A journey that lasts a lifetime (part four)
THE LION WHO THOUGHT HE WAS A SHEEP
There once was a lion that grew up in a flock of sheep. He didn’t know he was a lion. The sheep taught him to do everything that they did. He learned to bleat like a sheep, he learned to eat grass like a sheep. He followed just like a sheep. One day they were wandering at the edge of the jungle when a mighty lion let out a giant roar and suddenly leaped out of the jungle and right into the middle of the flock. All the sheep scattered and ran away. The jungle lion noticed that there was a little lion among the sheep. Surprised, he chased after him and caught him. The little lion cringed and trembled. The jungle lion looked and asked him, “What are you doing here?” The other lion responded, “Have mercy on me. Don’t eat me. Have mercy on me.” But the king of the jungle dragged him away saying “Come with me.” He took him to a lake and he said, “Look.” So, the lion who thought he was a sheep looked and saw his reflection for the first time. He didn’t look anything like the other sheep. He looked once again at the jungle lion, and then turned back to the image staring back at him in the water. Instinctively, he let out a mighty roar. The lion who grew up in a flock of sheep was never a sheep again.
YOU ALREADY KNOW HOW TO WALK,
YOU ALREADY KNOW HOW TO ROAR
When babies stop crawling and take their very first steps they don’t analyze the situation, they don’t reconsider the options or the risks, there is no doubt– some begin to walk earlier, some later, but when they are ready they just know instinctively that it is the right time. In the child’s mind, everything is possible. They wobble. They trip. They fall and they hurt themselves, but they fearlessly try again and again and again. They continuously challenge their comfort zone until they finally succeed. No choosing, no fear, no going back. Only instinct.
Likewise, as children making decisions was easy. Ice cream or potato chips… bike or ball… red bow or purple headband… diving into the pool or belly flopping. We just did what felt right. Before we were taught differently, we were naturally connected with our true selves. We didn’t need to meditate to listen to our souls. We didn’t need therapy. We certainly didn’t need to be medicated. Now, as educated adults we often struggle with decision making. We are often insecure about our decisions, big and small. The difference is that through the years someone made us believe that we are sheep. We follow. We eat what is given to us without questioning it. Some of us may even bleat at times! Sheep are wonderful animals. They are absolutely perfect for just being sheep. We, on the other hand, were not created to be sheep. We were perfectly created to just be imperfect us. We are no longer able to see this miraculous truth. We no longer know who we are or what we want. And, we choose (yes, choose) to believe that what we have been taught is our only reality. We have literally been stripped of our ROAR.
You can attempt to ignore that important voice inside of you, the voice that is sharing your frequent frustration and discontent. The big, tiny voice that is saying “Hey, this just doesn’t feel right. It is time to do something about it. It is time to change.”. But, it will keep talking to you in many different ways – unhappiness, stress, physical illness, impatience with loved ones, feelings of solitude, low self-esteem. You can also attempt to escape yourself with your busyness – hiding behind your computer screen, your housework, your errands and shopping, too much work, stuffing your emotions with unhealthy food, fantasizing along with reality shows, continuing with the endless What’s Up chatter…
but, if today were your last day of life, would all this be enough?
What would you regret, what would you miss? If today were your last day what would you truly be fearful of? Too much freed time or too much time spent in traffic behind the wheel of a car? Too much change or too much routine? Too much freedom or too much Facebook?
Imagine if you stopped struggling between what you feel and what you do (or don’t do)?
Imagine if you stopped believing what others say and started listening to yourself?
What would happen if you were to rediscover your ROAR?
SILENCE BEFORE THE ROAR
Getting to know your original, uncontaminated self, requires SILENCE. You need to plan moments to slow down and turn down the volume a bit. How often do you sit alone and ask yourself, what feels right to me? How often do you provide yourself the opportunity to find that magical place of stillness to allow clarity to rise to the surface and guide you?
For most of us, the answer is never.
You time… You are not someone to flee. Silence is not something to avoid. We live in an extremely noisy world and we aren’t accustomed to hearing ourselves over all the racket… the television, the phone ringing, the music in the gym and in the car, in elevators and at the doctor’s office… and then all those loud voices (did you ever notice how loud we speak?), all that talking about nothing (the weather, food and hair to name a few), so much confusion and unnecessary drama in our daily lives. However, it is only through silence and the acute listening of our big, tiny voice; it is through questioning, continuous questioning, never ending questioning, one-on-one questioning- that you will know when to react… you will know what you need to do to re-find your freedom and begin this journey of yours that will last a lifetime. It sounds exhausting, but it truly isn’t…
Quiet days, whether spontaneous or planned, are rare. It is often difficult to find an empty day in our busy schedules. But, as these days are imperative every once in a while I need to block one off in my agenda as a ‘ME’ day, a day of sacred stillness – no phones, no appointments, no shopping, no visitors, no kids, no husband, no talking, no guilt. I walk, lounge around, sometimes I even sleep all day long. I calm my mind. I slow down my pace. Several years ago, the thought of an entire day of silence with no human interaction would have made me feel anxious and displaced. Now, I cherish the few days a year that I can actually enjoy being alone with myself and as a full time ‘soulmate’ and mom, the silence feels like a gift from heaven. My body requests it. My mind requires it. My entire family reeks the benefits from it. It offers me the opportunity to reset and recharge. I find that my greatest insight and growth arrive during these moments of profound solitude and stillness -not by reading a zillion spiritual books, or discussing opinions with knowledgeable people, or attending intellectual and creative seminars. I don’t want to be constantly stimulated. I don’t need to be constantly stimulated. Because in moments of uncertainty, the best person to talk to is usually Me.
To be continued…
Be still, listen and enjoy,
Ps: Click follow this blog to read more about Baby Steps to Freedom (Waiting is not an option) (part five)
This post was written without stress and without stealing any of my freed time!