Closer to the beginning of this mulabloga research project I had an experience that I noticed particularly after my yoga practice one Friday. During the practice in a yoga class I had been paying particular attention to what was happening at the very base of my torso: the low belly and below, the lower portion of my pelvis, hips and pelvic floor and slightly above. My awareness was resting here, so perhaps it was a meditation on that.
After class I had a strong revelation that I rushed to get paper and pen (yes I use those tools, too) to write it down.
It seemed so important because it seemed to be an answer to a “problem” I had been pondering over for some years.
I remember having conversations with friends over the years about having boundaries or even “tough skin”. These conversations were important to me because I am sensitive. I feel things people say. Sometimes that hurts.
The image of boundaries had been similar to a fence. A fence around an animal might keep it safe by not allowing predators in. So in conversation just “not allowing those words in” might be a solution if I could create the appropriate boundaries for myself.
At some point this approach seemed futile. Conversations happen in the moment, there just didn’t seem to be appropriate time to think and consider whether certain things should be allowed in or not. (And if I’m aware of it isn’t it already “in” anyway?)
So I started to buy into an image about it that would just allow the words to pass through my space. I couldn’t stop what was being said to me (or around me), but it might not have to stick to my mental space and get stuck there. This seemed more realistic and less harmful to me that the image of “letting words bounce off me”. The words crashing into an “invisible boundary” to bounce off seemed a violent image. I didn’t like the experience of that.
The “letting words pass through” image was more truthful for me at the time I believed it because I felt invisible. At that time, I found myself in my interactions with others—which is one (but only one of the ways) truthful way to find things out about ourselves, I think. But it can also lead to some confusion if we totally base our interpretation of ourselves on what other people are saying to us, and how other people are interacting with us.
People (or societal forces, advertising, peer pressure) can easily control someone who doesn’t know or have confidence in their own sense of self.
So anyway, on that magical day I had awareness about how I was feeling after my yoga practice. I was high as a kite—not unusual. And this time I expected to watch myself come in for a landing, which is why I rushed for the pen and paper.
I realized that the problem wasn’t lacking boundaries. The real problem was lacking a center. I felt that radiance really is the best boundary, in that it is not really a boundary at all. When I feel full, I am not vulnerable. I don’t need to create a wall when I am vibrant and bright.