UnBounded: Limitless Joy

© Mary Alice Long

Boundaries. Borders. Barriers.

What does it mean to be bounded? To set limits? To have limits that you find difficult to overcome? To live knowing that there is a barrier to something or someone you want desperately to get to?

Some of the words that rise to the surface when I explore boundaries today are limits, crossing, tied up, safety, clarity, decision-making, reassuring, borderline, cut off, threshold, NO.

By the time I was pregnant as a surrogate mother I had built many barriers to joy. Everybody else’s needs were more important than mine. I felt resentful and angry.

After Will was born, my naivete vanished when following each of his birthdays I was left without resolution–without a word of his well-being.

Over time, my life experience and my dreams helped me to see that I had given away too much of myself and that I had to take steps to bring joy out of the chaos. I came to understand the need to forgive myself and others and to take responsibility for my life.

Crossing the Borderline from Chaos to Joy


When I write I am often aware or working intentionally within the bounds of a beginning, middle, and end to the story. There is, however, no set way for me to write within that familiar progression. As the creator of my story I am the ONE who chooses the container for my words.

When ideas come I write them down in my journal or add them to my notes. When I sit down to write on any given day I look to these drafts. Each title has an energy behind it. It’s easy for me to begin and soon I am into the writing process.


Movement meditation leads me to joy and stillness. I feel a sense of arrival. Instead of movement to change an outer event I am experiencing an inner opening of the gates. Acceptance of what is and letting go of expectations leads to a joyfulness in my process of becoming. Joy moving into stillness brings me back to Self and Self-ishness. I am at the threshold of my experience and grace spills me over into the next moment and the next. My movements reflect my life and help me change my perspective just enough to allow in pain and joy, failure and success.

Making a Rainbow

Often the smallest packages bring the greatest joy.

Yesterday I opened a sealed, well-packed box. When the sun shines during the day and early evening our dining and living room walls fill with the colors of the rainbow. A prism in Ed Nesteruk’s glass art piece makes rainbow colors.

When the sun comes out to play, a variety of colors make our day!

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

~ Rumi

P.S. I would love to send you my weekly letter.

Mary Alice Long, PhD is a play-based, depth-oriented coach, writer, and artist who practices and teaches the ‘Art of Playing in the Everyday’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *