Courageous boundaries are essential to leading a successful life. This is especially true in 3 key areas of living: time, rest and communication. Time is precious. And, one’s relationship with time is a reflection of circumstances, resources, priorities and behaviors – all influencing quality rest… and communication. The ability to set, have and hold quality boundaries hugely depends on how we feel – our mood and thereby, how we orient. When we feel empowered we orient towards that vibration, which rest supports, and we set empowering boundaries, and so it goes…
Values and beliefs underlie what gets prioritized and how we behave. They influence how, why, what and with whom we share. And, it all boils down to time. Basically, we devote time to things and those we care about. And, who, what, why, and how we care about something or someone says everything about who we are, our self-capacities – esteem, worth, identity, and the like. Basically, who and what we say “yes” to and who and what we so “no” to depends on our life condition – and I assert, one’s inner life condition, since how we feel inside is where every personal moment ultimately begins. And, this inner state filters and directs our attention, which is ultimately how one guides their life. This is why every moment counts and mastering mindset is so critical to courageous living. Because how we spend our time is our life. Period.
Is how we use our time aligned with the energy of courage, thereby love, worth and trust? Or, is how we use our time aligned with the path of fear, thereby scarcity and lack. If aligned with love, worth and trust, we’re most likely setting clear and clean boundaries in flow. If aligned with fear and lack, we’re most likely setting rigid, fuzzy or no boundaries at all. And fear aligned boundaries create blockage. Not all-or-nothing, more of a continuum, but nothing could be more important to effective use of time and thereby living a successful life than setting, having and holding healthy boundaries.
Now, without rest, all bets are off. We simply cannot function at any capacity worth functioning if we’re depleted and deprived of the very thing the body needs for restoration and revitalization – sleep. And, if our bodies are not rested, our minds and spirits cannot be either. Thereby, how we use our time is at the mercy of our energy level and quality. Deprivation creates vulnerability to experiencing fearfulness and lack which makes setting healthy boundaries that much harder because when we’re just plain tired, everything just feels harder. This increases our vulnerability to feeling insecure and can most lead to boundaries that usually benefit others more than ourselves, which is ultimately destructive. So, the more and the better you can rest, the better use of time you’ll experience because the more likely you’ll be able to set healthy boundaries from access to courage. Essential to mention, quality nourishment with quality food is essential to the bodies ability to get rested. Resting well and eating well go hand in hand, like a peaceful relationship, a win-win.
Then, there’s communication – we do not exist in isolation, ever – even if we try or fear that we do. We, humans, are social animals, and we always have Self and our connection to all that is as well as the instinct to attach. It’s natural to seek connection and a sign of health. And, it’s also natural and healthy to need time alone to be still, and muse… or just chill and restore. One of my most favorite things is to simply rest by chilling and musing with candles and inspiring sounds – music, nature, meditation or just silence. Sometimes, the healthiest thing is to lean into communication. Reach out, talk. Sometimes the healthiest thing is to lean away from it, go within and hold. And, how we navigate this terrain and sea… both within ourselves and with others… is really about whether we lean to or from lack or to or from love.
TIP 1: This time NOW is all you have. Take time to align with your heart, mind, and soul and do just what you want to do … unapologetically and to really get into a flow, do it uninterrupted – rest, putter, no expectation, no pressure … and maybe even no talking … just get into a flow. Or belt out a song as if you’re busking in Downtown Crossing if that’s what you feel inspired to do. Most essentially, claim and own your time, and safeguard and use it as if your life depends on it because it does.
TIP 2: Get enough rest. Period. And if you don’t get enough rest, understand how that lack is impacting you, because it truly is. Really. Some of my best “lack attacks” have been directly due to sleep and rest deprivation… let’s be honest, not pretty and everything is harder when deprived. Sometimes, my clients complain of suffering from confusion, wondering why they feel or think so bad. And, it’s as simple as exhaustion. Sleep is a potent medicine that can turn everything around.. And, if you’re not restful or able to shut down and sleep, be careful not to make it worse with caffeine, light from a device or getting into a conflict. Trying breathing, surrendering and asking the part of you keeping you up if it would be willing to try letting go can all really help. Embrace this practice of getting enough rest as if your life depends on it because it does.
TIP 3: HAVE and HOLD honest and harmonious communication. Do NOT force it … if you want to talk, then talk. If you don’t want to talk, then don’t talk. If you’re always talking, then stop, be still and listen. If you usually hold in or back, then take a risk by opening up, sharing and expressing yourself. The calls you respond to and how you respond to those create your life. So, respond with courageous communication as if your life depends on it because it does. And, a useful skill to help a practice of courageous boundaries that comes from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is the acronym: DEAR MAN – which I turned into DEAR WOMAN from years of running an interpersonal effective women’s group. Describe concisely the situation, Express thoughts and feelings from a Self-responsible point of view, Assert your ask, Reinforce an effective outcome that incorporates self and other respect, believe in your Worth, remain Optimistic about the outcome, and stay Mindful. Then, the A, I took a bit further. To Appear confident isn’t enough… we must Access confidence by calling forth Self-energy like courage is also a quality of Self energy that can be called forth… And, part of this means Allowing what needs to be allowed, Acknowledging what needs to be acknowledged, and Appreciating what needs to be appreciated. And, finally, Negotiate and Navigate as needed.
Creating a successful life crucially depends on courageous boundaries, especially in the key areas of time, rest and communication. Take a deep breath and take back your life by taking back your time, your body, mind, spirit and your voice by embracing the practice of having and holding courageous boundaries. Then, marvel in how your life changes!