by Vanessa Smith
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us” – Joseph Campbell
We are living in a time of accelerated change that pushes our limits constantly. It’s a reality of the age we live in. What worked for us 10 years ago, or even just last week in some cases, rapidly becomes obsolete and we need to find other ways through and creative new solutions to the new evolving situation. Being and thinking flexibly can be our greatest assets.
All this change seems to be asking us to step up in some way, to be a bigger or more creative version of our former self. It seems to me that this is not a bad thing; it seems that this is our chance to take a proactive, more resounding role in what happens in our world.
If we begin to do this however, we often find ourselves firstly looking at our old form, at what we have been, and also what we have been trying to be – our image, and often, our mask to the world!
Our masks keep us safe but also separate from the world and if we are to move through all the changes we are faced with today, we may need to consider letting down our protective shields and letting a bit of our bigger self/soul out.
We can do this at any moment we choose, because every moment is offering us the chance to step up, to extend ourselves and evolve a little more.
I wanted to share this little story about a moment I stepped into the possibility of something that moments before had been an impossibility (but only in my mind!) It was a moment when everything I thought to be true suddenly changed. It was great!
I got lucky, or at least that’s has been my take on it, one day a while back in another life I suddenly got given a vision of what I could do, at a financial stretch, and got fascinated by what I learned from it.
I went to see a beautiful house to rent, way above our means, “just for fun!” I let go of judgement (that was important) and walked into the house thinking, “well this is gorgeous but there is no way we can pay the rent.”
But then I was standing in the house and all sorts of things went through my head as I imagined actually living in a place like that and what sort of shift it would require of me.
Emotionally I loved the place, financially I felt blocked… until…. I went downstairs to check out the basement.
When I got to what I thought was going to be just a basement, I stood there and suddenly felt transported into another reality totally, making all of what I still had to see of the house upstairs, perhaps… financially possible (again, in my mind).
The basement was enormous it was the kind of space where I could create, where I could do workshops. At that moment I was filled with anticipation and huge excitement about the pure potential that seemed to be being offered to me on a plate. At that moment there was no room in that great feeling for any negative or doubting voice at all. At that moment, everything just seemed to be fitting into a perfect, poetic resonance.
It felt like everything I had done until then had been leading to this and that this house with a workshop space included, was a physical manifestation of what I had been looking for without really realising it.
I didn’t get to bed for ages that night as I lay there attempting to make sense of what had happened.
What was perhaps even more amazing is that in spite of my initial feelings for the space and my immediate attachment to the vision and the idea of a new, possible future, I realised that that was not what was really driving this.
The biggest stuff was happening on the inside, and had less to do with any practical decision I might make for my short-term future.
By allowing myself to have this experience I immediately tapped into what was real and very true for me:
- I realised my mind was powerful enough to breakthrough old limiting money mind-sets especially when the vision and the drive behind that vision were powerful enough to carry everything forward.
- I realised the situation had shown me that I was ready to go out into the world and start connecting in a much bigger way than ever before.
- I realised that it was time to begin making it happen.
- I realised I could examine all the possibilities of this idea without a speck of judgement or condition – that was incredibly freeing!
Dropping the Masks and Freeing Up the Space for Newness
Growth has many faces. For some, it may look like a struggle, for others it may seem to be a huge opportunity although it is a bit scary because it’s a stretch.
This experience showed me how ready I was to take that step and how delightful it was to let go of my old mind-set and “play” with possibility.
So I wonder, what is wanting to stretch and grow in you right now?
Are you experiencing an intensification of something that has been an issue for ages? Or are you seeing a chance to move your life forward which makes you feel a little nervous?
Whichever it is, the only worthwhile question begging to be asked here has to be, “What is wanting to happen/grow or shift in you? The inner shift, (your thoughts and attitudes about the issue) is what will have the power to shift everything else.
Whatever is coming up for you right now, is really an invitation from within to drop the masks you know you have been using so you free yourself up for the greater potential wanting to come through. And you know what your masks are even if you have never verbalised it to anyone.
The question “what wants to shift?” is really a challenge to renounce those masks that have offered you security by playing familiar roles and staying comfortable. It is like a voluntary giving up of habitual defence mechanisms. But by energetically surrendering these masks once and for all you return instantaneously to the sense of natural innocence you carry around with you every single day.
When you dare to look that question right in the eye and look beyond it, you are immediately set free from your old story of you, and have a sense of newness again, like you did when you were a story-free child. Here there are no emotional complexities there is just pure possibility and loads of freed up energy.
In order to do this, try asking yourself first which roles you most easily and most often hide behind? Are you ready to drop them and shake off your old story to create anew? Then get quiet and really ask yourself “in my present situation (no matter how big or small it may appear) what really wants to shift in me?”
It may be an idea, a perspective, an energy. But whatever it is, you do know the answer to this, and you don’t have to tell anyone if you don’t want to. It just matters that you bring it openly and honestly to the surface by stating it to yourself.
Have the courage to hold the answers lightly in your hands and look past any momentary self-limiting fear the thoughts about it produce. The answers in themselves are just answers, neither good nor bad although the mind will kick in and jump to its own conclusions but these are little more than projections.
Try if you can to focus on the greater outcome, the bigger picture. They are what will be your breakthrough into a consciously directed, new life chapter.
Your only duty in life is to remain true to yourself! The rest follows.