The safety of our little boxes


It came to me on a walk, the awareness that I travel this world “trapped” inside boxes of my own making. Speaking of death, Deepak Chopra had invited the interviewer on my podcast to notice the room they were in - the walls, the ceiling, the floor. Now, imagine the the building gently collapses around you, he said. What happened to the space you were in? Nothing. Still there. 

While not the intention of the story, it got me thinking about the boxes I, and every person I’ve ever helped, build around ourselves. 

I say I am boxed in by lack of time, yet when time becomes available, I quickly rebuild the walls with some other real or imagined lack.  The walls fell, but I remained in the space I had created for myself. 

I say I am boxed in by lack of money or knowledge or certain qualities I’ve deemed lacking. So, when any of those become more abundant, why am I not suddenly more productive, happy and brave? (But I will be - as soon as...)

My walls - all our walls - are self-constructed boxes, carefully designed to protect us from the vulnerability of living our lives fully, of being fully seen (and judged) for our choices. 

And it occurred to me: change is not so much about constructing something new, but rather about de-constructing these old boxes.

Fear tells us to stay put, to do what is familiar. 

But what does courage say? What does imagination say? If we are fortunate enough to have caring friends who know us deeply and authentically, what do they say? Who do they invite us to be?

How to step out of your box(es)? See it in your mind’s eye first - just dipping your toe in the water of life outside the box - for just five minutes a day, in the safety of your imagination. (Then you can go back to the safety of your box to live your day.) 

Your brilliant mind, taking it’s cue from these fleeting images, will do the rest. The walls will grow thinner, then, as those daily escapes gain momentum and your mind forgets what is “real” and imagined, they will dissolve before your eyes. Just one rule: every day, just five minutes. 

Gotta go. My five begins... now!

Chris Trout4 Comments