Hello, I’m Tanya Penny, Occupational Therapist, Vibrant Body & Abundant Life Coach. In this post we will be focusing on key #7 of the Vibrant Body and Abundant Life Blueprint – Your Truth & Boundaries. If you haven’t signed-up to learn about all 10 keys yet, you can receive the 10 Keys Blueprint Guide, audio lesson and guided Therapeutic Meditation Practice by clicking here.
What do I mean when I say “Your Truth”? I mean what is true for you…and because we change and grow all the time, your truth will likely change. It may even change day to day and that is okay. Your truth includes: what you feel in your body at any moment (pain, fatigue, etc.), what emotions you’re experiencing (angry, sad, happy), what you think and believe (your “opinions”), what you want/need/desire in all seven areas of your life, and how you want to be treated by others.
When I talk about “Boundaries”, this means with yourself first, and then others. We have to know what our truth is in order to know what our boundaries are and if they are broken. In general, a boundary that most of you want to keep is being honest with yourself about what your truth is (about all I mentioned previously). The next piece is being able to express that with yourself and others, as well as behaving or taking actions that are in alignment with your truths. As an example, a lot of people come to me sick and one of their truths is that yes, I’m sick right now, I have these symptoms, I’m feeling this way and I desire to be healthy. You may then need to set a boundary around your time so you can take time to heal and be healthy again. You’re going to need to take the time to do the things that will get you back to 100% health. It’s not always easy setting and keeping boundaries. That was one of the big challenges I had to face to heal the MS, depression, anxiety, etc. I had to say no to people because I needed time to take cared of myself, I needed to work/do less, and rest more.
Let’s talk about boundaries with others. First, express your truth and be who you truly are with everyone in your life. If they don’t respect or honor that, then you may have to set another boundary with them. If they still aren’t keeping it, then you may have to walk away for awhile or forever. This is true for your work life and personal life- we want to do this in all areas of our life. For example, if you express how you feel and what you think and a friend/partner/family member shuts you down, or criticizes you – then you will want to set a boundary, as we all deserve to be heard. You might have to set another boundary such as, “Hey, I expect if we’re going to be in this relationship, that you’re going to hear to me. You don’t have to agree but you’re going to at least need to listen to what I have to say and think (and not put me down, make me feel less than, bad, guilty, etc.)” Maybe you set that boundary and they’re still not keeping it. Then you’re going to have to decide if you need to leave that relationship. This is where it really becomes difficult for a lot of us…I’ll explain why that is in a little bit.
Why is it important to know and express your truth, set/keep boundaries? In a nutshell, your health and happiness depends on it. It does affect all other areas of your life as well- your purpose, your passions, money…everything. Many people come to me with depression, anger, resentment, grief and sadness and are not expressing them. Most of us struggle with emotions and end up stuffing them. When we’re not expressing, feeling and releasing our emotions, over time it will come out as a physical illness in your body- pain, headaches, fatigue, or a full blown illness (cancer, MS, chronic fatigue, etc.).
Why would we not want to know our truth? The simple answer is fear. From a very young age, many of us tried to speak and be our truth and got shut down, lost love or praise, and maybe caused conflict (or even worse). Some of us were criticized or made fun of by family, siblings, at school. At some point in your life (and probably many times), something negative happened when you were speaking, being, acting from your truth or set a boundary. A lot of us as children didn’t even try to set or keep a boundary because we didn’t have the power to do that (especially with adults). Now we’re adults and still doing it even though we now have the power.
What can we do to begin shifting this today?
1) First start with asking yourself “what is my truth”? Grab your journal, take time and reflect/write: what you’re feeling in your body, emotions you’re experiencing, your thoughts/beliefs, What you want/need/desire in all seven areas of your life.
2) I recommend to then do this on a daily basis, for a few minutes, in your journal.
3) Next, reflect on who you currently express and be your truth with AND who you don’t.
4) Then reflect on why you are holding back from knowing what your truth is, expressing it, and from setting/keeping healthy boundaries. That will go back to the fears we talked about that started in childhood.
Then if you are ready to go deeper into this, and would like more tips, tools and support on living your truth and setting and keeping healthy boundaries, I invite you to look at the options below.
As always, progress not perfection. Baby steps. Small changes every day and keep building on that. If you fall off the wagon, please be gentle with yourself. Compassion will help you get back on the wagon a lot easier than beating yourself up. This is something that most people struggle with given what we experienced in childhood. Our parents experienced it too as did everybody else who shut you down or criticized you. Most everyone has struggled with this and is trying to heal that now. When you do this, you’re going to be happier, feel more fulfilled… even though it may feel hard at first, it’s very much worth it.
xoxo Tanya 🙂