Let no enter your inner kingdom unless they come with love.
I was having a conversation not too long ago with a friend when she said of another, "She's a woman of strong boundaries." It got me wondering, "Would anyone say that about me?"
We all know it when we see it. That woman who's comfortable in her skin, knows herself, her limits, and clear and honest about those limits. It's admirable (and healthy), for sure. But I've seen so many of us struggle with our faulty boundaries. As I've become more aware and curious about how this shows up in my life, I noticed that I didn't always listen to my gut or messages my body was sending me. Nor did I have a consistent inner practice that kept me protected from absorbing other people's energy. Not easy when you're an empath. It's only been in the last 5 years that it's become more of non-negotiable necessity of who and what I invite into my life.
As Justine Musk said in a recent blog post, "Your invitations are sacred.
If you never invite anyone inside your walls, you will die of loneliness. If you invite everyone, you will also die of loneliness – or exhaustion, or disease, or violence."
And then I read this - Open, Gentle heart. Big Fucking Fence by the groovy Danielle Laporte. The first time I read it I was like cool, another great post. But then it showed up again and again, it took me a while to realize that I should pay more attention to it. Listening to it is the best. I've personally struggled with the spiritual message "we are all one." Not that I don't believe it, I do. We all have equal opportunities for love & grace. But some people's energy, words, and actions or your vibration together are a unhealthy mismatch. Life in general can be depleting enough. And especially from those who don't respect our boundaries. Or we allow to penetrate our weak boundaries.
But to appear closed. Not me. Not ever.
So YES, a big fence with an equally big heart.
I recently had my boundaries tested with a friendship, Without going into details, the relationship survived many years with loose boundaries. Mostly mine. As they say, we teach people how to treat us - by what we allow and how they see us treating ourselves. Boundaries are about self- respect and self-love. So when it came time to let go of the relationship, I let go with surprising ease (and a cord cutting ritual, but that's another story). In the end, it was too depleting to maintain.
As a student of Kundalini yoga, we often talk of strengthening our aura or arclines. Also known as our radiant body, or 8th chakra. It's our projection and protection as my teacher says. The 9 feet of "space" that surrounds us, like a bubble. (FYI: Wearing white extends your auric radiance an additional foot. That's why many Kundalinis traditionally wear it). Our aura, emotional space, or energy field is not seen, but it's definitely felt. It's also where our radiance - our true beauty shines.
When you feel great being in someone's presence, it is because they have a strong and powerful aura. The Dali Lama and other spiritual leaders, for instance, have been known to have a very powerful and radiant electromagnetic field. Being in their presence, an entire football stadium could feel lit up, you feel calmed and protected.
Conversely, when you are in the presence of an unbalanced energy field, you feel negative, withdrawn and vulnerable.
In her book, Everyday Grace: The Art of Being a Woman, Sat Purkh Kaur mentions that women have a second arcline that runs from nipple to nipple across our Heart Center. Due to this, women are 16 times more sensitive, more powerful, and more intuitive. But because of those powers, we can be more insecure, more neurotic, and more affected when others enter our arcline uninvited. I never thought of it before in those terms, but man, it makes sense to me.
So how do we protect our boundaries without being closed? As always, it begins within.
& strengthen your boundaries:
- ENERGY CLEARING: Whenever you are feeling emotionally drained and depleted, it's a warning sign that you've absorbed too much negative energy, had loose boundaries, and weakened your radiance. Firmly and clearly remove yourself if possible. Get centered. Be discerning. Know your limits. Find a sacred space. Look upward and inward. Essential oils (like frankincense, sandalwood, palo santo, sage) can help shift energy. Music, especially chanting - type music, is especially soothing when feel energetically worn out. Although it may seem woo-woo to some, crystals such as Amethyst can be very uplifting.
- CONSISTENT SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: Yoga, chanting, meditation, journaling, movement, being in nature. Anything to get quiet and look within. Even if you just do a little bit. When I really need to strengthen my aura, I either head to nature or my favorite yoga class. In my experience, Kundalini yoga is one of the quickest technologies for building and maintaining our energy field. You don't have to believe it works, it just does.
- EPSOM SALT BATHS: I like Magnesium flakes and essential oils (such as Young Living or Floracopeia) for feeling more refreshed and balanced. Ever notice after a long day, a bath feels not only physically cleansing but also emotionally too.
- VISUALIZATION & AFFIRMATIONS: I've heard of visualizing zipping yourself up in a bubble to keep protected, shielding yourself with an umbrella, or just simply to keep repeating a protective mantra over and over (a personal favorite - "I am safe. My boundaries are protected. All is well in my world.") Use whatever words you find comforting.
- GROUNDING FOODS & PRACTICES: One of my friend's says that meat grounds her, but I like a big pan of roasted root vegetables and tea. (Yay, for fall). Being barefoot is grounding, especially touching the earth's amazing energy. And seriously, foot rubs truly rock.
Protect. Protect. Protect.
And radiate your Truth.
Move into Grace.