The Beauty of Boundaries
My partner Kim woke up this morning not feeling rested at all. As a loving partner, I asked her why she didn’t sleep well. She said that she was thinking about the president-elect and her mind was spinning. I asked why she was thinking about him as she tried to fall asleep, and she mentioned being troubled by an article that she had read on Facebook. Immediately, I started asking, “Why?!” I must admit that, in the moment, I was not even slightly compassionate. I did get my act together after she said, “I need to punish myself! I did this to myself!”
Yes, she did do this to herself, but, she is a human being who fumbles and backslides like the rest of us. What do I mean by “she fumbled”? Kim and I practiced mindfulness prior to November 9. However, since November 9, it has appeared more crucial than ever to be mindful and intentional as we travel through our daily lives. Our first step in practicing mindfulness, was to have an honest conversation (that is ongoing) with each other about how we were going to move forward. This conversation took place after our first bout of grieving. We decided together that it was important for us to be informed but not too informed. In an age when people can get news twenty-four hours a day, this seemed like the first crucial line to draw in the sand. So, we made a decision to watch two hours of news per week. That seemed like a healthy step. The next boundary we set was to minimize the amount of time spent on Facebook. We don’t do any other forms of social media. Our methods may be ancient or archaic to many, but they actually support us during this time. Yes. It’s true. We do not even have cell phones! Crazy you say? Maybe not!
Well, one problem with stating that you are going to minimize the time you spend on Facebook is that it is not measurable. In other words, what does that really mean? Heck, if you spent ten hours a day previously on Facebook and now you are on for four hours a day, every day, you probably think you are doing great! Though, how many articles are you reading that stress you out? How much scrolling are you doing? Are you clicking links that increase your blood pressure? Despite the reduction in screen time, you may still be walking away from the computer or your phone in a fog. I have heard people say that they don’t feel grounded or that they are still so angry. I hear you and I feel your pain. Let this article be a support to you and to me.
It is crucial now more than ever to learn how to set boundaries and take care of yourself! If you don’t, you will end up awake in the middle of the night letting your lizard brain make up stories about the end of the world. If you would like a refresher on the lizard brain, click here. I am not saying that I am perfect. Trust me, I am nowhere near perfect. However, I am putting my lifetime tools—those that help me get or stay grounded—into practice. I am meditating daily. This is a no-brainer for me at this time. Quite simply, I am more at peace after fifteen minutes of meditation than if I choose not to meditate. Right now, I figure I need all the help I can get to enter into my daily life from an open and curious place.
I am also exercising pretty regularly! While this is not unusual for me, it’s important to maintain what I know works. In addition, I am getting out in nature as often as I can. I have noticed that when I am feeling frazzled and not connected to my body, going for a walk out in nature, tending to my indoor plants, or meditating to sounds from nature is the best thing I can offer myself to regain peace.
So, I invite you to join me in finding peace in your life. Whether you are frazzled about the holidays, work, or the state of the world, STOP looking for peace on the news or in social media! Just STOP! Stop stirring the pot of anxiety that is living inside you! Run to whatever brings you peace. If that’s cooking, go learn some new dishes to make! If that is listening to music, put on an album, and let yourself bask in the music’s beauty. If it’s doing t’ai chi, yoga, or Pilates, go jump in a class and set a goal to do some daily.
Folks, I only want the best for each and every one of you. Truly, I want you all to be safe. I want you all to be at peace. I want you all to be healthy, and I want you all to live a life of ease. So be good to yourselves!
Having difficulty figuring out how to create more peace in your life? I would love to help you build some healthy boundaries and implement mindful practices that will nurture your soul!
Just as a reminder, I am currently offering free coaching through the end of January to people who are hurting and grieving. To take advantage of this opportunity, all you have to do is email me and use the coupon code “Stronger Together” in the subject line.
Because I believe that it is critical to our national discourse to understand the perceptions of others and to know what it’s like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, I have been immersing myself in literature and films that allow me to do just this. I just finished Jodi Picoult’s new book titled Small Great Things. This is an amazing read. It is a poignant, potent, courageous, and timely story that deals with race relations in America. Picoult deals with her subject with tremendous care and respect. I hope you will consider reading this magnificent book and open yourself up to a world of growth and self-awareness!
Moonlight is also big on my list of informative and well-done movies. Moonlight is the coming of age story of a young black man in the ‘80s who is growing up in a low-income Miami neighborhood. As he gets older, he comes to realize that he is gay. This movie is beautifully done and is a great look at what it is like to grow up as “other” in the black community.
These quotes speak to me, and I feel that they reflect the message of this e-newsletter.
Until next time,
Safe Space Life Coaching