explore your boundaries

Whether they’re physical, material, sexual, emotional or psychological, setting your boundaries is a healthy thing to do.

Even though boundaries are the foundation of trust and lasting intimacy in relationships, this key idea often feels more complicated than it first seems.

In this three-part exercise, you’ll explore what your boundaries are, what could happen if your boundary is breached and how to respond when you need to say no.

  • Imagine doing whatever you are being asked to do. If you feel angry, heavy or sick (or feel yourself shutting down), that’s likely a boundary.
    To start, pick a relationship (either with yourself, with friends or coworkers, or with romantic partners), and write down some things that are boundaries for you. You can even note which ones feel stronger to you.
  • Next, let’s address a big barrier when it comes to respecting our own boundaries: worrying about “shoulds” or hurting someone’s feelings.
    The truth is that we cannot control someone else’s response, no matter how hard we try. If someone crossing your boundaries is likely to trigger resentment in you, then protecting your boundaries is actually serving the relationship.
    For each boundary you wrote down in step 1, explore some of the downsides of not protecting that boundary.
  • Finally, let’s come up with ways to communicate your boundaries.
    Saying no can feel hard, but you can follow a simple template: identify the boundary, say what you need, and say why it’s important (without overexplaining). If desired, you can end with a request or alternative.

With practice, exercises like these can start to feel easier, but you might find it helpful to have someone to notice where certain patterns pop up, to encourage you to check in with how something feels in your own body and to help guide you back to your intuition.

If you feel like you'd want to explore more of this with me, please message me here.

I'd love to explore this (and so much more!) with you.

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Irina emits a healing energy that just feels good to be with. Each time we've met, I've relaxed into her presence, openness, authenticity and ability to offer support. She has helped me gain the perspective I needed to be more compassionate and gentle with myself. If you're ready to do the hard work of personal growth, I'd highly recommend partnering with Irina.

- April