is reliving similar challenges and obstacles in life: physical, mental, or spiritual. We all face the challenge of pushing our limits to greater boundaries. The difficult math concepts, the social problems in the family, or doing one more pull up, they all push us to new understandings.
As life progresses, the boundaries will revisit us to test if we are ready to move further or relearn basic concepts before we can grow. Preparing yourself for these challenges and knowing the limits in your life will prepare you to level up and move out of the infinite cycling of an obstacle. Once you’ve moved past the obstacle, it becomes a tool in the art of cultivating yourself.
“This first experiment, simply doing nothing, was a magnificent failure. It was not natural farming; it was abandonment.” – Masanobu Fukuoka
When I first began my search for a way of life, I reached for any available opportunity. It was an expansive expedition to do everything.
For a few years, this type of journey falls apart. It never gains traction in any area and it’s a common pattern for people who hold an idealistic view of their journey, everything will work itself out. In time, it does, but at the beginning, I found it was best to seek many opportunities and begin the process of filtering out the chunks that didn’t work for my present needs.
Because of it, I was about to determine projects that suited my visions and goals. It enabled a greater capacity to devote more time and energy rather than spreading myself too thin in many areas.
This is the process of reflection, knowing the areas in life to expand or contract. The timing in my opinion is less important. It’s far better to make a decision and take action than to do nothing at all. In this way, it’s not a matter of if it will happen just when.
Limitations are like any tool in the box. They can be used correctly to build up a greater foundation or they can be suffocating.
The best use of limits that I have seen are when they are adaptable to a situation. For any particular situation, limits may either expand, remain dormant, or contract.
Expansion is necessary when a situation has out grown the present. Easy example is when a child is growing. They need bigger clothing to fit their needs. If you expand too quickly, the child will wear clothes that fall off. This is the downside. Expand too quickly and you leave yourself with too much room for things to be left behind.
Dormancy is best for reflection. Before deciding whether to expand or contract, it’s best to determine where the current state of affairs are. The drawback here is staying dormant for too long. In nature, this is where things begin to stagnant and rot.
Contraction is good when there is explosive energy that can be destructive rather than constructive. When a child is misbehaving or someone is being reckless, their attention needs to be brought down to a level where they become aware of their actions. The drawback is when you never allow the child to gain that freedom or trust back again. Likewise for a situation, many people contract too easily due to unreasonable fears.
Knowing when to deploy these types of limits can be beneficial for those who need to contain, reflect, or expand themselves. The pattern can be crossbred to other disciplines, but I find it’s best to start within then expand out.