This phrase came to me in my meditation recently. I started repeating it throughout the day. I added the words “I am” to the front of it and it became an affirmation mantra.

I am moving beyond my mental ceiling.

It raised the question in my mind – where and what is my mental ceiling? In other words, where do I silently tell myself that “this is how my life is” and there are no possibilities beyond that? Awareness of my personal limits is the first step to transcending them. How can you move beyond something when you don’t know what that something is?

Mystic and spiritual teacher Ernest Holmes described how we could only create up to the level of our “mental equivalents”. However big our dream was, that was as big as we could experience. Our mental equivalent was our ceiling waiting to be expanded higher.

I am aware of areas where I hold myself back, where I say “who am I to do that?” or “that is for others to do, not me” or “that is not possible in this world or in this lifetime” and so on. Those are the assumptions that I need to challenge. Those statements are the mental limits I need to burst beyond.

My life is full of personal examples when I have gone beyond my previous limits. I moved my family across the country when I was in my 20s to an area where I knew no one. I knew that I needed to not listen to those who said it was folly. It was one of the best decisions in my life. At a certain point, I knew that I needed to move beyond my first marriage – and progressing beyond that boundary opened up possibilities for both my first wife and me. I knew that letting go of the safety and security of my long term Federal job was the right thing at one point—and the result led me to new experiences beyond what I could imagine.

Even the writing of this blog site and more recently, when I published my first book, there were voices in me that said “who are you to do that?” Fortunately, I pushed beyond my comfort zone, I moved beyond my mental ceiling.

Yet even now, there are new ceilings within me calling to be lifted. I must continue to challenge myself and push through them.

Where are your mental ceilings?

Moving Beyond Our Mental Ceilings

As I contemplate my personal mental ceilings, I cannot help but wonder where collectively we humans have also set ceilings on what is possible for us as a species. The classic example often used of human self imposed limitations is the physical running of a mile in less than 4 minutes. It was long thought impossible until Roger Bannister did it in 1954. Afterwards, it was continuously broken.

Although we each have our own personal limitations we need to hold up to the light to recognize so that we can work to move beyond them, we must do the same self-analysis from the collective perspective.

Here are some possibilities for us to consider.

  • You and I are separate from one another and will always be in competition for scarce resources.
  • There will always be war and conflict.
  • There will always be a struggle between religion and science.
  • We must always do what’s best for “our” people—be that defined by race, religion, nationality or whatever.
  • We will never live in a world where we think about the needs of the collective over our personal needs.

These assumptions and many more are mental ceilings that we humans have created and they are holding us back.

As we move towards this much discussed date of December 21, 2012 and the end of the Mayan calendar, the sensational seekers have hyped it as the “end of the world”. Many dismiss it as an interesting side show, much like Y2K. Some see it as representative of a new birth of consciousness. I am in that camp. Let’s use the hype as a call to action.

May we all be called to burst through our personal and collective mental ceilings. May we come together and create a world with no limits for each and every one of us!

Mark Gilbert


Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!