Healthy Boundaries Happy Lives

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Healthy Boundaries, Happy Lives

Sexy Spirituality Episode #41

Host: Lezli Goodwin

Guest: Savanna Riker, Spiritual Coach, Author and Minister

Guest: Sarah Forbes, Spiritual Guide and Transformational Coach

Small Talk

Lezli, Savanna and Sarah talk: what’s bringing you Joy today?

Healthy Boundaries, Happy Lives

  • We’ve brought together a round able of very powerful women today. Each of us are in different phases of life, in different places in our careers. And yet, today’s topic is powerfully present for each one of us.
  • Savanna, give us a nutshell description of how healthy boundaries became such an essential area of exploration for you: This is the biggest thing yet up for me. It used to be a dirty word; I didn’t ever want to talk about boundaries because I didn’t have any. I started digging deep into my past traumas of childhood and the ways in which I felt unsafe. So for many years of my life, I started to wonder why my relationships were so hard with so much dysfunction. Brené Brown, I believe, said, “Boundaries without consequences are merely suggestions.” I didn’t know what a boundary was. I wasn’t modeled that growing up. I didn’t understand how my experiences were informing my relationships going forward. Once I started to grasp that boundaries are very important in my life, I said I have to dive in. I have to really explore what this means and how it actually creates safety between us as human beings. It has been a huge interest of mine for a while now.
  • Lezli: As humans we reach a point where we look around and go wait I might not be doing this in the way that serves me best. In my first marriage I am not sure I really had any understanding of adult relationships at all. The list of things that I didn't do to take care of myself in that relationship could wallpaper a house! What a joy it is to know that with every breath we get to look at it again and see how to do things differently
  • Sarah: I had my second baby a couple years ago. He's two now. After I had him I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. While I was going through that I had a lot of responsibilities and a lot of expectations in my home life, with my husband and my family, and I also had a lot of expectations in my career. I had to learn how to set clear boundaries otherwise I couldn't heal and I couldn't do what I needed to do to find my center again. It was really crucial for me to figure out a way to get clear about what the feelings going on in me meant and once I could get clear about that I could communicate what I needed and what I wanted and really set boundaries. This time period was one of the main reasons that I was able to come out of it so quickly. Postpartum depression can last a long time for people and for me it was about six months and it's because I was working with a professional and was working in my life to really honor my feelings and communicate what was going on in me and letting people know I can't do that right now. I really got clear about the language I used and how direct I was. I've had to maintain that even two years later to make sure that I'm not going back to the other side where I just say yes to everything to helping everybody to being the best mom. We have this idea especially being maternal and having maternal instincts and social conditioning around what it means to be a mom. We have to learn, as moms especially, how to care for ourselves because it's not something we're taught.
  • Lezli: When I was a young mom I’m so glad Pinterest wasn’t a thing yet as I’m super crafty and it creates an expectation that everybody put up their brightest and shiniest and the expectation is that not only are your children going to be clean, fed, and loved, but they're also going to have sculptures for their snacks and handcrafted everything! As a mom/step mom of 5, I'm just glad nobody's been to jail they all still speak to each other! I'll take it!
  • Savanna: The thing that I have found so tricky about being able to set boundaries with people is that I didn't always have the self-esteem and self-respect to know the behaviors that were happening which were crossing my boundaries. I wasn't really clear that I was feeling violated or betrayed, often because it was normalized behavior and how I grew up. So in order to create boundaries I have to have enough self-esteem and self-respect to know when this is OK or that is not OK. If you don't know what's not OK for you it makes it really challenging to not have [boundaries] violated often.
  • Lezli: What constitutes a boundary?
  • There are internal boundaries and external boundaries. They are a way of communicating either to yourself or to someone else that something needs to change, or something needs to stop right there.
  • Determining if something is OK or not OK or doesn’t feel good. Feelings and emotions are the guide. Some of us aren’t in touch with our feelings which makes it harder to know if boundaries are being crossed or need to be set.
  • If we don't have a clear “if X then Y” and then actually honor whatever that is, then we as well say I think everything should be grape jelly, my furniture should be grape jelly. It's all just kind of an imaginary thing until there is a firm “I will step away” or “we will need to take a break” or “we'll have to have a conversation about other options.” We then have the responsibility as the boundary former [creator] to communicate the boundary and then also to honor and follow up on any clear set outcomes.
  • I stayed way too long in relationships with people that were abusive because I I didn't follow up. I would set a boundary but then I would allow the behavior to continue and never actually implement what I said which means that you're basically teaching this other person how to treat you. You're teaching them that this is OK and therefore they keep doing it
  • Lezli: So what do you say to the people who say, “I hate boundaries?”
  • A person saying that may not have any and boundaries. [Boundaries] show people how to love us. Some of the most compassionate people that I know are some of the most boundaried people that I know. [They are] just so clear on where they stand. I never have to question where they are and where they're at and how they feel about me or a relationship or our friendship.
  • When people think of boundaries they often equate it to conflict. What gets missed in that is that [setting] boundaries is actually a way to prevent long term conflicts. It's a way to keep you in a relationship that's healthy so that all these unnecessary conflicts don't keep coming up. So short term you might have to endure a little bit of conflict but in the long term when you get good at setting boundaries, you avoid a lot of conflict. Conflict naturally fizzles out when you learn how to set the boundaries that you need to keep you healthy and take care of yourself.
  • Lezli, Kicking the Coke Machine Analogy: This can be what it's like to train people to recognize I'm serious I'm holding this boundary. They may push it [the boundary; put a dollar in] a couple times to see if they can get you to follow the old pattern [spit out a coke] But they might kick the Coke machine and [eventually] they learn this dollar is not going to get me a Coke and they stop putting in money
  • I would just self-abandon my own needs and my own value for someone else’s desires instead of standing in my own truth and setting my own boundary. In turn, I was dishonoring myself and continuing a cycle of toxic, addictive, abusive [relationships]. For me it was all of those things which really didn't call people higher or to the plate. Then the challenge [becomes] well then you lose those people. What do we do with that?
  • If we don't have that self-worth piece it's so hard to let go of the other person because we think they're providing our worth, they are completing us, there's that codependency piece. Developing this self-worth and working on learning to love yourself and care for yourself is so essential in this practice of setting boundaries
  • Lezli: Even thinking I'm worth spending the time in my own consciousness and in my own awareness to recognize what boundaries should be for me. It is an interesting process for me to recognize I don't have to be the cool girl I don't have to be the girl who's down for everything and I don't have to be the easy one in the room, meaning the one that never cares what restaurant we go to, or what time we're meeting up. Not just in romantic relationships but I think I was really guilty of that in my girlfriend relationships. I just want to be included. It didn't even occur to me that I was worth having an opinion.
  • Sarah: I think, as women especially, we are anger phobic. We are taught that anger is [bad] and we’re not the cool girl, or we’re the one that's losing it. So we are taught to be scared of our own anger and to shame our anger. Our anger is the clearest signal that a boundary has been crossed so one of the things that we really have to do, especially as women, is be comfortable with our anger, be OK with it and that can be a process for a lot of people. I'm still working on it how to be OK when I'm angry. It's a natural human emotion. It's a signal. It's telling me something and it's wise and I need to hear it and honor it and listen to it
  • Savanna: When I first started setting boundaries, I was so in my anger about it because they had been violated for so long that there was like this self-righteousness. I had to set a very firm boundary and it has to stick. So, I would go overboard to the point where people felt so pushed out that they thought I was crazy. It's a process of using our anger in a way to not only explore the anger deeply, but to channel it in a way that we're setting a boundary not from just a place of anger [seeking balance].

