Imagine a box.
You’ve lived your entire life in this box.
It is beautiful.
It is comfortable.
It is safe.
You’ve got all your favorite things right there…
And then one day…[Here’s the video version or just keep reading. It all leads to the same place…]
One day you hear a sound…
It’s coming from a long locked, unused closet door that somehow no-one knew about… or that hatchway in the ceiling… that someone painted shut…
It sounds like Someone or some thing is knocking on the door… of your box.
Whoever is knocking keeps banging and banging until the plaster of that part of your beautiful home begins to crack and fall …
What a mess! You think. And you also might be feeling a little “trepidation” or uncertainty or downright fear.
“Who is out there!?!?”
“What is out there?!?!?!?”
You retreat to the farthest corner of your “box”… and watch in horror and fascination as…
Eventually the hatch swings downward or the door swings inward and some friendly guy who you’ve never met before pops his head into your little world and says,
“Hey! There’s a great big world out here for you to explore! I’ve come to rescue you from your limited little world, your box… your cage. Your comfort zone. Come out and be free! Come out and Play!”
If you’re like most people. You would do just about anything to shut that guy up, close that door, and reseal it like it was never there…
“Cage! How DARE he call my lovely world a ‘CAGE!’ GO AWAY!”
And if you did that, no one would blame you….
However… after a time wandering back around through your “known world”, your “box”… your “home”… you will find yourself wondering,
“hmmmm What IS out there? What if I AM missing something really good?”
Eventually, you might want to open that door yourself… curiosity can be insatiable…
And I’m not suggesting you are curious… but if you were curious, what would that be like?
And when you do…. carefully,…. gingerly peek out…
at first you might not even be able to focus in the new light… or you may not be able to conceive of what is out there, or perceive it…
And the guy who originally knocked on your door? Pounded your hatchway open a bit… is he a god? a saint? a messiah?
He’s just a guy who went through exactly the same thing, just a little sooner than you did.
So he has set about finding all the little cages and boxes that people have shut themselves up in and he is calling you OUT.
Calling you out into a vast adventure that we call “the awakened life”.
At the end of your first day out in the wide open spaces, you might want to slip back in to your familiar comfortable “place”… and that’s fine… it’s a good place… it’s a relief…
But eventually you will want more… The brilliant sun and sweet breezes and the fullness of life in the vastness of the universe is simply too breathtakingly beautiful to ignore.
You want it. Don’t you?
Well you can have it. Come on out and play. Join us!
Essentially what I’ve described is the bare bones formula of pretty much every adventure/fantasy story or “heroic journey” ever written, filmed, or told around a fire.
The main character is going along quite nicely in his or her life, Bilbo Baggins has very little need of Wizards and Drwarves, Elves, or dragons… But something interrupts that routine, that pattern, and he is called out of his limited comfort zone into something bigger. Along the way he learns some things about himself and the world and his place in it. His knowledge and confidence grows, he begins to respond to events as they arise. As best he or she can. And it turns out, our little scaredy cat character has grown into an actual hero.
In the Russian story of Baba Yaga, a young girl is forced out of her home and on an unwilling adventure… along the way she meets a mysterious stranger on the road… she is kind to him. He gives her advice, or a magic hunting horn, or the gift of a talking crow… Whatever it is, it has magic powers for her to call upon when she most needs it…
She continues on… eventually she makes other friends whom the witch has treated badly, A dog, a gate, a comb, a fish, a certain tree… whatever. It changes depending on the version of the story…
By the time she meets the witch, she has support, help arrives from many places, many sources…
Since our unconscious minds LOVE story and metaphor. Crave it, actually, these lessons are internalized into our deepest beings…
When we commit fully to our own heroic journeys, I believe the “universe” conspires to support us.
This is such a human universal that I believe we need to pay attention to it. As a professional storyteller, I used to watch hundreds of school kids settle down into what can only be described as a trance, as I told them stories…
We are a storytelling people. But what stories have we been telling ourselves lately?
In CS Lewis’ classic, “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” Access to the “other world” is through the back of an old wardrobe… Time is different there. The “rules” are different there.
But the characters we step into as we read or watch a story unfold are as real to your unconscious mind as anything else you might imagine… remember?
Your unconscious mind is your imagination.
That’s why when you go to see a movie, your heart rate increases as the main character runs head long to a cliff and then jumps…
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hunted down by a posse, choose to leap off a cliff into a raging river rather than be caught… boom! Fourth grade. I’m watching that movie with my next door neighbor Peter Miller. All I have to do is remember and I’m there… I’m in the movie seat but I’m also in the movie and my heart catches in my mouth as we jump over the edge into that crazy river…
Alice falls down a rabbit hole into a totally topsy turvy, crazy different realm.
Harry Potter discovers that he’s not like other kids… for real.
Wherever you go in your imagination, your unconscious mind believes it’s real.
Once you know that, you can start imagining better and better worlds… and then begin to live them authentically in your life, and that’s how we make them real.
I can’t climb down into your world… It doesn’t work that way…
But you CAN come on up and out into this one…
and there are others even bigger than this!
This is the adventure of your life.
I dare you.
I double dare you.
I double dawg dare you!
Explore it with me or without me.
Today I could be playing the part of the mysterious “stranger” on the road.
Whatever, my job is to let you know it’s here… and it is yours.
p.s. One way to stick your toe in the water before you fully climb into your greatness, is to check out CRUSH anxiety NOW! at its, soon to be forever gone, “beta test” price… you can always get a refund… it’s ridiculously cheap… It’s worth 10 times the price.
Give it a shot. Take a test drive. You’ve got nothing to lose except your fear.
Take the puppy home and keep it overnight… see how you like it in the morning…
Peek your head out today… that’s all I’m saying…
No big commitment. If you don’t like it you can go back to being the way you were… Not everybody is ready for freedom. There is no judgement. But I HAVE to knock. It’s my job. It’s my calling. It’s my destiny.
Come on out and play!
photo credit – Copyright: nexusplexus / 123RF Stock Photo