Note: the blue italics indicates the teacher, in black other participants.


During our life we encounter all sorts of constraints and obstacles, minor and major ones. How to deal with them, how can they serve us in the context of work on ourselves?

These are things to be lived, the trials are to be considered without judgment, they allow us to evolve. By accepting what I can perceive as limitations or physical handicaps, I give myself the energy and openness necessary to develop my creativity, imagination and potential, whether in my movements, my way of acting, my actions or my decision-making. Obstacles allow me to surpass myself, to do things that I might not have experienced.

Constraints are often a source of necessary suffering, and the basis of our work is to welcome them, relax and not to let oneself go to express negative feelings or sensations if there are any. The goal is the transformation and transmutation of these energies without allowing ourselves to give free rein to unnecessary suffering, nor to let our emotional center become polluted. The constraints force us to be fluid, welcoming, to say yes to what is.

Constraints, obstacles are the means that life has found to make us evolve. I would say that they are allies who invite us to adapt or even transform ourselves, to simply be alive. Either we take them for what they are: invitations to more life, to flow in its river, or we resist and life in its genius will find another way (a new constraint like a disease for example) to show us the direction to follow.

Constraints are useful in our work to learn to accept the necessary suffering they most often involve, to sacrifice our personal comfort to surpass ourselves.

I see the constraints like the potter’s wheel and hands that apply force to give shape to the clay that we are.

I really like what Jean-Yves Leloup says in his book Désert, Déserts: “We don’t make water with sand, but is there a single grain of sand among men that has never received a visit from the water? Otherwise, how would it be clay (adamah), vase or pottery, where the Sources are collected?”

What comes to mind is that there are two ways to deal with constraints:

Refusal, which often rebounds and hits you in the face, and becomes emotionally embedded in the body like a computer bug.

Acceptance, which mobilizes intelligence and creativity to us lead to a wider opening to life. In our work, I would say that constraints can help us to highlight what we are refusing and put it into perspective in order to switch to its acceptance.

A constraint is an opportunity. An opportunity in life to stay awake and look inside: did I say yes?

Above all, do not nourish or reinforce any annoyance you may have encountered, but observe its manifestations in the body, in necessary suffering, remain attentive without comment or judgment. The energy gained by this process can be used to see wider, sharper, more intuitive, more into consciousness. The solutions are in front of my eyes, in front of my hands.

For me, constraints are a way of wearing out identity. There is rubbing, friction, it acts like a pumice stone, like water shapes the hardest rock. Otherwise, it can also reinforce identity, if the work of welcoming the necessary suffering is not done. Obstacles also require openness and listening that may lead to true creativity.

They are a call not to fall asleep. They pull us towards the ground. They are also good opportunities to welcome the necessary suffering that arises with them.

The first answer that came to me was “constraint = necessary suffering” and therefore the work on constraints or obstacles is that of welcoming the necessary suffering. Beyond that answer, I found it interesting to dig a little further into what a constraint is. Here are some thoughts:

For any constraint related to the incarnation and the limits of the physical world (I have no wings to fly…), the only healthy attitude is to welcome and do the necessary work on the acceptance of necessary suffering whenever it is required. Often, the constraint has already been accepted for a long time – it is just a matter of recognizing what is. In other cases, I have to look at whether the constraint is a “real” constraint, or a constraint that I generate for myself based on my beliefs or attachments. Sometimes, we will welcome the constraint by breaking down our belief or resistance, and other times, we will not follow the constraint because we will have realized that it was our identity that built it.

For example, I perceived having to pay a debt as a constraint, because it was associated with an image of myself to be honest. In this case, the correct answer was to break down the image of myself, freeing myself from the constraint of debt (at least psychologically), rather than to accept the necessary suffering of having to pay the debt.

I would say that, little or big, the difficulties encountered are always a reminder not to forget one’s deep commitment to the “yes” to life. It is an opportunity offered by life to get on the train car of all possibilities towards the surprises of its destination whatever it may be, rather than staying on the platform of uncertainties and fears that feed doubt, in the station of unfinished and vain dreams.

First of all, welcome, welcome, leaving all the space for what they provoke in us. Observe all this, which can be very different depending on the constraints. It is an irreplaceable opportunity to become aware of the situation, especially since you are often caught by surprise. Then, there is another opportunity to say “yes” to this friction, to our incarnation. And this “yes”, too, is different according to the types of obstacles. Infinite work…

Minor constraints and obstacles: the danger would be to underestimate them, to think they don’t really matter and decide not to do our job until we have more “noble,” more important opportunities (reminder: everything is equally important). In addition, the little annoyances, the little frustrations allow us to practice and get used to doing the work of welcoming the necessary suffering. They prepare our nervous system to welcome greater tensions, and lead us to perform this inner gesture naturally, spontaneously.

The great constraints and obstacles: they necessarily generate the necessary suffering by opposing our claims, ambitions, hopes, expectations, attachments, comfort…

either we are able to respond to it without additional emotions – which does not mean “without emotions” because they can arise naturally from the context

or there is emotional pollution and in this case the constraints and obstacles point directly into us uncooked seeds, fully active (although sometimes hidden) identity patterns.

They then serve as developers, projectors focused on the mechanisms of the shadow. It seems important to me to then share these situations, to expose oneself in the group, so that any blind spots can be detected and brought to the attention of the person who bears witness to them. Moreover, during these exchanges, an additional energy, or even a shock, can give the opportunity to those who accept to live it, to go beyond the limit that constrains them, to break out of the existential impasse in which they are plunged.

I see the necessary suffering as a form of alchemical fire that burns and “cleans” the raw material from its slag, its veils. Through these constraints and obstacles, life challenges our individual will and its claim to control our existence. Little by little, this false will gives way to the true Will, that of Life, that which is expressed through our deep impulses, our talents sometimes thwarted, our aspirations often suffocated by reason, the search for comfort, security, the known… that which is also expressed by constraints and obstacles, storms and underwater currents that push us to change directions. When the false will abdicates, when it surrenders its weapons, then there is only life left because “it is life that decides”.

Constraints create disadvantages or limit options. Identity generally considers a constraint as an infringement on its autonomy. Acceptance of unavoidable constraints is necessary. But it is also necessary to clearly distinguish between a real and an imaginary constraint. And if a constraint is real, do not project all kinds of permanent and negative consequences.

The distinction between false constraint and real constraint is indeed a prerequisite. False constraints are the result of avoiding the necessary suffering:

– force me to accept working conditions that do not suit me because it is not possible to do otherwise, while my inner compass tells me that it is possible to do otherwise

– force myself to do an administrative management that another person could do, and that I take charge of under the pretext that it avoids (perhaps) the (perhaps) problems = maintain a false state of personal comfort

– force me to remain in (pseudo) communication with a person who is going through unnecessary suffering

– force myself not to respect my personal rhythm to adapt to that of others when it is not a necessity.

To denounce the false is also to denounce the false constraints.

The deep “yes” as an essential response to all real constraints is the only way to let an action from the void express itself.

Otherwise it is a reaction. A reaction maintains the illusion of cause-and-effect.

An action is out of time and out of cause.

It seems to me that constraints and obstacles are an integral part of life on this earth.

Either we live them like hell, resigning ourselves to being defeated by them year after year, with their share of useless suffering, and then we grumble, we often complain. And the feeling that life is difficult is anchored and takes root a little more each time.

Or, with the work we do, by welcoming them we make it an experience that leaves no trace. It is lived, that’s all, and we forget it. And with the acceptance of useful suffering, it leaves room for transformation.