But How: Creating Boundaries
About the “But How” Series
Every day, we are inundated with a plethora of lofty, spiritual quotes online. “Vibrate higher,” they say. "Let go of your doubts." "Trust your intuition." BUT HOW?! This series was created by energetic intuitive and coach Lenea Sims as a way to make the metaphysical physical so you can real-ize your dreams. Using a mix of creative exercises and simple energy work, this series will make your spiritual ideals actionable in your everyday life.
I’ll admit it: Boundaries are a thing that I really hadn’t thought about much until recently. Sure, I’ve heard the term tossed around here and there and I’ve been told that they are good things to set for yourself. But I hadn’t given the idea much of my time. To me, boundaries just seemed like rules that I didn’t feel like taking the time to not break. “Who needs more things to think about everyday?” I thought.
But not anymore, my friend! Now I see very clearly that while, yes, boundaries are basically just rules, they aren’t meant to oppress you, but rather liberate you.
The way I think of it is like making a roommate contract with yourself. You know, one of those things where you have to write out the dos and don’ts of your household so that everything is really clear up front with the people you live with? Then, when someone fails to wash their dishes after 48 hours, you can just point to the contract where you’ve already set rules against these things. This beats the alternative of having to confront your roommate with no hard rules to present, thus having to defend yourself according to your own rules.
This drama is all avoided, though, if you just have the damn contract signed and sealed to refer to! If you’ve set your boundaries up front, then there’s no excuse to be made and you can avoid the drama altogether.
Making boundaries with yourself is the same exact thing! By taking 15 minutes to make a contract with yourself, you liberate yourself from the drama of having to constantly decide what’s best for you. If you can learn to check in with yourself regularly to determine what it is you don’t want in your life, you can create more space for those things you do want.
Setting boundaries essentially raises your standards. These “rules” make sure that only the things that adhere to your vision and values can enter your life. This, in turn, raises your energy which then increases what your possibilities and capabilities are, thus creating a path of positive change in your life.
Here are four manageable steps towards creating healthy boundaries
1. Get into your body: No intention-setting should ever be done solely from the mind. You must tap into your body AKA your energy field before you can truly feel what’s best for you. Begin by standing up and shaking each of your limbs for about 20 seconds each then swinging your hips around in circles, moving your head side to side, etc. If this is not an option for your abilities, visualise yourself doing it. The goal here is to loosen up any stagnant energy in the body so you can begin to channel it. After about 2 minutes of getting loose, hold your hands in front of your heart, palms facing each other but not touching. Feel the energy course through them and between them for about 30 seconds. Then place one hand onto your heart and the other onto your low belly, breathing slowly for another 30 seconds.
2. Listen to your life: Bring to mind a situation that has been bothering you lately. Think deeply about what it is that has you upset about this situation. Answer these questions about it: “How does it make you feel in your body—is it tense? Do you feel small?”, “How does it feel emotionally – are you sad, mad, fearful?”, “What do you feel like you are losing in this situation – your independence, your control, your joy?”
3. Reflect: Now, ask yourself, “What would make me feel better about this?” Here’s where we dig deep. Typically when we feel frustrated with a situation, it’s because we feel out of control of it. So, ask yourself, "What is within my control here?” It may be as simple as determining you can physically walk away from something/someone that is upsetting you. For example, one of my new boundaries is “If I’m not enjoying myself, I will leave and occupy myself otherwise.” Or it may be as complex as taking something that is bothering you and flipping it entirely on its head. For example, I’ve been frustrated by people in my life expecting me to psychically know their boundaries and act accordingly. So, one of my other new rules is “I will not preempt what makes others upset and then avoid doing those things. I will only change what I intend to do if someone has explicitly let me know what is bothering them.”
4. Share your boundaries: The final step is to make sure you are sharing your contract with anyone who will be affected by it. In the same way that I can’t psychically determine my loved ones’ needs, no one in your life can magically know what you need from them either. Leave that “but they should know me well enough” bullshit at the 2018 door, bbs. You have to teach people how to treat you so speak up for yourself and make your shit clear. Kapeesh?
In searching for what you do want in your life, you have to first face what you don’t want. You have to learn how to say no to things that are not doing you any good. You have to sign a contract with yourself, so to speak, so that you know exactly what is not allowed to pass into your energy field.
About the Author
Lenéa Sims is an energy worker, coach, and artist born, bred and living in Los Angeles. After reading one too many inspirational quotes, she decided there had to be a way to make metaphysical platitudes into physical realities. So, she developed a technique of simple energetic and creative exercises to help people enhance their energy and make real what they desire. Her work centers primarily upon joy, creativity, and empowering people to become their own healers. She has written and spoken about it all over including at SXSW 2018. Get more energy tips or book a session with Lenéa here.