How does one soar to the stars when we’re all stuck on the ground?

When you hear the word limitless, or without limits, what comes to mind?

It might be someone soaring through one success after another, shattering glass ceilings, and even gender-less ceilings — world records — all along the way.

The sky is the limit

A star is born, the star has broken loose, left the pack, shaken off the gravity of all that holds us down. Someone is without bounds, without limits, just like a meteor, blazing like a shooting star.

But let’s think about that image. Where does the star go after his or her brief blaze?

Where does the star originate? Where does he or she end up?

On the Stairway to heaven, you lift one leg at a time. Keep climbing.

Maybe it is better to think of limitless as breaking no bounds at all. What if the part of us which is without limit, is a limitless number of ties?

We are bound to one another through an endless thread of DNA that stretches back to the first microscopic life on Earth. After that, we awoke in Eden as human beings, but we never lost our natural instincts, affinity and connection to all the garden delights that are part and parcel of us. 

We are tied, also, to the generations not yet born. Even if you are not a parent to the great grandchildren to come centuries from now, you affect the world by being in it, our species planting and harvesting the fruits of thousands of orchards to come, both literally, and with planted wishes and dreams formed today. 

Who knows what marvels you tend today? The seeds may be little more than ideas at this point.

Tie your dream to a star, and you will find your dream is hitched to everything else

Because ties, connections, bounds — if you will — are what physically bind us to reality.

We belong in reality. There is nothing about the nature of reality that should restrict us.

No. It is our programming toward all that is not of a physical nature that throws us off. Dreams of instant success prod us. Feelings of inadequacy because we are not the super-star that so and so is discourage us.

What happened to just conceive, believe, achieve?

Your imagination should know no limits. Your creative impulses don’t have to be constrained. 

Conceive, believe and achieve is a useful phrase, but you cannot conceive without a brain; gray matter. You cannot believe without putting your beating heart into it; passion. You cannot achieve without some actual blood, sweat, tears, and hopefully — smiles.

Without a physical context would something supremely new and wonderful as a probe beyond our solar system make any sense? We must first be grounded in incremental knowledge: There is a solar system. Your star is the sun. Your sun is orbited by several planets. Beyond those planets are billions of other systems. Beyond those systems are billions of other galaxies.

Wow. Without the context of belonging to this world, there is no “Out of this world” to strive toward.

If all you have is the context of gods and some bright lights that represent them: Apollo, Venus, Mars, Earth, Jupiter, and their lesser cohorts, the stars, none of that other stuff makes any sense at all. We come to learn, given enough physical and empirical reality, that what we thought we knew about the universe is so small, that only then is the astonishing vastness yet to discover virtually without limit.

We must remain defined by all that we contain, so far as a physical context, and then take the next step to dare to imagine beyond.

We all have to start with a box, but we don’t have to stay in it

Success comes from thinking outside the box. For that, we all need a box. The box is key. It is often forgotten. It is often boring. It is bland. It feels restrictive and claustrophobic. In fact, we are sick to death of the routine, the monotony, and the confines of the box.

But that is the box we must all start with if we are to ever get outside of it.

Think of something like learning a new language. Without the concept of “I, you, mine, your,” it is nearly impossible to learn: “Je, vous, mien, votre.” Of course, early on, we do this as infants, but then the capacity for our context at that time is innate, (the box) and it is only the variations of language that socialization can offer.

 You need to have a box, a brain, upon which the rules of language can be imprinted. You will also (for now) need a body. Your body needs every other living organism to network, if you are to thrive and strive.

You are part of the big picture, take time to be grateful

First came energy, then matter, then a slow, almost timeless clock, then water, then life, then organisms, then your ancestors, then their ideas for more, then you. And this fantastically finagled, but also fine, world. You should feel humble and special all at once.

You won’t learn a language without a basis for comprehending things happen in the world, verbs are the actions that move all of it, and we are the communicators of flesh and blood that need language to move beyond language to ideas.

Imagine, but ground yourself in the comfort of belonging

It is so easy to watch a movie, hear a song, or read a book and realize “Wow, I’ve had so many similar ideas! Where is my movie? Where is my number one hit song? Why did this guy steal my ideas for a book?!” 

But that is because we can all imagine the meteor. We just don’t always see the box it seemingly comes soaring out of back in the real grind of that artist’s real world.

All the many connections and ties you have to your reality, your world, actually matter. Your family, your neighborhood, your history and your life. The trees that make your oxygen, the animals that provide your food, the sprawling, enthralling and maddening complexity that we all depend upon is needed. None of that which is you — your belonging— can exist without “the box.”

Accept, even embrace your physical life, and you will see how high you can soar with a solid platform, people, and planet from which to launch your dreams.

Christyl Rivers is a farmer, writer, cat wrangler and Ecopsychologist in Hawaii.
Christyl Rivers is a farmer, writer, cat wrangler and Ecopsychologist in Hawaii.
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