….

Something Good

Savanna: I’m always having a class coming up and you can find out more information about what I'm offering, what lectures might be coming up, on http://www.savannanoelle.com/ You can also find me of course on social media, @savinoelle is my Instagram handle and of course Facebook also has all of this information.

Sarah: I’m working on a class right now about trauma informed care and how to implement trauma informed care into spiritual guidance and practice. I’ll be teaching the class either in summer or fall. If you want more information about the class you can go to my website: http://www.theinspiredmindhealing.com/

Lezli: I have a class coming up called Podcasting 101. Podcasting can be a fun, creative way to embrace the idea of a church without walls, connecting with people all over the world. It can seem overwhelming, but there are simple, inexpensive ways to make your podcasting dreams a reality. In just a few weeks, you could be ready to launch your first podcast and get your message to the people who really want it. Cost for this 4-week class is $89.00. Class starts Thursday, May 6 at 6:00 PM MST. To find out more, go to lezligoodwin.com/onlineclasses

Thank you for joining us for Sexy Spirituality. Our hosts today have been Lezli Goodwin, spiritual mentor, blogger and author at lezligoodwin.com, Savanna Noelle Riker, Spiritual Coach, Author and Minister, and Sarah Forbes, Spiritual Guide and Transformational Coach. Thanks for being with us!

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If you have any feedback about the show, we’d love to hear from you at lezligoodwin@gmail.com. You can find all of our show notes and podcast episodes at sexyspiritualitypodcast.com. Be sure to click subscribe! Thanks for joining us for Sexy Spirituality, Real Spirituality for the Modern World.

43 episodes