Constricted? Stuck? Step out of your narrow places.

Narrow places.

You may think they’re real, but you probably created them with your thinking, thoughts like:

  • Your negativity bias — how easy is it to compare your insides with other people’s outsides and find yourself wanting?
  • Your resentments and envies. You know, when you drink poison thinking the other person is gonna die?
  • Your fears about the future that you spend so much time thinking about that you end up paralyzed and stuck.

Soften to your divine nature, step back into flow. Step into the open, expansive light.

It’s easier than you think (as simple as taking your foot off the hose).

  • Whether it’s sinking down, letting your thoughts melt out of your head, and into your heart…
  • Or maybe it’s allowing “love” and “you” to coexist in the same idea, in the same breath…
  • Or simply taking your foot off the hose and letting things flow.

narrow places

There are many images and metaphors to describe this softening.

And I’m going to mix up a couple of them right here.

It’s Springtime in the north, where I live. We’ve just passed the Equinox, and we’re in that powerful time of growth and life bursting forth everywhere.

Passover comes this week, and brings with it an invitation to look at what imprisons you and to free yourself. Free yourself from your own internal bossy, never-satisfied Pharoah who wants nothing more than for you to believe that narrow places — tight and constricted — are all you deserve and all you’re gonna get.

How do you best see this? Your good intentions, your actions, and your practices can become solidified into rigid structures, and your desire for self-improvement morphs into rules and regulations that enslave you to your inner Pharaoh. It is tempting to think of personal growth in terms of overcoming your negativity: ridding yourself of anger, fear, envy, sadness, or whatever other feelings you’ve decided are unacceptable. But when you get rigid about the actions you take, you end up with a narrower, more constricted state of mind — you’ve stepped on your hose.

My friend Sharon Rosen’s blogpost reminds me of some of the ways we constrict ourselves, tighten up, stomp on that hose. Do you notice times when you:

  • Hold back out of fear rather than speak up?
  • Turn your hurt feelings outward and hurt others, intentionally or unintentionally?
  • Talk to yourself in a mean way, even in the privacy of your own mind?
  • Hold grudges that end up hurting you more than anyone else? (As I learned in many 12 step meetings, when I’m pointing one finger at you about three pointing right back at me.)
  • Indulge in habits that keep you from feeling good about yourself?

fresh thought

As Sharon says: Open up the windows, let fresh air and light flow through.

Or, to put it another way: Open up the doors and windows and let some fresh thought in!

It’s no accident, I think, that these are springtime images.

We don’t open the doors and windows much in the wintertime, nor do we use our hoses. At least here in Northern California where I live, that seems to be the case. I picked up the hose in the garden for the first time in months just last week. And I turned on the tap but no water came out. When I found the kink, and un-kinked it, I was back in the flow.

Your own personal darkness, stuckness, and narrow places had time to turn hard over the winter, that season where everything appears so hard and dead that you forget that growth and change are even possible. But those seeds are alive, they’re viable, and they’re just waiting for a little more light, a little more warmth, and a little more love.

Look up! Look at the trees, at all the green Just like you can see all around you, tendrils are curling toward the moisture and light. The breezes are carrying the whispers of fresh growth, fresh life, and fresh thought. Not to mention fresh love! Starting with yourself.

What constricting thoughts and beliefs can you release? How can you accept this season’s invitation to step into flow and out of those narrow places?

I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below. Blessed be.

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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    • Thanks, Barb.

      And just that quick, here we are in full tilt spring with the life forcefully unleashed everywhere I look. May it be a creative and fruitful time for us all.

  1. Call it a coincidence but rigid structures is something I’ve been thinking about during the time between my 2 surgeries this month, Sue. The trigger was a chat with a Reiki Grandmaster who has been giving me energy support for the operations and her suggestion that I needed to put myself first for a change!

    She has a point since I tend to give a lot to loved ones and friends who need me. without any expectations of reciprocity. Imagine my surprise when I acted on her advice . I came clean on my need for moral support and was astounded at the amount of support I received. No more rigid structures or pretending I’m okay when I’m not. There is an abundance of love and support out there and all we need to do is ask for it with honesty.

    • Hey Vatsala,

      Thanks for the reminders. Asking for love and support with honesty is not something I’m very skilled at, but oh it is so wonderful when I can just let myself be guided, divest myself from attachment in the outcome, and ask with love.

  2. Hi Sue, this is a really great post. I appreciate your perspective on the dark, narrow places. There is so much we can learn and experience by accepting these parts of ourselves.

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