Towards the Edge: how to regain space to love and serve ourselves?

Niels de Fraguier
10 min readJan 27, 2023

The system is pushing us towards the edge. In an ever-growing addiction to growth, acceleration and domination, we have lost our way. We have forgotten about our true selves.

Taken away from who we are; we became the reflection of expectations lying over our heads. The world order has taken citizens down making us invisible and shutting down our originality.

The infernal rhythm of society crashes us to being none being in service to the sick pace of the world. This societal machinery projects the necessity to rush after status, wealth, and titles. Losing sense of who we are, we have become pawns supporting the madness of the old paradigm. We are squeezed and pushed to the extreme to favour productivism.

©Life on our Planet from David Attenborough

Running the world busy makes it easy to keep citizens occupied with meaningless tasks while the old system dictates society’s evolution. The pace of our lives does not leave space for questioning our lives themselves. There is no value given to self-exploration and self-identity.

Looking away from the essential — ourselves — we are distracted by constant noise. This noise of meaningless events drives us away from taking time to know and love ourselves. When one should think about its place on this planet, we are enforced to think through the eyes of the system. Our reference becomes what the world has projected into us.

This formatting encourages us to experience and feel scarcity — not having enough -, we are set up to want, own, and control more. This obsession makes our personalities and unique talents melt into the mass. All wanting the same, we compete against each other when we could simply put our forces together. We slowly disappear to become the zeros losing most of our unique potential for thriving. Not taking the time to slow down, we rush into what we can still get.


Ready to fall apart individually, we grasp the last branches of existence to survive. Not giving it a real chance to live fully, we do our best in the worst conditions. Pushed towards the edge, we convince ourselves that following the herd is the safest thing to do. All this results in supporting the establishment and therefore the status quo taking away meaning from our lives.

This results in the vast majority of citizens melting themselves into what is expected of them to be. Moved away from our own thriving, we are collectively pressured to stay aboard the train to hell. Invited to press and fuel the gas.

If humanity has lost its way at this very moment, this doesn’t mean that the story is over. It is time for enlightenment where we can help one another to write a new story. As Oscar Wilde put it, “Be yourself, everyone is taken”.

The time that remains for you on this Earth is worth the adventure. What if you could give meaning to your existence putting your true self front and centre?

Making Space and Time for Ourselves

We live in a world that has been designed for us. Not by us. Societal codes and expectations mould our everyday behaviours. We are boxed into a system that revokes our access to limitless thinking and being. Existence is closed up into boxes: house, office, car … until the ultimate box coming up for death, the coffin.

This alienation of being separated from self, others and the living world close us up. It makes us unable to love ourselves for who we truly are. Being pressured to be on the side, we lose the sense of our existence. This is the gentrification of self. When codes and expectations take over too much space, people move away making themselves small and invisible to survive the infernal pace of life.

The so-called modern world does not liberate us unless we wake up to create the new. Saying “no” to what’s given to us to create our own. From being outsiders, we can give ourselves the opportunity to become leaders — all this by repositioning our centre of gravity so we can take ownership of our lives.

©Niels de Fraguier

In making space for ourselves, we can reclaim power over our lives and future. We can learn how to set our own boundaries where the world used to set rules for us. It is not anymore about taking what we are given but creating what we are in need of. What truly makes your heart and soul vibrate?

In doing so, our world can resonate again. We can create a unique space that speaks to our heart, and spirit. It will become the centre of gravity of our aspirations.

How to make it happen?

1. Map out what goes against your values, will, and happiness.

2. Using the illustration above, draw or write down what a thriving future would look like for you.

3. From this desire of a thriving future, look at what needs to change in your life (how to move from steps 1 to 2 — above).

4. Set up a pathway with some strong intentions to make this transition a reality.

5. Always keep in mind the illustration above on the journey — making space for yourself.

Feeling, Sensing, and Being Part of Life

We are all part of one web of life — having one home, the Earth. Today’s crises show us the interconnection of life in all its forms — from pandemics to climate change. When something happens on the other side of the world, it directly influences our lives — as our choices and actions impact the rest of the world.

While the planet has always been able to cope by itself in balancing this interconnected system of life, the current system jeopardises our own future by promoting domination. This is the result of formatting that has taught us to live above all forms of life. Dominating nature by extracting resources as if they were unlimited and exploiting humans to create economic value.

We are encouraged to dominate to retain our little space in society. Secure our little piece of land. In sustaining this paradigm, we became our own victims. We suppressed most forms of emotional engagement cutting off feelings and emotions to what links us all. We built up shells separating from self, others and nature — leading to the fear of knowing who we are, how we feel, and what we truly dream of.

