Accept No Limitations

Read the first entries in this series here.

I thought I had that down.

Except when I told this to the healer that I didn’t understand why it felt it had to pointed out: I almost felt this dreadful burden of potential, that understanding I had no limitations made me almost cringe with the enormity of it all. If I could do anything I must be a failure for not having done it already.

Ah– yes. I see that that’s a tad dramatic now.

But what I can accept is that all limitations are fear-based. They are based on the fear of what would happen if the impossible was actually achieved. Would others resent me? Would standards suddenly reset to something I can’t maintain? Would I be able to handle it, whatever it is, without it turning me into someone I don’t like?

What I noticed is that those are all external markers. When I turn inward, and look at what I what to accomplish, and make, and be, it becomes so straightforward to get started– as long as I don’t try to manage the reactions of the world at large. I have to ignore them. Because first they’ll scoff, then they’ll actively try to dissuade me, and finally, whether I succeed or fail they’ll say they knew the outcome all along. Clearly, the world is not worthy of giving me input.

Limitations are Protection

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  ~ Marianne Williams

I like Drew Jacob’s Religion of Heroism. However, I find that when I look too hard at what the heroic vision would be…well, I get a pretty bad case of stage fright. In fact, the only way I can get anything done at all is to do what makes me feel most amazing to do. It’s not the most graceful of methods, and it involves a certain amount of feeling my way into things, but when I full the pull of the gulf stream, I know I’m tapped into something that makes me larger than life. And that is my religion.

The hardest thing to remember is not to look around for validation, to see if other people are doing the same thing I’m doing. This is completely stupid, and I have to stop doing it. I can trace every single crisis of faith to looking around, seeing that I’m by myself, and completely losing my shit.

I know that I’m “gorgeous, talented, fabulous,” and I’m also a trailblazer. Looking around and NOT seeing anyone, ought to, if anything, be a good sign. When I stay centred, I’m completely in tune with the power that guides me.

Now I Know

A medium recently gave me this message, “If you meet the Buddha on the path, kill him.

Until this very moment, I didn’t know what that meant. But now I know. When you’re following your own path, and your own dharma, any distraction from it, no matter how profound or wholesome-seeming, is actually a grave misstep, along the lines of a moral failing. Only I can be me, and do the things I was meant to do. To allow myself to be distracted from that means I’ve limited myself, diminished myself, denied my own birthright.

And that’s not okay.


Other posts in this series:

Labours of Heracles

Engage Fully

Accept No Limitations

Give Freely

Breath Deeply


15 thoughts on “Accept No Limitations”

  1. Hey Shanna,

    I interpret the “If you meet the Buddha on the path, kill him.” similar to you. To me, it means don’t have any false idols. You are ultimately the controller of your actions and destiny, and no one else can or should take that away from you.

    I think you’re right that we often fear our light just as much as we fear our darkness.

    I see a lot of individuals who experience some success and then they subconsciously sabotage themselves, perhaps because they feel they don’t really deserve it. I’ve seen one person refer to it as a “mental ceiling.” We want to succeed and do good in life, but only up to a point. If we past that point, then we no longer feel worthy.

    I think it comes down to self-worth issues and some guilt. Why me? Why should I be successful and others be failures? I don’t deserve this…etc. etc. etc.

    It’s an interesting internal conflict. The mind seems keen on creating those boundaries so that we stay within the range of “normal” or “mediocrity.” As you know, those boundaries need to be broken and overcome.

    1. Sorry, Steven, had to fish you out of spam. I wonder why?

      My biggest problem with success is that I always overreach my means. By which I mean, I never get the necessary systems in place before I get too busy and overwhelmed and ultimately burnt out. It’s a long cycle for me, but I’m concentrating on building this business slowly and sustainably. Because awesome as it is, I want to do it for a long time 🙂

  2. “What I noticed is that those are all external markers. When I turn inward, and look at what I what to accomplish, and make, and be, it becomes so straightforward to get started– as long as I don’t try to manage the reactions of the world at large. I have to ignore them. Because first they’ll scoff, then they’ll actively try to dissuade me, and finally, whether I succeed or fail they’ll say they knew the outcome all along.”

    what an important distinction – it can be surprisingly tricky to discern what external markers we’re clinging to and being limited by because they *feel* like they’re coming from inside – I wouldn’t go so far as to say that external feedback is entirely useless and unnecessary – but I know I can easily lean toward imbalance in favor of external factors and impressions of me and my choices – usually by way of guilt (even if i’m just anticipating guilt)…and am often surprised by what seemed like a justifiable distraction but ended up just tangling the lines of my most powerful forces until they were pinched and nourishment couldn’t flow freely anymore.

    my one commitment, the thing that has stayed the same over the changes in my practices and beliefs, is the choice to always return my focus away from external markers and into what I am responsible for within myself – when i want to be in control, when i’m needy, fearful, feeling limited, railing against the immutable, feeling so overwhelmed by potential and ability and tired and lazy from effort that i end up doing nothing – it’s a pretty good bet that I’m really just distracted from my inner focus – i’m not responsible for everything – and i’m not here to do everything – but there are very clear areas of responsibility within myself – that accountability and sense of balance of what i can affect and what is beyond my influence are the most sacred to me and color all the insight I seem to pass on from myself.

    after years of focus blinking off and on i’ve learned to trust that returning focus to my areas of inner responsibility is the only thing that actually feels like the space, relief and confidence all the other kinds of attempts at control are trying to gain.

    that space and confidence is what takes being achingly unique from being cumbersome and woeful to being a delight and comfort and necessity for joy.

