The trout live contentedly in their watery domain oblivious to an entire universe outside their little world. Even when the surface of the lake is liquid, it traps fish just as effectively as if it was frozen. Fish biology and fish instinct make leaving that world certain death. Because the fish take the lake surface as the limit of their small universe, it remains so.
And so it is with most people.
Living in an ocean of air is really no different than living in an ocean of water.
The universe has many oceans of life. Worms live in an ocean of dirt. Bacteria live in an ocean of food. Spores in an ocean of boiling lava, cells in an ocean of flesh, ideas in an ocean of thought.
To humans, these oceans of thought are far more restricting than any other ocean of life. In pure thought, there are no limits. If you want to travel to Mars, merely imagine Mars and you instantly arrive there in thought. Missing a friend who lives across the country? Merely remember that friend and they stand center stage in your mind right now. The fastest speed in the universe is the speed of thought -- and we possess thought.
Yet when it comes to thoughts about our own abilities, we suddenly become as limited as those trout in the frozen lake. Add the little pronoun "I" to a thought and shazam - limits galore.
"I could never do that..."
"There's so many others better than me..."
"I tried that once and it didn't work..."
What is it about these thoughts that make them so powerful?
Only our unspoken assumption that they are right. Left unchallenged, they prevent us from expanding our universe by convincing us to never even try.
Where did these limiting thoughts come from anyway? What credentials do they carry to verify their authenticity? What proof do we ask of them before embracing their conclusions?
If a fish were to poke his head through the lake surface and tell us we'd never have the ability to breath air, would we believe him?
Limiting thoughts are no more logical than talking fish. They know nothing of which they speak because they come from a world that has nothing to do with ours. Limiting thoughts come from the past - a world we no longer inhabit. Limiting thoughts come from memory and are merely a jumble of thoughtless comments from others, past mistakes, premature attempts and emotional scars. The "you" they try to tell us that we are, is no longer the "you" that we are today. Past you is never present you.
So limiting thoughts are nothing more than echoes throbbing from a place that knows nothing of the place we stand in now. Yet, like the surface of the lake, we let them establish the limits of our universe.
The magic of consciousness allows us to stand detached from ourselves and watch these limiting thoughts flow through our heads. This detachment is better known as awareness. Like any skill, it improves with use and practice.
Awareness allows us to watch the thoughts in our heads as if from the safety of a river bank. We can then grab the thoughts that are helpful to us and let the negative ones flow right on by. Awareness puts us back in control -- allowing us to make new choices which lead to expanding our universe of possibilities.
The trick of becoming aware is easy. Merely direct your attention to anything that is occurring this instant. Bring your full attention back to typing on the keyboard, holding that book, or petting that dog. This takes your mind off it's habitual thoughts of past memories and future worries. When YOU are here now, you wake yourself up enough to make new choices.
Awareness, something the fish don't have, reveals that the surface of our lake, is nothing more than an illusion we took as real.
Mike Johnson is an energetic writer & entrepreneur. Learn more about Mike's offerings at www.MikeJohnson.biz