Today I want to talk abut one of my favorite topics – Boundaries. I often hear from students that they are too busy to practice as much, or for as long as they want to. Some also feel angry or resentful towards their families or jobs because they feel like it’s an imposition on the inner work that they really want to do.
I’m here to call you out on that! And here’s why…
It’s up to you to cultivate boundaries you want to have around your practice. All you have to do is to remind yourself how important your practice is to you (whether it’s meditation, Asana, yoga sutra chanting practice, or a combination of all of them). The goal is that they make you a better human being and you show up for your work, your family, your responsibilities, better and more centered because you’ve taken the time to do this inner work first.
It’s up to you to decide if this inner work is important and, if so, cultivate the boundaries around it. What’s more, the boundaries can look easy once you’ve made the decision! Maybe you just have to put an Out Of Office on your email when you go away for a long weekend. When people see that out of office response and they keep emailing you, you can just choose to ignore it – you’ve put up the boundary. You can’t get mad at people for emailing you and calling you an hour later if you haven’t put that boundary up in the first place. It’s up to you to start the process.
Try to do the same thing around your yoga practice as if you were going on vacation. It might require you to tell your family, “This is really important for me now, so I’m going to take this hour [or these two hours, or these 15 minutes], and I’m not available to talk. I’m going to be by myself. I’m not going to be online. I need this time.” When you decide that it is important, everyone else around you will respect it. If they don’t pick up on it from the first day, they will learn to quickly because they won’t be getting any engagement from you if they come to you during your time out. Until you make the decision and draw a line in the sand, you’re wasting your energy complaining that nobody respects your yoga practice. It’s up to you to lay that foundation.
When you lay these foundations and set the boundaries, you’ll start to see other people responding. I had a student recently say that after her husband watched her do her practice consistently, every day for a month, he would just assume, “Oh, well when we go on vacation, you’re going to practice, right? So what time of day do you want to practice, and I’ll go fishing at that time?” He expected it to be a boundary for her, there was no animosity; there was no anger. He understood that it was an important time for her, and it pushed him to take some quiet time for himself. Whether you know it or not, you laying boundaries around what’s important to you is giving permission to others in your life to put their phone away, take a breath, and cultivate a practice which is important to them – it might be playing guitar, it might be running, it might be yoga, it might be reading – they can understand that their boundaries will be respected because they’re respecting your boundaries as well.
The bottom line is this – nobody’s going to respect your boundaries until you lay them down; when you draw the line in the sand and decide that this is important to you. If you do this and someone comes at you, just don’t respond. Just don’t. Leave it. Everything will be sorted out…quickly.
I’d love to hear from you on this topic because boundaries are usually a hot-button for people! I’d love to hear what you’re struggling with, how you have laid successful boundaries in your life, and how I can help you in the area. This is something I’ve learned, and I know what it’s like to have a family and people who need you, a business to run, and yet, doing my practice is what allows me to show up better for all of those things. When I don’t nurture myself the way I need to – which is rare these days because I’ve learned my lesson the hard way – I don’t show up for everyone else they way I want to, and I don’t feel good about myself. As you learn what you need to be strong within you, everyone else around you will start to respect it, and hopefully learn about what they need to be strong within themselves as well.
Don’t be shy about reaching out, I would love to support you on this topic.
Have a beautiful day. Namaste.