I needed a break. Life has been busy in general and I needed to let some things go. Writing was one of those things. But I have been keeping track of ideas swirling in my mind, and needed to be sure I was in the right frame of mind to put these on paper. But after taking some time to reflect inwardly on myself, reflect on the world around us and have some meaningful conversations with friends, family and my therapist, I am back on track.
In the last few months I have spent much less time watching and reading all the negativity going on around the world. I still stay informed, but to a lesser degree of over stimulation that often leads to sleepless nights, days filled with agitation and the same conversations over and over again. Instead, I spend more of my time listening to music and podcasts, reading on a regular basis, sitting on the cushion and spending time with those who are most important.
This is one way I can draw a line in the sand, and set boundaries.
I've spoken to many people about boundaries; what they mean, how far to push them and what happens when they get crossed. One phrase I've heard over and over again is, "It's important to say no to the little things so you can say yes to the big things." After reading a business journal article that someone gave me, this message really hit home. The article spoke about how our society is so over scheduled, that even the weekend doesn't feel like we are replenished. Many of us work Saturday or Sunday or both, many have social obligations to attend, laundry to be washed, groceries to be purchased. Come Sunday nights, anxiety begins to set in for the rat race to begin all over again in just a few short hours.
For the last 17 years or so, I have fallen into this trap. I have worked 6-7 days a week for nearly my entire career in the wellness industry. And for the most part I have sincerely enjoyed doing that, but times are changing. I realize how important it is to disconnect from work to make time for me, those who are important to me and those activities I enjoy most.
Along with making more time is knowing my value. As someone that has spent a great deal time and energy educating myself through college, yoga teacher training, meeting with a mentor on a regular basis, attending workshops based on neuroscience and how it relates to training, all of this puts a value to what I say and do. And what I mean by value in part has to do with what I get paid monetarily. But it also effects my sick and vacation time, 401k and health insurance.
I need to put myself in the best situation possible to ensure these needs are met.
Another topic of boundaries I've had many conversations around is the power of touch, most specifically in the yoga studio. From day one of my teaching, I have always respected my students and made a conscious decision to ask them to raise a hand if they wish NOT to be adjusted in class. Of course, I ask them while in a shape that no others will know if a hand has been raised. I strongly follow this philosophy because I understand not everyone wants to be touched or adjusted. While some teachers or methods of yoga encourage adjusting students, we all have a back story. There are times where touch has been very comforting. And other times where our antennas have shot straight up. My hope is that with the correct cuing, possibly saying the same thing 2-3 different ways, I can get a student into the shape I'm looking for rather than having to put my hands on them. And while that may not always work, then I may need to adjust in some fashion.
Boundaries are important and needed when it comes to social media too. I have only recently come back to Facebook after about a year hiatus. At the time I put my page on hold, it really was not serving me or bringing a great deal of happiness. Quite frankly, I was distraught by many of the things I was seeing. So, I stepped away. And a year later, I came back. But with a new outlook. I no longer scroll through postings all day long. When I do post, it is with a purpose.
It is one thing to tag a friend in a picture or post that is a shared community experience. I strongly believe there is a hierarchy in how information should be shared when it comes to very personal stories, such death in the family, the announcement of a wedding engagement or any other important life scenario. Not long after returning, an article showed up on my feed. It's a story about the importance of giving people space to share their story. I encourage you to take time to read this article.
We all have our own perception of what boundaries are. Sometimes they are firm. Other times they are blurred. At the end of the day, they are created to keep us safe and protected.
I welcome any and all feedback when it comes to this topic. Because it is conversation that will move us forward.