Luca was trapped in an Invisible Cage - Are You?
ARE YOU TRAPPED IN AN INVISIBLE CAGE? OF WORRY? FEAR?DOUBT? ANGER? SHAME?

This article was originally published May 5th, 2011 by William C. Smith

“Practice enjoying the present moment,
 rather than using it up consumed with guilt over the past
or worry about the future.”
- Dr. Wayne Dyer.
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Are you in a prison of Doubt? Or Fear? Or Worry? Or Shame? Or Guilt? Or Anger? Or maybe some other Limiting Belief? It may not even have a clear definition, but whatever it is, it’s trapping you!
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Have you been trapped so long you can’t imagine what life could be free of those feelings?
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The sad thing is, so many times the cage / cell a person lives in is self created.
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Imagine that you were trapped in a cage – or cell, barely big enough to stand up, maybe walk three or four paces, and you were isolated from your family and friends – for ten years!  And then suddenly you were set free.
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What if you had been in the cage since you were very young and didn’t know there was life outside the cage? How would it affect your outlook on life? What would you do differently WHEN (not if – I don’t like that word in most instances) you escaped or were set free?
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Would you live your life to the fullest? Or would you spend your time being afraid? Afraid of the unknown freedom you were now experiencing, or the fear you might wind up back in the cage / cell again? What if you were so used to the limited space, you couldn’t bring yourself to even imagine walking more than three or four paces? What if you allowed your mind to remain in the cage / cell, even though your body had been freed?
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Are you trapped in a cage or cell – MENTALLY and want to discover the key to unlock the mental block and finally find your freedom? Are you ready to unlock the door and step into the freedom and joy you want and deserve?
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The only limits to our realization of tomorrow
will be our doubts of today.”
 -- Franklin D. Roosevelt
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Now, let me tell you about my friend Luca who was trapped in a cage for ten years. Luca is a beautiful little white fluffy dog who now lives with one of my neighbors.
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Although I have a professional office where I see my coaching / hypnosis clients, I prefer to do my computer / record keeping work at my desk by the big window in my living room. I find it helps to give my eyes a break from the computer screen and see Nature – trees, grass, squirrels, birds, butterflies, and sometimes people walking their dogs.   That’s how I met Luca.
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I noticed my neighbor, Jesse carrying a small white dog. He set the dog down on the grass and then took a couple of steps back. The little dog just sat there. Other than trembling, the little white dog wasn’t moving. I needed a break from my computer, so I went outside to see what was going on. I asked Jesse if the little dog was sick or injured. That’s when I heard a very sad story.
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Jesse told me he had adopted Luca from an animal rescue center here in Dallas named Operation Kindness. It’s a no kill shelter for dogs and cats and other animals. I have a special fondness for them in my heart. This is where I adopted Gizer many years ago. Gizer lived to be 17 ½ and was the most gentle, calmest dog I’ve ever known, and of course, I still miss him.
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Jesse told me Luca had been rescued from a puppy mill where he had been confined to a cage for ten years. The puppy mill owners had even pulled out his teeth. The little dog was so used to being confined that when Jesse set him down on the grass, in the wide open area, he didn’t know what to do. He just sat there – frightened.
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Over the last few months, I have watched the gradual progress Luca has been making.  For the first two or three weeks, when Jesse set him down, he wouldn’t move. Then one day, he stood up and took a couple of steps, but wouldn’t move again. After a couple more weeks, he began to walk a couple of steps forward, then turn around, and take a couple of steps back. That turned into walking in a square two feet by two feet – the size of the cage he lived in for ten years.
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Even though he was no longer in the cage, Luca was still behaving as if he were. There was no physical cage, but it was like there was an invisible boundary only he could see and feel. Then finally one day about three months later, something finally clicked in his little head and he took a few more steps. Now, almost nine months since his adoption, Luca runs and plays as if he had never been trapped those ten long years in a cage. Well, almost, he does sometimes run around in small circles, but he seems so genuinely happy when he does. Maybe he’s just running in circles to celebrate his freedom!
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It would be nice to think that maybe one day someone caught up in those cages / cells we discussed earlier – Doubt, Fear, Worry, Shame, Guilt, Procrastination, Anger, or any other Limiting Belief will be rescued like Luca was.
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"The secret of health for both mind and body
is not to mourn for the past,
not to worry about the future,
or not to anticipate troubles,
but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly."
 -- The Buddha
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But why wait? Why not do something yourself now? What if no one else is there to rescue you?
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Start by identifying the problem. Ask yourself what is holding you back. Whether it’s one of those Limiting Beliefs or any other – identify it.
