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A parable from priest and therapist Anthony de Mello on the stories we tell ourselves:
"A man found an eagle's egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chickens and grew up with them.
All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.
Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.
The old eagle looked up in awe. "Who's that?" he asked.
"That's the eagle, the king of the birds," said his neighbour. "He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth—we're chickens."
So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that's what he thought he was."
Source: Song of the Bird
You are very much influenced by the environment you grew up in during your first seven years of life. Like a sponge you have taken on the routines, procedures, emotions and attitudes of those around you.
Your first seven years are an especially critical period in your development because you have your sensitive feeling nature in full flight, but very little of a developed intellect with which to critically examine these inputs. It is impossible at such an early stage of development to decide which parts of the lifestyle they offer you should accept and which parts need to be filtered out. The situation is comparable to someone who believes everything they see and read on social media, then tries to live their life accordingly!
Of course it’s not quite that bad, because you did in fact choose to be born into that particular household with those particular parents so, on a soul level, you did choose to take on all that programming …. for better or worse….
You could say the environment you chose to be born into was largely a reflection of who you have been in your past – a reflection of the attitudes and habitual ways of thinking that used to define who you were.
However, as you have come to this lifetime in order to HEAL your past and refine yourself to a higher level of consciousness, you must move beyond that environment. Being aware that it is even possible to make conscious choices can be the basis for a lifetime study and practice.
This inevitably involves going back and recalling the habits of your parents and their communities. You have to drag their beliefs and misunderstandings out into the sunlight and examine the degree to which they fit your new model of who you are choosing to be and what you want to create for your future. Only then can you decide whether to retain or reject each and every aspect of your ‘upbringing’.
How can you begin to seriously address the beliefs and habits that keep you anchored to the past: the beliefs that limit our spiritual progress? These three steps are vital to breaking through limiting beliefs:
Firstly you obviously need to break yourself away from the family home to avoid the continual restimulation of old habits and attitudes by family members. This may take the form of ugly teenage rebellion, or it may be as simple as a firm inner resolution to follow your own thoughts and set your own direction in life, independent of anyone else’s opinions. Either way, some eggshells will have to be broken!
Often people move away to a place of their own, moving in with peers or perhaps entering a relationship. You may even change cities or countries to get away from all that’s familiar so you can embrace your alternative way of life. Despite all your efforts though, you usually realise before long that you have just brought your old habits with you and your immaturity is still lurking just below the surface of your brave new face.
Classic Grounded Theorist, Glaser (1978) suggests expanding self-awareness, embracing detachment and accepting individual autonomy, along with self acceptance of who you are right now as the pathway to transforming loyalty.
You really have to go within to understand the origins of your behaviour. How best to go about this is precisely what self-discovery offers you:
Secondly, your intellectual memory is developed only since you were born (remember those formative years learning to walk and talk). Therefore it is mostly incapable of explaining the influence of your formative experiences in previous lifetimes and their influences on your journey this lifetime (your karma and destiny). You therefore need to seek solutions through your feeling (spiritual) nature.
Your guidance has the keys to unlock the doors to these mysteries; the ones you can’t recall yourself, which are precisely the ones you most need to examine if you hope to expand beyond your current limitations. Even without you undertaking training, your guides will try their best to send you clues and messages, maybe in the form of a book or movie, a chance encounter, or a serendipity. With training, this is where the clarity and power is.
In the paper Transforming Loyalty: A Classic Grounded Theory on Growth of Self-Acceptance Through Active Parenting, Rolle-Whatley, R., Vander Linden, K. (June, 2021) describes awakening to unlimited possibility by living in presence and integrating spirit. Knowing you are not the person you were 10 minutes ago, as each experience allows you to reflect, learn, heal and grow. The same is true for others. The study quotes:
“For some… the pathway into presence develops a receptivity to experiences of intuition. Intuition manifests as an inner sensitivity to a sudden distinct knowing (i.e., recognition of truth) and occurs without cognitive reasoning or affective processing.”
You may conceptualise intuition as communication with a higher power or spiritual guidance. You may know this as Spirit, Guides, Angels, Universe, Guidance or God. Integrating spirit often through experience-based situations provides trust in Spiritual guidance as you break through barriers and change long-held perspectives.
As an example of Spirit-sent intuited guidance, in the paper above a parent volunteered, “And not a voice, but it was so - it wasn’t a faraway thing either. It was in every cell in my body and said prepare yourself to receive this gift. And I mean, my hair just stood on end.”
Living Illumination offers a big-picture understanding of your soul perspective as well as techniques to communicate directly with your spiritual guidance, so you can learn to get your answers yourself - directly from them! There is no longer a risk of corruption of the message or manipulation by another person’s ego, and you will soon establish a life-long communication line to the team that you yourself chose to be your trusted mentors and way-showers this lifetime.
Finally, breaking through limiting beliefs transforms you to accept and acknowledge yourself, your past and your life journey (this lifetime and previous lifetimes). This new understanding then motivates you to achieve and unfold more and live the essence of your unique vibration. The unique gifts you bring to the planet and live the full expression of those.
To take the first step, we encourage you to join the next online Business of Life Workshop.
What can you do now?
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