The ultimate in self – love
Boundaries are set by you and come from within. They are a way of embodying the whispers of your heart, your deep yearnings for personal change and transformation. Barriers come from outside, they are what other people try to impose on you, although sometimes we get confused as we try to please those we love and respect.
My approach this year is to see and feel boundaries as an embodiment of self love, if you like an ongoing self love practice. By building on steps I have already made to make friends with my least favourite aspects of my self – those lurking shadows, those parts of yourself you hope no one ever meets. I have found over the years when you reveal a darker side of yourself or a weakness or just that you are human – people love you even more and it opens the doorway to more meaningful connections and communication. This practice of being vulnerable has taught me to love those aspects of myself and embrace all of me warts and all but most importantly to understand viscerally that vulnerability is beautiful and a sign of strength.
Finding time to really get to know your self entails setting boundaries, not only as a way to ensure you spend lots of time with yourself but to send a clear message that YOU honour and respect your time and how you spend it.
If I am busy doing all the time, how can I truly and honesty commune with my sacred divine inner being?
At first, it was a little bit weird saying no to a whole raft of opportunities, but it became easier when I simply asked myself does this nourish me?
Does this nourish me?
That’s right does this nourish me rather than is this good for the yoga students, studio, others, my partner my family and friends.
I think a lot had to do with trusting that abundance was a natural part of being and did not have to be chased and that abundance does not have to be perceived as action it could just as well be inaction, resting, relaxing, reflecting.
The tao of life action in inaction. Deciding what I wished to expend energy on and what was just my ‘ego’ or habit or ‘busy time’ has been hugely rewarding as well as incredibly soothing and nourishing. Though important to acknowledge challenging, difficult, and has helped me to see how so much of that I do is habitual, ingrained patterns of behaviour that will take time to shift. I still slip into periods of busy almost maniac activity especially coming up to a full moon. Making choices about what you do does not reduce opportunities instead it makes the ones you do choose spacious, open and expansive. Your choice becomes alive as they sing the song of your heart, you step becomes lighter and you wake up with joy in your heart knowing the small steps you make today in your projects are truly connected to your heart space.
S L O W
In order to make space to nurture yourself you really need to slow right down. Start to watch yourself in conversation either with others or the one in your head and slow down so you can make deliberate choices. LISTEN to the internal chatter really be mindful in your approach.
I have taken to using tactics that put off decisions so I can really sit, meditate, journal and deliberate at my own speed before launching into a new project or agreeing to do another activity.
It is okay to say I’ll get back to you.
It’s okay to say NO
Boundaries are like coast lines always changing, shifting and moving. Your boundaries will need to be flexible and fluid to respect where you are.
Of course, there are different kinds of boundaries rigid, porous and healthy. And perhaps you may even have different boundaries for different situations – work, friend, romance.
One way to recognise if your boundaries are too rigid is when you are unable to reach out for help, appear detached, have few intimate friends and keep others at a distance then perhaps you have become too defined by your own boundaries and they are more like walls that imprison you from experiencing life fully.
Porous boundaries on the other hand, take away your sense of self, self worth and independence. There are distinct signs that you are being to porous in your boundary creation. A person with porous boundaries has difficulty saying no to others, depends on others opinions to make a choice, over shares personal information, gets over involved in other people’s problems or fears rejection if you don’t tow the line.
Be brave and stand your ground by knowing what your guiding lights are and how you will look after, nourish yourself.
- value your own opinion – a goddess would!
- don’t compromise your values for others – they are priceless.
- share personal information in an appropriate way – listen rather than speak
- deeply know your personal wants and needs and how to communicate them in a gracious manner – this may take practice
- being okay when someone else says ‘no’ – respect their boundaries