Choosing to recognise the interconnectedness of our life on Earth is a major step that can help us recentre ourselves in the world — and in relation to others. By moving away from dominance and towards reciprocity, we welcome a whole new range of possibilities to belong to the living world alongside others. I am because we are — as ubuntu stands for. This is an invitation to open our spirits to welcome the new — individuals, experiences, and emotions — and unleash our own talents as part of a wider web of life.

©Niels de Fraguier

Bending without the fear of breaking is the art of vulnerability. It is about accepting that emotions are part of the journey and are the inspiration for the change your inner self is calling for. All of that comes from within — trauma, past experiences, self-love, love for others, passions… In being able to stand with a deep connection to your heart and soul, you will be able to unleash the power of true belonging.

How to make it happen?

1. Map out your ecosystem (friends, work, leisure activities, passions) and look at your connections with the world. Ask yourself how your existence is linked to others and nature.

2. Initiate the practice of asking yourself, “How do I feel? And why do I feel like this?”

3. Inquire what feels disturbing in your life blocking you from being yourself. What if you could make the dream happen? If anything was possible, what contribution would you like to make to yourself and the world?

4. Explore the meaning of reciprocity when interacting with others and the living world — moving away from the focus on consuming or taking.

5. Open up with others sharing more of your personal feelings, fears, and hope.

Taking the Time to Be Present

Hurryness drives us mad. We’re pushed, pressed, squeezed, and smashed… into the era of exponential acceleration. The norm is to go fast. Quantity over quality is our referential. Busyness has become so present in our lives that we are enslaved by time. Today, there is no time to be.

We’ve been told that being busy is sexy. You are not supposed to have time to meet up with your friends and beloved ones because you have some work or thousands of other things to do. Filling up our agendas with real or artificial events is a way to fill the emptiness of our lives. How often do you tell yourself or others that “you don’t have time”?

Solely the system is to blame for this. It comes back to the essence of this infernal model where lack of time equals status. It gives credit to the ones who make a lot of noise and brass a lot of air — many of the busy people are actually harmful to themselves and the world. In the current model, working more equals harming more. This paradigm takes us away from two essential resources in our lives: time and silence.

Time is a question of will. We don’t “have” the time but actually can “take” the time. It comes back to making a choice to prioritise self over the frenetic pace of life dictated by the system. Stepping out of this is possible for anyone — whether you dedicate thirty minutes of quality time during your day to pause, go on a walk outdoors to be with yourself, or have the ability to work one day less per week, you can make a change in your relationship with time.

When it comes to silence, this is a question of confidence. Trusting our ability to seat with a fullness (often considered as emptiness in the terms of the Old World). It is about accepting being transformed by the noise of silence shaping our thoughts, emotions, and connection to the present moment. While many consider silence as a passive experience, it is a fully active endeavour focusing on the invisible threads that connect us to the world. Silence is essential to learning how to be in the moment.

©Niels de Fraguier

When everything goes too fast, choosing to take time and host space for silence are two essential keys to regaining space to love and serve ourselves. While this may sound counter-intuitive based on current societal beliefs, when times are urgent, we need to let ourselves slow down. It opens up the field of opportunities to relearn how to be in synchronicity with our inner world and what surrounds us. It also creates a healthy habit to live more slowly and profoundly. Slowness is a revolution in itself. Time is not money, it is a personal wealth you have at your disposal to change your inner world and our collective futures.

How to make it happen?

1. Book time with yourself during the week to be with your thoughts, emotions, and reflect on your journey.

2. Initiate to practise moments of silence during the week where you let yourself be transformed by what surrounds you.

3. Slow down. When everything encourages you to speed up, learn to move away from the crowds to let yourself drift at your own pace.

4. Do less but better. Shift from the paradigm of quantity over quality to the new thinking of quality over quantity.

Being in Service to a New Paradigm

The best gift in life is to give. Going against all odds of the old world where consuming is told to make us happy, giving is really the most beautiful thing we can do.

©Niels de Fraguier

What if our connection to life, emotions, time, skills, love, passions, and originality could be in service to the future we are dreaming of?

The current time is all about redefining the notions of success — personal, professional, and collective. To change the world we need conscious people putting their whole selves and talents in service to co-creating the future we can collectively dream of. Let’s explore what the present and future could look like through the lens of possibilities.

When economic growth was, human thriving is.

When destruction was, flourishing is.

When frenzy was, slowing down is.

When productivism was, sufficiency is.

When busyness was, presence is.

When private interest was, collective sharing is.

When elite was, community is.

When noise was, silence is.

When disconnection was, right relationship is.

Wealth definition needs to be reinvented into taking time to feel, interact, and belong. From the edge let’s occupy the space with our own selves and others.

Let’s make our lives a journey of meaning feeding our heads, hearts, and souls for the better.



Niels de Fraguier

Author of The Regenerative Enterprise. Disrupting the status quo by challenging assumptions, practices, and conventional thinking. Top Writer on Sustainability