Sunday, April 24, 2016

Fear & Stagnation via The Croods

I took my kids to see The Croods at the movies yesterday (yes, this is a post about a children's movie!). I have seen it before, but as always, we only get the lessons when we are in a place to receive them. I was quite impacted by the message of the movie...or at least my interpretation of it.

To quickly sum it up, the movie is about a family of cavemen/women. All their lives the Dad has kept them in a cave because that's where it's safe, and his job is to keep them alive. When night fell, he ushered them in, closed the door off with a giant rock and made them huddle together during sleep. They weren't allowed to wander or explore and the word "curious"  was about the worst curse word they could imagine. All the children knew was this cave. So one day the daughter becomes curious about the world outside and follows a spark that has come from a fire, leading her to a boy. She is fascinated by the fire and believes it to be the sun, since she has no concept of fire.

The boy warns the girl of the ending of her part of the world, and suggests she leave to find her way to the mountain, where she will be safe. When this information is relayed to her Dad, all hell breaks loose. He won't have it. The cave has kept them alive this long, it's the only place they can exist. Eventually destruction forces them out of their home, and they have no choice but to travel to this mountain. The movie depicts the Dad, with anxiety at every turn and resistance with every step, both leading to an inability to see beyond the past - and his save little cave that he continues holding on to.
Meanwhile, the others slowly but surely come to accept this new adventure. They embrace the change and are fascinated by the world outside the shell they had been living in. They enjoy the new sights and wonder at possibility. They ride this season of change and quickly realize the life they were living wasn't living at all.

Wow. Can you see the parallels between the movie and real life?

When we resist change and keep ourselves tightly bound in our safe little haven, we miss out. On opportunities. On connections. On experiences. On possibility. On life. Fear keeps us safely secured in the world we have created for ourselves and it's so much more comfortable there isn't it?

When we can embrace change, and become willing to ride the outskirts of our comfort zone, this little bubble of security can expand, allowing in more joy and freedom. Not without fear of course, but fear is okay. Fear is that knowing that a shift in comfort is about to occur, which is a GOOD thing. Fear serves us well, it keeps us safe, but it can also work against us and allow us to falsely believe that security is what life is about.
Freedom, possibility, laughter, love, adventure, opportunity....expansion. That's where growth can be found. And that is what life is about.

Fear this - finding yourself in a dark alley late at night as you catch a glimpse of a hooded man in the back corner. This fear will prepare your body to fight or run. It will alert your senses to make a decision for your survival and safety

Don't fear this - creating a community event to share your wealth of knowledge with others. Standing on stage and looking among the crowd of people all eyeing you up, awaiting your words. Feeling like you want to crawl into a deep hole and stay there awhile. This type of fear is based on illusion. A deep seated belief that you are not good enough, conjured up by the insecurities of others. This fear will keep you safe in your home, never allowing you to fully experience the opportunities and joys life has to offer. OR you can finish your talk, impacting the lives of those who attended, filling you with a sense of purpose and expanding your safety bubble enough to create yet another event to impact even more people.

See the difference? Robin Sharma is one of my favourite people. He continually promotes living with fear every single day, "If you're not scared a lot, you're not doing very much." What can you go out and do today that sparks fear but will open up your world a little more? Now go do that.