The Importance of Boundaries


how to say no to the thing that are not right for you lifeYour new roommate is eating your food and not replacing it. Your client is always thirty minutes late without an apology. Your boss expects you to respond to emails at midnight. You just rented a new apartment and everyone feels the price is public knowledge. Do these scenarios above sound all too familiar? Don’t worry, you are not the only one who’s personal fences have been tested. Boundaries is one of the important topics I’ll be covering in my Mindful Mosaic® Women’s Retreat coming up October 24-27. So much of our lives are overstepped by not having boundaries in place. We need boundaries in order to live a healthful life. Boundaries support you in having high standards.

Many people confuse boundaries with standards; that they’re both ways of saying no to things. In truth, standards are a way of saying yes to the things that are right for you, and boundaries are a way of saying no to the things that are not.

While they work hand in hand, boundaries have to come first. You have to say no to many things in order to create the space to say yes to the things you want most. Plus when you set boundaries for yourself you also teach others to value their own boundaries.

What is a boundary?

  • It’s a way to say no to the things that are harmful to you, or a way to say no to something you don’t want.
  • It’s a limit or edge that defines you as separate from others.
  • A limit that promotes integrity, can preserve life and advance relationship.
  • Boundaries are physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, and relational. They can consist of the limits of what we consider safe and appropriate, our unique set of feelings and reactions, individual perceptions, values, goals, concerns, roles we choose to play, etc.
  • There are similarities and differences in boundaries across cultures, so it is important to be sensitive to people’s differences.

 Why have boundaries?

  • For protection and personal security
  • To create order
  • To define ourselves clearly
  • To gain a clearer sense of ourselves in relation to others
  • To empower us to determine how we will be treated by others

Maintaining boundaries allows us to gain trust in ourselves to take care of ourselves. It results in a healthy sense of control and overall well-being.

How are boundaries formed?

They begin to form during infancy through family and environmental interactions. In a healthy family, a child is helped to become a unique individual by developing a self-concept separate from other family members. Healthy families promote members’ self-actualization. We learn about our boundaries by the way we are treated as children, and then we teach others where our boundaries are by the way we let them treat us.

Boundaries require maintenance.

  • Most people will respect our boundaries if we indicate where they are, but with some people, we need to actively defend them.
  • Like a fence, boundaries require maintenance. Some people crawl on our boundaries like ivy.

Prime boundary violations:

  • Violations of intrusion – breaching a boundary. (Examples are inappropriate personal questions, inappropriate touching, attempting to control how another thinks, believes, or feels.)

Questions to ask yourself?

Are you aware of a time when your boundaries have been tested? How did you handle it? Have you noticed any changes in your relationships since? What lesson did you learn from this? If you haven’t been aware of your boundaries being breached is there a person or situation that feels toxic or draining? What is it about this person or situation that triggers you? Which steps do you need to take now to change this situation? Can you identify a pattern as it relates to your personal boundaries?

Affirm This: "I respect my boundaries. I insist that others respect them, too." – Louise L. Hay

Boundaries correspond to the Sacral chakra, which relates to the hormones in the body, our sense of well-being and abundance. See below some of the physical signs, reasons and helpful tips to balance the hormones.

Signs of a hormone imbalance

  • Persistent weight gain
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • PMS
  • Low libido
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Digestive problems
  • Cravings 

Reasons for the imbalance

  • Stress
  • Exposure to plastics and endocrine disruptors such as pesticides
  • Birth control pills
  • Toxins such as chemical exposure, heavy metals, parasites etc
  • Allergens
  • Digestive issues
  • Toxins in the liver

Helpful Tips

  • Ask your practitioner to run a saliva test to check your hormone levels
  • Switch to natural cleaning products, and beauty products
  • Do a cleanse
  • Ask your practitioner to check you for supplements and vitamin/mineral deficiencies (Maca, Magnesium, Cod Liver Oil, and Vitamin D)
  • Avoid a diet high in Omega 6 oils-canola, soybean, & sunflower oil-opt for coconut oil and olive oil
  • Sleep!
  • Add in fish, algae, sweet potato, pumpkins, and carrots
  • Rebound on a trampoline to stimulate circulation and detoxify
  • Incorporate stretching and yoga to calm the nervous system
  • Possibly eliminate grains, gluten and soy
  • Ask yourself: Do you feel you deserve the life you have envisioned for yourself? 

Are you ready to create healthy boundaries that allow you to say no to unhelpful things in your life? Please join me at the Mindful Mosaic Women’s Retreat in beautiful Hudson Valley, NY, October 24-27, 2014.