Freeing Yourself from Yourself

Life is not scripted but we live it as though it were. In doing so, we create boxes that we operate within without ever really seeing the possibilities. We’re confined in mental prisons of our own creation. We make these scripts up or others make them up for us and eventually we come to believe them. And the problem is we think that is reality. It’s that story inside our head that keeps us from flourishing as we should—a life that moves us. We are sabotaging ourselves.

In I am Keats: Escape Your Mind and Free Your Self, develops a metaphor for two worldviews as expressed two poets: Coleridge and Keats.

Keats was passionate. He was moved by his senses and imagination. Capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries and doubts, he was uninhibited, open, and without judgment.

Coleridge wants to predict an unknowable future. He is logic, order, control and progress. Coleridge wants you to live a productive and mistake-free life. He is an expert craftsman, skilled in the rights and wrongs of the world, and turned on by the desire for risk aversion, accumulation and conformity.

Neither is right or wrong but we need to be aware of the dynamic between the two or we never really live. We never see the possibilities. Knowing is safe. Being is frightening – a dynamic dance with reality.

But we are held captive by our beliefs—what we believe to be reality. Here’s the thing about our beliefs. We don’t want them pointed out to us. We don’t want to have our soothing stories interrupted. We don’t want to be woken up from our script, from our reassuring routines. Otherwise, we’ll have to think. And then, heaven forbid, we may have to change.

we have to let go of our incessant desire to know, to predict and influence, and instead be willing to experience the mystery of the present without corrupting it with questions.

When we allow ourselves to become more like Keats, we find ourselves being pulled deeper and deeper into a process that creates serendipitous connections and refines our perceptions. Our old eyes adjust to a new world, and we become more creative and discerning.

Summing-up: We are conditioned – perhaps predisposed – to live in Coleridge’s worldview. But experience the moment. Your present creates the meaning of your past.

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