But How: Creating and Implementing Boundaries
As I mentioned, this whole setting boundaries thing was not second nature to me. It didn’t come easily at all. In fact, I kind of stumbled upon it. But now, I think I’ve got it down to a science and broken into four manageable steps.
Get into your body: No intention setting should ever be done solely from the head. You must tap into your body AKA your energy field before you can truly feel what’s best for you. Begin by standing up and shaking each of your limbs for about 20 seconds each then swinging your hips around in circles, moving your head side to side, etc. The goal here is to loosen up any stagnant energy in the body so you can begin to channel it. After about 2 minutes of getting loose, hold your hands in front of your heart, palms facing each other but not touching. Feel the energy course through them and between them for about 30 seconds. Then place one hand onto your heart and the other onto your low belly, breathing slowly for another 30 seconds.
Think about a situation that has been bothering you lately: Think deeply about what it is that has you upset about this situation. Answer these questions about it: How does it make you feel in your body? (Is it tense? Do you feel small? etc) How does it feel emotionally – are you sad, mad, fearful? What do you feel like you are losing in this situation – your independence, your control, your joy?
Now, ask yourself, “What would make me feel better about this?”: Here’s where we dig deep. Typically when we feel frustrated with a situation, it’s because we feel out of control of it. So, ask yourself, "What is within my control here?” It may be as simple as determining you can physically walk away from something/someone that is upsetting you. For example, one of my new boundaries is “If I’m not enjoying myself, I will leave and occupy myself otherwise.” Or it may be as complex as taking something that is bothering you and flipping it entirely on its head. For example, I’ve been frustrated by people in my life expecting me to psychically know their boundaries and act accordingly. So, one of my other new rules is “I will not preempt what makes others upset and then avoid doing those things. I will only change what I intend to do if someone has explicitly let me know what is bothering them.”
Share your boundaries: The final step is to make sure you are sharing your contract with anyone who will be effected by it. In the same way that I can’t psychically determine my loved ones’ needs, no one in your life can magically know what you need from them either. Leave that “but they should know me well enough” bullshit at the 2018 door, bbs. You have to teach people how to treat you so speak up for yourself and make your shit clear. Kapeesh?
*image: “Freefly” (2019) by Lenea Sims