How do you know if you’re making a solid, healthy boundary or just giving someone an ultimatum, and it’s really going to ruin the relationship? You’re not going to be able to hold it because the ultimatum is too harsh? Well, today I want to talk to you about how to deal with your inner sense of self and making strong, healthy boundaries that people listen to that you’ll feel great about.
Having strong, healthy boundaries is super important in life, being able to take care of yourself. I consider boundaries to be self-care. It’s just making sure that you are taking good care of yourself. It could be when somebody is always late and setting a boundary because they’re making you late. It could be people calling you at particular times. It could be doing work on the weekends with your company or in your career. It could be setting boundaries with your children as to how you’re to be treated. It could be with your spouse. There are so many different ways in which being able to draw firm lines that are healthy and respectful actually leads to a happier, more relaxed you, which allows you to be the best you can be with everyone around you.
However, there’s an issue with this, and that is most often when we don’t have healthy boundaries and we don’t know how to set boundaries, we let ourselves get to a place where we’re pushed really far over an edge already. By the time the boundary time comes to set, we aren’t necessarily in an open, relaxed space. What I mean by opening is your internal guidance system is open. Now, if you don’t know what your internal guidance system is, go to zeninamoment.com. Watch the video on the home page, where I walk you through feeling this system that you were born with, that we’re all born with. You can physically feel it in your body as to whether or not what you’re thinking is true and in alignment or going to happen, or not true, not in alignment, not going to happen. I explain that whole concept there.
The thing is that most often, we get pushed to a place where we’re closed. The way we’re thinking about the person, the situation, what our needs are, what we have to ask for, isn’t true. It isn’t what we really need. We’re in a state of reaction. Then what happens is the request never happens. It comes out as an ultimatum, “You need to do this,” or we shut people down. We collapse inside, and we just stop communicating, or we have a triggered response. We fight, and we don’t really, actually, ask for anything that’s clear. There’s all kinds of ways in which, when we get ourselves upset about something and we have not been holding healthy boundaries, there’s a reactive state we’re in. The first thing you want to be doing when you’re in this stage of setting boundaries is to notice what’s happening and then notice what it is that you need. This is called being in a receiving or allowing mode, being receptive.
You can’t push against anything and have it work, because when you push against something, you get an equal and opposite reaction to push back. There’s no boundary that’s held in that. You’re in a state of resistance. From that state of resistance, no one will listen to your request. Here’s the thing to do. The first thing you do is you start by acknowledging what’s happening. We’re going to use somebody who is always late. “Ike, I’m just here to say you’re always late. I get it. Things go awry. You don’t have enough planning. This isn’t something that you’re good at is being on time. I’m just wanting to recognize here that… Let’s get into agreement about the fact that you’re always late. It’s really hard for me.” Once again, you’re acknowledging the thing. “It’s really hard for me because then I’m late, and I get into a place of being stressed out. I don’t want to be late.”
The first thing you do is you’re just acknowledging the thing. Then what I recommend is, if you’re able to before you set a boundary with someone, sit back and find out what it is that you need, what’s going to work for you. In recognizing and figuring out what you need, it should open you. You should feel an opening when you hit upon what it is that you need. You shouldn’t be in a place of constriction. You shouldn’t have a lump in your throat, a tightness in your chest, a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. When you come upon what you need, you should feel relaxed, calm, and centered inside. I call that opening. It can feel like a neutral feeling, too. Opening begets opening; closing begets closing. If you feel that tight constriction, if you talk to someone and make a request of them from that place and you’re tight inside, what you’re going to find is that is going to have their tightness inside, their closing thoughts, come up. If you’re open, very often what happens, number one, you can stand your ground about what you need. There’s a sense of calmness and openness in there. Number two is the other person has a tendency to be able to hear it, because it’s coming from a place of authenticity. When you’re open and you’re clear, you’re authentic.
In the case of having somebody who’s late, you could say, “I’m not going to wait for you any more. I’m going to go ahead. Let’s meet separately. You can go on your own,” or “If you’re not here by a particular time, I’m going to feel comfortable going on my own so that I’m not late.” If that opens you, it’s the right thing to do. Then say to them, ‘”Hey, this is not a problem. I’m not punishing you by making this request. I’m just simply saying that it stresses me out too much; it makes me really uncomfortable; and I need to be there on time. That’s just my rules for myself is I need to be there on time.”
The next thing is…We’re going to talk about this deeper…you’re going to want to get agreement from that person. You can’t make a boundary and then not have that other person… That other person could be yourself. I’m going to talk about this in part three of making boundaries, getting agreements and how to get agreements… That other person has to agree to it and say, “Okay, that sounds good.” Otherwise, you really don’t have a boundary. You just have something that you’ve said to someone, and it doesn’t really work.
The first thing I want you to do this week before we get into agreement making and completing the boundary is just to practice, noticing the thing that’s bothering you. You can either talk to the person about it or not. This week I would say don’t talk to them about it. Notice what’s not working in your life. Notice what’s causing you anxiety. Notice what’s causing problems, stress, frustration, irritation, worry. Notice. You go to open your email on Saturday morning. There’s four work emails, and you don’t really want to work on the weekends. Notice how that feels. Just notice the thing that’s wrong. Then put some time and energy into thinking about what could work. Maybe not getting the emails on Saturday or letting people know you’re not going to respond until Sunday night. Say you’ll set an hour aside on Sunday night. That way, you can respond to any emails or at least tell them when you will respond. Maybe that doesn’t work. Maybe you say, “I’m not going to answer any emails until Monday morning.” First, just notice the thing, and notice what will work for you. See if it opens you. If it opens you, it’s the right thing. It’s in alignment. It will be the right thing for everyone in the situation. Your boundary will work for everyone if you feel an opening inside.
I can’t stress enough to go to zeninamoment.com and check out your internal guidance. We also have a bunch of podcasts there. If you want to catch up, you can go to iTunes, SoundCloud, or our website, zeninamoment.com. You can catch up with all the episodes that we have there. Next week I’ll be giving number three podcast on how to deliver a boundary and set agreements. I want to keep these short and sweet and have you practicing little tips and tools. Please share these podcasts. If you think that you know of anyone who might enjoy them or someone who needs to know about their internal guidance system, if you could go ahead and send them to zeninamoment.com. You can sign up on our email list there to find out about trainings that we have, teaching you how to master your internal guidance system as well as how to communicate with me and get updates on these podcasts. I am very much happy and excited that you’re a part of this and that you’re listening. Thank you so much for your time and energy. Until I get an opportunity to be with you again, I am sending you love and blessings.