An employee at the Los Angeles Zoo came across a cage with red-tailed hawks which were evidence in a long settled poaching case. The employee was hard broken that these birds had been forgotten so he decided to “accidentally” leave the cage door open so that they could escape. Hours later, he noticed that they were still there so he tried to scare them out of the cage but they wouldn’t go very far. You see they had been locked up for so long that they preferred the safety and reliability of their cage to being free to soar the wide open skies. This psychological phenomenon is termed "learned helplessness" and happens to those that have experienced repeated setbacks.
We too were created to be free living abundant lives using our gifts and talents but many times we choose to live small lives in the cage of our own making because it feels safer. We do not want to step out of our comfort zone and risk failure. But failure is a gift that teaches us how to do it better. Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown. He could have quit many times - but he didn't and because he didn't quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country.
Being in a place that makes us feel overwhelmed is an opportunity to see God work miracles in our life. He promises in Isaiah 41:10: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Practicing freedom on your mat is the first step in training you to live freely off your mat. My prayer for you is that you chose to live life abundantly; soaring to your full potential.