Being a nice person is about courtesy: you’re friendly, polite, agreeable, and accommodating. When people believe they have to be nice in order to give, they fail to set boundaries, rarely say no, and become pushovers, letting others walk all over them. ~ Adam Grant
Earth School has taught me the most gut-wrenching lessons through interpersonal relationships. Growing up in Christian family, I aimed to please God, my parents, and anyone who needed anything.
Although saint-like (kind-of), it drained my life force and didn’t leave much time for my needs. When I moved from New York to Los Angeles, I took a job as a nanny where I lived with my bosses (rent free).
If you’re like my friends, you’re probably thinking (Yikes, that’s a recipe for disaster!) and you would right. Thankfully, it turned out to be a fruitful time to get serious about my boundaries and I’m better for it.
You too may be struggling with such things (#metoo). When we deny our boundaries, we make situations a lot worse. Signs you need to create better boundaries include: feeling manipulated by others, ignoring your needs, people are taking advantage of you, and speaking your truth feels scary.
In my experience, the root of poor boundaries is a fear of what others will think. To this I say, yes, everyone is judging you! This knowing is incredibly liberating because it frees you from the fear of others’ perception.
It’s like those YouTube videos that have thousands of thumbs up, and barely 100 thumbs down. You will always have people that thumbs down your actions, focus on your thumbs up or create healthy boundaries so the only thumb that matters is yours!
Every day, you have a limited supply of time and life force. Boundaries are a way of discerning where to spend your energy. Honoring them is how you can wisely allocate your energy to people and projects that really matter.
So let’s take a deep inhale together and tap into our boundaries right now. Which area of life do you need to create better boundaries in? Is it work (taking on too many projects), relationships (getting involved in drama), or maybe you’re like me and need to set boundaries with your IPhone (damn that things needy)!
Focus on one area as we explore ways to create better boundaries.
Don’t Be Coy, Roy
Paul Simon wrote an eye-opening song called “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” in which he states my favorite way to set boundaries: don’t be coy, Roy! For years, I struggled with speaking my truth courageously. My coyness led me to overstay my keep in karmic relationships. It’s my twin flame, I told myself. It’s my issue not his. I’ll clear this, then shit will settle.
Instead of honoring my needs, I played the role of forgiving girlfriend, while stuffing my true thoughts and feelings down my throat. Until one day, I threw up (literally). When I was in my early twenties, I was dating a man named Christian.
My intuition tried to warn me he wasn’t who he said he was but instead of listening, I put ear plugs on. Truthfully, I was afraid to raise my concerns because I craved people’s validation (#PeoplePleaser).
Long story short, my parents found out he was lying about being in college. Not just to me, but to his friends and family who came from Ecuador to celebrate his graduation! I wish I could write I dumped him on the spot, but lo I continue…
After confronting him with evidence, his rebuttal was so convincing, I apologized for rocking the boat. A few weeks later, thanks to my parents (who have quite the stalking skills), I received the final piece of evidence that couldn’t be explained away. When breaking up with him, I felt so sick to my stomach that I vomited on his shoes. It felt pretty good. By it, I mean speaking my truth.
So, don’t be coy, Roy! Your truth is valid. You are worthy of honoring your needs. When you say how you feel, think, and perceive with courage you are powerful! When you speak coyly, it leaves room for interpretation or for others to talk you out of it. Courageously say what you need!
As Brene Brown says, “Choose discomfort over resentment!”
I’m a Pisces, which for those of you that don’t know is notorious for being in dreamland. Although this is a lovely quality when I’m in nature, floating in a sea of bliss, hugging trees, twirling around, and picking herbs on the trail as I ascend to the realm of the divine; I know when it’s time to ground my energy and bring heaven down to earth.
How does this relate to boundaries? Think about a interaction you had, where you were unsure of how your truth would be perceived. If you were ungrounded, it’s likely you were speaking from your head space. The interaction may have left you feeling drained, as your aura was left wide open for energy vampires. This is the equivalent of having poor energetic boundaries.
Perhaps, you were confident enough to have your awareness on both, your head and heart space. Focusing on these two areas when speaking brings a secure energy to the interaction. You’re not just regurgitating the rehearsed narrative in your mind, but allowing the heart to speak as you remain open and receptive.
If you take it one step further and focus also on your root chakra (at the base of your spine), then you are on your way to creating some kick-ass energetic boundaries that will keep you flowing and going.
What usually happens when we talk with others, is we lose awareness of our inner energy field. Our focus is elsewhere. By keeping a gentle awareness on your head, heart, and root chakra (simultaneously), you ground your energy. This reflects in your speaking and body language. You exude more confidence and security.
Don’t take my word for it: Give it a try! This communication tip allows you to stay high vibe. You become rooted in the knowing that your truth matters and embody your value.
Create the New Normal (Be You)
If your reading this, I assume you’re waking up to higher levels of consciousness and bringing more awareness to every moment. This process (most of the time) is as thrilling as riding a comet across the sky. An unintended effect of operating from your higher-self is the attention.
I’ve had crystals fall out of my bra, reeked of white sage, danced on treadmills, stated affirmations aloud in crowded streets, and did breathing exercises in airplanes. It turns out what satisfies my soul isn’t always the norm. If you feel me say, amen!
When we don’t give ourselves permission to express fully who we are, we allow others to define us. Our boundaries slip, we cave, and become a dull version of our authentic self. This wasn’t readily apparent to me until I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard on a dog leash and high-heals.
My friend was having an “Anything But Human Party”, so I went as a dog. Most people on the street responded with high fives, some creepers told my boyfriend “I wish my wife did that”! One woman, told me I was an abomination to women’s rights.
At the end of the day, I realized although it wasn’t normal, it felt right to me and I had fun. Who cares what people think. When you express yourself freely, you give other people permission to do the same.
Something most people don’t share, is when to loosen the boundaries for your supportive people. Most of my life, I lacked discernment of who to let into my energy field. I would share the depths of my soul with people who didn’t have the compassion to hold space for my tenderness.
It felt like my heart was being hugged by cat claws. I was told: don’t cry so much, care so much, or do so much for others. Last week, I was watching a movie called Meet Joe Black with my boyfriend. The premise is a man (who lived a fulfilled, happy life) is dying. Death takes the human form in a character Joe, whose played by Brad Pitt (o-la-la). Death follows the man to see what it’s like to be human.
Throughout the film, there is an emphasis on the daughter, father bond which brought up pain surrounding my relationship with my father. At the end of the movie, I cried. When asked, what’s wrong? I froze.
In the past, sharing my pain aloud was received with cliché phrases like “Buck up, Buttercup.” Despite fear, I opened my heart and shared my feelings because I trust him. My pain was held with affection and tenderness which left me feeling free and lighthearted.
Creating boundaries, means knowing when and with who to be more vulnerable. Not everyone deserves to hear your story. Only you know who can honor your pain and help you heal those tender spots.
You + Boundaries = High Vibes.
If you have been low on energy, perhaps you need to amp up your boundaries, which will amp up your vibes! Trust me, it will challenge you! However, having boundaries allows you to feel boundless! You show up for yourself, honor your needs, and create with a sense of safety.
Imagine where your relationships, career, and health could be if you took these action steps. Honor your boundaries and watch how the situations and people you attract change to match what’s for your highest good.