*Editor’s note: Bull-riding and Elephant-riding are unethical, perhaps. Read up on them. We further encourage you to read this, and go more zero waste, and drive and fly much less, offset more. That said, we’re happy to share any article, whether we agree with it or not, as long as we have the opportunity to leave a long, hopefully, educational note at the top.
Imagine doing something that you only thought was possible in your wildest dreams—like only attainable in Neverland.
Make a mental note of what this image felt, smelled like, maybe what it tasted like, and every little detail. Now, go write all of this down.
Be mindful of every single moment visualized. It’s a future memory for something unattainable.
If there was even a possibility of this dream coming true, would you chase it? Nothing in life is ever for certain but there are things that you and I can do to increase that likelihood. Hell, if it doesn’t work out, at least it was one hell of a try. We might even end up with something more beautiful and impressive than we initially thought
Recently, I did that. I intentionally participated in one of the most reckless, scariest, craziest, exciting, stupidest, thrilling, definitely ugliest, and yet one of the most beautiful and spiritual things I have ever been involved in.
I rode a bull named Lights Out.
What a magnificent dichotomy of good versus evil, ugly vs pretty, the ying and the yang. This wasn’t a bet that needed to be paid back. It wasn’t peer pressure. There was nothing to prove to anyone.
What in the world would possess a 45-year-old to do such a thing? Surely, he can find some other way to entertain himself? What is he trying to prove anyway?
This bull ride wasn’t about defeating the bull or even taming it for a few seconds. It was about battling the weaknesses within myself. I did this all in the name of growth. Part of spiritual growth is seeing and recognizing these fears and then overcoming these fears despite our insecurities.
When one is able to embrace the pain, embrace the discomfort, learn the opportunities that can come with letting go of control, comfort, and not just embrace the pain but seek the pain. Continuing on to have a false sense of security by protecting ourselves from false fears isn’t truly living and one can never then with this confinement truly ever be free.
Life is meant to be a gift. So why not give ourselves the gift of life and treat it as such?
What does it take for us to overcome these fears? When a horse bucks a rider off, they get right back on of course. However, in order to actually overcome a fear, we first need to recognize that this fear even exists. In my case, I noticed it in the form of nervousness and anxiety.
Once recognized, we can do a little soul searching, figure out why this fear exists, get out on the edge make a choice, and jump. We can get so stifled by our fears that we can be indecisive.
I thought, “Just choose and jump for hell sakes—f*cking jump!”
To me riding this bull wasn’t just for the thrill—even though it was thrilling. Riding this bull seemed like an analogy for life in many ways. The bull represented the world in all of its nastiness, ugliness, elegance, beauty, strength, amazingness, and splendor. Confronting the bull head-on knowing what may happen and coming out stronger regardless of the result is the true challenge.
We have all been conditioned throughout life some of it good some not so good. We know that sticking a fork in an outlet will hurt us. Not just because we were told this, most of us learn by trying it. Many of these fears are there to protect us and for good reason. Nobody likes rejection or failure so many of us choose to keep ourselves out of many situations fearing we may get hurt or be unsuccessful. What we are really doing however in trying to keep ourselves safe and comfortable is limiting our opportunities and chance to experience new things.
Why not recondition ourselves to chase these fears?
Instead of worrying about the worst possible scenario that more than likely won’t happen. Go after it. Whatever that fear may be. Go do the opposite. Learn how to be comfortable in that fear. Our mind can be our biggest ally or our own worst enemy. So why not choose to make our mind our most powerful ally and use techniques like this to build, create, mold, and condition our brains and beliefs into something powerful.
Fear is natural. It is our survival instinct from the caveman days when everything wanted to kill us. Fear is a real emotion and there are dangers that can kill us. We have all seen many of these things firsthand. However, most of our fears are imagined but we believe they still protect us. We have conditioned ourselves unknowingly to try to be safe from everything.
Throwing up an invisible wall, gives us a false sense of security. This gives us the protection we believe we need and never truly allowing us to be free. Within the confines that many of us have unknowingly created for ourselves we end up limited within those confines—never knowing what possibilities may exist on the other side or that there even is another side because of the fears that we haven’t faced.
We hold ourselves back based on these fears. All of it is about not wanting to get hurt physically, emotionally, or mentally. The day that we stop caring what others think is when we can start to be free and truly live. While a bull ride may be scary. Pushing the submit button to share my thoughts on it is far more petrifying for me.
Embrace the fear and worry and use it as motivation to go after things you never could have dreamt of. Separate yourself from who you have been told you are and who society tells you to be. Separate yourself from these thoughts they aren’t you anyway and go after it. Go get some.
Stop chasing, hiding, running, waiting, and go live!