Limits.

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It’s the end of the first week of Spring semester-whew!  I’m exhausted.  It’s only the first week back. Ugh!

I decided to take a-much needed-slow and easy morning.  During my yoga flow my muscles felt tighter than usual-perhaps because I got back out in the cold for a run yesterday-so I just spent most of my time stretching and really focusing on how my body felt.

Then, the craziest thing happened.  My daily reflection reading was titled Limitation.  Immediately, I thought of my tight muscles and how when my body is sore it limits my movement and growth, but a simple stretch and I am back in business.  Sometimes the stretch is comfortable, others not so much.  But stretching yields growth.

The first line read “Voluntarily chosen limits empower your growth”.  I thought about the word “voluntarily” and how that fit into stretching-What is a voluntarily chosen limit?  Instead of relating this to my sore muscles, my mind wandered to a different sphere of my life, my career.


Yesterday, I started my summer internship search.  I am looking for positions across the country at different institutions.  I have left my search pretty open-ended.  I am wiling to move across the country for the summer.  I am willing to go some place new.  I am willing to try something that I have never done before.  In other words-I am not limiting the possibilities for summer internships.  I found my voluntarily chosen limits.  These chosen limits are empowering my growth.

This-potential, and oh, so hopeful-summer internship could perhaps allow me to grow in ways that I never imagined.  It could determine what I would like to do with my future, what functional area I see myself working in, where I would like to live/work/move after graduation, or perhaps that student affairs isn’t for me-hopefully this is not the case.  Whatever comes of this internship search, it is empowering my growth just as stretching does in yoga, running, and in mental/spiritual/emotional health.

Another part of my reading states “Life lived without guidelines is confusing and troubling.  In order to make genuine progress in any direction, we must first give some definition to our path.  However, limits that are over-strenuous are not helpful; having too many rules causes rebellion in the one on whom they are imposed, whether one’s self or another.  Therefore there must be limits even to limits”.

This resonated with me, especially because it is the new year and there are so many people on their New Year’s Resolution kicks.  Many of these people have not set proper limits to their goals.  They have no definition for their path.  Their limits are over-strenuous which leads to their rebellion-in many cases self indulgences that get out of hand-and they are back to square one.

I am now thinking about the limitations that I set in my own life.  Whether it’s a social, professional, or physical limitation, it must be thoughtful, reasonable, and intentional or it won’t empower growth.


Looking ahead to this internship search, my goals for 2017, and life in general I think I need to be more thoughtful in choosing the things that limit me-we all do.  I think that we often get caught up in what other people think, the everyday mundane, and even our own fears-and unknowings-and we let that limit us.


One of my favorite quotes reads “One can make a day of any size”.  If John Muir doesn’t sum up this blog post perfectly, I am not sure what can.

Go out, and make each day as big or small as you’d like it to be.  Limit yourself, but don’t forget to live free.

-Joel

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