"Like a tree our growth depends upon our ability to soften, loosen, and shed boundaries and defenses we no longer need. Many spiritual teachers have suggested that our egos don't disappear so much as they become large enough to hold more than just our small sense of self - the boundary of self widens to contain people and beings other than just 'me.' Each time we shed a layer of defensiveness or ease up on a boundary that we no longer need, we metaphorically become bigger people. With this in mind, it is important that we take time to question our boundaries and defenses. While it is essential to set and honor the protective barriers we have put in place, it is equally important that we soften and release them when the time comes. In doing so, we create the space for our next phase of growth."
There's nothing like getting together with college classmates 20(+) years later to help give you a little new perspective! I know that I've written about reunions in the past, but earlier this week there was a mini-reunion of sorts in Pittsburgh and boy, it was fun... and inspiring! I realized that the perceptions of people that I had in the past and the walls that I had built up within a competitive college atmosphere (a combination of fear and low self confidence, I suppose) were shifted and in some ways removed entirely. It was so refreshing to interact with people in a much more open and honest way than I had ever had a chance to do in the past.
I don't know whether to credit my yoga practice, age, or time for these changes, but very likely it's a combination of all of them and the ability that I have now to feel more comfortable in my own skin and in who I am. And, I felt it from the others too. I love the concept of our ego becoming "large enough to hold more than just our small sense of self" because we are all so much more alike than we are different.
Here's to continued shedding!