loud & clear | Be Boundless.

trailing blossoms
During an especially hard sequence in my yoga class, the teacher said something that made me feel called-out. He was talking about effort and going beyond our limits, about how rewarding it is to push onward. "Only by giving one hundred percent" he said "are we able to get one hundred percent back."

He's not the first person to say you get what you give, but I think he meant something deeper than that. When we give less than our best, like eighty percent, we actually get far less than that returned. It's not a direct exchange - it's more like sixty or seventy -  because the product of our work falls short.  And the cruel irony here is that eighty percent isn't easy! It's exhausting, and it's hard, and it hurts. We give a lot of ourselves, even when we don't give everything, so we often feel it's enough. 

My short essay for The Equals Record today is about learning to let go of the boundaries I've created for myself, because I'm scared of being caught empty.

"We learn early on how to give just enough—to burn, but just a little, and be done. It’s smart to save a part of yourself, because what if this only gets harder?"

It's about the beauty that's made by reckless hearts. By giving more than you think it is wise to. 

p.s. more writings from my column, Loud & Clear, which focuses on outward - and inward - exploration!

emily dickinson + the hard part of dreams
the first snow + falling in love


  1. This is spot on. It's true that we don't get back exactly what we give because we don't give perfectly.I was just talking to a friend last night who just got her Masters and spent half her graduate studies grading. Since I teach at a University, we exchanged horror stories of under performing students. We then went on to talk about how going above and beyond has to be the minimum, that students can't be afraid to push beyond what they think they're capable of. And I believe the person to model that example is me, their professor. My students are shocked at how hard I grade, but I they see how much time I spend on each of their papers and that makes them want to at least try harder and spend more time on them, too.

    Sorry, long winded. But I truly believe in work ethic. I don't ever think I'll burn myself out because I'm able to do much more than I realize.

  2. i always believe to give 120% on what we do. and yes, it's so damn hard. and sometimes, when you've given your 100% things still don't go your way, and that's when you should put out 120%. at least that's what i think. i really learn a lot about letting go boundaries lately. i think 2013 is the year i learn more about it. love your short essay sam

  3. So beautiful as always Sam! Just what I needed to hear.

  4. wonderful words. i am really loving your writing, sam.


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