By: Robin Blackburn McBride
"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller
When I was a child I experienced frequent nightmares. My fear was raw, and my anxiety palpable. The cycle felt cruelly inescapable. Usually in dreams I found myself stepping into a shadowy world alone, and then suddenly facing monsters that looked something like the lion pictured above; only the monsters were scarier.
All my wailing and moaning inevitably brought my mum who turned on lights, opened doors, and searched under the bed. She checked the corners and she comforted me. “Everything’s fine,” Mum always said. “Everything’s normal.”
I remember the dissipating terror, downgraded to a state of lingering unease… petering out… until gradually I fell asleep again.
Undoubtedly you have childhood memories of feeling desperately afraid at times. Perhaps as I did, you sought the comfort of “normal” and found it in the flip of a switch, the voice of a loved one. As you and I know, that’s a best-case scenario.
Like many children, one of the ideas I absorbed early was the belief that normal equalled safe.
As Helen Keller reminds us in the epigraph, that equation is illusory. Sometimes what appears to be routine, ordinary, and predictable, turns out to be high-risk. In life there are no guarantees.
My purpose in writing this is not to fuel fear, but to transmute it into something expansive and life-affirming. Always we have the potential to take action for something beautiful, despite our fears and conditions.
This week in particular, our world could use more life-affirming messages.
My topic this week is shifting paradigms: altering those habituated thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours we all develop – patterns most deeply ingrained from ages 0 to 6.
Paradigms function like magnets, attracting more of the same into our lives. Shifting beyond the pull of old habits requires work. It requires action.
First, we must decide to make the shift.
In order to grow into the next version of ourselves, you and I must be willing to do whatever it takes to overcome the pull of memories and patterns that no longer serve us.
When we commit to release an outmoded way of being – to define and live from a vision and embrace the new – we unavoidably summon old inner monsters that “roar” at our disturbance of the status quo.
What do those roars sound like in an adult’s mind?
The inner messaging may at times be less dramatic than that of a child’s nightmare, yet it’s much more powerful: statements of self-criticism and doubt; limiting mantras tied to finance, self-image, and personal history; expressions of fear and futility; sarcastic quips; angry sighs of low self-worth – and worse, the outrage that destroys. Unchecked and unchanged, those messages have the potential to determine events and entire life stories.
It doesn’t need to be that way with you.
What if, all this time, your old limiting messages have actually been calling out to be transformed? What if the lion that roars within you is for you? What if you have, at your command, a lionheart of courage?
What if the Universe has been waiting to build with you and through you? What if this world is waiting for your dream – yes yours – because your vision matters!
Here are THREE steps you can take today in order to bring your vision right into existence:
1. Take a moment right now to list THREE old patterns that no longer align with the person you desire to be. What patterns of thought, belief and/or behaviour can you release right now in order to bring your dream into being? Write them down. Make a decision to replace them with positive patterns that serve you. Make it a habit to be the person you dream of being – right here, right now.
2. Give yourself wins here and now for THREE patterns of thought, belief, and behaviour that already serve you and others well. And by all means, extend this list! Everyday give yourself wins for personal victories, big and small. Remember that “small” is a matter of perspective. A win is a win.
3. Write your vision of the life you would love, and with your heart of courage sign your name to it! Know who you are and what you desire to create in your valuable time. Commit to doing one thing each day to move you closer to your dream.
Because your life is a daring adventure.
And you have the power to write Love’s name on it.
P.S. If you find changing habits and results difficult, contact me. I specialize in helping people shift old patterns so they can be who they truly are, and do and have what they’d truly love. I can help you!