Bones and Boundaries: Living Well in Tumultuous Times
This is me and a friend taking in “The Giant” at a recent workshop
I am from the Washington, DC area where new toxic twitter feeds come out daily that rock people off their center. The world there feels very unsteady and tumultuous to most that I see on a daily basis.
How can we live in these times without feeling chronically depleted and hammered by the world around us? I have been holding this question for years and have doubled down on it since the election last fall.
When my work with presence, grounding and healthy boundaries began almost three decades ago the world was a very different place. The stress levels were different and the culture as a whole operated more slowly. We lived with the illusion of being able to live within our own bubble of existence. We were not hammered by news quite the way it operates today. Can any of you even remember those times now?
Today the call for the work I teach is much more urgent – the necessity of it in our daily lives more pressing.
I want to share two secrets that have kept me sane as the political and environmental temperatures rise.
Two words: bones and boundaries.
Your bones are the densest form of connective tissue within your body. Most of them exist deep inside of you. When you know how to actually embody here, feeling yourself quiet and steady within the inner sanctum of who you are, all of life gets clearer and more manageable. The traumas happening around you or to you become something you can engage with or not. You can take the time to let the mud settle so that the waters of your being are clear.
When you ask yourself, “Is this mine to do?” the answer is a wise one, not an auto-pilot, knee jerk reaction. And clarity about what is yours to do also comes more easily. Which brings me to my second word.
Boundaries – to be more specific, healthy boundaries.
In our world today most of us are inundated by input from all sides. The media is overwhelming. Television and the internet give us way more input than we actually need or want. Emotions are running high on all sides. So each of us must actively and carefully choose how we live our lives, or we can end up feeling battered by it .
What do you need in order to live out your soul’s purpose? What media is essential and what is not? You have probably already experienced the fact that if you take in too much it is toxic, confusing and down right crazy making at times.
Enter healthy boundaries. What media is necessary and what can you let go of? How quickly do you really need to respond to that text? What food and in what amounts truly nourishes you and keeps you healthy? Which forms of exercise feed your health and well being? And on and on. Healthy boundaries.
And how do you gauge all of this? By knowing how to sense what is right for you, from the inside out, from the core of who you are…your bones. When there is too much coming in, too fast, being able to gauge this gets dicey and confusing. So having healthy boundaries in all areas of your life is vital.
Periodically I take the time to get quiet inside, to slow down and discern whether my current boundaries need to shift in order for me to maintain my health and well being. I have gifts to share with the world and without boundaries I lose my capacity to share who I am fully due to over giving. This is true for many of us and yet we forget that simple instruction given to us everytime we board an airplane.
In other words …
“Put your own oxygen mask on first before helping those in need around you.”