Untamed and Embodied with Tertia Riegler

#25: Learn the Art of Setting and Keeping Healthy Boundaries

May 12, 2023 Tertia Riegler Episode 25
Untamed and Embodied with Tertia Riegler
#25: Learn the Art of Setting and Keeping Healthy Boundaries
Show Notes Transcript

By establishing boundaries, we send a powerful message to ourselves that we are deserving of protection and that our needs matter. * Upholding healthy boundaries and assertively expressing them to the world not only increases our self-worth and self-esteem, but also allows us to reveal our authentic selves, communicate our availability, and express our requirements for thriving. * Boundaries extend beyond mental and physical limits to encompass emotional boundaries and what we are willing to accept or tolerate in relationships. It's essential to understand that boundaries encompass more than simply setting limits and saying no; they reflect how we value our emotional, physical, mental, and energetic needs. *The more we know ourselves and deepen our relationship with ourselves, the more embodied we are and the more authentic we become in navigating the world. This authenticity allows us to thrive, express ourselves fully, and trust that our decisions and presence reflect the best versions of ourselves. 

In this episode, you will learn about the transformative practice of connecting with your true self so that you can become skilled in upholding boundaries.

I share

  • Showing up as your authentic self
  • How the inner felt sense acts as a useful guide
  • 3 helpful practices to get started


