“We’re not the cause, we’re the effect.” - Nipsey Hussle

I am always in awe of the divine design of life. A true believer in the philosophy that “there are no coincidences,” I am always fascinated by the people who cross my path. Whether it be someone I am standing next to in a long line or the person who sits next to me at seminar, workshop, or dinner party, I am always curious as to what the connection will be and why we are crossing each other’s path at that moment in time. This is especially true when I travel – I am always intrigued to see who will be in the seat next to me and why.

About nine months ago, I was flying from Miami to Los Angeles. Trained to get on the plane as early as you can to get that overhead space, I was all settled in and just waiting for my flying partner to appear. A man in his thirties wearing big gold with diamonds chains finally came and claimed the seat next to me. As he got comfortable in his window seat, I realized that many of the people walking by seemed to know and pay homage to him with a high-five, thumbs-up, or some sort of gesture of recognition and respect. Now totally curious as to who he was, I decided to ask. He humbly and gracefully explained that he was a rapper. Later he shared that his name was Nipsey Hussle.

Admittedly, I had no idea who he was. However, being someone who works with so many people who feel stuck, cannot get out of their own way, or remain the victim of their past or some life situation, I am always in awe of the people who manage to move past their stories of victimization - “Oh woe is me” or “life is unfair” - and manifest huge success. Wanting to learn more about who he was and what had driven him, we chatted for a while. He shared about where he had come from, his family, his work ethic, his different business ventures, and all that he was doing to give back to the community. Reflecting on all he had created, he said that what really struck him is that one day he woke up and found that he had “crossed that imaginary line.”

My conversation with Nipsey has stuck with me. The fact is, whether we realize it or not, most of us have this imaginary (or, for some people, very vivid), line of what we think is possible. We have stories filled with limiting beliefs about what we think we can achieve or manifest in our lifetime. Think of the times you have told yourself that you can’t do, have, or achieve something because of your age, background, physical appearance, finances, education, or life circumstances.

Think of the times you believed thoughts such as, I’m:
● from the wrong side of town to ever amount to anything,
● too old to start a new career,
● not educated enough to get a better job or pursue my passion,
● destined to live a life just like or no bigger than my parents,
● not significant or engaging enough to fit in with a certain group of people, or
● not fit, good-looking, or interesting enough to find love
Whether we realize it or not, we are drawing a line in the sand that more likely than not will become an unscalable wall.

But here is the thing. The line is not real! It is made up of thoughts and stories that we have repeated to ourselves so many times that we have come to believe they are the truth!

But they are not.

That is why it is crucial to learn to bust our beliefs and to start consciously distinguishing between thoughts and truths.

Truths are facts. They are details that can be verified by others, like: I am __ years old, I am single, my level of education is ___ . Our thoughts are the meanings we attach to these facts. They are not truths but interpretations. Unfortunately, most of us tend to create negative interpretations of the facts of our life and it is the limiting stories and beliefs that we make up that keep us stuck, never crossing or even realizing that we have drawn this imaginary line that is in the way of us reaching our desires.

The good news is that just like we are the ones who drew the line and created the self-imposed barriers, we have the power to obliterate them. How? By changing our thoughts.

There are two kinds of thoughts. There are those that imprison us and those that empower us. Since neither category of thought is more true than the other, at any moment we can replace a thought that imprisons us with the one that empowers us. We can go from “stinking thinking” and always believing, “I am not…” and “I cannot…” to the power of positivity and the realization that “I am…” and “I can…” We can cross over the line and bust through the barriers that we once might have thought were impenetrable road blocks.

It was never my intention to ever write about this concept of the imaginary line. It was Nipsey’s story to tell and after a little encouragement, he agreed it would make a great song.

Like many of you, I was shocked and saddened to hear that Nipsey Hussle was murdered a few months ago. I am still not 100% sure why our paths crossed that day on the airplane, but I do know as a tribute to him, a person who I probably would have never met in my day-to-day life, but for some reason sat next to on a 5-hour flight, it felt fitting to share what I learned from him.

It is vital that all of us realize that transformation is a shift in perception. By shifting our thoughts from those that imprison us to those that empower us, we can bust through the confines of our smallest thoughts and enjoy the vastness of a life beyond our wildest dreams.

So this week I invite you to start uncovering the lines you might have drawn.

Transformational Action Steps

(1) Think about a goal or desire you have.

(2) As you ponder this goal or desire, be aware of the negative thoughts that flood your mind and tell you why you can’t have this goal. Write these down.

(3) Allow yourself to really see how these negative thoughts have stopped you, kept you stuck, and have created a line between what you desire and what you are experiencing.

(4) Now replace the thoughts. Since they are just interpretations, see if you can replace the thoughts that imprison you with ones that empower you.

(5) Let these empowering thoughts be the “wind beneath your wings” as you create a plan to realize your desires.

To gain even more insight on how to cross the invisible line to live a life of integrity and abundance, you can read my book The Integrity Advantage or book a one-on-one session with me. If you want to learn more about how to love yourself and your body, please join me at my upcoming in-person workshop ‘The Body Shadow: From Self-Loathing to Self-Loving’ hosted by Omega June 14th-16th, 2019.

Author's Bio: 

Kelley Kosow is the author of The Integrity Advantage, a motivational speaker, and the Chief Executive Officer of the highly acclaimed Ford Institute. She continues the legacy of the New York Times bestselling author and thought leader, the late Debbie Ford, and leads the development and teachings of The Ford Institute’s transformational programs to thousands of people across the globe. Known as a “kick-ass coach” to high-level executives, change makers, and celebrities committed to personal transformation, Kelley blends her quick wit, laser sharp insight, and relentless compassion to help people upgrade their lives on a cellular level. Throughout her impressive career as a successful lawyer turned personal growth super star, she has been featured in Oprah Magazine as someone who could “Dream it, Do it,” as well as In Style, People, Working Mother, Latina, NY Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and LA Times. Kelley has also appeared on “The Balancing Act” and Better.tv. Connect with Kelley at http://www.kelleykosow.com