People assume that if you know how to see past your own thinking that everything is easy. In reality life is just easier because it’s more enjoyable and rewarding. But all lives have their unique challenges.
The hardest part of being me is that it often feels a lot like being a free bird in a world of caged eagles. And the eagles are suffering. They want out. So there is lots to do.
The eagles are all incredibly beautiful and powerful. But they peer through their invisible bars and tell me they are not eagles because they cannot fly. They think that because they cannot see their own cages.
Imagine an athletic woman in her early 30’s. She’s sexually attracted to (and attractive to) men, but she prefers a solo lifestyle with time for a strong commitment to semi-professional sport. She loves her work and she knows with confidence that she has no impulse towards having kids. Her life is the one she’s always wanted, and yet she calls me because she is plagued by two ideas:
1) She incessantly worries about what others may think about her choice and what it says about her as a woman; and 2) What if, despite the fact that it feels so right, ‘they’ are right and she is wrong, and she is on the wrong path in life?
So there we have an eagle that has succeeded. It’s at the top of its food chain. It’s found a good hunting ground it likes. It’s healthy. It has an enjoyable life, yet it’s not enjoying life. Instead of being clear-headed and up high, with tons of perspective, she is held to the ground by her cage made of thought. And she’s been in there so long she has started to wonder if she was ever really an eagle at all. She might even wonder if she’s really a fish.
Yet, once people can truly see how reality is formed, they understand the bars and how they come to be. And that’s important, because the cages aren’t failures, they are traps. They will always exist. That’s why we all need reliable ways out of all of them.
“I had suffered with anxiety and depression my entire life I’m 39. Scott has changed my life. He taught me a completely new way of thinking, I or we are able to think this way its in all of us, we just don’t know it. I’m now in control of my anxiety it does not play a major role in my life anymore. Scott taught me that the are other ways of thinking and listening to your mind, or not listening to your mind, a lot of what he said made so much sense and was so life changing for me because I had no idea that I could be positive and that I could be calm. I cannot stress this enough if you suffer from anxiety and it effects your day to day life you must speak to Scott. I was driving down the road of life, in the ditch the whole time, I’m now up on the road and I’m never going in the ditch again. Thank you so much Scott.”
That’s a recent testimonial a student of mine sent. He is a super nice guy. It always feels fantastic to free an eagle and to see it start to gain altitude. And of course, the changes he’s made will impact everyone in the family. That makes me cry happy tears. Yet his description illustrates how impervious our cages can feel from in the inside.
He has, for some time, been an overt success in every way. Good marriage, great family, good parent, good business, excels at his chosen sport, bright future, kind, honest, compassionate –loved. And yet, as you can see by his description, he was only recently freed. I feel grateful to have been the person that got to help him.
It has been a good spring of freeing eagles. Some of the them fell into traps. So they were wild and used to flying. And when they are freed they just take right off with excitement. Those tend to be bold recoveries.
Other eagles were born in captivity, where some event or people put the lid on their belief in themselves very early on. Those folks usually build altitude more slowly. They are less familiar with their wings, so they’re more tentative about their abilities.
For my part I never worry about any of them. However we each start, every eagle was built to fly. Once we know how to get out of our cages, and once we know how to avoid the limiting thoughts that limit our altitude or perspective, we can go anywhere.
The real question now is, where will you go? And when will you take off? Because your lives are waiting for you.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.