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Setting boundaries is such a critical aspect of our self-esteem. When we set boundaries, we are actually telling ourselves that we are worth protecting and that our needs matter. And when we are in the practice of upholding healthy boundaries and expressing these boundaries assertively out into the world, it serves to increase our sense of self and it grows our self-worth and our self-esteem. We show the world who we are, what we are available for, and what we need in order to thrive. So boundaries are not only those mental boundaries that we have around our personal space or our boundaries around time, but it also has to do with our emotional boundaries and the things that we are available for and what we all tolerate and not tolerate in relationships. It's easy to think of boundaries as simply something that means setting limits and saying no, but boundaries is so much more than that.
Boundaries is really an expression of how we value our own emotional, physical, mental, and energetic needs. It's about being in tune with our bodies and knowing when something doesn't feel right. So I look at boundaries as something that we can create from two angles. First, the angle of embodiment, which is not something that is spoken of so much. And then the other angle is the angle of mindset, which is something that you will probably be more familiar with. So for us to be embodied means that we are really in tune with our bodies. Think of it this way, all of the thoughts that you have, all of the experiences that you have, all of that translates to a feeling or a sensation inside your body. Becoming skilled and being more embodied means that we are becoming more skilled in using our body to guide us and signal to us when our boundaries are being violated or when it's time for us to introduce a new boundary.
By becoming more embodied and in tune with all of the information that your body is sharing with you, you are able to align yourself and start setting boundaries that really support your overall wellbeing. When we have a positive mindset about our own worth and what we are allowed to do and the rights that we have, it's a lot easier for us to uphold these boundaries and to make sure that we make choices and show other people how to treat us that are in alignment with our own best interest. Mindset also has to do with being very clear on what you are available for, what your needs are, what your desires are, what you'll tolerate, and what you won't tolerate. And the process of self-awareness is so key here. The more that we know ourselves and the more that we cultivate and deepen into a relationship with ourselves, the more authentic we can be in making sure that the way that we move through the world is in a way that really allows us to thrive, to fully express ourselves, to be truly comfortable in our own skins, and to feel trust that the decisions that we make and the way that we show up is the best version of ourselves. Now, something that many people may struggle with is the idea that setting boundaries is selfish or self-centered. And in fact, the opposite is actually true. When we set boundaries, when we uphold healthy boundaries, this is actually how we take responsibility for ourselves and for our lives. So it is definitely not selfish. In fact, it's an act of sovereignty as far as I'm concerned, but it can be really challenging in especially in family relationships or even at work. It can be so challenging to say no and to say that you are not available to do something because we are fearing the repercussions of what might happen. It can be really challenging to begin to uphold boundaries, especially if this is something that you're not familiar with or something that is quite foreign to you. And so it's also a process like anything, and most of the things that I speak about here on my channel, it's definitely not something that's step one, step two, and all your problems are solved. It's a process and it's a practice. So we really skill oourselves in the art of learning to set boundaries. The thing is, when we don't have boundaries, it's so easy for us to start feeling resentful or frustrated. When we keep on getting our boundaries violated or when we keep on giving in to things that we really want to say no to, we start feeling angry.
We start feeling stressed. We can even start feeling overwhelmed. We really start to feel that our needs aren't being met. Now, something which I've been guilty of, which I see many people also struggle with is this mind reading. I spoke about this in some of my other videos as well, where we put expectations on people. We want them to do certain things or behave in certain ways and treat us in certain ways without us being very explicit in showing or telling them what it is that we want. So when our boundaries keep on getting violated or they keep on getting crossed, or we keep on moving our own boundaries in order to please others, or in order to not rock the boat or to stay in someone's good books, what happens is you begin to feel that your needs aren't being met. And this contributes to us feeling poorly about ourselves. The relationship that you have with yourself, the way that you think about yourself, the negative self talk, your inner self critic, all of this kind of blankets you over and leads to us really feeling disempowered in the way that we show up and feeling disempowered in our own lives. So I wanna share with you now three ways that encompasses both my embodiment and my mindset approach to beginning to set new boundaries. And all three of them are crucial. The one feeds off the other so they don't stand in isolation. And the first one is becoming more embodied. So as I said earlier, what happens: all of our experiences, all of the thoughts that we have, the things that we think and the things that we remember, all of this can be experienced in the body as a felt sense.
And if we can become more sensitive to our felt sense, this can help guide us as to how we are feeling and what our emotional state is in any particular moment with relation to something else. For the most part though, most of us have become quite unskilled in listening to the physical sensations of our bodies. We have experiences that make it uncomfortable for us to spend too much time in the body, and we get into the habit of processing the things that we experience in life on a mental level and really trying to make sense of it and understand it from that perspective. And in the process of living in this world, we become desensitized to the language, the information, and the inner felt sense of our bodies. And of course, this inner felt sense is one of the guides to telling us when our boundaries something is going on with them.
