Establishing boundaries for yourself is to build healthy walls between you and the rest of the world. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed in a crowd or drained after an interaction, you will especially benefit from boundaries.
Since we are energetic beings, I imagine some of that energy emanating a bubble around us about as far from us as our limbs extend. Just as we bump into someone else on the street, our bubbles are bumped all the time. You know when someone has invaded your personal space. Prior to practicing social distancing, most of us had had to accept that our energy fields would be poked occasionally whether on public transport, Black Friday queues, or inching towards the stage at a concert. Boundaries apply to more than just physical space and the assumed social boundaries usually applied between, say, service providers and clients. They are for emotional and mental wellbeing as well.
Establishing boundaries is about choosing what you take in. Consciously and unconsciously we take in all sorts of things all the time just as we give and react. We choose what to physically consume, three slices of pizza versus one slice and salad, tofu versus chicken, etc., so we can choose what to consume emotionally like filtering social media news feeds. Before interacting with others, set the intention to only carry your own energy or “vibes.” When you commit to releasing all that isn’t yours, you may notice you feel much lighter. When you interact with someone who is “bringing you down,” you are not only taking on that energy they emit, but they may be unknowingly sucking from you any uplifting or caring energy you emit because they need it. Same vice versa; we are constantly exchanging energy. But to be empathetic and understanding of others you have to try to feel what they feel and spread some of your nurturing support right? No. You can still be compassionate, helpful, and offer support to others while maintaining your own energy. In fact, filtering for your own energy is more effective for giving your love, compassion, and support. It is also a good idea be aware of what you drain from others with your needs and feelings. This is not to suddenly feel untrusting, blame, or fear of being around others! Believe it or not, boundaries help you to be more open.
Choosing what you take in means to sometimes say no. When I was first aware of the necessity for boundaries in my life, I felt like I was about to selfishly rip myself away from everyone I was emotionally invested, but this is not the case. With boundaries, I recognize that I’m not Wonder Woman (limitless), but then I start to feel a lot like her (strong). No boundaries=spreading yourself too thin, a spoonful of frosting for a whole cake. When I choose where I want to exert my energy and for whom, I have so much more to give. Having limits also sends out unspoken sonar that you have respect for yourself, and others will be less likely to take advantage. There is so much “seize the day,” “live your best life” motivation that inspires us all to “say YES”, but I’m telling you that sometimes it’s okay to say no, and you need to learn how to say no. If you don’t say no, your ability to say yes will run out much quicker. Something I’ve learned is that saying no more often appears unclear as opposed to saying yes. It’s unacceptable—nobody really likes it! It’s closed, angry, rejection, and un-fun. Instead, think of your no’s as saying yes to something else: to rest, to balance, etc. Be honest, clear, and show that you believe in your decision. Honor yourself, your time, your space.
Helpful visuals and practices for setting boundaries:
In my home or in my personal space I like to burn white sage to clear/cleanse and sweetgrass to manifest/welcome. Sometimes I think of my energy field as threads rising from static electricity. When it feels like they are tangled with other people’s threads, I set the intention to form boundaries by envisioning the threads being snipped. At each snip I am liberated, and I send the other person love and light. Before interactions I may imagine an impenetrable shield of light around me. I zip it up like I’m cocooned in a sleeping bag. After interactions I may imagine a vacuum hose sucking any energy that is not mine or does not serve me.
We need more or less space at one point or another. Taking time to myself and imagining a circle of space around me is highly supportive. Usually a hula-hoop sized ring feels good enough for me, while other times a swimming pool size suffices as safe. My visuals guide my intentions to be protected and free. They are a quick and private way to ensure that I have a choice about what I let in and when. Keeping light in my visuals ensures that everything else “out there” is unharmed by my conscious detachment. When I support myself in this way, I can support others and foster healthy relations.
Go support yourself in rings of light, and if you like this page, please share it!