Cages of the Mind
Let me tell you a story about a rabbit.
Always I’ve loved rabbits. Whenever I get one, out goes the cage and in-comes the house training. Years ago, I acquired Rose. A middle-aged huge white rabbit who had lived its entire life in a cage. So, being true to form, the first thing I did was put the cage in the back hall. Then lifting Rose gently out, placed her on the kitchen floor. Encouraging exploration and giving her free rein.
What did Rose do?
Nothing. Nudging her gently with my toe she then hopped two steps to the left and stopped. Hmm.. I nudged her again and this time she hopped two steps to the right and stopped. And once again, two steps to the left.
“Rose” I coaxed, “Come on. You have the whole flat. Go for it.”
She didn’t. But with further encouragement and a more persuasive nudge she did. Another two steps. This time to the front, then two steps behind. Remember, Rose only knew her cage and although no longer in it – she thought she was. She could only do the two step.
Finally, in the nicest possible way I “kicked her up the bum” and she went flying. (No rabbits are harmed in this story.) Suddenly, Rose was off. Hopping everywhere. Exploring. Alert, excited and no doubt happy.
What does this say about us?
We too, like Rose can wear the ‘Cages of our Minds’. Believing we can only do what we have always done. A mindset which limits and pushes away opportunity, new experience and adventure.
Although cage-less Rose wore the cage around her. But with encouragement she learned to let go and get going. I left her cage in the back hallway always open. So if it ever got too much she knew she could return. Recharge and then come out hopping and flying through the air. Her comfort zone always there.
Change demands we leave our comfort zone in-order to grow. If we stay with what we always know we will always have what we have always had. Although limiting, comfort zones like cages I’m certain have an appeal. There is little demand.
But life is not like that.
It encourages us to grow, to expand into the new, explore the bigger picture. And as it does it awakens us. Just as my most friendly ‘kick’ did for Rose.
So, if you find yourself with new opportunity but are still wearing the “Cages of your Mind” do what I did. Give yourself the proverbial ‘kick up the bum’ and set yourself flying into adventure. Remember as well, like Rose, if you want you can leave the door to your cage open. Then if it all gets too much it’s there to return and recharge.
Think about it. What if Rose and I never met? If she always stayed her cage? Looking out through the chicken wire she would remain an onlooker to the life around her. Cages serve a purpose – to contain. While Cages of the Mind? Limit.