Wednesday, October 15, 2014

honoring my boundaries

If there is one theme running throughout my present life and within many of the circles I inhabit, it would be boundaries.  Personal or relationship boundaries: defining, clarifying, honoring and maintaining them.

I wonder if anyone older than thirty ever had healthy boundaries modeled for them?  Certainly in my family of origin, running rough-shod over personal space, never mind emotional space, was the norm.  It was my father's house damn it and that authority trumped all.  Emotional manipulation, passive aggressive behavior and martyr complex thrived in that environment. 

Much of my adult life has been spent dismantling unhealthy boundaries; getting at the negative  attitudes and behaviors while mindfully constructing positive, affirming ones.  Boundaries Boot Camp has been vital in bringing awareness to deeply rooted habits of being while holding out new tools in addressing and understanding boundary work.

A new aha (and duh, and of course!) came about when mapping out my circles of intimacy.  With myself in the middle, who - or what - occupies the concentric ring or circle directly adjacent to me ... the ring representing my most intimate of relationships?  Surprise! My most intimate relationships are not with my partner or my child (they occupy the next ring out) but with Spirit (or Source), with Nature, and with Creativity.

The relationship where I show up my most vulnerable and authentic self is not with another person, but with myself. 

Thinking about those relationships, I have to consider how I establish and maintain healthy boundaries.  Or conversely: how do I violate the terms of those relationships?  Do I disrespect or dishonor those connections and if so, how? More importantly, if at the most inner ring or core of my map of relationships there is a rupture, how does that ripple out into all my relationships?

Not the kind of questions to answer in one afternoon ... 

I believe at the foundation of healthy boundaries is a sense of self worth and self respect.  Right now, I am considering how I may disregard my relationship with creative source or creativity whenever I fail to show up for it.  What showing up looks like for me is listening deeply, and allowing space and time for expression and presence to flower and unfold.

exploring drawing with my non-dominant hand ... my new favorite way in!

Beyond any purpose I may believe my creative works exists to perform,  there exists a need for that creative expression to simply be.  For no other reason than it is a part of who I am and how I express my gratitude for the mystery and magic of being alive. Creative expression is how I honor the sacred presence that is me (and is all of us) and it is how I converse with that presence. 

Essential is space for play and exploration ... to question and, in my own language, craft my responses.  

on-going dialogue with Van Gogh; project idea from Studying Under the Masters course with Jeanne Oliver

How I want others to honor and respect my boundaries, I must extend to myself. When I dismiss my work -  when I devalue or talk smack about it; when I disregard its priority in my life; when I discount its cries for care; when I sacrifice it for "more important things" -  I am engaged in boundary violation ... with myself.

Instead, I pledge to respect, nurture, listen and tend to my Creativity.  I pledge to honor play, curiosity, exploration and adventure as core values that both everyday mom-me wishes to foster in our home, and more intimately, through relationship with Creativity and Source.  

Screech Owl á la Van Gogh

No more excuses ... change is afoot!


  1. this is so very timely -- i always bump up against these quandaries when i'm in a fallow state. probably because i have to time to think and question the whys and why nots of my creativity! the idea of boundaries is a very interesting think of my creative communion as something that requires a boundary. and it really does. and it's no secret that it's the first boundary that gets mowed over when life gets busy or other things are deemed more important. as always, though -- what i may not be able to do for myself, i can do for the example of my that they [okay, Savannah] can cast that protective circle around their creativity and let no-one fear to tread past!!

    hmmm.....very Thinky. very Thinky indeed.


    1. thinky indeed! I love the image of a protective circle around our creativity ... and yes, I too find when I am most shaky, my Cowgirl and rallying for her to see, gets me going. And creative communion ... oooo ... that makes me thinky and swoony as well!

  2. oh lis, i am right there with you. this is something that is circling me lately and in many ways i am finding and using my sacred voice to create the space/no/boundary that i need - it's not without nearly caving or crumbling after doing so. for all you express, share, and create here...just know it is reaching others and walks with us too. xx