Here’s a short story about myself. In my early twenties I thought I was Wonder Woman. I tried to rescue everyone. I didn’t know how to say ’no’, and I also didn’t know anything about boundaries. As a result, I felt angry and resentful alot of the time. 

I blamed the world for taking advantage of me, but little did I know, that I had a choice!

 

Kinesiology Wonder Woman

 

A few years later,  I was introduced to the author Melody Beattie, who published several books on codependency, and the art of setting healthy boundaries. Her books really changed my life, and are still a golden compass for me today.

Most importantly, whenever I feel stressed, I dive back into her teachings. (I will write more about codependency another time.) Herewith a breakdown of some of Melody’s teachings about boundaries:


WHAT ARE BOUNDARIES?

They are guidelines that we create to show others how to treat us. Relationships work so much better when we clearly communicate our needs and expectations to others.

We don’t just show ourselves and others respect, but it also create space for more magic in our lives.

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You can’t set good boundaries if you don’t know your physical, mental and emotional limits. It is all about learning what’s really important to you. Exploring your inner world is essential to understanding your own values, beliefs, emotions and feelings.

Consequently, the more you learn about your wants and needs, the more you will be able to communicate them to others.


BENEFITS OF HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

We do our best work when there are great boundaries, and create healthier relationships. Therefore, they are essential to spirituality and compassion, and often boundaries make other people feel safe.

Healthy boundaries create space – space for new possibilities.

They cultivate resepct, as well as self-awareness and mindfulness.

Boundaries make us less angry. We stop supressing our feelings and start communicating our needs more effectively.


FLAGS FOR POOR BOUNDARIES

  • You feel people are walking all over you.
  • You feel you don’t have a voice and nobody listens to you.
  • You feel used.
  • You start feeling crazy!
  • You always put others’ feelings first
  • You don’t want to disappoint others.
  • You are an open book to everyone.
  • You always say YES.


KNOW WHERE YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUNDARIES

  • Look at areas in your life where you feel angry.
  • Identify areas and people who make you feel crazy.
  • Notice where you feel threatened, resentful, exhausted, suffocated, obliged?


HOW DO I CULTIVATE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

We struggle because we want to be NICE.  Boundaries emerge from deep within. They are connected to letting go of guilt and shame, and to changing our beliefs about what we deserve. As our thinking about this becomes clearer, so will our boundaries.

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Healthy boundaries are also connected to a Higher Timing than our own. We’ll set a limit when we’re ready, and not a moment before. So will others.

There’s something empowering about reaching that point of becoming ready to set a limit. We know we mean what we say; others take us seriously too.

Things change, not because we’re controlling others, but because we’ve changed.


HOW TO COMMUNICATE BOUNDARIES

It is useful and healthy energy to communicate where your boundaries have been crossed.

Communicate clearly what your expectations are. The biggest challenge is to learn how to say no.

Herewith a few useful phrases to us

  • This is ok with me … this is not ok with me.
  • If you … then I …
  • This is really hard for me to say this …
  • I feel uncomfortable about …
  • NO is a complete sentence. You don’t always have to explain yourself

FEELINGS ALERT!!!

By setting boundaries it is possible to feel fear, shame and unworthiness. We were taugt it is selfish to take care of yourself first, so start by simply acknowleging and allowing these feelings.   This too shall pass.

EXTRA SUPPORT

  • If you’re having a hard time with setting boundaries, seek some support, whether that’s a partner, good friends, a support group, coaching, kinesiology or counseling.
  • Communicate your business boundaries in writing as much as possible.
  • Regular practice of self-awareness through journaling.
  • Repeat the affirmation as often as needed: “I am allowed to have boundaries.”

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Most noteworthy, scan your life and acknowledge where you have been setting boundaries – congratulate and be proud of yourself! Well done!

If you feel you need extra support to set boundaries, Kinesiology is an excellent tool to give you more insight and tools to move forward.

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