Boundaries. Man, this has always been a hard one for me. Creating healthy boundaries. I teach on this subject and not because I have it all figured out but because we teach what we most need to learn and this seems to be something most of us are working on. Yogi Bhajan said “if you want to learn about something read about it, if you want to understand something write about it, if you want to master something-Teach it.” I’m doing all three. And still. Boundaries are tricky. On one hand, With too many rigid boundaries we wall ourselves off, when we armour up we can’t connect with others. If we shield ourselves from true connection we become isolated and avoid experiencing the deepest most profound aspects of life. On the other hand, if we lack all boundaries we have a difficult time standing on our own feet, being in our own power and we may let people walk all over us, finding it hard to say no or deal with any kind of conflict. In the middle there is a balance. A place of healthy boundaries where we honor our needs and are able to voice them confidently and with love. Where We can stand in our personal power clearly and effectively while our heart remains open and we allow ourselves to connect deeply with others and we align, honoring ourselves & honoring others.

I seem to fall in and out of balance.

But just when I think I’m doing pretty good, I’ve got a decent handle on it, the universe throws me a curve ball. Like it’s saying “ok let’s see if you’ve really got this”.

It’s rather comical that right now as I write this I’m at a yoga training in Sedona where the focus is on clearing & healing the seven energy centers and yesterday was the 3rd chakra, solar plexus, Where boundaries and empowerment are key lessons. So right on target another opportunity to practice boundaries comes my way.

I had someone call me and ask me to please reconsider, to make an exception, on a boundary I had already set. Even though I was very clear when stating this boundary (which is also a business policy).

Here’s what happened. First, I was angry with myself for immediately wanting to go back to my “I just want to please everyone” mode and avoid conflict at all costs even if that cost is my integrity or my personal power. I was upset with myself for not feeling empowered enough, confident enough, to stand firm in an already stated, clear boundary. Luckily and actually likely, because of the work I’m doing this week I was able to see that the universe was actually giving me a gift, another chance to understand this lesson. And I can be strong, and the boundary I set is valid and I stand by it.

Can we see how sometimes if we ask someone to make an exception a special concession just for them it violates a boundary? If I make exceptions over and over again because I’m not strong enough to stand in my power I compromise my own integrity and values. Asking someone to make that choice is unfair, it’s unethical and it’s disrespectful.

If you don’t respect me for standing my ground, that’s ok. It’s more important that I respect myself. And I’m learning to honor my own boundaries and in doing so I’m learning to honor yours as well.

We are all learning. It’s a process.

And forgiveness is a big part it.