Two years ago yesterday, I was fired from my last office job. At the time, if felt like the ultimate freedom, like a push out of the nest by a momma-bird universe that wanted to see me fly into right livelihood. Today I celebrate this anniversary with a new understanding of freedom.
In Eastern Body, Western Mind, Anodea Judith says that “we must accept limitation in order to transcend it.” I most certainly didn’t accept the limitation of having to be at a desk at the same time every morning, wilting under fluorescent lights, pushing papers around until the clock told me I could escape. And so, of course, I didn’t transcend it. I didn’t appreciate the amazing amount of freedom that I had in the puffy paycheck I received and the vacation time I accrued.
If I had just opened my eyes to the fact that all of my mind-body training during my four-year stint as a legal secretary wouldn’t have been possible without working within the boundaries implied by that position. If I had just accepted that their rules were easy to follow, and that I was smart enough to find ways to challenge myself and perform at a higher standard than I did. Ah, but that’s not what happened, and eventually the world tired of my self-righteous behavior and my rejection of the necessity of limitation.
So, I was fired. And I was then so very free to pursue yoga teaching and therapy full-time, but…(and here’s the kicker)…what do you think happened then? I hadn’t practiced acceptance of limitation to the point where even growing work that I loved seemed stifling. My current self frustratingly reaches into the past to shake the me of two years ago. “Yes, you must do the work: make those phone calls, give free sessions, follow up with past clients, continue to update your website, create marketing materials…”
As I’ve learned over the past few years of self-employment, and have been recently reminded by Anodea Judith, “In order to manifest, we must be able to accept limitation. We have to be able to focus on what we want, to be specific about it. We have to be able to stick with it long enough for manifestation to occur.”
Seems simple enough, yeah? And yet sometimes it takes a while for boundaries to feel like they’re holding space for what we want to manifest, instead of holding us back.
Now I no longer reach back into the past, into the should haves. I feel gratitude now for all the nests I have been, am, and will be cradled in; and in real time I’m nudging myself out, starting to settle into acceptance of the boundary of the sky.