Recently I was talking with a woman who was registering for my group program and she said, “I’m just tired of the world of pressure and performance. My adrenals can’t take it. I’m also an empath and I’m taking on others’ energy when I really don’t want to.”
All of this is causing her body to break down and her mind to spin with worries, which is totally normal. We’re taught to live in the world of pressure and performance, squeeze the last drops out of our adrenals, and take on others’ energy to create peace around us.
The key to shifting these patterns is twofold: listening to our bodies and inner wisdom AND having clear boundaries.
Let’s not mince words here; I have been the WORST at having boundaries for most of my life. This is a common struggle for heart-centered humans who’ve had childhood trauma.
I literally felt like boundaries were a foreign language that people around me spoke but I couldn't’ understand. “You need better boundaries” made no sense to me. How? What? Huh?
Even after working with this for many years, it can still feel confusing.
However, I do have one clear helper in my newfound boundary skills: My body.
When I was young, my body would just collapse if I ignored my own needs and forgot boundaries for too long. I’d get a stress-induced illness or pain syndrome, or just plain sick.
For a while, I had to get really angry to be able to set a boundary. That’s when it finally felt justified.
Now I’ve advanced, I’m happy to say, to noticing BEFORE I collapse that something needs to be boundaried and being able to calmly trust that yes, this is a valid boundary in most situations. (It’s never about being perfect at any of this!)
I actually find setting boundaries really interesting now, kind of like when you know all the basic words in the foreign language and now you’re learning how to conjugate verbs. Pretty soon I might even be fluent! That feels so exciting.
I say “no” a LOT more nowadays. I feel much less guilt. I don’t perform unless I am inspired to. I don’t pressure myself to make things perfect. I don’t do things for others that I really don’t want to do. Relationships from my past that were boundaryless have faded away.
Creating calm, kind boundaries is a freaking art form! We get to allow others to be, feel, and think as they do while also respecting what we do or don’t allow in our space.
The other day, I was in a meeting with a colleague, and she said something that felt awful to me. So, I told her I was leaving the call and would be back in a few minutes. When I returned, I told her that she had every right to feel and think what she did, but that when she mentioned that to me, I would not be participating in the conversation.
In the past, I would have literally passed out before I took such a boundaried stance!
The coolest part, though, is that this kind of body-led boundary setting has improved all of my good relationships and released all of the ones that weren’t healthy. It’s allowed my body to be much healthier and far more relaxed.
I also like to take into account my Human Design when setting boundaries because I can be aware of the types of energies I tend to take on from others and then consciously shift those patterns.
Before you can be a boundary ninja with others, you have to set boundaries with your inner critic around the amount of self-pressure you allow. Without this step, you’ll get caught in guilt and then be unable to extricate yourself from the tricky expectations others have of you.
Working with you to be able to hear your own inner wisdom, clearly know what your needs and boundaries are, and feeling confident around all of this is a huge part of what we do in my group program. This is the first step to releasing stress patterns and lack of boundaries.
Then we work on trusting your inner wisdom so you can take boundaried action steps! You also get supportive bonus material in the training program specifically around boundary-setting so it can get easier and easier to release pressure on your body and allow it to heal, relax, and re-energize.
You can learn more about this program and others here.
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