The felt sense is very soft and very subtle. So it really requires of us to develop the skill of becoming more in tune with what our body is sharing with us. A very easy little practice that you can start with right now to begin to develop your relationship with this felt sense or your awareness of the felt sense is to literally begin to feel what is your body feeling at any point in time. And you can do this with me now and feel as much as feels safe for you. Then I'll invite you to close your eyes. But don't do this if you're driving and you're listening to this, so close your eyes if you're in a place that's safe enough for you to do so. And this is really just gonna help you to tune in and cut out the external distractions and then simply begin to notice if you can feel the outside of your body. So can you feel the outside of your skin, of your head, of your nose, of your neck, of your shoulders, your arms, your torso, your legs. Just begin to notice where you are in space and time right now. So getting to feel the outside of your body. And then you can go a little step further and you can feel the clothes pushing against your skin. So the fabric that's pushing against your skin and notice if you can get a sense of that, if it feels warm, it feels tight, if it feels soft, if it feels comfortable, if it feels scratchy. So just really getting the sense of where your clothes are resting against your body. And then you can go another level deeper.
And this is by noticing your breath. So just beginning to notice how your body moves and responds to you breathing. So you're not changing your breath here, you're not making it any different, but just notice maybe how your shoulders move or your chest moves or your ribcage expands or your stomach goes up and down. So just notice how it feels when you breathe. Just noticing the sensations that come up. And then we'll go into the final level. And the final level is begin to notice how is your body feeling in this moment? So it might be that you are feeling a lot of different things, and that's perfectly fine. It might be that you're feeling nothing, and that's also perfectly fine. This is just about developing that awareness for what is going on inside your body right now. So again, without labeling or judging or trying to understand or attributing it to something, just notice how are you feeling? What thoughts are present in the body? What physical sensations are you feeling? Is there any tension? Is there any tightness? Does it feel open? Does it feel loose? How far away from yourself do you feel? How close to yourself do you feel? And before we close the practice, just take a few more breaths to be with whatever it is that you're experiencing. So you are not trying to change it or make it any different than what it is. Simply be aware, simply be with the feel of it. Now, if you do this practice Regularly, what you will find is that you begin to become more and more in touch with what your body is feeling and sensing with all of the data that is available in our inner world. And this is such a powerful guide for us to inform us as to how we show up in the world. This is part of how we get closer to our authentic selves, is by really getting in touch with what is actually going on inside of me and what is my orientation towards myself and towards my place in the world. And the second way in which you can start setting boundaries is to get really clear on what your values are and what your needs are. Being in alignment with our own values supports us to stand strong in the boundaries that we hold. So if you find that you often set boundaries, you say things and then you go back on what you said or you give in or you cave in, or whatever language, description language it is that you want to use, if you find that this is something that often happens, it'll be so helpful for you to really begin to make sure that the boundaries that you set are aligned with what your personal values are.
And so take some time, this is a lovely journaling practice that you can do, or maybe when you go for a walk, it's a beautiful co-creation practice where you can just open yourself to receiving some insight as to what do you truly value? What do you need in order to thrive in the world? What do you need in order to do really well mentally, emotionally, and physically? And it's so important for us to develop this level of self-awareness, to develop this deep knowing of who we are, what we value, and what we stand for, because then we're able to communicate that into our relationships. We are bringing more of ourselves to any interaction and anything that we do in the world if we have that knowledge about who we are, what is important for us, what we are available for, and what we are not available for. And then the third way in which you can begin to set stronger boundaries is to practice communicating them. Practice expressing them. Mind reading is not a thing. We can't expect others to know what it is that we want and to give us what we want if we don't express that to them. By becoming more in touch with your inner felt sense and your experience of how your thoughts and your experiences make you feel at any point in time. And by being very clear on what your values are and what you are available for and what you're not available for and what you need in order to do really well. And to be there with all of yourself in relationships and just in the way that you that you show up in the world. When we know those things, it allows us to more clearly express exactly what it is that we want. And so if you are not in the habit of clearly expressing yourself or of ,you know, audibly saying no, or for asking for what it is that you need, then take small baby steps and start practising on those things that aren't really high risk. In order for us to be able to show up in a bigger way in the world, we need to stretch our comfort zone and your comfort zone right now when you're struggling with setting boundaries and for asking what it is that your need, your comfort zone is quite small when it comes to that.
And by taking small risks, what this does, it just allows you to slowly, slowly, slowly grow your comfort zone. The reason that we sometimes fail in changing our lives or achieving the goals that we set out for ourselves is when our comfort zone is here and the goal that we have is over here, it's too big a jump. You can't make that jump sustainably and in a way that your, your nervous system is not gonna collapse on you because of the overwhelm and the stress that you put on it. So anything that we wanna do, it makes sense for us to just slowly, slowly, slowly grow our own ability and grow our own confidence in ourselves that we are able to ask for what we need. We are able to tell that colleague that's interrupting us all the time in a very confident and assertive way that that's no longer gonna happen. It's about telling that person who's always asking for favours that, yeah, you can do that, but you're only available to do that once a week. It's not gonna happen every day anymore. Setting boundaries is the key to a happy life. It's about being in tune with our own needs. It's about respecting ourselves, and it's about knowing when something doesn't feel right and being able to follow our own knowing. Learning the skill of setting boundaries is something that everyone can learn how to do. And I really hope that if you have struggled with setting boundaries in your life up until now, that the tips that I've shared with you in this video is going to help you to change that. I'd love to know how this landed for you, so please let me know in the comments below. Thank you so much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one. Bye.