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Is it starting to be Summery where you are? As I am writing this, it is still cold and wet 51 degrees Fahrenheit --- whaaat?? But we had a sunny warm weekend last weekend, which I really reeaally appreciated.
This month's theme is B O U N D A R I E S ! I could not be more excited!
First I have to add, that I have been working hard on creating an online course! I realize different folks have different experiences and preferences towards online learning versus in-person experiences. And ever since I created Journaling Sisters 2 years ago, I have mostly hosted in-person workshops and retreats.
However, whenever I have had online offerings, whether it be a casual Facebook live from my home or a Sunday afternoon virtual retreat with women around the country, I have always had a positive reception as well! And even sometimes women who were trying a virtual experience for the first time found it surprisingly satisfying. During these hectic times, I think whenever and however folks can squeeze in time to connect, and share with other women in a safe space is a very good thing. And if having it as a virtual experience makes it easier or possible for folks to attend --- then all the better!
* * Drumroll please.... My upcoming course is titled: CREATING BOUNDARIES. A topic that is near and dear to my heart.
Do you feel you currently have boundaries in your life? Or do you feel there are definitely places where you need boundaries?
Are you not quite sure what boundaries are --- but they definitely sound good right about now?
In the next few weeks, through the month of June we will be covering the ins and outs of boundaries --- what are they, why you need them, and how you can start setting them up in your own life for your own mental and emotional health!
For this week, we will start with WHY Boundaries? Why do we need boundaries in our lives? Do you need boundaries? And why is this Shiuan's favorite topic ever??
I have very strong feelings about BOUNDARIES. Namely, because alongside many women's patterns, it is something that in general, we are all lacking and could use help with! As you probably know by now, I talk about women's caretaking patterns a lot. And right alongside with caretaking others, not thinking about and prioritizing ourselves, is NOT having boundaries.
This can show up in various ways:
You are letting others do or say things that you are not comfortable with.
You are agreeing and consenting to things you don't really want to.
You are not speaking up for yourself.
Overall it can be a range from permitting yourself to be in slightly uncomfortable situations to being a total doormat. And I mean that in the most loving way! We cannot move forward until we fully face and acknowledge where we currently are at. Am I right??
WHY Do We Need Boundaries?
We need boundaries in our lives because if we didn't then other people would walk all over us, telling us what they want from us, demand our time when it's convenient for them, and overall make their agenda our agenda. This might sound a bit extreme, and maybe it is, but in many cases it is a varied degree on this, and so we need to put our foot down if we don't want it to get to that extent. It's not that people are evil. But most people tend to worry about themselves, and if we're the type to tend to not speak up as much about our own needs or place other people's needs first then we'll need some extra help here.
What happens when we don't have boundaries:
1. Other people easily walk over us
2. Demand our time when it's convenient for them
3. Make their agenda our agenda - in other words, expect us to prioritize their needs and wants over others, including our own
Does that sound familiar? Even if your experience is not so extreme, maybe you can relate to one of these in some way?
It's certainly natural for people to think about themselves. Men are (generally) very good at that. It's a natural thing. When we were young, we used to think about ourselves a lot. When we were hungry, when we need a diaper change --- babies certainly let you know! As we get older we -- hopefully-- start to learn to think about others, start to be more thoughtful, and cooperative with others.
All of us received social conditioning, and-- I'll say it again-- as women we were trained to think about and take care of others. If you think about that caretaking conditioning pattern, combined with others' selfish patterns (from both men and women) then you have a recipe for disaster. If we don't work on setting up boundaries, then people will encroach as far as they'd like!
To summarize, here are my top 3 reasons why I believe you need boundaries in your life:
1. You were raised to be a caretaker and think about others before yourself
2. You were not trained to speak up and be outspoken about your needs and wants
3. You were not trained to think about yourself, your desires or your dreams!
Let's end on a positive note, shall we?
Let's look at what happens when you do have healthy boundaries set up in your life:
1. You feel calm and more stable
2. You feel proud of yourself for standing up for yourself
3. You are more confident in yourself and your abilities
Your Daily 10 Minute Journaling Prompts:
(free download - click on link below!)
Day 1 - BRAINSTORM:
What does 'boundaries' mean to you?
Day 2 - Journal
If you could have boundaries magically created in some new area of your life, where would you want it to be? What would it be like?
Day 3 - REST DAY!
Catch up, rest, self-care, up to you!
Day 4 - Journal
Do you have a model of someone who you've seen IS good at setting boundaries? Any friends or family members, for example? What have you noticed? What do they do for themselves to take care of themselves well?
Day 5 - Journal/Appreciation
Can you think of a time where you did set up a small boundary? It does not have to be major, the fact that you did it is great!
Day 6 - Self-Appreciation Day
I want you to appreciate what a great job you've done this week! This was a brand new topic, and a juicy one at that! I want you to appreciate 3 things about yourself this week. Where have you thought well about yourself? Did some self-care? Took care of yourself and your needs? Even just doing these journaling prompts is huge!
Day 7 - Self Care Day
Do something fun for yourself today. Take yourself on a little walk, or a small treat to a bakery. Enjoy time with YOU!