Bold Boundaries: What Would Wild Devotion Do?

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My story rolled in fierce and fast.

I watched in a weird in and out of body/mind experience, part of me fully aware of being hit by a wave of my old story yet part of me drowning under the weight.

There it came, that familiar terror, that feeling that everything has gone irretrievably wrong, that fear that I’m on the wrong path and need to make my way to safety, now. The safety of that same old bullshit story…

And in the midst of the wave, threatening to take me under again…

I noticed.
I paused.
I took a deep breath and released with a big sigh, permission to let go…

“What would Wild Devotion do?”

The words came loudly to my mind, demanding to be tended.

See, I had and am taking a big risk in feeding my biggest dream in a big way.

In retreat with my incredible Lezette Markham of Simply Art World, I ran through the numbers, those scary left-brain details that bring clarity and comfort and relief, at least in being known versus hanging in the abstract abyss of fear. Lezette saw what I saw. It’s possible. My dream is totally doable.

Have you ever longed for something and then found out – Aha! It’s possible! It’s happening?

Hooray! But….What do my inner critics do?

Well, while I’m celebrating they heard that there was nothing standing in the way. Nothing in the way of me and my big dream. The question of “if” has become a question of “when” and my inner critics, sensed defeat because this dream is so possible, so probable, that the fears have no traction.

There, in my sleep after five days of intense travel and a full day of intense retreat and an early morning wake up can’t sleep again entry from my 5 yo, there came the flood of fear launched by my inner critics as a final and furious last ditch effort to stop me from seeing the truth.

I was losing my boundaries with my old story, starting to take it on as my identity not simply thoughts. Fear threatened to spew forth in the form of annoyance and agitation at my partner.

You know those moments where you know you are spinning out and you’re just trying to push your hard feelings off onto someone else in a fearful, anguished cry of for help? That was me, just like my 5 yo when he is so off center that he’s gonna go down swinging.

Later, after getting space and “rumbling” with my story, as Brene Brown would say, I noticed, paused, breathed, and found myself asking, being asked…

“What would Wild Devotion do?”

The conversation I needed to have with my partner came into a clear space of compassion. The communication in my mind came from a much more loving place, for me and for him.

When the time came, I spoke my truth, without my old story yet openly acknowledging the story and the rumbling I had done. And I spoke to his story, all that we had learned about each other inside of the deepened intimacy of the last years of transition opening us up wide to the now. I asked us to stay in this listening space in the here and now. Listening time….empathy….so unbelievably powerful…

And when it was done, I felt heard.
And when I had vulnerably spilled all the streams of thought, insight, fear, truth and request I acknowledged the stories of us once again, once again acknowledging that I was not asking for an answer in that moment but sharing the questions weighing on my heart.
And when I was finished, he sat, I reached out, we held each other in that space of truth spoken, of fears shared, desire named, wishes requested, needs laid on the table…and we sat, through long moments of patiently parenting my 5 yo, setting boundaries and connecting until he felt love and understanding enough to want to run off and play on his own.

We sat together as ourselves, our stories, fears and shame dissolved in courageous compassion and vulnerable intimacy.

I sat in awe of the power of the question…

“What would Wild Devotion do?”

The passionate freedom and relief you feel from that wild devotion – to truth, to connection, to yourself – comes from bold boundaries, willingness to step outside of the story and to invite another to meet you outside of their story in a place of compassionate love.

Take a moment to consider you, your life, your relationship, your business, your gifts…your joy and passion…

What would it look and feel like for you to have bold boundaries – with others, with yourself, with your story?
What would life be like if you were passionately free? Free to follow your passion?

Get updates on a free upcoming video series called Bold Boundaries, Passionate Freedom.

Showing 2 comments
  • Stacey

    Sooo much to say about this! First to acknowledge your sharing of intimate detail and human vulnerability, thank you!
    I personally feel that this level of sharing, revealing, compassionate listening, patience, understanding, love and acceptance, is difficult to find in friends, family, and partnership and scary as all get out to exist in ….ONLY WHEN I’m EQUALLY CONCERNED WITH OTHERS AS I AM WITH MYSELF!!
    Let me explain a little further. Having had abandonment issues at an early age, I had resorted to a sense of self love and self preservation, that both saved me at the time and perhaps stunted my growth in other aspects. The experience of self was limited, to say the least, given the young age. Who knows what would have or could have happened otherwise, but we all have our cross to bear!
    The point is that it wasn’t with any awareness that I freed myself, felt boundless self love, experienced life through developing boundaries that otherwise may not have come into play at a young age.
    What surprised me and created issues for me, was in relationship with others. Not understanding why my freedom and confidence was a problem for someone I was in relationship with. Why was it so difficult to tolerate, understand or enjoy? Many years later ( and about 35 years of life experience) I see it much more clearly , for which I am most gracious!
    We are ALL DEVELOPING A SELF at different rates, with different areas of focus, different value systems, different material goals, different personal goals, vastly different background experiences, different soul level needs, especially cultural, or gender related, and so on. It’s a miracle we can share anything with anyone with so much difference!
    So my greatest gift to self and others is to be able to sit with ( sometimes physically, sometimes theoretically) the expression of others with NO ATTACHMENT to their experience whatsoever! No need to give advice, no need to agree, no need to argue, no need to defend, nothing, just BE WITH IT, and hopefully they/ someone, can BE WITH MY EXPRESSION OF me, no matter what that looks like.
    The challenge there is that it very possibly may not be the ones you would like, or think it should be, but perhaps it’s exactly the right persons, for exactly where you are, at this time. For this, I am in complete gratitude, for all is perfect!

    • Sheila Pai

      Hello dear Stacey!
      I am grateful you took a moment to share with me. I agree that finding someone who can be, be with a true expression of self and other, is a deep gift. There is much work involved. Such a gift, indeed.
      Thanks so much for sharing your insights and thoughts!
      Wishing you ease and grace,
      ~sheila <3

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