The lines we dare not cross…… Why we get stuck and don’t live our dreams

In all my years as a project alchemist…when clients have come to me with an area in which they are not getting desired results; be it revenue or audience numbers, branding or marketing, relationships or intimacy, the notion of the “ Lakshman Rekha” is one of the key areas we explore.

One the first things we do as human beings is define lines; in our living spaces with walls, doors and fences.


In relationships we draw lines thru our expectations and boundaries.

With our children it’s with rules to keep them safe and a schedule to manage their days. At work, lines are defined thru hierarchy, the structure of the organization, delegation, deadlines, and of course thru effort put in and benefits granted.

In every area of our lives we all have an internal LOC ~ a line of control, boundary, limit or a “ Lakshman Rekha”.

For those not familiar with the term, this comes from the Indian epic -The Ramayana. Its significance is far deeper than just in literature or its historical meaning but speaks more to the foundations of identity and individual psyche.

“The Ramayana is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature, consists of 24,000 verses. In Hindu tradition, it is considered to be the adi-kavya (first poem). It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king.”
– Wikipedia

In the story, Ram’s brother Lakshman draws a line outside their hut in the forest, as a line not to be crossed by his sister-in-law Sita. The line/ rekha is a boundary drawn to keep her safe and out of danger from the perils of the wild forest. Her subsequent crossing the line and what follows is the epic that is now the Ramayana.

No matter which part of the world you come from or which belief system you follow, a version of the Lakshman Rekha exists in you.

Lines you do not cross, that keep you from having a level of success that always is just out of reach.

Lines take many forms; rules, roles, traditions, responsibilities and habits to name a few.

Staying within the lines gives us a perception of control, safety and order but staying there also stops us from creating, doing and having more.

We learnt to play within the confines of the limits set in our formative years, usually by our family of origin and culture.

I cannot tell you how many times the head of a super successful organization, a superstar in his or her right, has been referred to me for something that is really innocuous in my world, like trouble with public speaking. I’m an old theatre hand, speaking/performing in public for me is what the Wimbledon green is to the Williams sisters. It’s my natural habitat.

Every time we have traced the discomfort and panic around speaking in front of the media or a group of people, to this internal mechanism of the Lakshman Rekha.

One of the best parts of my job is to see what happens to clients when they locate that internal LOC and then are able to shift beyond it .

It is this transformation, or alchemy, that turns their struggle into gold.

When they shift beyond their limitations,who they become in the process has a domino effect in a seemingly unrelated area of their personal or professional world.

Now that…. is pure gold!

Do you know what your Lakshman Rekha is? Do you want to find out?

I’m offering you the opportunity to discover it during a complimentary one-one-one conversation with me. Send me an email and we’ll get something set up.

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