In my last blog post, Boundaries and Home Organization, I talked about 8 different ways that weak boundaries can impact the organization of your home. In this post, I wanted to share 8 different ways to help strengthen your boundaries. I’ll include both conventional and non-conventional techniques, so you can choose what resonates for your own brain and sensibilities. Practice these techniques and watch the organization of your home pop into place, almost effortlessly.
- The cause of a lot of household arguments and accumulation of clutter has to do with poor personal boundaries, and a lack of communication about responsibility. Enmeshment and co-dependency occur when you allow others inside of your own personal “bubble”, or when you allow yourself to jump into someone else’s bubble. Visualize yourself in a bubble of white light, all of the time. I love to think of this as a candle flame metaphor. Imagine a dark room, and two candlesticks are lit. When you move them closer together, they become brighter. But when you separate them, both candles continue to glow. Conversely, if the two candles “become one”, they will only emit the light of one candle. They can’t glow if they were separate, because they can’t separate. That’s going to be problematic on so many different levels. Several times throughout the day, visualize yourself in a bubble of white light. Imagine this bubble as 10 feet behind you, 10 feet below you, 10 feet in front of you, 10 feet above you, and 10 feet on either side. Expand this bubble to a size that feels good for you. In addition to visualizing this bubble, feel source energy coming down from the top of your head, filling your body, and going out through your hands and feet. Then feel earth energy coming up through your feet, up through your body, out your hands, and out the top of your head. Allow these two energies to run simultaneously, while encased in a bubble of white light.
- Get grounded with who you are. Knowing yourself will help you make choices that are in alignment with what is true for you, rather than trying to mold yourself to fit within the idea of who you think you should be. If you’ve tried the exercise above, but you had trouble really feeling the earth energy come in through your feet, try using a grounding mat. A friend had been telling me about these for years, and I finally decided to try it. It has made a world of difference in terms of feeling centered and balanced, but it’s also dramatically reduced pain in my body. The difference I felt using the grounding mat for the first time was not a subtle energy shift. It was a “hell yeah” kind of “where have you been all my life?” sort of feeling. So unless you spend 8-10 hours barefoot, working on a farm or in the garden, I highly suggest watching the videos on this website.
- If your energy getting depleted faster than you can keep your home organized? Ancient civilizations throughout history have all been known to use talismans to help strengthen their boundaries. Some use them on the exterior of their home, such as ornaments on the door, lion statues and the entryway, or use gates to physically ward off intruders. On the interior of the home, you may choose to use a cross, Buddha statue, crystals, symbols, or many other talismans. Many cultures also use talismans that can be worn, such as jewelry made with particular gemstones or imagery. Whether it’s worn publicly or kept private under clothing, these types of talismans can really help someone feel protected from foreign energies rather than having to expend lots of energy fighting off intruders. Want some suggestions for finding a talisman? A single quartz crystal may be all that you need. Some people insist on keeping a chunk of black tourmaline on them at all times. Others love to wear turquoise. There are many more stones that are known for helping to strengthen boundaries. You could also try using a Q-Link necklace which acts like a tuning fork for your body to help keep your energy balanced and boundaries in tact.
- Are your thoughts being hijacked? Another visualization technique is to “unplug” people. Have you caught yourself constantly thinking about someone, wishing they would do something differently? You may be plugged into them. First, visualize the person, and imagine a cord of energy going between you and them. Where is it connected on them? Visualize yourself unplugging this cord from them. Then follow it back to yourself and notice where it’s plugged in to you. Unplug the cord from your body, and allow it to fall to the ground. Notice the sensory relief that this action brings. If you are feeling a sense of guilt, like you should be doing something for someone else that you really don’t want to do (people pleasers, listen up), you may have allowed someone else to be plugged into you. When someone is plugged into you, unplug the cord on yourself first, then follow it back to the person you’re plugged into, and unplug from them. Other similar visualization techniques could be to imagine yourself closing doors, or to imagine a wall of fire between you and someone else. As someone who has practiced energy work for years, I have a whole handful of other techniques like this. They can really come in handy when trying to get your home organized!
- Listen to your gut. The gut represents boundaries. Your gut (or intestinal lining) is intended to keep large molecules such as food particles, bacteria, and toxins in your gut, so that they can move through your body and nutrients can get assimilated as necessary. When the gut lining gets holes in it, and becomes permeable, these particles can enter the blood stream, where they don’t belong. This is called “leaky gut”, and can be caused by food intolerances, the standard American diet (low in fiber, high in simple carbohydrates and bad fats). Alcohol abuse, stress, and other factors could also cause leaky gut. Boundary issues could signify leaky gut. So if you have digestive issues, or feel like your body just isn’t absorbing the nutrients from food, talk to a naturopathic or functional medicine doctor to get tested. The good news is that leaky gut can be healed! Also, consider how healthy your gut microbiome is. If you’ve taken antibiotics or crave a lot of sugar, your gut microbiome could be out of whack. Your gut has “good guys and bad guys”. When the bad bacteria outnumbers the good bacteria, your immune system cannot function properly. It can also affect your mental health. When the gut microbiome is healthy, the “good guys” help keep the “bad guys” at bay. Talk to your naturopath or functional medicine provider to get your gut microbiome tested. They can prescribe specific probiotics to kill off the bad bacteria and to allow the good bacteria to flourish. There are tons of different kinds of probiotics out there, so you’ll want to make sure you’re talking to a professional who can help you identify the correct strain(s) of probiotics to take. Otherwise, if you take the wrong ones, you could inadvertently be fueling up the bad bacteria, making the problem much worse. Think of your good bacteria like body guards. The stronger they are, the fewer invaders you’ll have to deal with. Think of this as a metaphor for your home. The more fortified your walls are (your intestinal lining) and the more you fill your home with belongings that help support the life you want to lead, the less you’ll have to deal with annoying clutter or other unwanted pests invading your space. Let me know if you’d like a referral for a naturopath in the Seattle area.
- Practice asserting your boundaries by learning how to say “No”. Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Aaron Kapin, teaches workshops on boundary setting and self-expression. Join his Self Care Laboratory on Facebook to stay in the loop about his classes.
- The people you know who look like they have the strongest amount of willpower are actually just the people who have to use their willpower the least. Surround yourself with people who support you and who inspire you to reach your goals, where the relationships are mutually beneficial. Don’t surround yourself with people who secretly (or not so secretly) keep you stuck, or who tempt you to make unhealthy choices, so they don’t feel so bad about their own bad behavior.
- Do you give all your time away, and then feel burned out before accomplishing your basic tasks? Create a schedule for yourself. Some people like to dial in their time to 15 minute increments. For others, creating a list of 3 things they want to get done that day is enough of a structure. Alarms, post-it notes, or just putting your running shoes out next to your bed can all be used as reminders to help you use your time effectively and efficiently, rather than having such loose boundaries that you can’t stay focused on your goals.
What do you do to help strengthen your boundaries? Send me a message , I’d love to hear what’s worked for you!
By Jean Prominski, Certified Professional Organizer
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