R2R 4 Looking for the Secret Door

Is there really a secret door that will take us from our mundane, monotonous routines to a more joyful and fulfilling life?

Let’s explore together if there is one, and if so, how we could find that secret door.

In our first episode, we talked about how we trap ourselves in our Comfort Zone, and how it is so difficult to step out of it into the unknown world..

What this really means is that, to feel safe, we naturally contract our boundaries and stay in our known routines, instead of exploring what’s outside of the mundane world.

In this world, we play lots of established roles, as a result, it’s very difficult for us to dare to explore what’s beyond our comfort zone .. we accept what’s expected of us and silently do it..

Even though all feels automated, and routine, we’re generally very comfortable with this world we have created .. because we know it.. we know exactly how it works..

After a while, exploring anything out of this automatic, to some degree, unconscious routine becomes inherently riskier .. we know what we know .. so why should we risk this routine for something unknown…

But, life doesn’t leave us alone in our little comfort zone…

Life keeps pushing us .. we start to run into uncomfortable situations.. things don’t go the way we want.. we keep having arguments and conflicts with our significant other, with our kids, with our boss, colleagues, friends, parents..

It’s so interesting that even though we’re exhausted after each and every argument, and promise ourselves not to engage in these situations.. we keep running into them ..

I call these situations .. limiting life patterns ..

they’re definitely patterns, cause they repeat provoking similar emotional reactions in us every time we’re triggered..

and

they’re definitely limiting, cause each trigger drains our energy and prevents us from living our full potential, our best version of ourselves..

Ironically, these limiting life patterns hold the secret door to a better life ..

Let’s explore these situations closely.. and find out how to look for that secret door.. and enter into a life of our dreams..

In order to do that we need to learn some life skills…

Isn’t ironic that we’re taught math, physics, biology, chemistry and so on.. but nothing about the necessary life skills to cope with these fundamentally limiting life patterns that we constantly face on a daily basis..

But fortunately, life becomes the school and the teacher and provides us with opportunities to learn new skills to advance our life beyond our comfort zone.

How?

Through our trigger events …

every limiting life pattern cycle starts with a trigger..

Which is the people and situations that provoke our intense emotional reactions ..

That’s exactly where the secret door is …

And we usually miss it ..

Each time we’re triggered .. we ignore it… we exhaust ourselves in anger.. in frustration.. in resentment..

We don’t quite understand why we react .. we usually think the other person or that particular situation has caused us to react ..

That’s true on the onset .. because our attention is outward, on them.. and we blame them..

But we miss valuable insights into what’s happening behind the scenes, within us, within our subconscious .. within our internal programming ..

And the secret door passes by, and leaves us with our anger, sadness, frustrations and hopes that one day the person or the situation will change so that we’ll be happy..

Unfortunately, our hopes slowly vanish as we find ourselves facing another trigger event, living through yet another limiting life pattern again..

To be honest.. this happens to all of us.. we suffer whenever we get triggered.. each and every time we lose our center .. and blame the other person ..  we take their comments, their actions, their opinions personally .. our thoughts and emotions run all over the place and our attention goes to them.. and we miss to register what’s happening internally.. we identify with our thoughts and start defending ourselves.. we see the other person as our enemy, someone who’s out there to get us.. who’s out there to steal our happiness ..

And our attention outward, we miss the secret door.. again..

But how can we not take things personally when people ignore us, or when they don’t see us or hear us, or when they criticize us all the time…

It’s tough .. yes it’s very tough..

What we want to be is Neo – on the top of the building in the movie Matrix, and dodging the bullets that these trigger events are throwing at us..

to be able to dodge the bullets.. We need to be quicker than them..

We need some space.. we need to create some space to slow down the impressions that we’re receiving from the trigger events ..

Things are happening so quickly, we get sucked in into all of our internal dialogues, thoughts and emotions that get reflected and played out in the outside world.. and we’re getting hit..

No one likes these conflicts … no one wants to get stuck in these limiting life patterns ..

The key to see the secret door is to slow things down and have a little space to discern what’s going on in these situations ..

It’s a tough one because each trigger pushes us away from our center .. in that ungrounded state, it’s very difficult to dodge the bullets .. we’re too involved..

We need a new life skill in order to learn how to step back from everything and observe what’s happening .. internally and externally.. almost like an independent third person looking at ourselves from a distance..

This life skill is self-observation .. and in my opinion, it’s the most important practice that we can use to slow things down and give us a chance to find that secret door we’ve been missing all along..

During self-observation .. we simply stand there .. patiently… and simply observe ourselves going through the motions ..

This is not an easy practice ..

Cause we feel overwhelmed, and usually get lost in the heat of the moment whenever we get triggered .. and when we do, within a second, we fire up our defensive actions.. and exhaust our energy ..

so initially, it feels like there is not much hope to slow things down..

But we can only try .. maybe we can make an extra effort to step back from the situations for a second to observe what’s going on every time we’re triggered ..

and maybe that separation from our thoughts and emotions, right there and then, will help us to slow things down..

Hopefully one day, in one of those moments, we’ll have the courage to separate ourselves from our thoughts so that we can step out of our comfort zone and respond to trigger events differently .. our only hope, and also our only commitment is to bring ourselves to that moment of trigger and give ourselves a chance to have that courage to take a conscious step to explore what’s beyond anger, frustration, resentment that we’re feeling..

Without ignoring them, only by accepting our emotions, by staying with them, and by observing them..

Otherwise.. we know exactly where this path is leading .. more defensive actions to protect ourselves .. create more walls to feel safe .. separate ourselves from everyone around us for security ..

and we know the safety and security of the known world will eventually lead us to the entrapment of our souls..

Instead, deep down, we want to give our souls freedom to experience what’s beyond our comfort zone and allow our lives unfold in our unique and full self-expression – without fear, without stagnancy and in pure creativity, inner joy and fulfillment.

That’s where the journey starts for all of us .. every time we’re committed to make that conscious effort to self-observation and slow things down to express ourselves fully and uniquely .. we will soon rise above our limiting life patterns and get closer to realize our full potential..

In any given moment.. in any given situation..

Whenever it’s possible, whenever it’s available..

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