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Where are boundaries missing?
This month, we’re exploring the theme of boundaries. Last week, we defined boundaries as drawing a line and being clear about what we will and won’t tolerate.
What have you noticed over the past week with regard to where your boundaries are clear or unclear?
Can you identify the obstacles that prevent you from effectively setting and maintaining boundaries? Do you have feelings of uncertainty as to where we or others stand in relation to an issue or perhaps a subconscious fear of being taken advantage of?
Here’s something that came up for me recently. On a call with a potential coaching client, I was asking questions and trying to get a sense of whether we’d be a good fit to work together. Frankly, she was being difficult and did not seem open to the coaching. Several comments she made and her tone of resignation indicated to me that she wasn’t ready. After the call ended, I felt frustrated and exhausted by the exchange.
When I reached out to my coach about the situation, she suggested that I take the coaching idea off the table and simply say, “How can I make a difference for you in the next ten minutes?”
I am not available to work with people who are not ready to dive in. I saw how my boundary was missing here with this potential client. Why didn’t I set that boundary initially? I wanted to believe I could make a difference for her. I didn’t want to seem unkind or rude. I didn’t want to give up on her. So the idea that I could take back the offer was a revelation to me.
Our inner work this week involves looking more deeply at the places where our boundaries either don’t exist or aren’t clearly defined. What do you notice? What is keeping you from drawing a line and saying, “This doesn’t work for me”?
Concern for what others will think or feel?
Not wanting to seem rude, inconsiderate or ________ [fill in the blank]?
All of the above?
Keep tuning in to where your boundaries are well-defined and where they are not. Next week, we’ll investigate the costs of not having healthy boundaries in place.
Don’t hesitate to comment below and share your thoughts on boundaries. I’d love to hear from you!
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Defining Our Boundaries
Boundaries are an important theme in our personal lives and in society at large. Whether related to our own personal development or the ongoing creation of our business or career, setting clear boundaries is essential.
Let’s explore the concept of boundaries over the next few weeks. Today, we’ll define boundaries and in future videos, we’ll discuss:
What obstacles get in the way of our ability to set and hold boundaries?
What is the cost in our life of having boundaries in place, or not?
Why do we keep doing something if we know it is not working for us?
What are some practical action steps to start creating stronger, healthier boundaries?
First things first: what are boundaries?
Houston-based professor, researcher and author Brene Brown, who you may remember from her viral TED talk, The Power of Vulnerability, says we can simply define boundaries as “this is okay; this is not okay”.
Setting healthy boundaries means drawing a line and being crystal clear about what we are and are not willing to tolerate and engage in. We are responsible for setting the parameters around what works for us--and what does not.
To begin this exploration, become aware of two things:
What boundaries are clear for you? In what areas of your life have you already set strong, healthy boundaries? Relationships, family, work/business, health?
Where are your boundaries lacking or murky?
Setting the foundation with this awareness practice will enable you to learn how to set clear boundaries.
Feel free to share in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on boundaries.
At one point in my life the idea of going after what I wanted seemed so self-centered. I grew up in a relatively conservative, religious background and I think it was just sort of this understood or unconscious belief that if we focused on what we wanted we would be selfish, hedonistic people, and it was dangerous to do that.
And then there was this point in my life, this really critical point of change, where a trusted advisor encouraged me to notice what it felt like in my body when I told the truth. That experience allowed me to tap into something I’d never experienced before. I began to understand that what my heart wanted was VALID. That if I could trust my heart and what I knew to be true for me, life got really easy and simple.
I don't have to be afraid of what I want. I don't have to be ashamed of what I want—or going after it. What I’ve come to believe and what I now know to be true is that the things my heart desires are stepping stones to fulfilling my greatest purpose in this life.
Thank you for hearing my story. I’ve created an 8-minute guided meditation + activity to help you explore this for yourself. Enjoy! <3
With this 15-minute guided meditation, allow yourself to feel life being lived through you. Inspired by Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, The Power of Intention, I invite you to turn down the volume on your thoughts, allowing them to become like distant background music. To let your heart space expand. To notice how your body is being breathed, without any effort or action on your part. To experience being breathed and feel the life-force energy within you that causes your heart to beat and blood to flow. To experience your body as a rich, vibrant garden and pure intention fulfilling itself in you. To remember: you do not have to try to be who you are. You do not have to find yourself or figure it all out. Your life is unfolding perfectly. Let yourself feel the life-force energy breathing, moving, living you. Rest in this space, experiencing the power of life being lived through you. Know that any moment you can tap into your life-force energy and relax into it, trusting that it always has been and always will be there for you.
