Are you setting healthy boundaries or just saying ‘No’ for the wrong reasons?
9 July 2021 | Becs Mansfield
As we appear to be moving away from the enforced Covid restrictions, mask wearing and social distancing we thought it would be a good idea to explore the idea of setting your own personal restrictions (forced or not). You don’t need to be afraid about setting your own boundaries. Here are some MMb conscious tips from the Becs.
There are two sides to boundaries: 1) Knowing your boundaries to protect your energy, 2) Opening up boundaries and opening up your mind. In yoga & meditation we talk about oneness, unity, we aren’t separate – so we transcend the line, we become boundary-less.
We learn to let go, let go of attachments to things, habits, patterns, behaviours, cycles, concepts, identities, ego… We learn to surrender, to let go of control, and let things be. Being open to the flow of experience. Our boundaries become more fluid and flexible. In yoga & meditation we focus our attention on what is really happening (not distracted by thoughts in the mind) and we experience our awareness grow, unfold and expand.
Our awareness is boundary-less.
Our awareness can take in endless sensations, thoughts, and emotions as well as conscious awareness of what we’re observing or experiencing. Our awareness is like the unbounded expanse of the sky.
With narrow awareness we can bring our attention to focus on our breathing, our fingers, our toes… With broad awareness we open ourselves to what is happening in the moment.
With boundary-less awareness we open up to our total inner and outer reality without constraint – not interfering – just being in the moment. We can be extremely narrow in our awareness, focussed on ourselves – habits, patterns, addictions, cycles etc… Boundary-less awareness creates a sense of freedom – moving beyond self obsession and openness to what is.
Build boundaries from the inside out
We talk a lot about growth and expansion in yoga and meditation; our awareness, connection, insight etc etc. But we also need to listen to our body to find our natural limits and healthy boundaries. The words ‘limit’ and ‘boundary’ have somewhat of a negative connotation, however by getting to know our own boundaries we can become more empowered and resilient.
Resiliency is our ability to recover or adjust easily from stressful events, things or people. Over time, if we keep routinely crossing our boundaries, or allowing others to cross them, we can become overly stressed, anxious and overwhelmed.
With yoga and meditation we can learn to develop boundaries, to bring us better health, emotional balance, creative fulfilment, stronger relationships, and an evolved sense of compassion.
Many people fear that setting strong boundaries will make them seem or become uncaring, however it actually helps us be empathic in a healthy way and setting limits allows us to be more compassionate.
This means we can say “no” on a regular basis; it is needed in order to stay healthy, happy and content. If you need time alone, you can say “no” without having to justify it.
Check in and ask yourself am I going to this event because I want to, or because I feel the pressure to?
Check in and ask yourself, have you been feeling your feelings recently? Or minimising them?
You can learn to feel where your limit is. You can learn to appreciate that at different times your boundaries will be different. Some days you are just able to handle more than others. This is normal. This is healthy. The more you are able to feel and respect yourself, the better your resiliency becomes.
I have found I implement more boundaries the more yoga and meditation I do, the more I learn about what I truly value, and what feels aligned with my true nature. Knowing what makes me feel uncomfortable / comfortable. (My soon to be brother in law noticed…I’m setting healthy boundaries!)
I’m going to end with a couple of paragraphs from a book I read last month “Women Don’t Owe You Pretty” by Florence Given. It’s a book on feminism, but also ethnicity, ability, gender and sexuality. But when I was reading it there’s a lot about waking up and boundaries. “We can’t give a one size fits all narrative to billions of people, and expect it to fit every single one of them.”
This is what Florence Given says about comfort zones, growth, being aware and waking up to the reality of what is…
“The whole point of evolving is that it’s an uncomfortable (but necessary) transition. Of course we’re going to be reluctant to believe narratives that challenge our whole identity. It means realising that we have been acting out of ignorance and through our subconscious minds our whole lives. Acknowledging this truth is uncomfortable. Knowing that you have been unintentionally causing harm and benefitting from unfair systems is uncomfortable. But think about how uncomfortable it must be existing on the flip side of that privilege,
Imagine your identity as a woven piece of fabric – from birth your entire identity has been worked into the piece of fabric and makes you who you are today. Threads upon threads make up the unique person you are, just like your DNA. Who you were told to be, who you were told to trust, how you were told to give and receive love, and how you respond to certain situations, all of these factors make up your reality as you know it. Now imagine someone coming along and saying something that challenges and unravels the threads of your identity, and how that might make you feel. This is where people can become defensive. Rewiring our toxic and self-destructive patterns isn’t supposed to be comfortable, but the more open-minded and aware you are to the fact that we all perceive and live different realities, because our fabrics have been woven differently, the easier it becomes to grow, empathise, evolve (and reweave your fabric) with ease and self-awareness.”
‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’ by Florence Given.
Setting your own conscious boundaries and saying No from a place of kindness is just one the extensive themes we explore every Monday in our live online Modern Meditation sessions. You can read more about it below – just click the button…