Break your Jug
Harry Palmer shares an analogy in his book The Avatar Path, The Way We Came:
“There is an old story about a farmer who finds a pumpkin that has just started to develop. To protect the little pumpkin from the elements he slips it inside a jug. Then he goes on his way and forgets about it. When harvest time comes, the pumpkin has grown only as large as the jug. The jug that once protected it eventually limits its growth. Many people are in the same situation as the pumpkin. To find protection, they have embraced sheltering beliefs about who they are, what they can do, and what they can become. For a time these beliefs offer comfort and protection, but beliefs, particularly limiting beliefs, soon lose their usefulness. Limiting beliefs form a jug. It is a person’s own considerations that limit his or her potential.” (p. 49)
Being inside the jug is basically being in our comfort zone. We don’t have to put any effort into how we are seeing things because we are on automatic. It is interesting that we use the term “comfort zone.” The only thing comfortable about it is that everything is known. It appears to be a safe place to rest, but actually life is always evolving. So when we are inside our jugs, we are actually evolving in the wrong direction. Harry palmer says the when we stay there we essentially begin to rot!
Although the jug can seem momentarily more comfortable, the effects of the comfort zone are not comfortable. It’s like junk food. We like that initial moment of eating it, but that same “comfort food” often gives us effects that we really don’t want. When we stay inside our jug we are trading the fear of stretching into the unknown, for the comfort of stagnating in our old default patterns.
On the other hand, when we stretch for something that inspires us, we feel alive and empowered, and we get to develop a fresh perspective and evolve toward greater joy and success. I think many people are afraid to stretch because they are trying to take actions to make changes, without changing their limiting beliefs. This is when we feel like we are doing everything we can but not seeing results. The old beliefs keep reasserting themselves and we end up creating a variation of the original limiting pattern, despite our efforts.This can cause many people to want to go back inside their jug.
When there is something more that we want to create, we first need to recognize that our belief system that got us where we are now will not get us to a new place. We need to inspect and let go of old limitations about ourselves, the world and what is possible. When we do that, and then take action, we are on our way to breaking our jug and creating a new reality!