Using Your Personal History as an Excuse

How much of your day do you spend thinking about your personal history?  Events that have happened, words people have said to you, labels that have been placed on you – but perhaps the more relevant question is, how often do you use your personal history as an excuse not to take risks or follow your dreams?

Carlos Castaneda, an American anthropologist, once said “One day I finally realised that I no longer needed a personal history and just like drinking I gave it up and that and only that has made all the difference”.

The ‘stuff’ that we bring from our past to every moment of our lives is unnecessary baggage.  It affects our thoughts, behaviours and habits and it interferes with our lives by moving us into areas of vibration that are non-productive for us.

To move forward in a way that maximises our potential we need to get out of our personal history by letting go of any labels we have placed on ourselves because of our past.  We must stop buying into the programmed stories – I am too old, too young, to fat, unlovable, undeserving, whatever….

British philosopher Alan watts used the analogy of the wake of a boat to describe this in more detail.  Imagine that our life is like a boat heading up the river at 40 knots and we are standing on the stern. As we look down at the water what we see below us is the wake and as we look at this wake we have to ask ourselves three questions.

The first question is ‘What is the wake?’ – and the wake of course is the trail that the boat leaves behind or if we relate it to us, it represents our life and everything that has happened to us up until that very moment.

The second question is ‘what’s driving the boat?’ or to draw back to us ‘what’s making our life go in this direction?’ And the answer is quite simply the present moment energy that is being generated by the engine of the boat (or our minds) and nothing more.

The most important question to ask is ‘is it possible for the wake to drive the boat?’  Can a trail that is left behind determine the course of a boat?  We would all agree that it is impossible for the wake to drive the boat and yet most of us believe that the ‘wake’ is what is causing the direction we are heading and the circumstances we are experiencing today, causing us to be sick, causing our relationship to not work and causing our lives to be exactly as they are when in fact it is simply the present moment energy (our thinking) that is creating our direction.

If we can get out of the ‘wake’ then we can be exposed to a whole new set of possibilities that we have not been able to see before.  Getting out of our personal history is the first obstacle to overcome to get to a new level of awareness.

If we don’t acknowledge that we have a choice in this then we have no chance of overcoming our history.  If we take responsibility for our choices and stories, own them, admit that we took them on, then that’s the only chance we have of letting go.

Are you focused on your wake?  Or are you ready to give it up like Castaneda did and set a different course?

Take care


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