By Suzanne E. Harrill
Do you like your life the way it is, or would you like to
change it for the better, at least with the things you have control over -- how
you use your time, your degree of social interaction, your interest in learning
and growing, what you eat, or your degree of physical activity to name a few?
Sometimes we are unhappy with our current life and say we want to experience a
different reality. Maybe you want to stop feeling bored or resistant to
developing new interests or want to have a life with more fun and excitement.
You might like to meet new people and expand your circle of friends or break out
of a bad habit or feeling stuck. If you have a health challenge you may want to
explore alternative methods of healing. We say we want these to be in our current reality, yet we procrastinate
making them a part of our life.
When your desires do not match the results manifesting and
you are confused with this dilemma, consider that you may have outgrown your
current world. This happens to all of us at times. We all have an imaginary
boundary around "our world." Our world includes many things such as beliefs,
choices, activities, and what we are willing to do or not do to change things.
The more limiting our world the less open and flexible we are to new ideas,
solutions, and choices and therefore, the more closed the system. The more
willing we are to look beyond our personal frame of reference the more open the
system. There are degrees of being open or closed. If you want new results you
may be limiting yourself by living in a system that is too tightly closed and
may benefit with some expansion. On the other hand, some of us would benefit
with the opposite suggestion. If we are too open we may be scattered with too
much to do with too many options available, and therefore having difficulty
discerning which to choose, how to say no, or are so busy we have little time to
take care of necessities.
Grab a piece of paper and draw a circle on it, any size you
choose. The circle can be a thick solid line, a dotted line, or a light thin
line. Begin describing your life and write statements inside your circle about
your life, at least 10 things. Write outside of the circle the things you want
to experience, learn, or wish you had in your life.
Let's look at hidden meanings in this exercise. Ask
yourself questions like, what is the tone of the statements inside the circle
describing your life? Notice if they are upbeat, depressing, positive, negative,
affirming, or complaining. How do you feel when you read the statements to
yourself? Happy, sad, joyful, ashamed? What would you say is the current theme
of your current world? Is the circle you drew small or large? Does your circle have a solid or dotted line? If you have a dotted line,
things can penetrate and leave your world easily. A dark solid line may
represent solidity or security; however, it may symbolize more of a barrier to
allowing the new to find you than a thin, light line. Look at the things outside
of your circle. Are they foreign to you or things you may have tried and are
open to experiencing more? Jot down insights you may have gathered. Keep
pondering for new insights.
Usually in a closed system you want things to stay the
same, do not like to take risks, and do not like change. You may not be growing
and interacting with people and ideas outside of your frame of reference because
you have a high priority to feel comfortable and safe and prefer predictability.
You may be comfortable yet are not thriving. When we become aware that we have
outgrown our world and want to experience more, it is beneficial to look at the
limiting patterns in place, such as beliefs, behaviors, habits, and people that
no longer serve us that may contribute to feeling stuck and unhappy. It may be
time to lighten the boundary in some places to allow the old to leave so the new
can come in. It's like cleaning a closet which creates space for new things to
In an open system, the boundaries of our world keep
expanding if we chose. Experiences
and people and ideas move in and out more easily. With open boundaries, we
accept that change is constant and do what we need to do to manage and accept
change, both wanted and unwanted.
For example, try one or two of the following to help do a better job accepting
talk about feelings and reactions to life with a
read books or listen to TED Talks to gather new
information to help with unresolved issues and patterns
begin therapy, it is never too late
journal-write about thoughts and feelings daily
When we want more in our life,
it is more likely we will get different results and manifest a life more to our
liking if we learn to open our system. It is helpful to look for role models who
are better able to accept change and who take risks to change and get the
results they want. Notice things these people do or say that are different than
what you are conditioned to do that may be difficult for you. Talk to them, ask
them for support to open your world view. Find out their inner process of
meeting their challenges and disappointments, getting in touch with new ideas,
and accepting change. We all benefit from mentors and supportive friends and
teachers a step ahead of us on the journey of life.
There is no right or wrong here whether we live in an open
or closed system. In fact, it may be optimal to have both available to us and
develop the flexibility to open or close our boundaries depending on our current
needs. Maybe an updated drawing of the circle has a thin solid line and a gate
where we can see what we want to let in and let out. The
intention of this article is to expand awareness about the boundaries we have
established in our lives. The more aware we are the more we know about the
choices we are making, they become conscious choices.