The Edge of Limitation
Author: Carla Woody
For years I led a meditation group. A good number of folks were faithful to this weekly gathering, a quite important factor because every one of them extended their self-intent to the group as a whole through presence and commitment. Consequently, when we came together we were able to dive deeply—immediately.
We always opened with breathing together, to leave the day behind and connect with each other energetically. Then I would open the circle for sharing before we moved on to guided meditations. One time during the open frame a long-time participant asked a question.
What is the edge of limitation?
It was an astounding question, one I’m not sure I adequately answered in that moment. It was a question that—over time—framed a journey of my own, an odyssey into self-inquiry and the nature of a spiritual journey. I went on to write an entire chapter on this question in Standing Stark and, in the process, generated other queries to further define the question. Some of them are below.
Where is the meeting point between complacency and possibility?
Where is the meeting point between pain and healing?
Where is the meeting point between control and surrender?
Where is the meeting point between parallel worlds and infused existence?
Clearly, the edge of limitation is something you lead up to—unless you’re merely fantasizing. New considerations will open to places that are unfamiliar. I use a variety of metaphors to describe that state. Perhaps it’s a dark forest where the path isn’t visible. Maybe it’s a membrane you bump up against; to break through the sheathing involves an identity level shift: how you are in the world. Or it’s a threshold, the precipice where a decision is made to retreat or move forward. So the edge of limitation is the pinpoint in thought, time and space before Separation from the old self of status quo.
One time I asked retreatants to do an exercise. They chose an area of their lives where they experienced a block. Then I invited them to choose two spaces along a line they imagined on the floor. The first had to do with the edge that, if they moved beyond it, would take them through the threshold to freedom. Second, they chose a space along the line, prior to the first space, that signified their degree of resistance regarding the issue. The farther back they stood, the greater the degree of discomfort or block. Some had their backs up against the wall; others were poised close to the edge. I invited them to try something out; to physically walk along the line, out of the space of resistance and up to the edge; and if they chose, to cross the threshold to what lies beyond. To a one, they did. Their responses ranged from displays of relief to calm to abject jubilation. Fear vacated and possibility took its place.
Sometimes it’s just that simple to open the way.
Of course, you can use what I’ve written here as a guideline to explore aspects of your own life. This is a brief primer toward self-discovery that I use with clients as a springboard for transformation. I’ve adapted the content of this post from my books and mentoring program
Navigating Your Lifepath, which guides folks on how to live through their deeply held values—and thrive.
“The gift we have been given is the one called possibility, whose intent offers to tie all together, creating strands of a whole life rather than a disintegrated one.”
With these words, Carla Woody sets the stage in this groundbreaking guide toward leading a rich, authentic life. This remarkable book not only offers means to engage the paradoxical nature of spirituality, it suggests pointed questions that accelerate transformation and inner peace.
Through poetic stories and teachings, Woody incorporates her many years of esoteric adventures with Peruvian mystic Don Américo Yábar and shamanism, her intensive work with others incorporating NLP, and learning gained by balancing community and solitude.
Navigating through such diverse geography as healing with energy, bliss states, dark nights and the challenges of personal growth, she presents ways to integrate the compassion of the heart with the clarity of a mind made wise. In this honest, explicit accounting, the committed traveler of the Hero’s Journey is empowered to develop their own capabilities toward nurturing a direct relationship with the Core Self⎯and the mysticism that permeates everything.
The author donates 10% of profits from book sales to Kenosis Spirit Keepers, a 501(c)3 nonprofit she founded whose mission is to help preserve Native traditions in danger of decimation.
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Genre – Nonfiction, Spirituality
Rating – PG