We’ve all heard of setting boundaries with others so they don’t walk all over us and we fall into the people pleasing trap. Been there, done that, still working on it! But, have you ever thought of setting boundaries with yourself? Sometimes we might feel resistance around doing something we know will make us feel better. Other times we just find we struggle to actually put that thing into action and start that meditation practice or get that movement in. Setting boundaries with ourselves keeps us accountable and helps us start to shift habits that don’t serve our best interest.
I recently got back from a wonderful trip to beautiful Vancouver Island and on return realized I hadn’t meditated or did any kind of morning practice the whole 10 days. I’d also ended up moving my body minimally, which I know with all the sitting in the car and hours of driving, would have made me feel better as well. I’m all for listening to your body and going with the flow of things, which I did to an extent. I wasn’t expecting to maintain my 45 minute morning practice while on vacation, but at the same time I thought I’d at least do a short meditation each morning.
The only meditation I got in the whole trip was a random one on the ferry ride over to the Island. We were sitting outside on the top deck with the sun and light warm breeze. It felt so peaceful and the desire to meditate arose, so I went with it. I want it to be clear that I’m not beating myself up for not getting a morning practice in or moving as much as my body would have liked. I take each opportunity like this to learn and grow and decide to try something different each time.
Next time, I plan to set some boundaries around ensuring I get a meditation in each morning so that I can connect and practice staying present a bit easier each day. I think setting boundaries with ourselves can be helpful when we want to commit to something good for us that we’re struggling to do. Maybe you want to commit to getting in more structured exercise 3x a week as you want to improve your fitness. You can set that boundary and commit to it by scheduling it into your week. Perhaps you want to drink more water throughout the day. You can set a boundary around drinking 1 litre of water before touching any other type of beverage.
Boundaries are different than rules.
Rules are rigid, black and white and come from a place of fear and trying to move away from something we don’t want. Boundaries are flexible and come from a place of love while trying to move towards something we do want. It is important to be very honest with yourself about whether it’s rules or boundaries you are setting with yourself. If it’s feeling rigid and like you’re in that black and white, controlling mindset then I suggest stepping back from that rule until you can find flexibility.
I want to also make it clear that we can’t change behaviours without looking at the beliefs behind them. This is where the diet industry massively fails. They try to change eating habits to help people lose weight, without looking under the food. Our beliefs are what drive our thoughts, our thoughts lead to our feelings, our feelings lead to our actions and our actions lead to our results. In order to change those results we don’t like, we need to go all the way back to our beliefs. What are the stories you’re telling yourself around having time or energy to consistently exercise? What are the stories you’re telling yourself about not being able to drink enough water each day? Ask yourself it they’re true, and if they’re really yours. Then change that story to support the shifts you want to make and support the new boundaries you’re setting for yourself. Now I’d love to hear if you feel there are any boundaries you need to set for yourself?