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Opening Through Sacrifice

Aron Ralston went hiking in 2003. After being pinned by a boulder in a canyon for 127 hours, he chose to break the bones in his arm and amputate himself with a dull pocket knife. It took over an hour. For 5 days he looked death in the face, questioning reality. His food and water ran out and finally he had nothing at all to sustain himself. He prepared to die. Instead he got rid of his hand, climbed out of the canyon, rappelled down a sheer cliff face one-handed, and walked through the desert back into his life. Not only did this man continue to climb mountains after this incredible feat but he has broken climbing records.

When I first read this story, I was more than a little horrified imagining having to cut off my arm with a dull knife. Then I was grateful. I DON'T have to cut off my arm to follow my dreams. But what if I did? What lengths would I go to in order to ensure that I was living a life in complete integrity with my spirit and soul? What lengths would YOU go to?

Take just a moment to close your eyes and reflect on one burning desire in your heart. . .

Would you cut off your arm for that desire?

No? Would you sacrifice a few hours of work time for that desire?

What do you need to sacrifice in order to get out of your own way and make that dream a reality?

Don't be afraid to ask these questions. We are so caught up in everyday living, we sometimes forget what we are doing it all for. Aron Ralston says the one thing that got him out of that canyon was love. He had too much love for his family and hope for the future to give up. If your one desire is for a happy family, what will you sacrifice to achieve it?

Now personally, I don't believe that sacrifice is always necessary. However, I do believe that if you want something big and out of your normal scope of achievement, you have to make the inner shift that opens you to attaining it. Sacrifice is usually uncomfortable enough that it breaks us out of old modes of thinking. It shakes our comfort zone and sends us deep into the wild places within us, where all sorts of creative answers await us.

Mr. Ralston was going to lose his whole life unless he could shift his thinking. His burning desire was to live. It took him a lot of stress, and a hardening resolve to make the first cut in his arm (which was, by the way, unsuccessful). The sacrifice of his hand not only physically freed him from death, but it allowed for a deeper shift in his understanding of his own life, his own happiness.

He didn't begrudge the sacrifice. "I didn't project any anger or resentment to the rock. The boulder fell. My hand got in the way." By cutting off his hand, he got his life back, and the very loving future he envisioned.

As you reflect, with eyes closed, on that one desire, ask yourself, What within you needs to change before that desire can be fulfilled?

If the world around you is not at fault, is there a way in which you have cornered yourself?

How can you get back to the life you love and desire?

light & blessings!


© 2011 Dailey Little. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided you do so in its entirety, including the copyright and this blurb: "Dailey Little is a Reiki Master and active practitioner. She teaches Reiki & other fun stuff through her private practice in Santa Rosa, CA. Join her joyful community for ReikiShares, Free Clinics, and eco-activism by signing up at her website,"

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