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Schopenhauer described his land of Arcadia thusly: A world without pain. Happiness, he theorized, was simply the realization that we are able to live pleasurably. Arcadia, however, falls short when it comes to defining one’s limits. To know the shape of your soul, offer it to the fire. If you don’t know your limits, how do you know the true magnitude of your potential?

Dante Alighieri said: “He who knows about pain, knows about everything” and I admire the people who, in a never-ending quest for finding themselves, are brave enough to seduce the limits of their body and mind. This is not to say that they’re careless or reckless, quite the contrary, they seek to understand their walls so they know exactly how to push them forward, expanding their awareness and the space occupied by their souls. They love life, and they bite into it, get drunk with it, fill up their hearts with so much of it that they touch a bit of death in the process. To understand life, they look for the intuition of death.

And so, Danailya got four hooks on her back and suspended herself from the ceiling.

She was surrounded by experts. People who would guide her through the process with skill, technique, care, and determination. However, the challenge was all hers, and so was the quest for conquering the fear and the pain. It is not about imposing a dangerous or stubborn task upon yourself, but to test your determination in a controlled trial. To expose oneself to the dragon unprepared or unguarded would be nothing but foolish and immature. None of that was here.

May we all have the ability to contemplate the true nature of our limits, and may we have the strength and courage to redefine ourselves at will, every day of our lives.

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain,
but for the heart to conquer it.”

- Rabindranath Tagore