What’s YOUR box? What box are you keeping yourself in? Do you want to get out? I do! I want to get OUT of the box! And who’s keeping me in the box? What exactly is the box?
Get it right.
Don’t do anything rude, God forbid!
Look good at all costs.
Sound good, look good!
Somebody might not like you if you’re rude or not nice! You might offend someone…That would be bad! You can’t do that.
What are these ideas that keep us from fully embracing all of who we are? These are beliefs. They are core beliefs that have been around a long time. They form when we are children in response to the values in our families of origin and cultural expectations.
So, how do we break out of the box? Here’s an image: The Karate Kid knocking down the WALLS of the box! Seriously, how do I grow bigger when every time I start to step out, the WALLS step in, arms crossed and a voice booms out: ” Where do you think you’re going? Do you really think that’s a good idea? Somebody might not like it. You might make a mistake!” There’s a good one. A mistake! Oh no, I might make a mistake!
But, anyone who has ever gotten out of the box knows that it feels GREAT! It’s all about giving oneself and others permission to simply break out — dare to make a mistake, sound ugly, look frumpy, be honest.
Today’s Exercise: Give Yourself Permission to Get Out of the Box
A Writing Exercise: What keeps you in your box?
I’d like you to take 2 or 3 minutes and write down what keeps YOU in a tight and narrow box? Close your eyes and listen for the voices that respond from inside when you ask yourself: What keeps me in my box? The answers may sound silly to you, but you’re not here to judge. Just listen and take notes. You’ll get to know more about your core beliefs.
A Sound and Movement Exercise: Step In and Out of Your Box
Now we’re going to move our bodies because our bodies are very busy keeping us in our box.
Find a safe space where you can move and make a little noise without worrying about the neighbors. Easier said than done, I know.
Begin in a standing position, close your eyes and notice your body in it’s resting posture. Simply notice the tension that you hold in your body. For example, your breathing may be shallow, your knees locked, jaw held tight, one hand in a fist, holding it all together. We’ve got to keep it all together, after all!
Now move from there to a more expansive place, simply by stepping forward, opening your arms and allowing the breath in.
Then, move back to the box and feel into the more held or constricted places in your body, pull your arms into your body. How do I hold myself? How do I keep it all together?
Then, step forward and open it up, feel yourself smile and allow the light in, open your chest, your arms and your heart. Allow the space around your heart to open. Let go of your jaw, your tongue, and your eyes.
The final step is to add voice. In the first more held or tense posture, speak out loud: “Stay in the box!” Then, as you open your arms and allow life to flow in, say “I’m getting out of the box!”
Move back into the box, exaggerate your muscles tightening them into a ball and say “You’ve got to stay in the box!”
Then again, allow the breath and feel your chest expanding as you open your arms and walk around your space saying out loud “I’m getting out of the box! Yes!” Celebrate your bigness.
And once more going towards the familiar place of holding it all together. “Stay in the box. We’ve got to keep it all together. Be prudent. Stay safe!”
And finally, with a karate kick, knock down those walls! “I want to break out! I’m getting out of the box! It’s about time!”
Go for it! What can you say to yourself that will give you permission to get OUT of the box today?!