Boundaries are an important part of the self-care dialogue and deserve a lot of attention and intention.
Having safe and healthy boundaries in our relationships is essential for balance and well being. They are also an important part of getting our needs met and even receiving the support we need.
The topic of boundaries is vast. How we navigate boundaries, how aware we are of them and how we use them, are all topics that need to be sifted and sorted constantly- especially if we are sensitive individuals. It is important that we continue to question the role of boundaries (or lack thereof) in our lives since they impact almost every part of life.
It’s also important to realize that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to maintaining clarity with our personal space. Boundaries shift and change—and they should—with time, experience and personal transformation. We are in constant flux and our boundaries will need to flex along with the changes we make personally and inter-personally.
That said, there are a few key elements to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining healthy boundaries. Most importantly, building a practice of self tracking is crucial for strengthening your inner dialogue and being clear on your needs. The three level check-in is your first step.
Here are three clues that you need to adjust your boundaries:
1) You have a strong emotional reaction. Emotions remind us that we need to listen to ourselves and our needs in a more intimate way. Anger is a key reminder that a boundary has been crossed and one of your needs has not been met.
2) You feel drained of energy and fatigued after a connection, an event or experience. Ask yourself what needs to shift and how can you get extra support in the future.
3) Your body is physically over-stimulated or over-aroused. Less is more. Find a way to get a smaller dose next time or maybe skip it all together.
Boundary work is a practice like so many other awareness building resources. We must constantly navigate, adjust and make changes when necessary.
Use this simple technique to build boundary awareness, inside and out:
1) Using a 50/50 awareness. Bring presence to your internal focus by closing your eyes. Then bring presence to your external focus by opening your eyes. Practice being fully present with each and identify “this is my internal focus” when eyes are closed and “this is my external focus” with your eyes open. Keep going back and forth between the two, inner and outer as you identify where your focus is.
2) Transitioning focus. Continue to bring presence to your inner and outer focus by opening and closing the eyes, but start to notice the transition between the inner and outer awareness. As you slowly open your eyes, bring your awareness to this slow, intentional transition towards external focus.
Then, as you close your eyes slowly, note your transition towards internal focus. Let your gaze soften and note how long you are able to stay connected with your inner awareness before you totally merge with your external focus. How long can you stay connected to your external awareness before you totally merge with your internal focus? Notice your dance between these two and what happens as you slide in and out.
The transition to inner and outer awareness is a constant dance that we are working with- whether consciously or unconsciously. We are always transitioning between an inner focus and outer focus. Make it a practice to note the shift in your awareness, but see if you can maintain some awareness within your self as you move in and out, internal to external.
Keeping a 50 percent awareness on your self- even when you are externally focused—is the purpose of this exercise. This soft internal awareness, even when we are externally focused, builds more and more self tracking skills, no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in.
Remember, greater self tracking skills means that you will be able to identify your needs more clearly. Knowing what you need means you can make choices that support your needs!
Author: Saraswati J.
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s Own
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