TALK | Barriers and Boundaries

Over the last two weeks, we have discussed the physical manifestations of being an environmentally affected individual. Whether you are struggling with your skin or nutrition, the common theme for those struggling with these sensitivities is a weakened barrier. But what if there was more than just the physical symptoms in this category. This week we want to dive into the emotional aspect of being environmentally affected. Whether you are conscious of it or not there are often times a barrier that we set ourselves up with given our environment. It can be a strong one while you’re shuffling through a crowd or you could feel completely barrier free with your closest friends. Either way, we set ourselves up with this type of defense mechanism depending on our comfort zone in each environment. What if you found yourself having a difficult time establishing the boundary you wanted? Or what if you don’t know the type of boundaries you are capable of setting? This week we want to help you discover the ways to determine what you need by simply tuning into your inner voice. Here are some tools to help you uncover the barrier and establish healthy boundaries.

A barrier is a circumstance or obstacle that keeps people or things apart or prevents communication or progress, while a boundary is a line that marks the limits of an area. Those words on their own may feel interchangeable but once you put the definitions side by side it’s very obvious that there is a huge difference in their social meanings. A healthy set of boundaries stems from a healthy sense of self (and self awareness) however most of us have issues with this with at least one person in our lives. So what do you do when you feel like your only resort is to shut off? You tune in. Tuning in means listening to that voice inside your heart that already has the answer. We often shut this down when we are trying to be accommodating, polite or simply don’t want to deal with an uncomfortable confrontation. The good thing is that it is always there so in order to find it again when it goes a little quiet, you can use the following steps:

photo by @taylornsouza

photo by @taylornsouza

1 - Journaling can be one of the most impactful ways to release some buried emotional turmoil that you may not even realize you are facing. The subconscious starts to find an outlet to speak up once you hit your pen to a page. If you exercise this part of yourself at least once a day, you can really start to uncover some of the reasons you’re dealing with a barrier block. Journalling is a private practice with absolutely no judgement so let it out. Give yourself permission to feel in order to heal. If you want advice on how to get started we suggest you put a timer on for 5 minutes in the morning or at night. Don’t stop writing until you are done with the 5 minutes. If you can’t get started with anything, you can start with a gratitude practice and see what else unfolds.

2 - What advice would you give your best friend if they were in your situation? Often times we don’t practice what we preach even when we have the most mindful advice to give. Imagine that your best friend is experiencing a situation where their boundaries are not being respected, what would you say to them? That advice that just came to your mind right there is exactly the type of advice that you need to take yourself. That mindful approach means that you wouldn’t tolerate anyone else treating your friend a certain way, so why should you?

3 - Are you feeling depleted? If our boundaries are weakened it can be pretty easy to feel completely drained after interacting a lot with others. Most of us notice the depletion when we are around certain people more so than others. The unfortunate truth is that as much as we want to only spend time with those who uplift us, we often times can’t completely cut off the ones who drain us. Whether it’s a family member or a colleague that depletes your energy, it’s important to not ignore those physical signs. Instead, try to be as selfish as needed when it comes to your interactions with those individuals. If you start to feel the dark cloud coming over you, allow yourself to create some shielding techniques. This is when self care practices are ideal! Find a meditation that is grounding, go for a walk outside or take an epsom salt bath. All of these will help move the energy out of your system before it becomes a physical stress. Sage it away!

4 - Know when to cut it off. The people we attract in our lives all have a purpose and can teach us something about ourselves along the way. But then there are the ones who end up lingering a little too long. We all have that childhood friend or relative who refuses to acknowledge that time has evolved you into someone who’s grown up. When that person starts to bring you down and acts in a way where they want you to feel less than, it may be time to release that person. You can start with an honest conversation about your needs and if it doesn’t take, you have every right to create a comfortable distance. There is value in history but there is greater value in those who want to grow with you during the good and the bad times. If someone is only reflecting their low self worth at you with their actions, it’s time to put a mirror up to it and set your boundary. If they don’t respect your needs, that may need to be the cut off point. Keep in mind that people change and evolve every day so nothing has to stay permanent, you just have to do what’s best for you and hope that it can help elevate them as well.

With all of that being said, the most important part of tuning in can often start with holding a mirror to yourself first. Seeing yourself in an honest light is where to true healing really begins. Whether you are dealing with a weakened or non-penetrable barrier, you are the one who has the answers on how to find the balance. As your environment changes it's important to remind yourself that you come first. People may come and go but if you have the intuitive tools to help you reset your boundaries to where you feel happiest and healthiest, that's all that matters. We hope this helps remind you that you have all the right answers within. Thanks for reading and until next week, take care.