It is always a choice...And there are always more choices!

Imagine driving to a destination using one of those fold up maps to guide you. Now in order to make the Map easier to use, you would usually re-fold the map with just a small portion of the map you are focussed on. You do this so that it is easy to use, a quick glance and you can check whether you are on course... Can you not?

Now imagine on your journey you are driving along and the road is closed or there are major road works seriously slowing your progress. You go back to your map and see in the section of the map you have folded that there is only this one route. So you carry on, in the slow lane or even worse, remain stuck in a place you do not want to be. Now am pretty sure, that most of us would actually open the Map at this point, unfolding your world. Suddenly there are more choices; you can go a different route. It might be slightly longer, but there are other interesting places along this alternative route with opportunities to learn more about your world. You might even find a quicker route if you only took time to look at the unfolded map.

Our beliefs are very much like this, they are a map of our reality. We have a lot of information in our head, and so like the map, we gather the rules of life that we are familiar with, and keep them close to hand. We in effect make our reality smaller. This saves us time in making decisions about every little choice. We streamline our everyday life by subconsciously referring to this map of our reality. This is done by deleting, distorting and sometimes exaggerating the information that is available to us. Everyone has a different map of their own reality and it is based on previous experiences and historical influences.

What if the way you think it is... Isn’t the way it really is?

Well it isn’t is it? The map has so much information deleted from it, e.g. no sheep on it, that when you refer to the map it is nothing like the terrain you are driving along. So it is with your beliefs, imagine if we still believed that the world was flat. Such a massive global belief, but everyone believed it. Look at your situation and ask yourself what beliefs you have about yourself that are just not working for you. I would be interested to get a response from anyone who actually believed they had a completely true grip on reality. Is there such as a thing as a ‘truth’ is there anything that isn’t open to question?

What is interesting is that the higher you go up the ladder of success, influence and fame... the more you have to defend your beliefs and the harder it becomes to adapt. Your suppose to be the expert and society expects you to get it right all the time or else why are we bothering to listen to you. So rather than admitting they are wrong, they very often work harder to control the situation and the media so they do not have to. Not all fun being Prime Minister after all!

The problem with some beliefs is that they are severely limiting. Your negative beliefs are what will keep you in a ‘stuck’ situation. They will limit your happiness because even though you don’t necessarily believe some ‘rules’ are fair; others will use them as a way to control you. Keeping you stuck or under their control by citing some ‘Global Belief’ like Religion and Law or Cultural/Societal/Family Tradition. A lot of beliefs which are used to control and keep you in your place were designed many years ago, and may have served the good of the group or individual. But most of the time, knowledge and situations change. It is interesting how people keep citing these ‘old traditions’ when it suits them. Or use the Media to persuade us that we must believe something, or go along with a course of action to defend these traditions.

Check out Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth for examples of the kind of different views that people are becoming aware of. The present financial and terrorist situation is not actually as bigger threat as the environmental situation....But what are we all focussed and spending billions on!?

How does it relate to us in our lives?

Well if you look at examples of these Global myths, it opens up your map of reality. You cannot help but relate them to your own situation. How much do myths control your world and keep you stuck in a disempowered place. We are so programmed into thinking we have no choices, and made to feel guilty if we do not follow the Status Quo; that we just allow ourselves to be abused. We often choose fear over freedom, just so we do not end up in a fight against authority, the system, religion, bullying husbands/wives. We continually try to make our situation work within a framework in which we can never win. Do you ever feel like you are trying to keep your head above water whilst tied by heavy chains? This philosophy of control filters down from the highest echelons of world power, right down to you as an individual. This is because each layer of power models the level above. The sad thing is that the people who are doing this often do not think they are wrong. They are just modelling those who came before them, whether that be parents or predecessors within organisations. They have been brain washed already and just do what has always been done. Eating everything off your plate during the war years was a good idea in scarcity, not so now.

*The bad stuff rolls down hill... *

The old saying that the crap rolls down hill is true, the lower your status or situation, the more ‘stuff’ you usually have to deal with. Moreover, you usually have fewer reserves to deal with what gets thrown at you. The only way to get out of this situation is to... quite simply change the rules. I do not mean break the rules, but to move yourself to a situation where the rules do not have to apply. Whenever the government brings in new tax laws, the wealthy hire experts to find a way around the rules. The rules only end up applying to people who are in a totally regulated situation, e.g. people who are employed and cannot claim the same things as those who are self employed.

It is not easy to move from a painful situation and a new set of beliefs will often have to be tried on for size. Divorce was introduced to help people move from an unhealthy relationship that is not working; but it is not an easy step. Clients who have taken the step of changing their work situation usually feel like it is a major challenge; although invariably state it was the best thing they ever did. It appears the fear of changing is often worse than the change itself. But the freedom that is gained is often worth the trouble. A word of warning, don’t try to convince people you are right and they are wrong. Unless people are ready to change themselves you will be alienated and insulted. Take it slowly and gently with others, beware of their efforts to sabotage your efforts and they will. It is very scary for people to have to change their beliefs. Look at what happened to Al Gore when trying to bring new information regarding the environment that didn’t fit with the mainstream politics. He was ridiculed and derided on the world stage by his peers. Although what he says is backed up by scientists worldwide, ‘they’ did not allow him to get into a position where he could have made some real changes.

What people tend to forget is that we humans are very resourceful and adaptable creatures. In fact one could argue we are the most adaptable on the planet. It is only the fear of breaking away from tradition or the status quo (basically our limiting map of the world), that prevents us from seeing the options that are available to us. In order for us to be able to do this, we need some tools. Self awareness, self acceptance, self confidence combined with an awareness of your reality. Learn more about yourself and the real world you inhabit. Determine what is really true in your world, unfold your map and explore your options. Are you controlled by your religion, ex partners, your financial situation or even your physical environment? A friend of mine once told me that the only thing you ‘need’ to do in life is breathe. Everything else is a choice, and there are ALWAYS more choices, if you are prepared to face your fears and start asking difficult but empowering questions.

*The Bathtub Test *

During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director, 'How do you determine whether or not a patient should be institutionalised?'

'Well,' said the Director, 'we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub.'

'Oh, I understand,' said the visitor. 'A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup.'

''No,' said the Director. 'A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?'