What is your life?
Much more than meets the eye, that’s for sure. You have desires and you have fears. You have memories, and you have dreams.
It is interesting that, while all of these have been experienced by you, not all are yours. Some are the dreams wished for on a star. Some developed as you traveled life’s paths. Some grew out of the changes you experienced. Still others have been given (and sometimes pushed upon) you by loved ones, the work place, society and the seeming realities you face in life.
Joe Vitale once said, “When you bury emotions, you bury them alive.” The same holds true for desires, inspirations and dreams.
Life at times seems to rob us of precious inspirations that felt like they flowed from our very souls; from our highest and simplest ambitions. It felt as if our hearts were speaking, and they were. “I want to be president, I will be a great dancer, I want to travel the world, I want to change my life, I want to be a monk, I want to fly to the moon”. Then someone frowned at them, another questioned, scoffed or ridiculed; and slowly the dream was buried…..alive.
Toltecs call this process ‘domestication’, and while it is an uncomfortable phrase (after all, we domesticate horses and dogs) it accurately describes the process. From the moment we are born, we are domesticated. Crying gets comfort, or a slap; giggling gets smiles, or frowns; kissing gets more kisses, or an ‘ick’; courage gets applause, or ridicule; dreams get supported, or shot down.
The culture we were raised in has dictated many of the values and beliefs we now hold. Family, religion, society, geography and political influences are enormous, and all tell us what is right and wrong at every level of our being. It is here where we learned what other’s thought we were capable of. We learned what other’s thought was impossible. We learned to limit ourselves. We learned to compare and to compromise, to give in and to give up.
Slowly and surely our dreams and passions gave way to the seeming realities we heard and faced and we learned to ‘make do’ and ‘get by’. We learned to settle for less than what our hearts said we could be, have and do.
David Wilcox wrote, “When we lay our dreams to rest, we can get what’s second best, but it’s hard to get enough.”
Does this ring a bell? Does it call forth long forgotten dreams or passions that you’ve layered limitations on? Did you compromise your cherished inspirations for others, or for what others told you was possible? Did you lay a dream to rest? Almost everyone has.
The question now becomes one of fulfillment. Are you happy now, today? Do you have the experiences in life that you want? Are you being the person you want to be? Are your relationships all that you wish they were? Have you fulfilled your dreams? Many will answer ‘no’.
How do you dig yourself out from under the ‘no’ to find the ‘yes’? How do you follow your dreams and your heart?
It takes passion and a determined soul to grab the shovel and start digging. It is also a matter of sight. We have to see what we’ve chosen in order to change it. We have to see that we gave up and gave in, in order to be able to get up and get out. We have to believe that it is possible before we accept the challenge of doing it. Or, at least believe the person telling us it is possible, while we gain the experience of that truth.
It can seem like a mountain standing in our way. And it often is. But it is a mountain of our own making, and un-making it can be far simpler, far faster….and far more rewarding.
Remember, we were domesticated. Right or wrong, we chose what to believe is impossible. We decided to take on other’s fear, insecurity, judgments and experiences and made them our own ~ even though they weren’t.
Here’s the truth: they do not have to be kept! By deciding what is impossible, you bury alive parts of yourself. In doing this, you narrow your opportunities and your unique gifts; even narrowing what you are able to see in the world around you. This is a trap of domestication, that of narrowed awareness, or narrowed sight; the inability to see anything that doesn’t support its limited ideas.
The solution is simple, though not always easy: expand your awareness. The simple part begins with questioning every ‘no’ and replacing it with a ‘why not?’. Take a good, honest look at what you think you believe, and then begin to dig. Dig down through the limitations, asking all the while, “Does this have to be true?” Open yourself to the possibility that it might not be true, and that there are other options out there.
Look up from ‘no’ to see the ‘yes’. Delve into your heart of hearts and ask, “What do you think; what do you really believe; what do you really want?” And then listen. Listen with all of you, but especially listen with your heart.
The heart has a quiet voice. It makes simple statements that are more a feeling than a thought. It doesn’t analyze, argue, beg or explain. It simply knows what it wants, what its truth is, what is right for us.
The heart has a quiet voice, and perhaps that’s why it has been so easy to ignore. It gets drowned out by all of the voices of our domestication, which are anything but quiet. No, our domestication judges, criticizes, wheedles, fears and attacks. We all know these voices well.
They’re the voice saying, “you can’t; you aren’t good enough; you’ll fail; you’ll upset the status quo; people will think you’re crazy; your friends will avoid you; you’re not worthy…etc.
Sound familiar? It should. Every single one of us has an internal critic and judge that seems to never give us a rest. The thing is, most of these voices are outright lies.
Depending on how thorough our domestication, to think outside of it’s boxes and walls is the ‘not easy’ part. Here is where it is often wise to get a little help. You didn’t get here on your own, and you don’t have to get out on your own, either.
That help could come from friends and family, as long as they don’t have a vested interest in you staying the same. Many people get upset when the status quo is threatened. As boring as it may be, it is also safe; and you are safe as long as you don’t change too much and don’t make them change, either.
No big surprises, no reversals, nothing too extreme or extraordinary or outside of the box. Trust me – if you wanted this sort of ‘safe’, you wouldn’t have read this far.
Other options are to find groups to support you. There are groups in every area of the country exploring exciting ideas and making changes. Check out your local ‘Meet-Up’ groups at www.meetup.com.
Still another popular option is coaching. A coach is someone who is objective, someone that has your best interests at heart and supports you in achieving your dreams. Your options aren’t limited to geography, either. Coaching, teleclasses and seminars happen everywhere.
What have you got to lose? Whose life is it, anyway? Yours?
Diana Adkins is an Author, Teacher, Coach and Minister in the Toltec traditions where awareness, transformation and intent are masteries to aspire to. Her mission is to support people towards self-awareness, self-respect, clarity and truth.