Do you have boundary issues? For many people setting boundaries is more uncomfortable than enduring the pain of getting disrespected or walked all over. The desire to please and the ensuing fear of rejection can thwart any efforts to speak up, push back and stand up for oneself. However, the challenge with boundaries isn’t only how to enforce them, but also to recognize when they are invaded. There are three ways in which your boundaries can be breached.
The first and most direct one is, when people simply disregard your limits. A part from physical and verbal abuse, there are many less aggressive ways in which others, consciously or unconsciously, can step across your boundaries. For example, some people don’t accept your “no“ for an answer; they continue to bombard you with probing questions, although you indicate that your uncomfortable answering them. Others assume that you are always available for them and ignore your need for privacy. Or you may have encountered those, who expect you to fulfill their needs and if you don’t punish you with rejection and blame. You know that your boundaries have been aggressively broken, when you feel small and powerless.
The second more subtle boundary invasion occurs when people don’t accept you and the choices you are making. Let’s say, you just start feeling good about the positive changes you have been making, but your family seems to prefer the “old” you. Or your excitement about your new interest gets squashed by your colleague’s eye-roll. And when you get together with your friends, they usually get a kick out of making fun of you, no matter how embarrassed you become. These subtle ways in which boundaries get overstepped often hurt the most and leave you feeling insecure and ashamed of yourself.
The third breakdown of your boundaries occurs purely on an emotional and energetic level. Perhaps you routinely feel overwhelmed and drained after going to the mall or a social gathering. A colleague having a bad day can leave you feeling deflated and depressed as well. Or you find yourself still thinking about work on Saturday morning, because a difficult conversation with a client from a few days ago is still weighing on you. If you think about yourself as being sensitive, you are probably familiar with this form of boundary breakdown. You tend to absorb and become entangled with the emotions and energies of others and thus lose touch with your center. As result you feel easily overwhelmed and unsafe in the outside world.
But no matter how your boundaries get invaded, your natural reaction may have been to either attack or avoid those, who crossed them. However, are confrontation or retreat really the best ways to strengthen your boundaries? Let’s take your health as an analogy; the most effective way to avoid getting a cold isn’t chasing bugs with disinfectants or stop leaving the house, but to strengthen your immune system.
7. Use meditation and relaxation exercises on a daily basis. Meditation and relaxation have been shown to be very beneficial to treat chronic pain, migraines, hypertension and other chronic illnesses. Relaxing the mind and the body also activates our immune system. Even 10 minutes per day will make an enormous difference. A great way to start is to simply to find a quiet and peaceful place, sit back and focus simply on your breath. After one to two minutes start inhaling for 5 seconds, hold the breath for 5 seconds and the exhale for 5 seconds. You can gradually increase the times to 20 seconds.
The effects of this Kundalini Yoga breathing meditation are immediate and 5 minutes of this breath replace 30 minutes of sleep. Other great alternatives to relax are self-hypnosis CDs, which directly stimulate the subconscious mind, massages and other body work etc.
8. Give your body proper nutrition and sufficient rest. Healing occurs when our body is well rested and well nurtured. Consult your physician, naturopathic doctor, nutritionist or herbologist to find the proper way to nutritionally support your body.
9. Feed your body with joy, harmony and laughter. Extensive research has shown how the enormous healing benefits of joy and laughter. In 1976 the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published an article by Norman Cousins, who was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (also known as Bechterew Disease) a painful inflammation of the spine. His case was so severe that he was given a very dim prognosis. Realizing that negative thoughts and attitudes can result in illness, Norma Cousins believed that positive thoughts and attitudes may have the opposite effect. He left the hospital and checked into a hotel where he took high doses of vitamin C and watched funny movies and shows. He found that ten minutes of laughter resulted in several hours of pain-free rest. He continued this “treatment” until he recovered. Cousins proved that laughter is a very effective medicine and added another important piece of evidence of the power the mind-body connection.
4. See the disease as an opportunity to learn and grow. Identify the metaphors of the illness – if the illness had a message for your, what would it be. Notice the messages of the symptoms you are dealing with – sometimes symptoms can be taken very literally (“pain in the neck”, “heaviness in the stomach”, “and stiffness in the joints”). Also search for significant emotional events, traumas or inner conflicts that were preceding the illness.
Find ways to heal these conflicts and emotions so that your unconscious mind and body are not pre-occupied and can focus on physical healing (for example through Time Line Therapy® , NLP, Hypnotherapy, Counseling, Energy healing etc.).
5. Use visualizations and creative imagery to stimulate your self-healing potential. If you are taking medication, include what you would like your body to do with the medication (e.g. maximum effect without side-effects). Books and tapes by Dr. Bernie Siegel, the pioneer on using visualization to heal, are a great resource.
6. Never give up hope / trust. Always look for evidence that you can heal and are healing. Avoid listening or “buying into” negative prognosis, statistics…Surround yourself with positive people, positive life and health affirming messages.
**More to come
After studying the human body and mind from all different “angles” for almost two decades, it became very clear to me that we all have an unlimited capacity to heal and change. However, most of us have not learned yet how to access this self-healing power or even trust or believe in such a potential.
The following 9 keys are an opportunity for you to explore and utilize your natural ability to heal. Whether you are currently dealing with a physical, emotional or mental challenge and receiving medical treatment or not, these 9 keys will allow you to access your self-healing potential and accelerate the healing process. There is really nothing you can do wrong – just do it and enjoy.
1. Focus on health and healing rather than disease. Remember that you are not your disease – your disease has been “created” by your body and the body can “uncreate” it as well.
2. Find good reasons why you want to heal. The more incentives / motivations you come up with, the better. Pay attention to the small “stuff” that makes life worth living (e.g. a hug from a friend, a wonderful meal, a beautiful sunset, the kindness of a loved one, the joy of being there for somebody etc.)
3. Give specific “orders” to your body and your mind what you want it to do.
For example: If you have pain, tell the body to create ease and comfort; if you are dealing with a tumor, tell your body to let it “melt” away; if you
have emotional challenges, tell your mind and body to create inner peace, harmony etc.
**Check back for more Keys to Self-Healing
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- Time Line Therapy
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