On the Building and Tearing Down of Walls
Part Two of Two
last time on building and tearing down inner walls. We spoke of these walls as stemming from the
wisdom and creativity of children. What
happens though when we feel like we’re too cramped or need to make some sort of
change? Here is one way of transforming,
coming out of, and inviting others into your inner paradise.
Gradually. Begin by clearing out the space of unwanted
and unhealthy clutter: thoughts of self-hatred, shame, arrogance; and start
bringing in thoughts you want to live with: joy, gratitude, generosity,
love. Add a window or two. Open them.
Let the fresh air and light in from mentors and friends. Build a door—a beautiful, hand carved,
wood-hewn door—perhaps a non-traditional—round-Hobbit door; maybe a triangular
door, or one shaped like a star. You
pick. Whatever shape you pick, remember
this: these door opens from the inside.
art work—beautiful visions and pictures of your dreams and aspirations; vision boards; scenes
of nature, mornings, mountains, trees. Keep
happy memories tucked away in special places.
Add a few knick-knack—curious, quirky things that will become your
unique personality traits. Have a few,
well-chosen books (everyone has at least one book in them). Bring in some candles or beautiful lamps,
soft blankets, clean bed sheets, flowers, healthy food, clean water. You decide what these symbolize for you. I like to think of the healthy food as
positive affirmations, the clean water as living and bathing in the truth, and
ready, open the windows and let the light in; or open the windows at night and
let the fireflies in and the soft gaze of the moon. Either way, let the fresh air of new ideas in.
Lean on the sill and breathe, gazing at the beauty—imagining the possibilities.
And when you’re
ready, open the door. Stand at the
threshold for as long as you need to, and then step out. When you’re ready invite safe, friendly
people inside to talk with (living or dead), host dinner parties, sing-alongs, or
reading groups. You get to decide who
and when and how. You might even invite
people in to make love with.
And yes, you
might get hurt. You might open the door,
come dancing out, and stub your toe on something someone left lying around
outside—a worn-out limited belief or a
rusty, old idea. Some one might say
something mean, break a promise, and so on.
It is difficult to shield ourselves from all pain.
When we get
hurt however, we have a safe, healthy, clean, and holy place to go. We will have a well-stocked medicine cabinet
filled with the healing balms of mantras, prayers, and songs; we will have
ready the elixirs of positive affirmations and creative pursuits; we will have
the healing cures of physical movement—tapping, walking, drumming. We will have the secret remedies of the prayers
of other people—keep a stash of these treasured somewhere in your space and
replenish them often. Keep a supply of
the antidote for fear: actions. Feel the fear and keep moving. Feel all of your feelings, honor the pain and
its messages of healing; honor your feelings by simply knowing them to be what
they are—feelings—neither mysterious
nor the end all and be all of who you are.
your walls, create fragrant, holy, beautiful spaces—temples of wisdom and love. Tend the gardens of your body, mind, heart,
and soul. Know that you can use any of
these as safe places. Each is inherently
and irrevocably a paradise. Know too
that you get to choose who comes in. You
get to open the door. Lots of people
might come knocking, but only you have the power of opening the door. And you can stay outside or inside for as
long as you like.
thing: remember to honor your inner child for starting the process of building
a wall in the first place—a process
inspired by play. All wisdom is
play, and all play is wisdom. Connect
with that child with gratitude, express that appreciation by affirming him or
her; and you can express that appreciation for your inner child (or children)
too by appreciating and honoring the children you see around you—your own
children, your students, your nieces, nephews, grandchildren, or the children
in your neighborhood or on the train. Take
a cue from these children: learn to have fun inside and out, and come out and
go in when you see fit. Learn that
whatever else this wild, complicated life is, it is play—serious sometimes
perhaps, tragic, but it is play. It is a
dance of wonder and of discovery. It is
the play of becoming who you are.
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Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog