Since three weeks I have taken on a new assignment, i.e. to help build a corporate risk management department for a large pension services group. It is great working with the team involved and I enjoy being in the business world again after 6 months of leisure. At the same time however, I am reminded how corporate life has become an overly regulated environment.
Anybody who has been dealing with Governance Codes, compliance reports, Sox controls or ISAE3402 audits knows what I am talking about. “Being in control” seems to be the new mantra, or should I say the new holy grail?
Rules are creating a virtual prison
Don’t be mistaken, it is not only corporate life that is overly regulated. Also in our private and spiritual life we observe lots of “rules.” Think for example of the rules that tell you what (not) to eat, rules about what to wear to the office, when to brush your teeth, how to meditate or pray, when to go to church or temple, how to communicate with your family, friends and co-workers, how to hold a knife and fork at the dinner table, when to take a day off, when to file your tax return, how much to tip in restaurants, what not to do in an elevator; the list goes on and on and covers every aspect of your life. Life has become a virtual prison in which the walls are made of rules.
Do you feel that way too and are you looking for a way out?
Realize that your prison is self imposed
Before talking about how to escape this prison, you first need to become consciously aware that all the rules we have been talking about are, without exception, self imposed. This means that nobody, I repeat nobody but yourself can hold you back! That’s why I talk about a “virtual” prison.
Just take a moment here and allow this to sink in some more: in the end nobody but yourself is preventing you from stepping out…
For me this was a surprising discovery, triggered while reading the New Energy Synchrotize material several years ago. But, what really surprised me was that, although I now knew I could leave my prison any time I wanted, I experienced such a strong inner and outer resistance to choose my freedom. Why?!
Understanding the inner and outer resistance
Many people are aware that they live in a self imposed prison, but indeed feel a lot of resistance to step out, even if they are told time and again that life outside is much more beautiful and enjoyable. There are several reasons why that is.
First, as in Plato’s allegory of the cave, people in general have a hard time imagining what a totally free life looks like and why leave a prison in which you have found some level of comfort and happiness for something you don’t know?
Secondly, conventional wisdom and social belief systems make us think, in a very subtle way, that if we leave the safety of our prison, bad things will happen. In my case I was convinced that after stepping out I would face a life with poverty and social isolation. I really thought, like most people, that it would be impossible to live a free life unless you had a lot of money. Sounds familiar?
The third reason, and you probably experienced this for yourself too, is that when you are trying to escape your virtual prison, you are confronted with an increasing resistance from the other “inmates”, i.e. your spouse, lover, family, friends, etc. Why? Although they tell you that they are genuinely concerned for your well being (remember they have been conditioned in exactly the same way as you have), what they are really concerned about is losing their control over you. Just think for a minute what will happen if you are totally free and you move outside their sphere of control? How will they be able to influence you and make sure you continue to listen and care for them?
It is easy to see how all of this, even if it is imagined in the mind, makes it very difficult for any person to escape from their virtual prison.
Making the choice to escape
What helped me in making the choice to escape anyway, despite all this inner and outer resistance, was a combination of feeling fed up with the limitations and the lack of freedom I had experienced for so long, and a very strong and deep desire and curiosity to experience life outside prison. I would not allow myself to be held back, no matter what, and certainly not by other people that feared losing their control over me.
It is hard to put this in words, but I intuitively knew that I was doing the right thing, even when the going got tough and at times it became very tough as you can read in my book Choosing For You (1610).
As Mooji emphasizes, this escape is not something that you can work out in your mind; it is connecting with your inner truth that will finally help you to step out of your virtual prison and enjoy your freedom.
I wish you all the best and look forward to meet you on the outside…