The Bull Ring


As you step into the bull ring, the crowd roars.

It’s deafening.

The bull, already snorting and thumping the ground, is calling you to arms.
Are you ready to fight?

However, you’re not the brave matador you expect to be, you aren’t dressed
ready for ceremonial battle in the Traje De Luces, you’re still wearing a
dressing gown. You’re not even a fighter.

You are anything but. Still bleary-eyed and shaking off the last remnants
of sleep, you’ve walked straight into the bull ring instead of the bathroom.
The bull lurches forward and steams straight at you.

The crowd cheers.

You don’t dodge to avoid his sharp horns; instead you get gouged in the
leg. Bleeding, you wonder what’s going on and then bam! The bull tears
into you again.

The crowd cheers with each mighty blow. But soon they get a sense that
what they’ve come to see isn’t going to eventuate.

You’re lying there pitiful and lame, not even able to crawl away from
the onslaught of attack after attack. The bull now picks you up with one
of its great horns and tosses you across the ring. You land like a ragdoll,
crumpled in the dirt.

The crowd, no longer anticipating a brave comeback, goes quiet and
then starts to hurl abuse and accusations of being weak and pathetic.

You’re an embarrassment.

Lying there in the dirt and blood, you start to believe them. You close
your eyes and die.

The next morning, you wake up and enter the ring once more.
And before you, the bull stands ready.

Every morning we step into the bull ring of our mind. We are the bull,
the crowd and the little fighter all rolled into one. We attack ourselves
with negative self destructive thoughts and we have no skills to fight
them off, we’re not trained to. We are the crowd that criticises and
judges ourselves because that’s what is expected and happens naturally.
It just happens. But is it good for us?

And then there is little us, blindly wandering in and allowing it all
to happen because we’re conditioned to it. It’s the way it is. This is life.
But what would happen if you turned and walked out of the bull
ring? Does your mind have to be a battle ground? Who are you doing
battle with?

Turn around and walk out of the ring, through the gates into the
grassy fields where the bright sunshine radiates all around you. The
flowers burst with joy and the grass is soft under your tired feet.
And the ground is always there to support you. You can never fall
any further.

You let go of everything, surrender to the beauty of the moment.
What peace!

As you let go and lie naked to the world, something starts to happen.
Your vision changes, you don’t just see with your eyes, you can see with
all your senses and everything become alive. Radiant.

Without the mental anguish, you’re seeing through your heart, the
openness, the bigness, the wowness of everything is raining down on
you. And you don’t miss the old battle scared you for one moment.
You quickly think back to the bullring and you can’t believe that was
your life before. How crazy we are.

This feels real. More real than real could ever be. It feels right. It feels
like home. You’ve come home.

Welcome, you’ve been away for quite some time.

It’s good to be back.

(I note that back in September I had a dream and in my dream
journal I wrote: Don Quixote refuses to engage the bull and rides out of the
Arena and away.)

Extract from Turning Inside Out: What If Everything we’ve been taught about life is wrong. 


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