Flying Too Close To The Sun
Summer—hot, sunny days. Be careful. Wear your sunscreen and whatever you do, don’t fly too close to the sun! Your name may not be Icarus, (Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception) but it doesn’t have to be for the warning to apply. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even need to be a summer day, nor hot, because every day we risk the possibility that we may play it safe for fear of melting as we reach the upper limits of our desire and potential.
Upper limit syndrome (Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap) is less about safety than it is about self-sabotage and the mind’s conditioning toward limitation. The essence of Marianne Williamson’s notable quote is, “Our biggest fear is not of failure, but of success.”
Who am I to deserve love? Abundance? Happiness? Health? Fill in the blank. Or more pointedly, let your “monkey-mind” fill in the blank for you. Would I rather I be safe and stick to what I know and what’s familiar, or push past the unfamiliar into uncharted territory?
Most days, I look out the window at a picture I’ve seen framed for more than 30 years. In the distance is the old high school building and football stadium. The weathered brown brick and mortar have held up well though the generations where I walked the halls and ran on the same fields as my father before me.
Whether it’s in the dimly lit stillness of a deep night or during a bright, bustling day, the picture through the frame of that window is a portal to the past. It represents an encapsulation of the memories of my entire youth, all interwoven and dangerously connected to one another and to my life today—dangerous because a part of my mind is drawn to those memories as a means of comfort and familiarity, even though many of them are sad, traumatic or limiting.
It’s a beautiful picture. There are happy memories, too. However, it’s not about discerning happy from sad. It’s about focusing on what was. Memories of the past can easily frame our present and future. It takes a certain amount of awareness, self-discipline and a conscious decision to see beyond the past and accept that change represents growth—that it may be safer and healthier in the long run to tuck the old photos away and create new pictures.
Enjoy our July issue as you create fond memories and new photos with an eye toward reaching your highest potential in the here and now. You deserve it. Remember to feel good, live simply and laugh more.