Boundaries for Free Spirits
If you’re a free spirit who thinks that boundaries are restrictive, then today’s episode of The Prana + Patchouli Podcast is for you.
Where in your life do you need to establish better boundaries?
Perhaps it’s with friends, family or work?
Or maybe you say yes when you really mean no?
Press play or click here to listen:
I know you have a big heart and while it may seem like a small thing, or not feel like a big deal at first, before you know it, you’ll find yourself depleted and feeling resentful.
I say this with love... It’s up to you to set clear boundaries because no one else can do it for you. If you struggle with this and feel like someone is always crossing your boundaries, it’s because you’re allowing them to. But when you’re in alignment with your boundaries, those around you will feel the energy shift, respect your boundaries and give you space to breathe.
And if you find yourself saying ‘yes’ when your heart really means ‘no’, it’s usually because a part of you needs something from the other person too. It could be love, acceptance, validation, being seen or feeling worthy.
This used to be me and I found myself desperately backtracking, trying to get out of things that I didn’t actually want to do. My lack of boundaries left me feeling confused, resentful, anxious and it was a huge drain on my energy.
That was a compassionate warning from my intuition that I needed to put boundaries in place. Then I read this quote from Glennon Doyle in her book, Untamed:
“Every time you're given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job throughout your entire life is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.”
That’s not because we don’t care. Saying no and setting boundaries is actually one of the most loving things we can do. Because when we do say ‘yes’, we’re already filled up and able to give ourselves fully.
So, one of the things I often ask myself now when making a decision is:
Does this support me on my journey to who I want to be and what I want to do in the world?
Sometimes, I feel guilty at first, but the more I practise saying no, the more I’ve learned to celebrate that (and the easier it becomes)! Guilt is a sign that I’m taking care of myself and when the guilt shows up, the resentment is gone.
One of the best ways to build better boundaries is to feel it in your body.
The truth is, flow loves a container and without direction, is just a flood. If you want to enjoy more flow in your life, relationships and work, you have to harness the energy before you can build momentum.
I think that this is something that we naturally experience on the yoga mat. We have rivers of energy (prana) flowing through us and when we practise alignment in each pose, we create boundaries in our bodies.
Take Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog). There are clear energetic lines from the crown of the head to the sitting bones, the palms to the sitting bones and the soles of the feet to the sacrum.
Not only do they protect us and keep us safe from physical injury, but they also allow us to optimise our energy in the pose. If we just collapsed into it, our energy would be weak. And similarly, if we tried to force ourselves into the shape, we’d struggle to breathe and block the flow of our energy.
Through this feeling practice, we can check in and ask ourselves: how does this feel? This really helps us tap into our deep-level intuition.
Another way to do this is to check in with your belly. This is like your central intelligence agency. It’s home to your enteric nervous system, also known as your “belly brain”. You can tune into this space when you’re deciding what feels right for you. Trust your “gut feelings”. What are they trying to tell you?
To embody that connection, we’re going to practise Dirga Pranayama or the 3-Part Breath which will centre you, calm you and bring awareness to your belly and the present moment.
Your belly, ribs and heart space will act as anchor-points for your awareness. If you like, you can amplify this practice by repeating mantras as you breathe:
Inhale to your belly: I am in the flow.
Inhale to your ribs: I am willing and able.
Inhale to your heart space: I am whole and loved.
Repeat for 3-7 rounds at your own pace.
As we close out this episode, let’s come to our centring thought for the day:
I honour my boundaries.
Take this mantra with you, wherever you go and let it be a gentle reminder that it’s safe for you to say no and setting boundaries is a spiritual act that allows you to live and love more freely and fully in the world.
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