The other day I was taking care of my 3-year-old nephew. It was a beautiful day and we were both excited to get outside and play. As we were headed out the door I wanted to review with him his “boundaries.” He is allowed to ride his bike by himself to the “pointy-bushes” about half way down the block.
“Where are your boundaries?” I asked him
“In my head.” Was his spot-on reply.
While this wasn’t exactly the answer I was looking for it was a perfect and poignant message. All of us would do well to remember that our boundaries really are only in our heads!
I liken this to a box. When we’re growing up we keep putting things into the box of “Stuff I Can Do.” Ride a bike? In the box. Learn a new language? In the box. Take up archery? In the box!
But then, at some point, we stop putting new stuff in the box. We start to get comfortable with the skills (physical and emotional) that we’ve accumulated so far and we stop stretching ourselves to grow, try new things, fail sometimes and expand our box. Pretty soon the idea of trying anything that isn’t already in our box (that is to say that we’re not ALREADY good at) is scary and we just refuse to do it.
The reality is though …that box was just an illusion from the start. We have within us already the capacity to be boundless, infinitely powerful and hugely transformative in our own, and other peoples, lives. What we find when we start to practice yoga, meditation or serious self-reflection is that when we reach our hand out to find that firm edge of our box….where we KNOW our limits lay….our hand passes right through like a mirage. We don’t have limits. All of our boundaries are self-imposed by our own minds!
For children, all of those boundaries between what they are and are not capable of don’t exist. They are still in the open receptive space to know that anything they want to be or do in this life is possible. If we allow ourselves to go back to the child-like mentality we find that we too are capable of anything. We are boundless. When we drop our mental boundaries, open up to the Divine flow and put our honest desires and efforts out there….magical things happen.
Today I will take note whenever I come up against one of those mental boundaries. Any time I find myself thinking “I can’t_____” or “I’m not ______ enough” I will visualize that wall of my box vanishing before my eyes. Because; I can and I am. I choose to ride my bike past those pointy bushes and into the infinite space of possibility.