You might first be wondering…
What the heck is the fortress of identity?
It is your self-concept; your beliefs, feelings, thoughts and assumptions about who you are. It is a fortress you have built after living life with its disappointments and frustrations.
The bricks of your fortress are made of: shattered dreams. People you think hurt you. Times when you hurt yourself. Disappointments stacked up like casualties of war.
With bricks of belief you built your fortress; at first, just only one wall to hide behind. You figured the best place to do it would be on top of a hill – this way you could look down on the strangers and feel safe.
But lately you’re noticing how dark and drab things have become.
Have you mistakenly sealed your life off from the sun?
Now you’re starting to shiver. Your skin is turning pale. It feels like your energy is being sucked away by the fortress walls. That’s it — you’re going to change. You try to tear the structure down with tools available in the fortress. Tools such as “try harder,” “put your mind to it,” “get over it,” and “attack the problem head-on and find a solution.
But still you’re locked in.
You try removing the bricks forcefully with your hands. Nothing budges. You drop to your knees. You’re at a crossroads. You can give up and make the best of the fortress.
But your soul — and your creative purpose — yearn for the sun.
You want to bathe in loving sun. Run free in an infinite field of creativity. And plant truly cherished creative seeds so that your deep desires can blossom.
You decide to take a break and engage in another activity for now. What are you going to do?
How can you shatter the fortress walls?
You decide you are going to paint a wall in the fortress. You pick red. You’re painting the fortress and all is going well.
Suddenly you step in a bucket of open paint and fall. Your hand lands in another bucket of paint. Would it make sense if you concluded that you were permanently stained?
What will I do… the red paint is now part of me forever? It is who I am. No, of course not. But this is what we tend to do when it comes to our identity.
There is another way to look at this…
The spilled paint (thoughts, feelings, behaviors, etc) is not an intrinsic, unmovable, permanently-attached characteristic. Rather, you could just wash it off. You are the one who experiences the paint, but you can change it. But if you thought of the paint as a permanently-attached part of yourself you would not even consider washing it off.
Most of us consciously and subconsciously consider the paint (thoughts, ideas, beliefs, behavior) as being a part of who we are. Over time we get into a pattern. This further freezes us inside the “fortress”. We are locked in by the limits of who we believe we are.
Actually there is a much wider perspective available. One that allows for maximum flexibility. There is some distance between you and the paint. And there is a way to unleash your potential and allow it to shine.
What is the fastest track out of that cramped fortress?
You’re in a jam. You know you need to change or you may lose a relationship, a job or perhaps some desperately-needed money. Traditional advice may be to approach it head-on:
Do what you need to do. You have to change… get some willpower. Stop complaining and take action.
Does this really work? Sure, for a little while perhaps. But if you want to make lasting changes you need to approach things a bit more sideways. You need to pierce the surface and get down to things on an emotional level. You need to step out of your current role that got you in a mess in the first place. The very thing you need more of but paradoxically may have been consciously avoiding?
Imagination. This is the other way. And when you open yourself to it…
At first, you notice a small but exquisite ray of sunlight peeking through a new crack in the fortress. The ray seems oddly familiar. Another crack develops in the fortress allowing the sun to stream in. The gap eventually becomes wide enough for you to walk right out of the fortress. Running into the field you merge with the sun. Let the planting begin.
Stupendous, free-flowing, unbounded, abundant, delicious imagination is more powerful than any fortress. We will be offering a series of imagination exercises to set you free. In combination with imagination you work to create results in your life. It is a double whammy to your identity. Powering up your imagination and creating like never before work in concert to expand who you are.
Do you have to worry about giving up who you are?
What if I don’t want to change who I am?
Think of a time in your life when you felt as though you, as a person, outgrew something. Your perspective widened. You may have been like that before but you have grown. The experience however is still part of who you are. You don’t lose anything. You gain. Whether or not you want a part of you to remain or fall by the wayside is completely up to you.
The process is natural and organic.
Escape the fortress of you… and start basking in the sun of potential again
Who you believe you are is one of the most important factors determining your results and experiences. Over time we tend to hem ourselves in as a means of protection.
Although well-intentioned this can backfire because we limit who we are. When we get used to limits we think of them as immovable characteristics of who we are… but they are not. Thus we also limit what is possible.
Expansion is key. Traditional notions of identity tend to keep us trapped in fortress-like limits. You need something else. Imagination and creative action can tear down the fortress walls. You can bathe in the sun and run through the endless fields again.