Friday, May 9, 2014

simply close the door (thoughts on boundaries + giveaway!)

I was about thirty when I first learned about the concept of personal boundaries.  It was a pretty pivotal moment, I suppose because I didn't have any real boundaries.

As my therapist explained, I was like a house with many doors and windows.  When someone has healthy boundaries, they determine who or what is allowed to enter the house; they control the opening of doors and windows.  In my case, my "house" self had no glass in the windows and the doorknob were on the outside!

The renovation of my house - of me! - is a continual and on-going process.  Just as I installed proper doors and deadbolts with my family of birth, I became a mother.  This new terrain is challenging. I want the best for my girl and I know all-too-well the ease - and the danger -  of projecting my tendencies, my desires, my fears upon her.  She is her own person but balancing the task of guiding, providing, and safe-guarding with an understanding of when it is necessary to let go, allow, release is a tricky thing.  

I share what I love with her, not in the hopes of grafting her life upon mine, but with the intention of her crafting a life lived with passion, curiosity, sense of power and creative possibility.  

we created a water wheel in celebration of Beltane; our wheel was made from chalk, crystals, & stones

we added birdseed, cornmeal, lavender and our prayers and songs to activate the wheel

Sometimes I am not thrilled with her choices: Nintendo DS (I don't even know what the DS stands for), Pokemon cards, Beyblades, Ninjago ( I sense a trend here with pseudo-Japanimation) but as a kid I too binged on some junk entertainment before discovering real nourishment.

THIS thrills me: her enduring passion for dragons (and new love of riddles)

Just as I impose commonsense limits upon sweets (one sweet a-day) while offering healthy options, my hope is she will understand it is in her power to make good choices.  

At her school, they introduced a concept of bucket-filling, and bucket-dipping.  A good friend is someone who fills your bucket through words, gestures, and actions.  A bucket-dipper is someone who is hurtful, rude or disrespectful.  The worst thing you can be, according to Cowgirl, is a bucket-dipper.  But I've tried to point out to her that if someone is dipping in her bucket, she has the right and the responsibility to cover her bucket

Or in my case, to simply shut the door.  

There is so much more to learn and share.  I am excited to be able to offer 2 spots in Pixie Campbell's upcoming online offering Boundaries Book Camp with Mountain Lion.  I can think of no better way to define, clarify, understand and strengthen boundaries.  This  two-week intensive with daily prompts, media and interactions is 

 about building stronger communities, relationships and partnerships through the superheroic gesture of protecting ourselves from others’ psychic debris, and protecting others from ours. Clarity of awareness and loving language emphasized.

I will be there, gathering ideas and tools to pass on to my girl-cub ...

tools for our ceremony, including this song

I will be drawing 2 names from comments on this post and on the accompanying facebook thread.  (If neither work for you, please email me lishofmann(at)novia(dot)net and I will enter you into the drawing.)  I will announce the winners next Friday (May 16) so be sure to leave you name before then! Make sure I have a way to contact you.

Boot camp begins May 19.  Get ready to step fully into your power, your voice.


  1. oh, the delicate dance of stepping in and stepping out....when to and how to and how gods!!

    in defense of pokemon etc. -- not surprisingly, my girl and yours are of similar tastes -- it's quite full of metaphor and philosophy and archetype. not mindless or junky, (for the most part) -- just a different way of accessing wisdom? i had to let that battle go....because it became one....and i see her learning to balance and now she has an emerging interest in animation and game-development. have faith, mama-bear, your girl seems to be making excellent choices. <--- that's Unschooling 101, which i keep failing and having to take over. ;) lol

    i'm either doors-flung-wide or batten-down-the-hatches as far as boundaries go. *sigh*. ah, the elusive balance again.

    i'm a bit envious of your water wheel.....i'm quite certain i would get an eye-roll. BUT -- before going off on her school trip earlier in the week, she drew herself a Guardian on a scrap of paper and tucked it into her bag.




  2. Lisa <3

    Boundaries - which some days are good and other days the boundaries are like sheets blowing in the wind - flimsy. I think it all depends on my body, mind, spirit. If I'm in balance then I can more easily stay firm (hold my boundaries), otherwise I'm a flimsy mess.

    I loved the water wheel and the idea of being a bucket-filler.

    Wishing you a delightful weekend and Mother's Day

    lots of love from jersey


  3. Oh my goodness. I remember the days of Pokemon and such. . . They do grow up and find their way - their stories and meaning. I tend to not have boundaries - a lessons I need to keep re-learning : ) Much love to you and yours!

  4. this is a dance i am continually step forward and seemingly 10 back...over-analyzing all the way. your cowgirl creates some wonderful dragons and dinos, lis, brava.

  5. I don't know what DS stands for either! but you are one very cool mum doing that big chalk collage with your inspire me. Boundaries...Damn, one of my biggest challenges in life I think, it can take so many forms, even in my creativity...Ive been a huge allower of crossing boundaries. Actually had an interesting dream months ago, it was one that you are meant to remember...In short I was walking carrying and protecting 2 baby birds while a sickly female mountain lion followed me. How obvious is that!!!

    Thank you Lisa for being true

    Love and Peace

  6. Boundaries are my biggest challenge! My house is under construction and I'm in the selection process for my windows and doors :) Pixie's class will be a huge help. I love how you love your Cowgirl and give her so much room to be who she is.

  7. I am already signed up Lisa, but wanted to comment on this beautiful post...
    because it is just that
    beautiful, honest, and true
    thank you for your open heart

    love and light

  8. corriethefrog@hotmail.comMay 13, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    Ah boundaries, I try to compare boundaries with trres. Will I grow strong with deep roots and shelter my young sapplings so that they may also grow strong in this crazy environment in which we/ I have chossen to take part of in order to grow and live. Will I be given enough sunhine, water and compost to feed my soul as I grow. Balancing it all as the nuturing Mum can at times feel so overwhelming, but when part of this tribe knowledge is shared and wisdom gained to walk together to create the worlds in which we wish to guide and lead.

    Thanks for sharing your light with such opportunities.
    Corrie Tapsall

  9. Wow, thank you for doing this. Please throw my name in the hat! I am learning so much about boundaries, it's like that adage, when you are ready your teacher will appear... and boy oh boy am I ready to step into my self and learn from Pixie!!!

  10. oh - boundaries......As I prepare to leave my 30's I am so aware of their need and realize that I have barely survived without them. I now want to invite in ease and know that boundaries are key to ease for my sensitive soul. I would dearly love to be included in the drawing.
    Thank you! XO Renee