Life Without Boxes

I’ve been thinking about a line I heard Russell say some months ago.

It was something like this:

“Letting ourselves and each other out of the boxes we’ve created is a great act of love.”

What are the boxes?

Old self-images. “I’m this kind of a person. I could never do that.”

Old images of others. “He’ll never change. She’s always going to be like that.”

What if it’s not true?

Tara Mohr asked this great question in one of her recent newsletters:

What have you always believed about yourself that life is showing you might not be true?

Have you ever had that frustrating experience of someone you’ve known for awhile keeping you in a box that just doesn’t fit? Some part of me feels like shouting – hey, that’s not true. I’m not like that. You’re not seeing me!

How often do we do this to ourselves and each other?

And how easy might it be to just “poof” – and let the boxes dissolve with a willingness to be present, innocent, and set aside preconceptions?

I wrote a few years back about “Being like Thoreau’s tailor.” Here’s an excerpt of that piece:

“I was reflecting recently on something an old teacher of mine used to say. He quoted Henry David Thoreau writing that the smartest man in Concord, Massachusetts, was his tailor – precisely because he was the only one who took his measurements every time they met.

The deep meaning of the word respect is just this – to re-spect, as in look again.

Look again!

Take it in anew….

I spoke of this briefly in class last Thursday and have been thinking of it since.

How often do I “take the measurements?”
Do I truly respect myself? Others?
As the saying goes, you can never enter the same river twice. And equally true – you’re never the same self twice. Nor is anyone else.
How often do I remember this?
How often do I suspend judgments and preconceived notions and just really see what’s true in THIS moment?
What happens when I do?
And equally important for me to notice, what happens when I don’t?

Taking the measurements.
Respecting life.
Life, as in that which is truly alive in this moment…

I love the opportunity to do just this when I lie on the floor as we begin an Awareness Through Movement lesson. How am I now?

I love the opportunity to do just this when I see a client in my office. Who are they in this moment?

I love the opportunity to do this when I remember to PAUSE in the middle of the day and listen to my inner life. How is it in there?

I love the opportunity to do this when I have a precious moment alone with my sweetie. Who is he today?

I love the opportunity to do this when I hang out with my sweet babe, whom, if I really re-spect, I have to admit is not a babe anymore. He’s an articulate, smart, sweet, beautiful, bright-eyed and rapidly-evolving boy.

I loved recognizing the opportunity to do this recently when I was walking through the park with Carl and Mesa and saw a person whom, the last time I saw her, was kind of gossipy and complainy and critical in a way that left a bad taste in my mouth. I had that flash of “Oh maybe I should walk the other way so I don’t have to talk to her.” And then it hit me. I don’t have to avoid what’s unfolding in my life. I can look again. And I did. And I said hello. And you know what? She was different. (duh.) I was left with great warmth and affection and stunned by the fact that I could’ve kept her in that box of how she was once upon a time. What a shame.

How often do I do this with others?
How often do I do this with myself?”

May we have the curiosity and willingness to notice the boxes we’ve created, and the courage and heart to let them go.

Wishing you freshness, respect, and a beautiful weekend, free of boxes.

With love,


P.S. Tai Chi in the Park registration is open and there are still some spaces left. It’s SUCH a great class in such a lovely location, and I must say, with SUCH a great teacher.  :)  Don’t miss it!

P.P.S. A poem!

I Am All Of This

by Dana Faulds

There are as many paths
to truth as there are
heartbeats, leaves, fireflies

in summer twilight. Let me
tell you of the path that’s
chosen me, the road that has
drawn my feet forward,
the way of my awakening.

Defying easy definition, it
unfolds, and I follow. With
each step I let in more of life.
I expand into vastness. My
reach exceeds my grasp
until I hold to nothing solid.

I include, widen, grow deeper.
This too, is me, and this, and
yes, even this. There is more
emptiness than substance here,
and not a single rule to live by.
In place of form there is an
ecstatic dance with the
boundless infinity of truth.

There is freedom, stillness,
song and silence, sustenance
and the end of supplication.
In place of seeking there is
finding without loss, and love
without boundaries. There
are no walls in this existence.

Here is no difference, out or
in. All That Is radiates,
quickens, awakens, fills and
empties in the same breath,
and I know beyond doubt
or any hesitation, that I am
all of this.

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By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.

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