. 

I want to live a totally authentic life, where I allow the real me, my soul to experience life unhindered by the shackles of my mind and its thoughts and ego.

That means I have to face vulnerability and if you love Brene Brown’s work as I do, you’ll know that facing and rumbling (her fav word) with vulnerability isn’t a fluffy, cool and easy thing. It is like having to cross a river of molten lava in a flimsy dingy. Vulnerability, as in truly being our authentic and soulful essence is hard and requires true courage to ‘brave the wilderness’ (great Brene Brown book).

The hard things in life always bring us the most amazing and magical adventures and experiences, the very reason we are here and they get easier the more we brave it and build that bravery muscle, it’s all habit. The easy things turn sour, they bring us the suffering, regret, pain, internal pain, and eventually mental and physical decline. Easy gets hard and hard gets easy. But hard things require taking the shackles off, diving in and crossing the river of molten lava. But if life was plain sailing, no molten lava rivers, there would be no point to it.

Of course, our minds and egos don’t want any of this risk so it sabotages our attempts to be vulnerable and throw off the shackles. But at some point, when we are on the edge of that diving board looking down at the pool wanting to jump, we can either jump and become free or stay put, suffering a life of not achieving our true dreams living an unconscious mind-dominated life, whereby we miss real life now and spend it in our heads.

Take the shackles off and jump off the board.

The excuse factory

There are 3 steps to starting anything in life…1,2,3 GO!

Or we can, of course, complicate it, the mind is a top-level specialist at over-complication, along with perfection, it is one of its top weapons to prevent showing up and taking any risk. It is the excuse factory that will create reasons not to do something, the more levels of complication, the more thought and the more reasons to put off.

Simple small steps are easy, we can just start them…1,2,3 go.

If we break down any goal, plan, task, or action into small baby steps, that if done and repeated frequently, will over a given time period propel us to our goals.

As we are doing the tiny steps, the mind is silent as there is no perceived risk, it goes under the ‘fear’ radar undetected, and we get to our goals because guess what? we are actually doing something regularly. The journey of a thousand miles starts with just one step…as the saying goes.

It requires focus, commitment and a willingness to build a habit and, of course, patience. Like all things, when we do them frequently, they become easier and there is a compound effect that we see much greater achievement than we imagined if we do them often enough and for a long enough time.

Short-term quick ‘wins’ that require huge amounts of effort and overcoming the fear of starting mammoth tasks, always fail as we never get out of the starting blocks. There are no shortcuts and the mind’s psychological fears of any large daunting tasks are impossible to overcome without just focusing on the small step that can be done now.

Keep things simple, do them often, stay focussed in the moment that is now and don’t think beyond that. The excuse factory can be closed forever, it just takes one small step.