Snakes terrify the absolute shit out of me. I remember taking the trash out one evening at our previous home and seeing something slither across the driveway and I totally did one of those, ‘Eek! A mouse!’-type leaps in the air onto the garbage can. 

The damn thing was maybe a foot and a half long. But I wanted no part of it. 

So it almost makes perfect sense that boa constrictor would pop into my mind this morning as I’m journaling about a very specific task I do for our business. Something I’ve realized that, as it’s something I do regularly, the energy and the feeling that comes over me in the moment that I’m doing it creates so much more harm than good.



I realized this morning that every time the task comes up, my body tenses, my mind floods like a fishbowl with a lid on it and I can’t breathe. In fact, I probably literally stop breathing for several moments. 

Just as a quick exercise, hold your breath for 10 seconds. It’s not comfortable, right? It kinda fucking sucks (and I used to swim competitively, where we would routinely hold our breath under water just to increase our lung capacity). 

What happens? Your brain stops working, you’re forced into fight-or-flight, your body becomes tight and restrained.

You feel like a boa constrictor has wrapped itself around you.

This is how I have felt every time this task came up. But I never acknowledged it. I never realized what a detriment it was to allow this feeling to consume me. And by doing so, I was giving the Universe, the Higher Powers – whatever you want to refer to It as – an excuse to keep me from growing, expanding, from rising up.

So I closed my eyes, visualized the next time this task comes up for me, felt the constriction surround me – but by doing so, I embodied that constriction as a literal boa constrictor squeezing me tighter and tighter (gross!!) – and then, I saw the boa release its grip and slink his way down to the floor by my side. 

Suddenly, in real time, I felt my shoulders relax. A sense of ease, peacefulness, elation rushed over me. Not only was I free and calm and relaxed in my visualization, the boa was still by my side. It’s not that he just disappeared…. He was helping me retain that ease. Seeing him next to me maintained that safe space and I knew that I could go about my task without any more constriction.

Ok, so I get this all sounds a little bit…. weird. But I also know that what I was doing before was not serving me or anyone around me. Forcing myself to re-experience that constriction and finding the way to visualize that relief come over me has confirmed how I’d actually like to feel during those moments of shortened breath and tightened chest. And I get to make that choice now. Always.

So I ask you – what do you do in your daily life that makes you feel like you’re having a boa constrictor wrap itself around you? What is keeping you from feeling that sense of ease and knowing that, if it were gone, you could start expanding and actually flourish?

I encourage to explore this by taking some time to just write out your thoughts. I’d have never come to this sense of peace if I hadn’t. The words just started coming out and all of sudden it made complete sense.

I may never be able to truly stand side-by-side with a boa constrictor – or any other snake for that matter. But if it means closing my eyes to visualize one next to me that’s protecting me from any constricting feelings, I’m all for it. 

At ease, Soldier – mind and body….

Befriend the Boa