“No” is a complete sentence.” ~ Anne Lamott
This can be a dirty word to some and a confusing word to most. Boundaries are associated with the victim, as in “I’m a victim and you can’t talk about this or that” or just being rude, as in “this is my line in the sand and you better not cross it.”
Neither of those two scenarios are the truth about the boundaries I want to share with you today.
These boundaries are all about adding more “Zen” in your life, creating space for the things that are important and “weeding out” the things that are less of a priority. Looking at what you really want to do with your life instead of standing on the sidelines wishing you had more time to do it.
Sound interesting? Then let’s look a little closer at what’s involved in changing some things in your life by adding boundaries.
First let me say that I have discussed boundaries before in a previous post but some of this is worth repeating. We all know to change anything in your life you need to hear it several times to make it stick.
- Truth #1: The word “No” is truly a complete sentence just like the quote says and using it allows you to free up time and space in your own life. This revelation came to me when I turned 40 and I quickly discovered that using the word “No” really did get easier to say when you used it more often. Was there guilt involved the first few times of using it? Sure but after that came a sense of empowerment that I was staking a claim for me and what I really wanted to do in my life. The wisdom in this truth is, “When your cup is full it is much easier to give to others in your life.”
- Truth #2: Schedule your “free time” and use it wisely. You can check on all of your social hangouts and your email but do it in short time bursts. Save the big chunks of time for yourself to read, exercise, write or whatever makes your soul sing. Even if it’s taking time to sit in your backyard, you are replenishing energy that you need to fill your cup! (try this truth for just 24 hours and I promise you will feel different)
- Truth#3: “What you let into your life will define you.” Everyday we are bombarded by the latest this and that so ask yourself before you buy, “will it change my life for the better?” What I mean is this, will it give you what you truly want and need or is it just filling a void? Don’t define your life with stuff and wasted time, define it with what’s important to you. (side note: I have nothing against new stuff and if a new iPhone, iPad or Tablet makes your life easier then buy it. The truth here is that too much stuff can take up and waste your precious time.)
- Truth #4: Age changes everything, older and wiser is very true so adjust your boundaries accordingly. For me the beginning of decades do amazing things and at 50 my boundaries really shifted. What was important before really started taking a back seat to a new set of priorities in my life. Make sure that you re-evaluate your life and boundaries on a regular basis.
- Truth #5: (one of the biggest) Once we gain our life experience wisdom call upon it to deal with all of the relationships in your life. Decide who needs to stay in your inner circle and who needs to be on the fringes of your life. Who is sucking up your time and energy and who is easy to be with. Moving people in and out of your life does not make you a bad person it makes you a smart one. And this will make everyone wonder how you live your life so well and want to learn your secrets. (and share those secrets with them)
Add these truths, minus the guilt and worry, slowly and deliberately to your everyday life. Boundaries are NOT about “fencing you in” they are about reclaiming parts of your life just for you!
I would love to hear your comments on how boundaries have helped you reclaim parts of your life and the differences they have made. As always please share this post with someone who needs to learn the truth about boundaries too.