Self-Imposed Prisons: 5 Ways to Break Free
By Patrick Prohaska
An unfortunate aspect of our 3-Dimensional reality is that we tend to live in invisible prisons – jail cells constructed from our expectations, judgments, and conclusions. The higher-dimensional truth is that we bask in an almost infinite array of opportunities. But because of our preconceived notions about the world we reject countless possibilities before we even notice them. In fact, our biases often blind us to the very opportunities that may be screaming loudest for our attention.
Our expectations, judgments, and conclusions lay the foundation of our worldview, and once this is constructed we tend to guard it with all our might. We filter out evidence that challenges our worldview and only perceive what is in agreement. This is called “self-validating evidence.” We wear blinders, which limit how our lives can unfold. We set limits on every aspect of our lives, including our success.
As Henry Ford said, “whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, either way you’re right.” That’s why intuitive healers are most effective when they work with clients who truly want to change their lives and who are open to healing as a possibility.
The more strongly we cling to our biases, the thicker we build our prison walls. What’s a prison without guards? Other people’s opinions fill that role, and our fears are the guard dogs. At times we may consider escaping our self-imposed prison, but then we wonder, “What would my friends think? What would my family think? People will laugh, or call me insane.” And so we stay, not quite sure why we suddenly resent our friends and family. Sometimes we settle for just a sneak peek over the walls, and those fearful guard dogs snarl.
So instead of escaping, we set about making our prison cells livable. A dash of paint, a throw pillow or two, and soon we’re content and comfortable. We compete against each other for who has the most luxurious prison cell. Some of us even manage to decorate our cells so lavishly we declare ourselves enlightened. But we’re not – we’ve merely pushed the cell walls outward more than others have. We’ve all encountered those people who brag about how enlightened they are, blissfully unaware that such a declaration is the one of thickest shackles the ego can create. Enlightened people don’t care about other people’s opinions – they only care about other people. They express their enlightenment through action and example, not through declaration.
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Here are 5 effective ways to break free from your self-imposed prisons:
1. Reject limitations placed on you by others.
You can be, do, and have anything you desire, within the confines of a civil and just society. Ignore anyone who tells you otherwise, be they a spouse, a parent, a friend, a politician, or a guru. Have you ever had a well-intentioned spiritual teacher unwittingly box you in by defining you as a specific archetype? In truth, an archetype is nothing more than an energetic pattern you’re in vibrational harmony with in the present moment – it does not define you now and forever. Even religious scriptures can keep you in bondage, if you see them as definitive truths about you rather than as sage guidelines based on wisdom.
2. Question yourself.
Accept the possibility that you might be wrong about absolutely everything. Growth shuts down when your world view hardens. An open mind lubricates spiritual growth, and without openness you may sink into spiritual arrogance. Spiritual ego is insidious – it can short circuit your growth at an early stage of development while simultaneously deluding you into believing you have reached the summit. If you think you have all the answers, rest assured you’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg.
3. Be authentic.
How many masks do you wear? How many of these masks are based on what you think other people want to see in you? How many are designed to make others like you? And how many of these other people are also wearing masks? When you take on a false persona in order to please others who are also living false lives, there’s no space for authentic happiness. It may be scary at first, but take your masks off and see what happens. When you’re honest with yourself and others and commit to a life of authenticity, opportunities materialize all around you. Doors open all around you, and you become like a kid in a candy store basking in the joy of abundant opportunity. You’re then free to follow your passions without regard to other people’s expectations, judgments, and conclusions. And in time you become an example, a role model who shows others how to do the same.
4. Give up expectations.
Give up expectations, conclusions, and judgments about the world and open yourself to the abundant array of possibilities you’ve been overlooking. When you feel trapped by circumstances, ask yourself, “What else is possible? What opportunities am I not seeing?” Expand your vision with an open mind and an open heart, avoiding the energy of no. Please note, this doesn’t mean you should give up specific goals. When you meticulously identify your desires you activate the energy that allows them to manifest. Just be open to something equal or better coming your way instead. And redefine transformation as an ongoing and ever-expanding life-long process rather than the achievement of an end goal.
5. Understand how the cognitive mind works.
The cognitive mind, or conscious mind, has both a negative bias and a “confirmation bias.” The negative bias exists because our minds are designed to protect us by recognizing dangers and solving problems. Your mind constantly scans the environment in search of potential threats. Sometimes it even invents conflicts where none exist. How many times have you caught yourself imagining a future argument? Or reliving a past argument so you can get it right the next time around? The cognitive mind loves to bask in conflict – it’s why the plots our favorite books and movies are all focused on struggle and strife. This helps keep us safe, but it also pens us in. Rather than getting mired in the energy of imaginary conflict, simply recognize that your mind likes to solve problems, and offer it different puzzles to play with instead. The “confirmation bias” refers to the fact that the mind only sees what it expects to see. It tends to filter out any evidence that doesn’t fit its expectations, unless the anomaly poses some sort of danger. Expand your awareness and you’ll begin to see possibilities and opportunities you’d never before dreamed possible.
The more you can “let things go” the closer you are to true freedom. Yet this is where most of us get confused – let me clear things up for you…
First let me explain where most folks typically get confused…
With Universal Laws and Manifesting, you know it is essential to get clarity – you’ve heard me say it a million times – “You must get clear or the Universe won’t know what you want AND even if the best thing for you is right there in front of you, you won’t see it if you aren’t clear.”
So in one moment you hear “get clear” and “give your energy to your desires” and then in the next moment you hear “let it all go.”
“Let it go” simply means – let go of the outcome and of HOW you think your desire should be delivered to you. The easiest way to do this is to focus NOT on details but instead on feelings – in other words you may be clear that you want a million dollars – but what you really want is what you think a million dollars will give you – a feeling of security perhaps – so what you really want is to feel safe. Get clear on that feeling and let the million dollars go.
Do this today – take your goals and desires and for each one of them identify the feeling beneath the detail. Are you in???