The Benefit of Boundaries, #FlexingYourCourage, and Strawberry Chocolate Salad

Oct 7, 2015

Strawberry Chocolate Salad |

It takes courage to push past the boundaries in our lives…and to make a salad with chocolate in it…


I think it’s safe to say that many of us spend quite a lot of time fantasizing about having other people’s lives. Or even our own, before we had kids/gained 30 pounds/bought the house. We daydream about what it might be like to have more money, live abroad or be able to run a marathon. I know I am guilty of this, even to the extent that I can be acutely unaware of the blessings I do have, in favour of having someone else’s.

(I think, probably, that those feelings are magnified by our interactions in social media, where we tend to only reveal the aspects of our lives that are working well: the moments that are beautiful, tranquil, and graceful. It makes us feel like everyone else’s lives are somehow more charmed than ours).

I read something lately that gave me pause. Though I don’t remember the exact quote, the notion behind it was that the boundaries in our lives are what makes them interesting.

Truly, we tend to admire the folks who have pushed against the boundaries in their lives, rather than those who have never known limitation. We are inspired by the story of the single mom going back to school to earn her doctorate, or the Ironman triathlete who, just a year before, battled with obesity.

The article used as an example people who have won a large amount of money playing the lottery. Even with, presumably, all the options the world has to offer opened up to them, we hear stories of them faltering. Perhaps, when we’ve had to work hard and sacrifice for the degree, the personal best, the cushy job, or the waterfront home, we appreciate them more? Or maybe it’s just that any story of overcoming the odds and challenging our limits is a rich one to relive.

Mostly, lately, I’ve been reminding myself of this as I explore the big “what nexts” of life. Truthfully, of course, it was easier to imagine traveling the world or starting a business or embarking on a freelance writing career before the stakes were so high; before I bought a house, got married and had my kids. But because those aspects of my life, true blessings that they are, do create in my life a bounded reality, I need to use my imagination to see how, just maybe, with a little hard work and creativity, I might be able to live out both the height of my dreams and the depth of the roots I’ve begun to put down. To balance the boundaries of my life against my yearning for limitless exploration. To have it all, perhaps.

This salad is living outside all the boundaries we have created around what salad should be.


It would be silly to write a recipe for this, because it’s just bitter greens (arugula would be great; I used some mixed greens here), strawberries, some feta or goat cheese, your choice of nuts (I used walnuts) and dark chocolate, chopped finely and sprinkled over the whole thing. I finished mine with olive oil and a chocolate balsamic vinaigrette that I found at Liquid Gold, but you could use any high quality, dark balsamic vinegar.


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The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!