Through social media and the ever shrinking, ever more connected world we live in, I was recently inspired by a man  I have never met and know nothing about, except that we share a common interest in the Wim Hof Method. A question (which is not relevant here) was asked on a Facebook group for WHM and a man named Matias Mino replied with a very good, very thoughtful response. I spent a good deal of time contemplating what he said and decided to expand on it with my own thoughts in a more general context. Thank you Matias, for helping me become better.

I think we can all agree that the culture we come from has an enormous impact in the way we perceive reality and the world around us.

Fear is an incredibly effective tool for controlling others and we are often unconsciously controlled by the fears of others. We are told from the time we are children so many things that are so often contradictory to each other. Mistaking the fear for truth, well meaning parents, siblings, other family and friends can unintentionally project their fears onto us and make us slave to the fear. By adulthood we become submerged (drowning?) in paradigms and beliefs, often taking them at the face value of those who told us, never testing them out to see if they are beneficial or harmful to us, or if they hold any truth at all. Their fears become our fears.

If our inner, guiding beliefs do not line up with each other and/or our own greater good, then we are lost. We become paralyzed by fear, doubt, guilt, uncertainty.

Fear is based in ignorance and uncertainty. Fear about a subject can be faced and erased by simply exposing ourselves to those fears and then contrasting those experiences with our beliefs, provided our beliefs are in line with our true self.

This process is used to reveal and develop our inner truth…..the truth determines the quality of our experience in this life.

Many traditions- martial art, yoga, strength, religious- are filled with beliefs that have been passed down, sometimes from generation to generation for centuries, without the examination of the consciousness.

When we get stuck in a pattern of thinking that things “should” be a certain way, all the time, it becomes dogma. Dogma’s partner is taboo, which is the pattern of thinking that things “shouldn’t” be a certain way, ever.

Should and Shouldn’t (Dogma and Taboo) are veils that prevent us from exploring and understanding the truth.  Sometimes they are are based on truths or customs that were important at the time they were created, but no longer apply. Dogma always has roots in the student/teacher or follower/leader relationship. The fear of the followers to go as far or further than the leader, which will bring him down from the pedestal and make him like the rest of us. The fear from the teacher that they will be surpassed by the student and no longer be above them or have control over them.

But the thing about “should and shouldn’t” is that they change.  What is good for one, may not be good for others. What is good for YOU now may not be tomorrow.  Nobody else is in the position of telling you what is good or bad for you. As Humans Being, it is incumbent upon us to objectively examine our beliefs about our own individual perception of reality. Only then can we truly discover the capacity to choose what is good for us. That, my friend, is real power.