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Unclench Your Fist: Discover Freedom

freedom newsletters self study self study coaching Oct 13, 2023

Storytime with Ruby


Have you ever found yourself stuck, holding onto something that, in reality, is holding you back?

Recently, my husband and I have been captivated by "Chimp Empire" on Netflix. (Side note: Wouldn’t “Chimpire” have been a cheeky alternative? C'est la vie!) The show takes us deep into the lives of the Ngogo chimpanzee troop in Uganda, revealing the complex world of the largest group of chimpanzees ever discovered.

While watching, a thought-provoking monkey anecdote from my yoga teacher training ten years ago swung back into my mind, and I've been sharing it all week.

Imagine a monkey-catching method that doesn't involve physical trapping. A banana is placed in a cage, and when a monkey grabs it, they find themselves ostensibly stuck, unable to retrieve the banana without releasing their grip. Despite being its own captor, freedom was always just a release away.

This metaphor illuminates the yoga philosophy practice of "Aparigraha," or "non-possessiveness." Deborah Adele explores this metaphor and practice eloquently in her book, "The Yamas and Niyamas."

We've all grappled with our own "banana" - something that keeps us immobile, something we're reluctant to let go of.

By clinging to our bananas, we neglect the present moment and overlook our inherent freedom. Sometimes we hold on for years, and occasionally, even a lifetime.

Yet, realizing our intrinsic freedom and discovering the boundless life beyond our solitary banana merely requires loosening our grip.

So, what’s your banana?

Is it an old belief, a fear, a grudge, or perhaps a goal that no longer serves you?

My banana has been trying to control how I'm perceived, efforting to avoid the appearance of incompetence or feeling misunderstood. Clinging to stories about others’ perceptions whirls me into a mental spiral - a tornado with no return ticket home.

Sometimes, the bravest thing we can do is to open our hand and let go, allowing ourselves the freedom to reach for something new and aligning with who we are today. Doing so, we open up to new possibilities, adventures, and a fresh sense of autonomy.

Let’s embark on this journey together. Let’s explore, release, and embrace the boundless opportunities that await when we simply unclench our fist.

What is one small step you can take today to begin loosening your grip on your banana?

I think I'll start by noticing when my thoughts start to spin and kindly reminding myself that what others think is none of my business.

We're Doing Great,

P.S. Sometimes, letting go of the banana becomes easier with a helping hand. Our one-on-one Self Study Coaching is precisely the supportive environment you need to bridge the gap between who you want to be and how you currently navigate through life – with open hands, if you will. Whether you choose to work with me or Kate, we're here to help you gently loosen that grip and warmly welcome your newfound freedom. Interested? Book a Discovery Call with us to explore if Self Study Coaching is the right fit for you at this moment.

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