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For the sake of this discussion, let’s say it’s Worry. Some people seem to think Worry (or Fear or any of the other Limiting Beliefs) are inherited – no they’re not! They are learned behaviors. But some people will tell me they inherited it from their Mother, or maybe it skipped a generation and they got it from their Grandfather. The sad thing is, some people even seem to be proud of it, as if being the “Worrier of the Family” is a badge of honor!   I've written more about the Worry Habit in another article.
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OK – that was a slight detour, let’s get back on track. Decide you want to get rid of the Worry habit. Yes, a learned behavior is a habit. Next ask yourself WHY? Not why do you worry – that’s a totally useless question. I’ll explain in a minute. Instead, ask yourself WHY you want to stop worrying.
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OK - another detour here. You want to STOP worrying, not QUIT worrying. What’s the difference? Do you remember when sometime in the past asked you – maybe a parent, teacher, coach, or friend “You’re not a Quitter.  Are you?” in THAT tone of voice. Do you remember? And what did you say? You said “NO, I’m NOT a QUITTER” – in THAT tone of voice! Remember? Of course you do.
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When you’re driving your car and you put your foot on the brake, do you Quit your car? Or Stop your car? OK. Point made.
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Back on track. Why should you not care why you worry? Because your SubConscious Mind is designed to answer whatever question, no matter how useless, you ask it. Your SubConscious Mind will begin to look for the answer of why you worry. It could be a real answer, or made up. Doesn’t matter, that’s what the SubConscious Mind does – is look for the answer to whatever you ask. And if you get one or a dozen answers why you worry, you might convince yourself you should worry more and then stay in that prison cell even longer. What good does that do? And by asking that question, you put more focus on it and anything we put more focus on tends to increase or get larger. Do you really want the Worry to increase? I hope not! Besides, Worry is the problem.
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Instead, asking Why you want to STOP WORRYING is now focusing on your motivation. It may be to enjoy life more. It may be to be more in control of your life. It may be … any number of reasons. But the why you want to stop is much more important than why you do.
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Next, ask two more questions. What do I need to DO to stop worrying? – notice the emphasis on the word DO. And How do I stop worrying? By asking yourself these questions, now your SubConscious Mind has to look in a different direction – from the Problem to the SOLUTION!.
Which do you think will get you the results you want? Focus on Problem? Or focus on Solution? If you don’t get this answer right, go back to my eBook “The Hypnotist Within” and study it some more. When your SubConscious Mind stops focusing on the Problem and redirects towards the Solution, now you’re on track to getting rid of the problem.
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As you begin to think of the Solutions (the What) – write them down. Even if they seem to be silly, or impractical. Write them all down. Get busy doing something else, but come back to the list – the next day, or maybe two or three days later, and ask yourself the questions (HOW / WHAT) again. You’ll be surprised, but even though you got busy with life, even though you’ve slept once or twice, your SubConscious Mind has been thinking and thinking about those questions. And you’ll probably find some more Solutions to add to your list.
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Now, look at all the Solutions and ask another question. WHICH of these Solutions are the best ones? You might narrow it down to three, maybe even five. Don’t discard the others, but take these three to five and write them on another piece of paper.  
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Now, ask yourself HOW you’re going to implement the Solutions. In fact, ask yourself “How is the EASIEST, QUICKEST ways to start using these Solutions. The answer might not come at the moment, but it will. And when it does – TAKE ACTION – start using those Solutions. And then keep on using them until you’ve gotten rid of the old problem – until you’re free of that Limiting Belief – until you can run around in circles just for the joy of living.
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OK, you might not run around in circles (you might), but find a way to celebrate! What do you do after you’ve conquered that Limiting Belief? Set your goal on getting rid of another one. And after a while you just may start thinking about what Uplifting or Empowering Belief you would like to have, or have more of – such as Confidence, Love, Courage, Persistence, Dedication, Happiness or any other that makes your life better! Luca’s sad story has turned into a very happy one. He’s playing, running, and happy now.
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Now it’s your turn to take control and change a sad story into a happy one – go do it!
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“He who is not everyday conquering some fear
 has not learned the secret of life.”
 -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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And that’s my story and I’m sticking with it! Now think of someone else who would benefit from reading this article and forward it to them! Just imagine how good you’ll feel.

My professional office is located in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex. And I am available to travel (at your expense) worldwide for individual and group programs. I am also available for Video Skype Sessions

Copyright 2010 All rights reserved.

Would you like to use this article in your magazine, e-zine, newsletter, or website? You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: William C. Smith, Alpha Process Coach, BCH, CI, Author, Speaker, Trainer. Are you ready to discover how to get from where you are to where you want to be? Then go to http://coachwilliamcsmith.blogspot.com And check out his websites too!

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