DAY 5: THE POWER OF A WOMAN WHO MAKES BOUNDARIES

Most {privileged} adult women I know, have had their boundaries violated in some way, at some point in their lives.

What does that say for those who don’t have fortunate circumstances?

Most women I know, also have a hard time ~ carving out the space they crave for themselves, saying no to others’ demands on their time and energy, or making the choice to fulfill their own desires, if those are in conflict with the needs of others.

Do you think there’s a connection between the pervasive violation of our boundaries, and our difficulty in making them?

I certainly do.

I’ve been told that I’m an expert at making boundaries. I’ve also been perceived as having sloppy, rigid, or confusing boundaries. I’ve had friendships end over both my ambivalent and my clear boundaries. And I’ve stood in the fire of making very unpopular boundaries with entire communities of people, extended family, and authorities…all in the name of giving myself {or my immediate family} what I know that I/we need.

Obviously ‘boundaries’ is a hot topic for me. And I know that I’m not at all alone.

Expressing clear boundaries is a learning curve for so many women who are RISING UP right now. And it’s an essential ingredient in the stew of our collective awakening.

Here’s why:

If we want to live in a world where females are respected and honored, rather than violated or oppressed, we ~ the privileged and conscious women of the world, who have the opportunity to do so ~ need to both respect and liberate ourselves.

Changing the way the world relates to women STARTS WITH US CHANGING THE WAY WE RELATE to OURSELVES.

Here’s a little background on how I learned about boundaries ~ the hard way

…3 years ago, I came down with a debilitating chronic illness. With chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia as my two most prevalent symptoms, on the hardest days, I was unable to do everyday activities {ones that most people don’t even think about}. Going to the grocery store caused me significant pain, and driving a car felt like a monumental effort.

The healing journey that I faced, forced me to turn so much farther inward than ever before, and look at myself so honestly, that I could not deny the truth:

I NEEDED A NEW INTERNAL OPERATING SYSTEM:

one that functions in alignment with being a sensitive woman.

I needed to SLOW WAY DOWN and stop moving in the straight line that the rest of the world moves in…

I needed to learn to spiral with every turning season of my land, to receive the life force of the earth…

I needed to flow with the rhythms of my female body, to harvest the healing power of my menses…

I needed to learn to move through every aspect of life, with tremendous respect for the magnificent instrument of my female body and being…

AND IT FELT LIKE MY SURVIVAL ACTUALLY DEPENDED ON IT.

During those difficult couple of years of my life, being mostly horizontal, I listened. A lot. And I paid attention.

One thing I learned, was that saying ‘NO’, making boundaries, and overcoming the urge to meet other people’s needs over my own {which I was unable to} ~ is both taboo and an unspoken rebellion against the status quo.

Surprisingly, it was the women in my life who had the hardest time with my ‘NO’.

I eventually discovered that I had become a mirror of the disowned, repressed, and deeply buried ‘NO’ that so many women in our world have denied within themselves, without even knowing it.

I feel inspired now, on the other side of this healing crisis, to hold up the mirror for you, and ask ~

WHERE IS YOUR NO?

Is it hidden away in a deep dark corner of your psyche, where it’s hard to reach when you need it? Or, is it right up front and center, in the conscious mind, where you can access it whenever you want to?

Sister, it’s OK if your NO is a little dusty, hiding somewhere in a dark corner.

If that’s where it is, I’m sure there are many GOOD REASONS why it’s there.

Be kind to yourself.

AND MAKE THE COMMITMENT TO EXCAVATE IT.

If you’re up for the task, I’ve shared below, a simple, step-by-step process, to help you begin.

Thank you for having the courage to dig it out.

3 STEPS for EXCAVATING YOUR ‘NO’ ~

#1: ASK YOUR BODY.

THE BODY NEVER LIES, it is our most reliable resource for the clarity we long for.

But because modern women have become estranged from our body-wisdom, it’s also our most frequently overlooked resource.

The next time you find yourself in a situation where you’re either ambivalent, or unsure about some request or demand from another ~ slow down and ask your body: “Is this a ‘YES’ or a ‘NO’?”

Because most women are deeply tired these days {BIG topic for another blog post!}, one of the easiest ways to TUNE IN to your body, is to lie down and take a few deep breaths. If you’re feeling agitated or anxious, rather than tired ~ movement or touch may be more helpful than lying down.

First, prepare yourself for the rest, movement, or touch your body needs.

Make any adjustments you need to make with your clothing or posture.

Then, ask yourself the specific question you’re holding, in a ‘Yes or NO’ format.

Now, take a deep breath, sink deeper into the rest more fully, OR rub your belly, shoulders or feet, maybe move your hips from side to side, if you need to move…

Now ask again…

And again…

Continue to ask.

Rest, move, or give yourself nourishing touch, unit you feel ready for what’s next.

#2 LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

Listening to your body is simply about PAYING ATTENTION.

What do you notice in your body as you ask your ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ question?

Is there flow?

Tightness?

Shortness of breath?

Spontaneous Movement?

Aches?

Relaxation of muscles?

Warmth?

Coldness?

Color?

Sensation?

The more you pay attention to your body’s signals, the more you’ll come to understand the language your body speaks.

For example, you may begin to notice that when something is a NO, your body becomes cold.

Take mental note of what you notice, or do some journaling about it.

Be curious, and again,

PAY ATTENTION. Notice the subtle details. Look below the surface.

Enjoy learning your own body-language.

#3: TRUST YOUR BODY.

Developing trust in your body is a like developing a muscle. For many of us, our trust in our body-wisdom is weak. But with practice, it will inevitably be strengthened.

So, how do you strengthen your trust in what your body reveals to you?

Well, the thing is ~ you can’t have trust without fear or doubt. If there were no doubt or fear, Trust would not be needed at all, and the action would simply be taken without hesitation.

The only way to learn to Trust, is to acknowledge your Doubt and Fear, and make the commitment to take a leap of faith.

So, again, check in with your body.

Ask yourself “How would it feel to trust what I sense my body is telling me?”

Then take the risk to follow it, and pay attention to what happens. 

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If a NO is what you find, when you ask your body, and you listen ~ I hope that our conversation here encourages you to take that leap of faith to TRUST it.

Our daughters deserve to grow up in a world where it’s completely acceptable for a woman to say NO, and to have her NO fully heard and complied with.

Women deserve to have our boundaries respected.

And it’s up to us to co-create a culture that supports this.

It’s an inside job, Sisters. 

THE POWER OF A WOMAN WHO MAKES BOUNDARIES, is the power to change the future of our world.

So let’s.

XO ~ India

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