An Exercise in Renewal

Hat Tip to Chaitri at The Soaring Impulse Blog for this neat one:

I wonder if you'd try a little exercise in renewal with me....
You'll need pen and paper and a box of matches.

To begin, on a blank piece of paper, write the following:
Your name
Place and Date of Birth
Nationality
Ethnicity
Religious/spiritual belief/world view
Sexual preference
Occupation
Political persuasion


Now write a subheading called “Labels” and under it list some of the labels which have been used to describe you over the course of your life. 
You may consider them positive or negative. For example: Intelligent, Clumsy, Graceful, Hilarious, Boring, Eloquent, Dumb, Shy, Gregarious,….etc.

Finally on the same piece of paper (you can use the back if you’d like) write a list of things which you think you ‘can’ do and a list of things which you have believed you ‘can’t’ do. 

You may prefer to write a list of things you’re ‘good’ at, and things which you’re ‘not good at’.

Now go somewhere safe with your piece of paper.
Take a match.
Burn it.
 ................................................................................................................................................................
In days gone by when an elephant trainer wanted to keep an elephant captive, they would take the little ones and tie them with a little silver chain to the trunk of tree. 
When the young elephant tried to escape, the chain would go taut, and their foot would bleed. 
The more they struggled the more pain they experienced. Very soon they would learn not to resist anymore.

The amazing thing is, that that selfsame chain which held the baby elephant, continues to hold the strong and powerful adult elephant.
Even though he could now easily overcome his chains and be free, he has come to believe that the ties that bind him are stronger than himself. 
It is this concept he holds of his own self, this learned helplessness which keeps him captive. So it is with us.

There is an infinity of possibilities available to us in each moment. The greening spirit of life calls us to befriend and inhabit our potentiality. 
To allow ourselves to unfold into the fullness of our being like the petals of a flower. Yet many of us are standing in our own way.
The miracle is that in every moment we have another opportunity to start afresh.
To burn our attachments to what we think we are, and dream ourselves anew.
Perhaps like the elephant, it is time for all of us to realise that we are infinitely more than what we think we are.

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."
~ Lao Tzu


1 comment:

claire said...

To dream ourselves anew.
Beautiful.
Thank you.