In the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, the character, Katherine tells the despondent Frances what her lover used to say: “Fefe said, ‘You have to live spherically, in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm and things will come your way.'”
Fefe is a wise man.
There will be many interpretations on what it means to live spherically. For me, this teaching continues to deepen, especially as I observe its contrast: living restrictively.
Although Fefe may have meant this as a teaching to live spherically outside in the world, I am taking it to mean living spherically, inside ourselves.
Inside is a wide and expansive space, like a mansion with many rooms—and yet for many of us we confine ourselves to only one or two rooms—or at the most—one level.
I can think of a few people right now who I’ve had recent conversations with and every time we speak, I hear the same stories.
On one occasion, I watched closely instead of being judgmental; I saw her eyes drift and go away. It was like she was taken away, inside her own story. And there, in that blank stare and continuously moving mouth, I swear I could see her mind spinning around and around and around.
And I wondered, when will she ever wake up from this story and go some place else?
This is what it looks like to be trapped in one sphere; it can happen as a result of our environments and relationships—but it only happens as a result of not paying attention.
Here is another example of getting trapped in one sphere: I have dedicated most of my life to my family and because of this I stayed confined to a level, which allowed me to maintain a certain order there.
On this level, I was more controlling than loose; I worked at keeping my life and family together. My life went as planned and I had money to make it that way.
However, I was aware that there was more within me—and I was often frustrated because I felt trapped on this one level. Sometimes, I projected my frustrations onto my family. But mostly, especially in the early years, I stayed on my level.
I had plenty there to keep me occupied and distracted from going elsewhere. Not to mention, to open up to a new space requires readiness, preparedness and bravery.
Then, years later I enrolled in a course to learn how to be a “therapeutic coach” (think life coach and a therapist have a baby).
There, I met a group of people and almost immediately, we created a container of personal transformation, sharing and laughter. In class, I felt more alive and connected than I ever had—and the experience opened me up to another level inside of myself.
I began to notice how I hated to go home after class. By the time I opened the door, everything I had experienced in class, faded away and I was left with a dull, uninterested person. I was back on that old, boring level and I began to resent my family.
I wanted freedom. But ultimately, I wanted to bring this “new” me to the family table.
In order to make this happen, I could not allow the new, euphoric energies to sweep me away from my family.
Instead I went back and forth between the two, staying alert to both. The experience I had in my classes helped open another door to my inner mansion and released whatever treasures were in there. These treasures allowed a looser and lighter pattern within me emerge. And, in time, this lightness infused more of my self into my family.
My inner mansion was now wider and more expansive.
Because I opened another door, my inner mansion was more wide and expansive—and my family (and myself )could see that there was more life inside of me. (*Side note: this is really important for mothers and wives.)
What frightens me about living in only one or two rooms, is that it leaves us susceptible to diseases of the mind and body—and it hurts those around us.
Think of the recent shootings in Colorado; this man lived in one space, a very dangerous and diseased space, within his mind.
Of course it didn’t begin this way—but inside his mind were all the ingredients to manifest what it did.
The “experts” will probably find an insecure man beneath his actions, whose insecurity led to thoughts and ideas of how to feel powerful. Ultimately, with so much time alone, which could have allowed space for new realties and perspectives, his mind instead developed into something perverse, eventually leading him to act out.
Thankfully, most of us won’t go to such extremes. But, just because we aren’t moved to such drastic measures, we still have cause for alarm.
Therefore, to be open and investigative is our call right now. To begin to be inquisitive and curious about the space we are in now, to become observers of ourselves and then wonder what other spaces there might be.
Some things to think about:
Do you notice shifts in feelings and behaviors according to environment? If so, do you ever wonder why this is?
Also, do you notice the stories you are speaking to people? Do they seem to be the same stories?
Do you feel like you are growing- awakening? Expanding? Or do you feel restricted? Confined? Frustrated? Denied? Ignored?
Are you consumed with feelings of doom and boredom?
Another way to open the door is to look at the place where we live. The actual, physical location. Look at your house or apartment, itself. It tells a story and gives clues to where we are in our life.
As does who we hang out with or who we don’t; how we spend our hours or how we don’t. We need to look, I mean really look.
I’ve now noticed after moving several times, each space I was in provided lessons and opportunities to know myself a bit more, and then opened me up to other rooms, inside of me.
This opening is important or our stories and patterns will be repeated over and over again with no resolution…and that is the definition of insanity.
Self awareness is what keeps us sane.
We are explorers, not just of nations, lands and space but of the internal; we are meant to live spherically.
We are wide, expansive beings and to cut off all of that space within us brings harm and stagnation.
But, I do have a warning: to open new doors will cause alarm. Upheaval. A certain chaos we may not be used to.
We may feel the floor beneath us crumbling; we might even feel we are going insane—but it’s only temporary. We are actually leaving insanity to become more sane.
Our curiosity about other rooms is even enough to move us.
So, explore. Let the bottom fall out and drop down to an entirely new level in your soul. In time, you will begin to live spherically; your parts and levels will be joined together into one glorious mansion.
The truth is we are already there—but until we are consciously aware and actually alert to the space we are in, we are insane.
The Self, God or Spirit is the hearth of the mansion and everyone has this hearth.
Truly, there are no worries as we open the doors.
So, open, open, open.
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Like elephant spirituality on Facebook.
hot on elephant
Elephant Journal’s Holiday Gift Guide 636 shares A letter to the Anger that refuses to Leave Me. 632 shares Waylon’s favorite Ethical Gifts. 13 shares Learn Social Media, Writing, Editing & Journalism Ethics with elephantjournal.com. 6 shares Dear Pretty Young Woman Flirting with my Husband. 3,807 shares The Real Reason so many Long-term Relationships Fail Sexually. 1,117 share Year of the Fire Rooster 2017: What to Expect. 1,053 share The Astrology of 2017: Letting Go & Shining your Light. 1,256 share Why a Year of No Dating was the Best Thing I ever did for Myself. 8,478 shares These Tweets (and Retweets) actually Happened. 1,392 share