Outside the Cave:
Have you ever noticed that a new study is all the rage, until the next one comes out? A micronutrient, a marketing technique, an athletic shoe, non-binding underwear. A while later a new study takes the stage making the old one seem unimportant.
It’s not that the first study is wrong, per se. It’s simply myopic. If you string the studies together, you may get a bigger picture, meaningful nuggets, whether they were good information or misinformation. If you hop from one study to the next forgetting what was before, you may find yourself reinventing the wheel.
Imagine for a moment that you live in a cave. It has all the qualities of a great cave. Rock solid walls, spaciousness, high ceilings, stable ground, a water source, a small hole above that lets out the smoke from the fire.
Generations have painted on the walls, including you, and these are the stories you are informed by every day. You go outside the cave to get wood and food and return having been told that the cave is the real world. That the world out there isn’t real, it only gives food and wood. So all you see is food and wood.
One day you have an errant idea out of no-where and step outside the cave to look around. You start to take in the environment that surrounds you. You actually see it as you cast a long 180 degree plus view.
The first thing you notice is your lungs spontaneously filling with cool fresh air in a deeper breath your body took on your behalf. It’s so much easier to breathe.
There’s a blue sky above that you hardly noticed before and thick vegetation and trees beyond the well-worn hunting and gathering path. Through the brush you hear something and follow the sound.
300 yards later you are in an opening on a ledge feeling something unfamiliar. You are overlooking a green and blue sparkling ocean that extends beyond the horizon, crashing in foam, white waves, and thunderous sound against the rocks hundreds of yards below.
You can hardly believe your eyes or the feeling it gives you. Then the word comes to you. Bliss.
Still breathing slow and deep to take it in, to your left around the curve of the ledge you notice a massive tumbling waterfall misting your face in your discovery. To your right you notice the vegetation and trees swing around into a long finger of land that narrows to a point as it descends to the ocean.
You look back toward the cave, the opening no longer visible, then look down at the ocean. Back to the cave and down to the ocean.
You realize the cave is only one reality. Its stories on the wall, the shelter, the love, the battles, the fires, the gathering paths…all of it is one possibility that have fed where you stand now.
Why didn’t anyone tell you, you wonder? Are you really the first to lay your eyes on all this beauty? Umpteen generations may have laid their eyes on this beauty. Or maybe you are the first.
Either way, it is your eyes seeing it. Your eyes making meaning of it. Your eyes that take it from here.
I was working with a client the other day who, though successful wanted to take her life to new levels in every direction. She’d been bumping up against a ceiling in income, business, relationship, body, and joy.
She is well along her conscious path with energy, books, workshops, coaching, counseling, meditation, yet still lived as if under a proverbial cloud her whole life.
Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Paul of the the Bible referred to, “forgetting was is behind and forging on to what is ahead…”
I imagine that forgetting what is behind or building a new model isn’t to be myopic, to hop from one disconnected study to the next. But trying to access greater potentials, gifts, excellence or magic from the old model, from the cave, from a single study, leads to frustration and stagnation.
The stories of our caves inform us of what we’ve come to learn. To infuse those lessons into a greater expression requires a greater environment–inner and/or outer. You can tap into the stories of the cave at any moment to integrate a nugget for the future, to transform more cellular memory for your evolution, to catalyze another portal of greatness–by doing so from outside the cave.
My client is discovering the world outside the cave. Her inner eyes adjusting to its light. For the first time in her life she feels safe to her core, giving her a foundation to see everything differently, to fully integrate all that the cave contributed to and limited in her being without being limited to it any longer.
She is on her way in the new model. The vision ahead. Now the cave can be put to rest, put behind her, for what it contributed to the infinite realities ahead.
Here’s to more of You in this world,