E209. Elephants and Independence | What is weighing on you?

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What is weighing on you? Let’s take care of that.

This episode offers you a perspective on managing your worries and troubles. Those burdens that keep us up at night or popping antacids throughout the day.

Independence? I haven’t been colonized, I’m very independent.

In the United States, Independence day is about a week away, the 4th of July. In Canada, it is July 1st. Mexico, September 16th, India, August 15th. Australia, January 26. Actually, Australia does not celebrate their independence, but Australia Day marks the dates of the first British Ships arriving to establish the colony and they have a big party and fireworks.

I’m going to share with you the significance that day can hold for you this year and in the future. Whichever country you live in, I’m certain there is a similar national holiday. In fact, for the sake of this exercise, you could throw a dart at a wall calendar and go with that date. Just be consistent each year. Maybe your birthday?

Here is what I like about Independence Day: It is the day of the year that you bestow upon yourself independence from the shackles of what weighs upon you.

Do you have an elephant on your chest?

  • Is there something you really MUST do but keep putting off?
  • Have you been living with the weight of the world on your shoulders?
  • Are you carrying the burden of another person’s troubles?
  • Losing sleep over a decision that you just can’t make?
  • Worrying about a situation you have no control over?
  • Avoiding what you know will solve a problem?
  • Keeping a secret that must be told?
  • Procrastinating on taking action toward something?
  • Ashamed of a bad habit?
  • Your finances could collapse at any time or already have?
  • A relationship is sucking the life out of you but you do nothing

These are elephants. I want you to consider the weight of the elephant. Not the weight of the situation.

How do you feel when you remember or are reminded of the elephant.

elephantWhat does that weight feel like? How does it feel physically? Where in your body does it show up? Shoulders, chest, clenched jaw, sweaty palms, or brow. Does it make you feel sick to your stomach or like you are barreling down the track on a rollercoaster making its descent? We all manifest these feelings in our bodies and yes, it can make you physically ill.

Now let’s take a look at what this weight does to your spirit, your mood, your sense of well-being.

Most of my mentoring calls with listeners come down to one thing: elephant removal. Back when I did more business counseling, elephant removal was always my objective for initial consultations.

Nobody can think clearly with an elephant on their chest. I sure can’t.

Our mind keeps looping through the details of our problematic situation, in rotation with the reasons or fears, or anxieties of why we can’t resolve the damn thing. And guess what happens? The elephant gets heavier and heavier. The elephant is winning.

So what does this have to do with Independence Day? My wish for you is to be free of the weight of your elephant. Each year, I want you to be able to celebrate your independence from the weight of your troubles.

Notice that I did not say you would be celebrating your freedom from the problem. No, I want you to be free from the weight.

It is then and only then that you can solve your problems or realize your thwarted dreams. Again, nobody, not you, not me, not the smartest person you know can solve a problem under so much pressure.

I’m going to guess that you’re thinking something like “Why celebrate an unsolved problem?”

Excellent question!

A brief history lesson in American Independence

Back to America’s Independence Day. A little history lesson: American colonists were very unhappy and troubled by the arrangement with Britain. It just wasn’t working out.

The first Continental Congress compiled a formal list of their complaints, suggested solutions, and interestingly did not want or ask for independence. In response, the British sent more troops, and more troops and fighting broke out. The first skirmishes between American colonists and British soldiers began in April of 1770. These skirmishes continued until a group of colonial leaders came to terms with the fact that the current situation was untenable and the only solution was to become an independent country of its own. They had a very heavy elephant on their chest.

It wasn’t until July 4th, 1776 after six years of unrest that our Declaration Of Independence was signed. That is the day we declared that we would be free from King George back in England and what came next… the American Revolutionary War. The problem of the colonists was hardly solved at this point. Hell no. Now they had a war on their hands where they were outnumbered, out-resourced, out-everythinged. But they had a declaration, a plan, and a goal – three things they hadn’t even considered while the elephant was growing for six years.

The war dragged on and when it seemed all would be lost, the evolutionists finally got some help from France, who showed up in 1778, and with their help, the British surrendered in April of 1781. Great Britain recognized the independence of the United States on September 3, 1783.

Do we celebrate September 3rd? No, we celebrate the 4th of July. The Day we had a declaration, a plan, and a goal. We still had to do the work, make the plan, man our army, train them, fight the fight, get France to help us out, and so on and so on.

So, what does this have to do with you and your relatively smaller matters?

In the early days of 1770 to 1775, the colonists didn’t even think they wanted independence. They knew the current situation was making all of their lives miserable living under the circumstances. It was not until they formed the first Continental Congress and then the Second, that they were able to create a declaration, a plan, and a goal.

Your declaration does not have to include the solution. Your declaration is that you will be free of the elephant. The weight of the elephant is no longer acceptable. As the Declaration of Independence states: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

My dear, you deserve the same: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

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