What do you want?
What does your heart most deeply desire?
Is there something you say that you want, yet you are neither attaining it nor taking inspired action steps toward achieving it?
This concept of moving toward our heart’s desires can be likened to a sort of internal GPS. In order to effectively use a GPS or any kind of map, you first need to know your exact geographic location.
Where are you currently on the map?
Secondly, you need to know exactly where you are going--or, at the very least, to have a good sense of the general direction in which you are heading.
For example, I want to run a business that positively impacts my clients’ lives and is fulfilling for me, as well. I may not know every single step I will take to get there, but I feel certain that this is the general direction in which I’m moving.
Of course, it is ideal to know exactly where you’re going so that life can take you there.
Where is it that you want to go?
If you’re not taking inspired action toward getting what you want, here are a few possible reasons why:
You’re simply not telling yourself the truth about what you want.
Have you perhaps become confused into thinking you desire something that society, your family or your friends think you should want and have? Dig deeper and explore what it is that you actually want.
An unconscious belief is keeping you from trying to achieve this desire.
Maybe thoughts like ‘it will take too much time and effort’, ‘I don’t know where to begin’, or ‘I can’t actually make this happen’ are running in the background of your mind without you even realizing it.
An underlying/competing want is preventing your want from coming to fruition.
For example, a woman says she desires a more peaceful, loving relationship with her partner. Further probing reveals that what she really wants is to be ‘right’. This underlying desire is sabotaging her stated wish for her relationship.
The things our heart longs for the most are valuable clues leading us to our real purpose here on the planet. When we pay attention to what we desire, we learn more about what matters most to us and what we want to prioritize in life.
Tune in and ask yourself, “What is it that I want?”
You already have everything you need to get it. It’s all within you, and awareness and dedicated action will bring it forth. Give yourself permission to receive what you want.
May you have everything your heart truly desires today!
Thanks for listening and reading! Click here to access a free 8-minute guided meditation and PDF worksheet to further explore this idea
Where in your life do you experience joy?
The answers may change from day to day. Sweet children, loyal pets, a mug of warm coffee and being out in nature are just a few examples of things that give us joy. Animals and young kids are naturally present and joyful, which makes them great teachers.
Joyful experiences give us that feeling when the sun’s rays breaks through the clouds on a gray day. It’s feels as if joy finds us suddenly and without warning, that we don’t have control over our joy, that it just happens when it happens. In reality, joyfulness was there all along, but we didn’t realize it because we were so busy fixating on the endless chatter in our minds.
The good news is that we can actually cultivate joy by inviting it to show up more in our lives. We can intentionally part the clouds. In this analogy, the clouds represent the repetitive, compulsive thinking and all the mind’s activities that we can’t seem to shut off.
If you’re interested in bringing more joy into your daily life, the key is to quiet the mind and create a break in thinking in order to allow joy to emerge.
Here are three simple practices for quieting the mind and truly arriving in the present moment:
1. Recognize the noise in your head as noise.
This creates an opening. When you become aware of the noise and can even say,
“Noise, I see you”, the thinking automatically loses its power and momentum.
2. Recognize that this compulsive, repetitive thinking is not yours, nor is it your enemy. It is the human condition.
Appreciate that the monkey mind is actually trying to keep you safe in its own special way, and don’t fight against it.
3. Come into your body; get out of your mind.
There are many simple methods to allow yourself to fully arrive in your physical body. Take a deep, conscious breath. Feel your feet on the ground. Even stomp your feet, if you want, and feel a sense of groundedness. Place your hands on your belly as you breathe. Feel the air touching your skin. Find the habit that works for you.
Joy is your true nature. It is always there, like the blue sky and sun behind the clouds. It’s as simple as that, yet easier said than done! Practice noticing the noise, accepting it, and letting it go by bringing awareness and intention into your body and feet. In this way, we can invite more joy into our life and experiences, moment to moment.