How To Get Out of The Box
By Art Ramsay, Ph.D.

 Most of us are familiar with the idea of staying in a preconceived ‘box’ of our own ideas. We would rather remain ‘comfortable’ than venture into the unknown. If you were to wrap your current lifestyle into a scenario it might look like this: get out of bed, prepare for work or whatever, travel to and do your job, come home, watch TV, go to bed. Next day: repeat the above.

 Wrap your family interactions into the above setting, and you have woven a neat little box to keep yourself in. What would happen if you peaked out and saw something different? This ‘box’ idea reminds me of a story of a person who was born in a cave that had no obvious opening. So the person lived in the dark for years, until one day, someone found a way out into the light. When he told the others, they were afraid and stayed in the cave, never venturing into the light.

 If we all lived our lives like the people in this story, think what we have missed. Can you image never seeing or feeling the sunlight? While blind people may not see with their physical eyes, they are always have available to them the opportunity to ‘see’ in a different way – with their imagination. This can lead to not only creative endeavors, but a way to free a person of not seeing physically.

 The ‘box’ I am speaking of is created by you. Since you are the creator of your life, breaking out of the rut many of us put ourselves in is a person matter. If you are like me, you probably have long ‘to do’ lists that seem endless. Chaining myself to the lists, keeps me from venturing into the unknown, because I have my future spelled out by the endless lists.

 We must break free of our lists, narrow concepts, and boxed up lives. I watched a movie recently about an old guy in a wheelchair who had lost his will to live. He vacationed at a house next to a divorced woman and three children. During the movie, the middle girl asked the ‘retired’ writer to help her learn to write. So he did.

 He told her to look down the road outside of the house and tell him what she saw. She replied, “a road”. He kept asking her and she kept describing the road and surroundings. Finally, after giving her more info about imagination, she looked down the road and began describing a ‘story’ for him. She finally ‘got it’.

 Peaking through a ‘hole’ in the ‘box’ is like that: you must use your imagination. In order to be creative we have to explore the previously unknown in our lives. It has been scientifically proven that we make decisions, a.k.a. choices, from previous knowledge and understanding. Is that the way you want to continue to choose what you do and where you are going?

 Your perceptions drive your life. Where do your perceptions come from? Your beliefs; that is, what you have learned and stored in your unconscious mind. I planted gardens for many years each summer when I lived in Maryland, but when I moved out west, I stopped doing that due the difference in climate.

 When I moved to Asheville, my wife, Dee gardened for awhile until I read about Genetically Modified food. Now I am back to gardening with a twist; I built a biodome (like a greenhouse) that will allow me to maintain a small garden all winter. I would never have built it based on my previous knowledge and perceptions.

 Even though I have worked out with weights and jogged for many years, I have learned more about taking care of my body in the past couple of years than I ever knew, only because I explored what other people have discovered over the past decade or so, about building muscle and taking care of my body. I left the ‘old’ way of doing things, using them as a foundation, and am now using newer ways of working out.

 We see what we want to see, or what we have learned that now are our perceptions. If you continue to do the same thing, you will continue to get the same results in your life. Nothing will be different for you until you actually do something different.

 A ‘new world’ is dawning from a spiritual standpoint that is affecting every aspect of your life. If you pay attention, open your mind, you might very well see something brand new that could change the way you see the world; or more importantly, change how you see yourself.

 So how do you do this?

  • Use your imagination.
  • Pay attention
  • Be open-minded
  • Look beyond appearances (your perceptions)
  • Do something different; even radical
  • Spend a whole day doing things you have never done before

 The ‘box’ is your prison; the chains that bind you to one way of experiencing life. Leave it, and you are free.“Come to the edge, He said. They said, We are afraid. Come to the edge, He said. They came. He pushed them... and they flew.” Guillaume Apolliaire


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