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CREATING HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

 

Boundaries are not an easy topic to explore.  They cover a lot of ground. 

 

Donít miss the upcoming teleclass in June Ė Creating Healthy Boundaries and Relationships!

 

There are emotional boundaries, energetic boundaries, personal/ relationship boundaries which can cover work, home and other avenues, and also the boundaries we have in our lives with ourselves and how we choose to spend our time.

 

Boundaries can also come naturally, be triggered by past experiences and/or be made up on the fly by intuition or emotional choices.

 

An example of a personal boundary at work could be illustrated as follows

 

Letís say an imaginary person, we will call her Rachel, is wanting to make a good impression in her new job with her new boss who we will call Jill. 

 

Rachel, as a new employee doesnít know how relationships are run at the office yet.  She doesnít know how personal people get with one another, if there is gossip or unhealthy communications, or if anyone at work knows what her role is or how they will work together. 

 

To learn her boundaries at work, Rachel needs to mix her observations of what is considered Ďnormalí at her new job with her inner knowing of what feels of integrity for her.  As she is there longer and longer Rachel may notice that there are instances where clear boundaries are not defined, and other times when she may unknowingly cross a boundary or hold a boundary herself that is unusual for the team - which can cause a range of responses both internally for Rachel and for her teammates which can choose to see her in a unique way for being different. 

 

All of this, is part of creating a healthy personal boundary structure and creating empowered relationships at the same time.  As we can see, creating healthy boundaries can take time, attention, patience and effort.

 

An example of a personal boundary with oneself takes a different approach for most people.

 

When Iím setting personal boundaries for myself, part of what Iím doing is practicing self-discipline.   Self-discipline is one of the ways we gain self-trust, by taking care of ourselves consistently and building the inner knowing we will continue to do so, we feel self-protected and self-nurtured.

 

For example, letís say I have a 15 year old client, we will call him Arthur, that Iím working with who is depressed or anxious.  One thing he tells me is that he doesnít trust himself.  He says when he is with his friends he does things he wouldnít do normally because he wants them to like him. 

 

In order to understand this further, Arthur and I do an NLP (neurolinguistic programming) process and find out that unconsciously, heís afraid of being alone and fears if he doesnít follow his friendsí Ďrulesí they will leave like his father did and he will be alone and unsafe.

 

Now what this is causing for his personal boundaries is a double bind. 

 

Arthur knows that part of his low self-esteem is coming from his not taking care of himself (by not holding his boundaries with his friends) AND he also is afraid if he does hold them, they will leave him.  He feels trapped in the middle (double bind).

 

I work with Arthur on testing the second part of his hypothesis in a way that feels safest for him.  We choose one thing he can change about his behavior with his friends that will be both true to himself AND not following their rules to see how they respond.  His choice is to not smoke as they all do. 

 

The next time they get together, he tells them heís decided not to smoke.  While they chide him a little bit, he finds that by telling his truth, the group actually seemed to like him more.  In fact, one of the girls in the group told him afterward that she was considering cutting back. 

 

By being honest and holding his boundaries, not only did he find a good outcome, he got closer to his friends.  Also, by holding to his truth, he felt stronger and more trusting of himself which in turn helped raise his self-esteem.

 

These are a couple of ways boundaries can be considered, next month, we will look a bit at energetic boundaries. 

 

Also, donít miss the upcoming teleclass in June Ė Creating Healthy Boundaries and Relationships!

 

 

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