Do you remember that Indiana Jones movie (it might have been the 3rd one), it was towards the end, when our hero had to complete a series of challenges in order to reach the holy grail, or something similar, when Indy found himself at the precipice of a hapless void, a gorge of insurmountable proportions.
Staring at an abyss, and needing to cross with no discernable path existing before him, he had to rely on two qualities that serve as a useful metaphor for life itself: 1) trust and 2) the necessity of making the first step.
We all have challenges within our lives. I believe each one of us is born into a particular set of circumstances that becomes the foundation for “our story.” This is the story of what we say to ourselves about who we are and what the world is. Through time, this story twists and turns, and becomes thick with the moments of our lives, that we forget that it is only one story—and that another option exists: to write a completely different story.
Why Is This Important?
I attach importance to this story-shifting because, for me, it holds the key to our ability to expand our awareness, to connect with a bigger picture of reality, and ultimately, to bring us into a more heightened state of participatory mindfulness—cultivating qualities such as compassion and humility and joy.
Yet, it is no small task to step into a different story. Not only are we born into our own story, a story that matures and hardens with time, but also there are other people we believe have stories tied to our own, making the break seem like something that will impact those tied to us, a responsibility we don’t wish upon ourselves, and hence—we often revert back to the norm.
How many times have you contemplated a major change, only to relent with the thought that “I couldn’t do this to my family, partner, or friend”? These stories are powerful forces, and seem to be the only way, but their power is mostly a fallacy, a mental block used to keep us held into our story.
The Mind Wants Us To Stay The Same.
It wants to be able to comprehend the shapes and colors of our everyday experience with pinpoint predictability. A break from the norm, from the mind’s perspective, constitutes a loss of identity, which triggers the sense that our own survival is in question.
It’s why we tend to a rhythm in life that feels like one step forward and two steps back. We go through shifts, we periodically leave the story of “I,” only to return again later, eventually feeling less and less capable of breaking into the “new.”
We start to justify our behaviors, saying things like “it’s just who I am”, or “that’s how I do it”, etc, etc…
We’re Missing Something, But We Don’t Know What
This is problematic, and why there is so much chatter about mind chatter, because the stories we tell ourselves are often withholding us from realizing our SOUL PURPOSE—it makes us angry, frustrated human beings, as we intuitively recognize that we’re missing something, yet can’t access what IT is.
And this is where Indiana Jones comes into play. There is a path to changing our story, to summon the courage to DO IT, and our aforementioned hero shows us the way.
You just have to step. It doesn’t matter that you can’t see the path into something new, into something that feels like the thing you would do if only, if only, if only…and trust that the path will reveal itself once you commit to taking the first step.
You must. We must…move beyond the stories we tell ourselves.Image credit/Yogi: Kalee Thompson