Are you a prisoner? Don’t be.

One of my goals for 2015 is to incorporate more yoga and meditation into my life. I am a busy body and rarely take the time to slow down. I believe in the healing effects of silence and stillness. This past week I was really feeling drawn to go to a yoga class. I am pretty sure it was my body and/or mind’s way of telling me to relax. I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it to one and then amazingly enough my schedule shifted and some time freed up and I was able to go. Coincidence? Maybe, but it is always a little ironic how the world shifts in ways to allow you the space that you need to do certain things.

At the end of the yoga class, the instructor read a short parable that ended with the following:

“We are all trying to chisel our way out of prison; usually our prisons are self-made.”

So, here I am a few days later still thinking about it. It really hit home with me because I think it is so true. We all, myself included, put limits on ourselves. When we have limiting beliefs we are confined by them, we don’t allow ourselves space to grow, and we don’t give ourselves the chance to make mistakes.

Don’t be a prisoner of fear.

Fear is self-doubt, it is an excuse not to try, it is scary, it makes your stomach hurt, it holds you back. Fear is something that we all feel at some point in life. We fear failure, we fear loneliness, we fear not being loved. These fears can be manifested in many ways–not wanting to start going to the gym because you are afraid you will look silly, not talking to the person next to you at the coffee shop because you worry that you won’t say the perfect thing, not wanting to date because you are fearful of not being worthy of love. Fear can be so strong that it literally holds you back from moving forward with decisions, changing careers, or building new relationships. What would happen if you pushed past your fears and got past the hump? Have you ever given yourself the chance to find out?

Don’t be a prisoner of your own negativity.

Our thoughts control our lives. Would you talk to your friends the way that you talk to yourself? No, probably not. We, as humans, focus on the negative, never feeling like we are enough; always wanting to be a little bit better, a little thinner, a little smarter, a little more (insert your thoughts here).  What if you took the energy you spent doubting, criticizing, and patronizing yourself and put it towards building yourself up? What if you believed that you could achieve your dreams? What if you believed that you deserved to be happy? What if you believed that you deserved to be loved? You can only be as great as you believe yourself to be. You have the ability to choose the words that you speak to yourself. Whether you fly or fall, the choice is yours.

Don’t be a prisoner of your past.

You can’t move forward if you are constantly looking backwards. We spend so much time rehashing the past; past decisions, ended friendships, broken relationships, lost loved ones, immature decisions, mistakes, and so on. You have to make peace with the past and use those experiences to help you move forward. We have the ability to redefine ourselves every single day. You choose you. We are constantly evolving. Don’t spend your energy focusing on what was but focus on what can be.

Don’t let the walls of your own prison confine you.

What could you achieve if you gave yourself the opportunity?

What could you accomplish if you pushed past your fears?

Who could you become if you believed yourself worthy of greatness?

Don’t wait to chisel yourself free.

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