People constantly want to offer their opinions, or chip into your life with their two cents on what is right and how the world should be, the truth is that most of the time they need your help, and in turn want to offer you theirs. Resulting in the need to protect your inner boundary and retain the power to choose what you want to let into your life.
All of have an inner boundary. Some of us choose to call it a barrier; some choose to call it a wall. Whatever we decide to label it as, it’s essentially a coping mechanism to protect ourselves from past and future traumas and from the internal and external influences that can affect our emotional balance.
Sometimes we need to get a rain check and reset these barriers, reconnect and re-assess them. It's ok to check ourselves in for a deep charge on the batteries every now and then. without this we can find ourselves feeling unusually low, emotionally challenged and unable to deal with life’s everyday dramas.
I myself, like many others am an empath. This means that I am deeply affected by other people’s emotions and frequently face the risk of feeling the pain of others as though it was my own. I have a heightened sense of awareness when it comes to other people's suffering and can struggle with extra grief and traumas.
I am also a very open and non-judgemental human being, who tries to listen to both sides of a story before sentencing people with my opinions. For this reason and the fact I’m a pretty good keeper of secrets, people open up to me and often share their concerns, angers and issues with me. This is all well and good, and I feel very honoured that people confide in me and value my advice and opinions, but this kind of knowledge can sometimes add detrimental weight to the teetering balance of my own emotional stability.
Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t intentionally disconnect from my friends when they need me. Neither would I want them not to come to me with their problems. But, sometimes we all need to take a little time out and reset our own inner boundaries and to protect ourselves from the emotional punches the world throws at us.
Here’s my coping strategy and how I manage to stay on top (most of the time) and roll with the punches…
1. Maintain my own sacred space – I live a very communal lifestyle, so finding a sacred space can sometimes be challenging, but it’s very important for me to have a place to retreat to when I need to rest in my own silence. Now this can be anywhere from a bedroom, yoga studio, garden shed (man Cave), craft room or Van. Wherever it may be for you, it needs to be a place people respect as yours and know that if the door is closed, you’re not open for business.
2. Listen to a kick ass playlist – I recently became a Spotify subscriber and it’s been life altering. They create me a new playlist each week based on my previous listening history and it’s around 80% spot on for me. I then select the ones I like each week and create a “Kick Ass Playlist” this is my list of songs that make me uncontrollably dance around, sing at the top of my lungs and smile at absolutely nothing. If it feels like the world is getting a little too much, I jump in the van and play this playlist until my eardrums are about to burst!
My Make my soul happy playlist: https://spoti.fi/2L321MR
3. Reconnect with nature – As many of you that have read my blogs before will know, I’ve recently adopted a dog. He has been a fantastic influence on me and helps me reconnect with nature everyday. We spend at least an hour each day discovering new forests, beaches and cliff tops, but I realise we’re very fortunate to have this luxury. However, if you’re feeling like you need a quick energy charge up, take a walk outside. Pack yourself a lunch and sit in a park for your lunch break. Take the dog to the beach instead of round the block; put those feet in the freezing cold water. Make time to watch the sun go down. All of these things will connect you with your inner boundaries and fully charge your power.
4. Challenge yourself, but don’t spread yourself too thinly – Try something new, do something that scares you or complete a task you’ve been putting off for a while. For me, I try to fit in achieving everything that people ask of me, it’s not that people ask too much, it’s that I often want to do too much. I’m not a superhero and my superhuman powers only exist in my mind. I am sometimes unable to do all the things I’ve said I can do, or I don’t do them as well as I would like to. The knock on effect is my head gets so bogged down and jumbled with ideas and tasks I’m trying to commit myself to, that I feel exhausted and give myself a hard time for not doing them as well as I could be doing them. What I’ve learnt is that I need to slow down and be honest with myself and with others of what is really achievable, in the 24hrs over the 7 days we’ve been given. We need to be realistic. This saves on lots of disappointment on both sides.
5. Meditate on it – No this may sound corny and I may lose a few of you here, but I think meditation comes in all shapes and forms. I don’t think you need to sit in a yoga shala, temple or be shouting out Om at the top of your voice. For me it means taking some time away and focusing your mind, making my body still and trying to still my mind whilst thinking deeply about what you’re trying to get out of it. I’m not the best at stilling the mind and often choose to do classes or listen to guided meditations. But essentially it’s about taking around 30 mins out of all of the surrounding noise and practicing an act of self-love. It takes lots of practice to achieve this stillness, so don’t worry if you fall asleep or don’t feel the benefits first time. I still fall asleep!!
My go to guided meditation for recharging: https://themeditationpodcast.com/tmp.xml
Every day life is going to throw you curveballs; it’s about trying to keep ourselves happy in our surroundings and strong in our hearts. No one can do this for you and finding your contentment and protecting it with all your soul!