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Loosening Your Box

From A Couple’s Book Club!'

Do you sometimes feel like you’re stuck in your role, restricted by your shoulds, don’t have much space to be yourself? It can make you feel older than you actually are.

I, Susan, just finished leading a Come Alive program, followed by a Couples Alive program, ending on my birthday. I honestly can’t think of a better way to complete a year and welcome in another!

I turned 58 on June 12. In many ways the number sounds old to me. However, I do believe I am way younger now than I was when I was in my twenties!

I know that sounds weird. However, when I was in my twenties I was very identified with what I would call “my box.”

At The Haven, one of the foundational models is The Resonance Model. It is presented in Come Alive as a conceptual frame for understanding how The Haven group experience works. For any of you unfamiliar with Haven, it is an educational center on Gabriola Island in BC, Canada.

The Resonance Model is an energy model. It starts with the premise that everything is energy and comes from universal energy. As human beings, we emerge from universal energy into our unique energetic expressions. We are influenced and shaped by the various care givers, authorities (law, school, church etc.), cultural and societal norms in which we live. Often, we become so identified with our roles and conforming choices to ‘fit in’, that we lose our connection to our own unique vibration, as well as, to the universal energy itself.

Fortunately, the connection to universal energy is never really lost, just restricted. In other words, we are the ones who have cut ourselves off from our deepest direct line to universal energy, Source, God, or Chi. We create our box through our beliefs, obligations, roles, rules, shoulds, and the storylines that we believe define us.

None of this wrong. However, if our box is our only definition, we become quite separate from our own life energy and the world around us. Our connections become more transactional than relational.

Come Alive presents a path of opening through breath, awareness to re-member and re-connect to your source. This isn’t about getting rid of your box but about loosening that box so your energy flows, connecting back to universal energy. As we connect more to ourselves, we can, and do, resonate and vibrate more fluidly to others in the world around us.

For me, my first Come Alive was a bit like getting CPR. I left The Haven in awe of what I witnessed in terms of people relating and aliveness. I also left very uncertain about who I was and how to live with my new aliveness.

In many ways, part of me found the uncertainty frightening. However, I did recall the basics:

  • to breathe

  • feel my feelings

My feelings were not particularly comfortable to feel, and frankly, my curiosity created some very strong reactions for those around me. This wasn’t an easy time. I was worried I was going ‘crazy’. However, at this point, crazy was better than staying in my box!

I was no master at any of what I had learned. I was determined to take a different path, however. I would say that, back then, my box wasn’t just loosened—it was busted open.

I do believe that still happens for some when they come to The Haven. I know that particular path isn’t easy. Still, I would not trade the journey traveled for anything else.

Too often our box gets loosened by a crisis in health, wealth or relationship. That crisis throws us into chaos. However, there is a friendlier road to travel.

That is what The Haven has offered me. Practical tools for living and leading a life that is not rigid and tight. I discovered ways to self-correct when I find myself swirling in self-hate or self-doubt; ways to communicate and bridge differences between how I have constructed my world and how someone else has.

Of course, The Haven isn’t just another box for me. Over the years I have adapted to the many lessons I have learned and have integrated those lessons into my own wisdom and way of walking in the world.

I believe I have found ways to expand and include new ideas that keep me alive and excited. I also believe the foundational pieces offered in that very first Come Alive continue to shape and define who I am. Yes, 58 years in age but much younger in heart and spark!

Are you stuck? Are you feeling restricted by who you believe you are because of age, role, gender or other influences? Is your world more transactional than it is relational?

Loosening your box isn’t always an easy ride. Often society, culture, family, or religion might prefer you have a bit more tightness to your box. However, when you loosen your box, you have the opportunity to create more flow, feel more alive, more you, and create more authentic relationships.

Want some help? Why not sign up for Come Alive. Take Couples Alive. Or just call me and let’s do some coaching or an online program like Get Unstuck! I would love to support you in loosening your box and discovering new choices!

Take Care,


P.S. Want support making your happy tracks a reality? I’m happy to coach you to make it happen. Heck, I’m using a coach, why shouldn’t you?


CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke

Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict

CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.

They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.

Check out their website: Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! Find your copy of The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team's Competitive Advantage here.

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