About thirteen years ago, I was living and working in Geneva, Switzerland. My daughter was a toddler and I was starting a new relationship. I felt overwhelmed and lost enough to warrant an appointment with a life coach (I couldn’t commit to the months and years required from me by potential psychotherapists at the time). I divulged that I failed my marriage and didn’t want to fail at this new relationship. After a few questions about the state of my life, the coach concluded that what we needed to work on was not my relationship, but my BOUNDARIES, in particular with my two-year old daughter.
This was probably the first time I had heard of that word applied to me in such a manner. Fortunately, it was far from the last, as it has been a recurrent theme in my work as a healer over the past two years now. People, for the most part women, but not exclusively, come to me depleted, because they are following a path that they don’t want to follow, a path that is imposed on them by others. For the younger women, this is of course the parents. These type of issues are boundary issues. Boundaries are defined by best-selling author Brene Brown simply as “What is okay and what is not okay.” We define our own boundaries. People often confused having clear boundaries as being selfish, when as a matter of fact, the opposite is true. Self-care is the most compassionate gift we can give ourselves and others, and it cannot exist without clear boundaries.
Ever since that session in Geneva thirteen years ago I have been acutely aware of my boundaries. This does not mean that I have mastered them: at times they are too rigid and at other times they are too weak. Just like everything else, they require attention, and the more attention you give them, the easier they are to manage.
As one of my favorite topics to explore, we will be discussing them during my upcoming course next month: Wake Up Call! Discover the Superpower of Mindful Living. Mindfulness brings to light more than boundaries of course; it deepens our relationship to ourselves, others, and the present moment. The holiday season is often a crucial time to be mindful as emotions run high and are triggered by traffic, lack of sleep and rest, and close contact with more of the people we don’t usually choose to hang out with, for some of us. But then again, no need to wait for the course to start a mindful practice! You can go back to your breath and re-center today, or even now, after reading this post.
Boundaries and mindfulness are particularly important during this holiday season, where we can get easily overwhelmed by festivities and responsibilities. Are you giving your power away by saying yes to more alcohol or food than your body is asking for? Are you feeling constantly guilty as a result of family expectations? Be mindful of your boundaries and give people back what is theirs and not yours (figuratively, that is). That will keep your Christmas merry and bright! Happy Holidays everyone.
You can find more information on this course at www.gasshocenter.com/workshops