Bow and take three steps back.

In this Imagine Self blogpost, I share how these two actions taken inwardly bring freedom and love into the most difficult situations.

What is the problem? Your child’s behavior? Your partner? Your weight? Being stuck in traffic? Your lack of success? The state of the world?

Bow and take three steps back!

When I bow, I stop my obsessive thinking about how to solve the problem. When I take three steps back I can rest and observe and stop trying to avoid the pain or run from reality.

Today is Michaelmas, the feast day of the Archangel Michael. Michael is the Dragon-slayer who meets evil with unflinching courage. But Michael is also the Builder of Beautiful Forms and the Bringer of Illuminating Light. The spiritual image of Michael is practical and of unquestionable value in our everyday difficulties.

To bow in reverence and then to take three steps back are Michaelic deeds. I share my thoughts on these two deeds in my post.  Read on to discover how to apply these deeds to your difficulties, conflicts and challenges.

Bow and take three steps back.

Brilliant! Meaningful! Do it!

But first, declare the problem and/or the problematic relationship with a problematic individual. What or who is making your soul tight, angry, obsessive, confused, ambivalent or stuck? Write down and write about the what and/or the who. Tell your story. Who or what is the dragon that needs to be slain, or the new gesture that needs to be understood, chosen and built or the dark mystery that needs to be illuminated?

Now bow and take three steps back in your soul.

The Bow

This bow indicates reverence. Revere the difficulty. Bow from the humble and noble core of your being. The bow reminds you that life is about love and freedom, compassion and equanimity and so many lessons. This bow is not about powerlessness. It is the deed of serene power.

When you bow you indicate you are ready to unfold (one of life’s wonderful paradoxes…you must fold to unfold). Difficulties tend to tie us up into knots. Your bow is the miracle of untying all your addictive attachments.

When you rise up from a bow you stand taller. And you breathe more deeply.  You have grounded your consciousness. You are no longer being shaped by the difficulty.

Please write down how you experience the reverent bow. Spend some time contemplating and reflecting on your willingness to bow to the trouble, the problem, the difficulty.

Three steps back.

Create space and possibility.

Why three? Think about it. Less than three doesn’t do it…you are still too close to the problem. More than three and you are too far away. Three is the just-right distance. You don’t want to turn and run and miss the clear, open consciousness of being present but not attached.

Three steps are always doable. These are not leaps or bolts, they are steps, strong, grounding, balanced.

Three steps give you a new perspective, focus and infinitely more breathing space. You can wonder at the problem from three steps back. You are safe.

Take three steps back from your judgments, demands, expectations, fears and doubts. Remember to bow first.

Three steps back create a generous mood in your soul. This is a subtle and silent generosity, very Michaelic. (Michael ( and the other archangels )is always subtle and silent and serene no matter what he faces or intends.

The space that you create from taking three steps back invites inspiration, wisdom, spiritual guidance. If it is a dragon you need to slay, you have created the space to draw your Michaelic sword. If it is a new gesture that is needed you now have the space to build it. And if the need is for illuminating light, you have gotten out of the way…let it shine.

Write a page of your thoughts on taking three steps back. What does each step provide for you in your challenge?

Please share your Michaelic inspirations and your Michaelic doubts in the comments.

My Need to Bow and Take Three Steps Back

On Michaelmas, I will be working with several clients. Bowing and taking three steps back is my gesture toward my clients. Being present to my clients is a Michaelic joy.

My difficulty, my BIG difficulty, is a demon, an opportunity to build and a darkness seeking light.  I have gathered  12 years of the Inner Christmas messages into three volumes, Inner Christmas Every Day.  I just received the formatted files that I will use to create the print books and the e-books.  I must bow and take three steps back from my doubts, my overwhelm, and my excitement regarding the challenging work of marketing: Building pages on Facebook and Amazon for starters.  It will require Michaelic courage, stamina and focus for me to succeed. I will need to bow and take three steps back over and over again.

Please send me encouragement. 

I send you heaps of encouragement and love on Michaelmas.