Jumping the fence is an art. Yes, really! It takes a great few to master it, the Buddha being one of them. When he was better known as Gautama Siddartha, the Buddha left behind his family and kingdom in search of inner peace. And the minute he found his inner peace, he also found greatness. If that is not jumping the fence like a pro, then I don’t know what is.
I too, like jumping fences. Right from my school days, when I was thrust into class after class, each one beating the previous one in its title for absolute boredom, I would jump the fence. Except, quite unlike the Buddha, or my best friend, both of whom exited their desperate situations in real, I exited mine right from the place that I was sitting in. And never got caught in the act.
Irrespective of whether my seat was in the first bench or the middle one, I had developed the ability to sleep with my eyes open. While externally, a teacher would be bellowing out to the class, my head would be in Neverland, taking me on adventures of the unknown and the unseen. My sister-in-law too has this very ability. The only difference between us, is that she still managed to score decent marks, while I failed miserably.
Jokes apart, what does it mean to us when we jump the fence?
Both my brother-in-law and my husband jumped the fence when they did not give in to their mother’s demands to continue their education. Rather than chasing the boredom of sitting inside a box, they chose to struggle with the heat and walk down the streets, knocking on strange people’s doors, as salesmen. Although work was tough, the freedom of being whom they wanted to be, overpowered every other emotion.
And there is no greater freedom in the world.
Of course, I am, in no way falling in line with the Buddha’s decision to forsake his responsibilities. Every action has it’s consequence, and the Buddha too, would have, at some point of time, faced the consequences for his earlier actions. To each, his own.
This post is all about the infinite fences that the universe provides us to jump. And more than anything, this post is about…
Jumping the fence like a boss!
The first question that my son asks everyone he meets is – what is your passion. The next question that tumbles out of his mouth, depending on how the answer goes, is – why have you not been able to follow your passion. Having the support of parents who very rarely interfere with his idea of being himself, my son continuously fails to understand why many people are simply unable to be pursue their dreams. The truth is, my son, like many of his peers these days, does not have any fence to jump, at least not from the home front. School though, has always been a space that has tied him down by his laces. How he jumps his fence, is his challenge.
This brings us to the topic of how to jump the fence
Sometimes, when the right person refuses to do the right thing, the wrong person is forced to step into the situation to do the right thing. Likewise, when people who have aced the job of jumping fences are not exactly very open about their act, people who have only dreamed of jumping fences come into the picture. People like me.
Yes, yes, I already told you that I jump fences all the time. But I have been doing that only inside my head. And never outside this space. I am the one that sits inside the class when everyone else is outside it. I am the one who cribs about sitting inside the house when everyone else is outside, enjoying the sun. You see, I am all talk, and no walk.
And this habit of mine, to withhold myself from reaching for my challenges, has led me into a very dark space indeed. Anger and frustration are my right and left hands. The idea of leaving my family behind for a far away place, has become my friend. The temptation that is peace is the only thing in my mind. That is how and why I began this post with the mention of the Buddha. For I, and several others like me, in our own way, are Gautama Siddartha.
But this is also how I am not
Think of what is not on the other side of the fence: Every time the idea of jumping the fence lures me towards itself, I also think of what is on the other side. Or rather, what is not. My husband and son are not on the other side, and this very thought stops me from jumping the fence. For however bright an imagination I might possess, I am also thankful for the grounding of truth. I love my family, and hence, will not leave it. The other things that I do not have on the other side are job, and money. So, nay, I am not fool enough to jump.
If this is also your situation, how do you and I jump the fence then?
The answer stumps us with its unassuming audacity. We simply remove the fence. We uproot it, break it, crush it, and do whatever it takes to remove the fence. It takes a lot of hard work, and it takes a lot of courage too. But once it is done, you can feel the unseen essence of freedom falling into place.
The fence is nothing but our own limiting belief that someone else or something else is stopping us from reaching for the other side.
So, address your limiting belief: Today morning, my best friend, who also happens to be a life coach, and I, were talking about her success in breaking down her fence. Limiting beliefs is the crippling idea of “I cannot.”
Wanting to reduce her weight, my friend had thought of and executed several options, but was unable to sustain any of it. That is, until, she unhooked the limiting belief that she held around the idea of exercise. She believed that she would be unable to wake up early in the morning to head out to the gym nearby. Well, being a life coach and all that, the girl decided to undo her limiting belief. It was difficult, but she did it, and has indeed reached her goal. The fact that she is doing the difficult adds to her exhilaration every day.
So, the first step to jumping the fence, is to figure out what your fence is, in the first place. In other words, what is or are, your limiting beliefs. And the second step is to take actionable steps to demolishing your limiting beliefs.
If my son thinks that school cannot help him in pursuing his interests, then that is also his limiting belief. He needs to figure out ways and means to work with his situation, or work his way out of his situation. And therein lies his challenge.
Explore your options to jump: I have myself begun jumping the fence. And also getting back within. I am taking myself to morning walks and evening chats. I am determined to take myself out some more, with or without my family. But I am equally determined to get back home. To me, what lies outside, while tempting, can also become overwhelming. I still jump the fence from inside my home, and inside my head. And I am loving this jump because every time I jump, I get to meet you.
Explore your opportunities to jump the fence. Figure out the ways and work out the means. Then, just bloody jump – don’t let all the hard work go in vain.
You see, life is always presenting us with opportunities to jump the fence or destroy it. Sometimes, the opportunities require us to let go of what is within the fence, while at other times, they make us think of the consequences of letting go. Whatever we decide to do, let’s keep in mind that thoughts and fences are always man-made.
And nothing, absolutely nothing, is designed to last forever.
Here’s to jumping the fences or uprooting them!
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