    1. It is tricky to discern. In particular, I find it hard to discern between things that are ‘impossible’ and the things I just don’t feel like doing 🙂

      I like your point about personal responsibility. I hadn’t quite made the leap, but that is a big part of staying in my power.

      1. oh yes, me too :p i’m exceedingly excellent at makign ‘i don’t want to!’ sound meaningful and thoroughly thought out and totally justified….

        In terms of limitations (a conversation I *LOVE* by the way! ) A lot of what goes on in life that gets called a ‘limitation’ is just life throwing itself around with total indifference to our reactions to it.

        There are the details of situations. And then there are other people’s choices and feeling that are rarely about us – the obliviousness we all have for each other. things that just exist – that just happen….

        I am starting to notice that most useless, terrible, alienating or limp and shallow advice has it’s focus on the outside stuff – how to change it, how to alter it, what’s wrong with you if you can’t change it or if it’s happening to you in the first place. which starts out ok if we’re talking about something alterable – but when you push that advice to apply for permanent injury, the death of a loved-one, natural disasters, etc – it starts to get a little absurd except it’s the only kidn of support and advice some people know…

        A wise presence focuses on compassion for how we all share the experience of things we didn’t choose or can’t change while also pointing a much softer finger toward the internal realms of what we are focusing on, what we can mend or strengthen, where we can grow or learn and what needs tending to while we wait out whatever is raging on around us. It focuses on how to make our spirits and our hearts stronger *regardless* of the circumstances thrust to us – instead of telling us that if we were stronger we wouldn’t be in this circumstance…

        when I apply that to the idea of accepting no limitations i think of what it means to be paralyzed..

        which is nothing – it doesn’t *mean* anything – it’s kind of a dumb question that most people assume all sorts of ridiculous answers to and it’s those answers that are limitations to a much more powerful degree than the physical reality itself… people think the inspiring thing is to disregard the physical reality – it isn’t – it’s just..naive…real empowerment comes from knowing what it *means* is optional.

        And that’s what responsibility and not accepting limits is about, to me – the *meaning* you give to external circumstances and the willingness to get really curious about the meanings you choose and why you choose them and what they let you off the hook from doing or what they allow you to do and learning to distinguish them from the *actual* circumstances so you can shift them around until you’re magically enabled and empowered despite not having changed much in the external realms at all..

      2. Scribbles likes to talk about artistic *constraints* (and I should really write about that one of these days because I find it *fascinating*) — the idea that you CHOOSE certain constraints as an exercise in creativity.

        This is versus “limitations” which are outwardly imposed. Because complete freedom is impossible to manage. It’s the paradox of choice, it just blows mental breakers all over the place.

        Constraints, however, constraints give you permission to be flexible, and to play.

        I think that’s a pretty interesting reframe.

  3. ooo – the metaphor of a writing class – creating constraints in order to draw out creativity and give it a form that has meaning to it to stand for choosing what to make something in yoru life mean based on the constraints that applies to you that defines what it will draw out of you in response to it – you *should* write about that – i might have a version of that topic in me somewhere, too.

    it is kind of common thing for people to automatically assume that A happening always leads to feeling B – this situation always means this and meaning this you *should* feel this – it’s written in stone on the human psyche!!

    except it doesn’t take much paying attention to see it’s fundamentally un true – A could mean anything – which is psychologically referred to as ‘reframing’ but is also an extremely rich way of interacting with the external world – it doesn’t have to be cerebral at all – but through your instincts and senses and aesthetics root toward meanings that create constraints that draw out in you things you want to have drawn out – this is giving me a really neat insight into my own process – before it was even conscious i just had this natural tendency to wonder ‘so what?’ about most assertions – when it gained sophistication i’d be askign myself ‘what does seeing things in this way get me off the hook from?’ ‘what is confined by that that would rather be out?’ ‘what other ways could i see it and how would they limit and enable me differently?’

    in this way – I *adore* constraints – (it explains my loathe for ‘you can do anything’ pop inspiration shit) because i know you have some say in which constraints you apply and that constraints are exactly the way you give form to possibility….

    THANKS to scribbles and you for bring it to me that way!

    1. It’s in the “to write” pile. I think I wrote about Seth Godin’s treatment of constraints a while back– but I like Scribbler’s treatment better

      1. They’re invisible… you have to mouse over them. That’s why I didn’t bother to include the link… Erin already knows where to find you …

        Besides, I didn’t think it was the best example you’ve ever used. I mean, Morphine is a great example, but it wasn’t an in depth exploration. More like you just mentioned it in passing.

      1. Oh, no. You’re not scheming with her now, are you? She tries her manipulative tactics on me enough as it is!

        Besides, I always check in on y’all. I’m just the “brood in silence” type, over in the corner with dark glasses and my hat pulled low. Speak only when spoken to, etc.

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