Take Off Your Container

494. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

For weeks I have been meditating on containment. Specifically, how I contain, limit, confine, stifle or otherwise inhibit my spirit. I want to be free. It is funny to me since this is the very thing I teach. It is the center of almost every coaching relationship (personal and organizational), it defines the work that I have done with artists and leaders and entrepreneurs. And here I am, taking a good long look at my self, laughing at what I’ve discovered. I am glued into a tight container.

The good news is that I am surrounded by angels and people who see through wise-eyes; many do not know they are helping me step outside of my tight container; some know and are giggling with me: teacher teach thyself.

The route out of the container is actually a path into my body. In another life my acting teachers would have called this rooting myself. Yoga instructors would call it grounding. Saul-the-Tai-Chi-Lantern would call it, “receiving the benefit.” In any case, I am compelled to let go, to run in meadows, to play hard and fall down laughing. Ian, my twin, re-introduced me to the necessity of free play. Catherine said my emergence from the river after my game of chase with my twin was a kind of resurrection. It certainly felt that way; coming back to life. As a rocket thrusts into the earth to reach into the sky, so must I.

Alan listened to me talk about what I was experiencing and said, “Oh, man. You made people uncomfortable before, I can’t wait to see what you start doing with groups when you work with them.” We laughed because it had not occurred to me that by stepping into and fully embodying my life, that I might have a wee bit more fervor when calling people into a circle of transformation.

I’ve never been comfortable wearing a tie (containment); don’t ask me to wear dress shoes (suffocation), it’s hard for me to button the sleeves on dress shirts (constraint), I was a miserable wretch sitting in a desk (or behind a desk), I do my best thinking when walking or running or biking, if you work with me you will move, explore, experiment, bump into others, and communicate without language (so your will use your body). I suppose it is relative. I am more in my body and aware of my need to live beyond the boxes than many people, and apparently not as aware as I thought I was.

When Alan and I were done laughing, he asked a world-class question: “We need containers to get stuff done (limits orient us) yet how can we know what the optimal container is until we know what it is to live without a container?”

I guess I am about to find out.

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