Feeling mostly insulted by what is on the TV-I have severely limited my time and relationship with the tube.

I have restricted my connection to its programming to the Food Channel and my daily dose of Voyager. Even with this limited access I have found myself in a box that is closing in on me.

The food channel is running a series of autobiographies about their star chefs called “chefographies.” I have been watching this series faithfully because I find it so uplifting. The networks chefs have such motivating and inspirational stories to tell. Some of the stories bring tears to my eyes. Looking at their successes today-it is hard to imagine some of them were troubled kids with no ambition, motivation or inclination to a cooking career or anything else. Some of these super stars where school drop outs with poor social or academic skills.

Today’s episode was about Rachel Ray. Rachel’s story may not have the same drama as the others, but her dedication and passion for cooking is the same. The amazing thing about her is the amount of time she spends cooking and being involved with other related or unrelated activities. The narrator of today’s episode claimed her as the hardest working television star today.

Truly Rachel personifies the true meaning of life and that is to experience all things physical-to keep moving in different directions. Rachel is constantly moving out of the box and doing things that she knows as fun, and this includes many new adventures not related to cooking.

I am amazed with Rachel and the other cooks and what they have done. They have given-up, started over, quit again, and come back to be very successful at what they do. Their shows may last only a season or several, but they always have something going, they keep bouncing back.

Being in the box is so easy to do, and even if you manage to get out of the box it sneaks up on you, and you can find yourself back without even realizing it. It takes effort to stay out of the box until it becomes a habit and even then it becomes a different kind of a box.

The caption at the bottom of my site’s logo reads “Outside the Box.” Many of the articles I have written about over the years have been about the importance of being out of the box, and yet I find myself there often. It is a gentle slippery slop that sucks me in.

Although the box feels comfortable and I can find many good reasons for being there-it is actually working against me. I can justify my time in the box by telling myself that my web site needs me, and I need to get these articles published. My books take up time and I have set deadlines to have them published. I have put together web courses and physical workshops that are not completed and these things are all important. But mostly what I feel right now is frustration, suffocation, and entrapment. Even though I am enjoying success, the walls are closing in on me. The thing most frustrating is I know better, it is what I write about and teach.

From experience I know how important it is to get away from what you are doing on occasion, to recharge and refresh. Being focused on the physical body adds weight to it and it loads you down and makes you sick. Change for many of us comes when we draw a major upsetting event into our lives, and because we do not take control of our lives consciously, we manifest on a subconscious level. It is usually experienced as illness, accidents, or death-our own, or someone that is close to us.

There is no life in the box, only routine as the needle on a record player may skip back and forth between the same grooves. And for most of us, we feel helpless to change it. We have made ourselves indispensable in our jobs and personal relationships. Poor long term planning has given way to desperation and responsibility-we are trapped by the one who would not be trapped. Guilt, fear, and responsibility make up the links of the chain that anchor us to the box-is there not way out?

The first step in getting out of the box is to know that you are in one-sounds obvious? Most people are not aware of the boxes they find themselves in. The second step is to make a determination to get out no matter what excuses you may come up with that would keep you there. The third step can be done in small or large steps-get out!

If you are fraught with many obligations, personal or career and you want to be gentle about how you affect others-then you may want to do it in small steps. The very first thing to do to get out of the box is to do something different, and then something else, and something else after that. Keep doing it until you become aware that you have moved out of the box. Unless you have planned well and included others that are part of your relationships-there is going to be opposition. You’re going to be leaving others behind unless they completely support you. People don’t like to be left behind and they will try to stop you especially those closest to you or those who would depend upon you.

You have to remember that you are doing this for yourself because you have died or are dying inside. You have nothing to give anymore except your physical support. But there is more to life than that. The feelings that you have are valid, they are real and they are affecting your happiness. If you have nothing-you have nothing to give of yourself to anyone-why bother? Your family may not like it, and rightly so, but unless they support you, they may loose you altogether-either by illness, accident or escape.

Escaping the box will not set you free unless you remain vigilant of how easy it is to slip back into the old box or create a new one. Remember the very meaning of life is movement-life is constantly moving to higher levels or self improvement-chasing your tail is not life if it does not take you were you want to go.

Some people may feel content in the box, but contentment is not happiness-it is a compromise. There is nothing wrong with contentment if it is what you wish to experience. However, if you are hearing those voices and feeling restless-you have compromised. If contentment is all you are feeling-in time you will not recognize it-it will turn into something else or you will feel nothing.

Without knowing it, something as benign as a cooking show can wake you up to the fact that it is time to move on. Although everything shall continue-my books and articles will be published, and the webs sites will go on, but something personal has to change. Now that I have been alerted-it simply is a matter of noticing the choices which will come my way, and making the correct one.

The secret ingredient for change is passion-passion for what it is you want to do-that draws energy from you and others. It is the fuel that will propel you to success and keep you out of the box. Passion always looks for an outlet. People who are successful in their lives have passion for life and it is demonstrated in what they create.

Chefography is Lifeography!