Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Star gazing

For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream. Vincent Van Gogh
The koi, when placed in a fishbowl will grow to about three inches. If in a pond, it will grow to eighteen inches. In a lake, the koi will grow to almost three feet. The koi adapts to its environment, limiting its physical growth to accommodate the area in which it has to swim.

In life, we adapt our dreams, our perspective, our thinking to accommodate our world around us. We tell ourselves, I'm happy with where I'm at, as we adapt to accepting where we're at as the only place we can be. If we grow up in an environment of narrow thinking, we adapt our thinking to the limits of our environment. Change is inevitable, but we buck the call of freedom as we cling to what we know.

To grow beyond the familiar, we must open our minds to possibility, open our hearts to fear and let our courage carry us into action. All it takes to change is conscious thought, action, courage and a commitment to spread our wings beyond the confines of our habitat. It takes getting over our 'why bother' thinking. The thinking that keeps us stuck in accepting the world the way it is. In buying into the myth, it's the way it's always been, I am not powerful enough to change it.

In uncertain times, one thing is certain, everything will change.

In Dr. Eldon Taylor's book, Choices and Illusions, he tells the story of an eagle who grew up amongst chickens. This eagle believed it was a chicken. Believed it was the best chicken it could be. Never attempted to stretch her wings, never tested the boundaries of her environment. One day, another eagle saw it amongst the chickens and tried to talk it into breaking free. "No way," said the eagle. "I'm a chicken." Eventually, the eagle who thought she was a chicken, fooled the free eagle into letting her get past him so she could run back to the chicken coop and be safe. Back amongst her chicken family, she extolled them with her cunning ability to outsmart the eagle. Everyone cheered her and told her how smart and brave she was. She believed them. She believed her own story.

Dr. Taylor calls it, chicken yard thinking. Believing the limitations put upon us by others. Believing the limitations we carry in our minds about how far we can stretch, how high we can fly. Believing the messages we received about how small we are, how weak, how stupid. How we are not strong enough, tall enough, smart enough, good enough. How we cannot change.

To live a life of majestic grace we must stretch our wings beyond the boundaries of our comfort zone. We must open our minds to the wonder of that ethereal place where imagination reigns, where we have the power to become all that we ever imagined.

Two thousand years ago, no one could have predicted the world was round. Five hundred years ago, no one could have predicted that man could leave this planet and fly to the moon and hang amongst the stars. One hundred years ago, no one could have predicted that the Internet would connect the world, inspiring millions upon millions of people to share their ideas, their stories, their hope, strength and encouragement via an invisible web of data spinning around the globe.

Yet, it is possible. All it took was the imagination of man and his willingness to explore beyond the confines of her thinking.

We cannot imagine what is possible in the future. We can imagine that life will change. The world will evolve and we will no longer be part of the human race at some point in our journey.

No one can predict how long they have on this earth. Everyone knows how long they've been on this earth. In this moment, all we have is the time given to us right now to create a life worth living. When we drop the yardstick of the past, letting go of measuring all that happened to get us here against all that we have endured to get here, we free ourselves to leap into this moment, unencumbered by the limitations of the past. We free ourselves to swim beyond the confines of our fishbowl, out into the open seas of expectation, of adventure, of life beyond our wildest dreams. We let go of measuring our journey against where we came from, and free ourselves to leap freely into going where ever our dreams will lead us. We free ourselves to gaze at stars and dream.

The question is: Are you swimming in a pond, awash in fear, never testing the boundaries of your limiting beliefs? Are you holding yourself safe in the place you know, for fear you might gaze upon the stars and set yourself free to live your wildest dreams?


Anonymous said...


great piece . .

can I publish it on 360boom?


M.L. Gallagher said...


Thanks Mark.