Twenty-nine times around the sun. What have you learned, honey? What do you know?

Things That Help

  1. Silence
I love the silence of a moment without distraction. 
All the avenues vying for my attention 
- be it electronic or human -
turned off, stored away, hidden behind closed doors. 
So I can sit with myself, my body
learn to know what I Know  

and just

2. Breathe

A symphony of smells perch on both nostrils  
Each sniff a carriage ride through Time 
Are you memory, or prophesy 
so tightly intertwined  
I can’t distinguish skirts from suits 
as the temporal waltz lingers away 

breathe out 
into your present space

3. Love yourself

I know that in relationships I will do better to not drop my own hand in order to reach for someone else’s.

Not everyone is meant to be yours, and the incompatible fits will always make you sore. No matter how many tricks and flips your mind may bend over backwards in order to shade away the truth. You can try to bear it but in the end, if the shoe doesn’t fit it’s bound to come off.

You mustn’t go changing yourself just to help the lie sit better. Don’t be what you think someone else might need. Be who you are unapologetically and everyone else can take what they need from that. 

4. Give

Give for yourself, and give generously. Forsake the need for gratitude, and you will amplify your own levels of happiness exponentially. This is good practice in the form of non-attachment. From the moment a ‘gift’ leaves your fingertips, let it go. Pretend it never had your name on it, and as you watch it leave your hand don’t try hanging on to any strings attached like a leash. Otherwise, like an unruly dog, the debt will yank you along, dragging you around as it pleases.

If you find yourself dwelling on a debt (be it of monetary value, principle, or gratitude) that you feel you are owed, first acknowledge the feeling is there, and thank it. Then, once a day / week / month / or whenever is necessary, take some mental scissors to those debts and cut yourself free. You hold the power to relinquish whatever burden you have set upon yourself, no matter how much you might want to blame your problems on external factors. You can’t control the actions of others - they might never pay you back, take the initiative to wash the dishes, offer to give you a massage in return etc. - but you can control what strings you let tie you down. Set yourself free - in wisdom, in loving kindness to yourself.

Repeat as many times as is necessary.

5. Communicate

You might never be fully understood, but understanding shouldn’t be the only point of trying to communicate. It is a lofty goal you may never reach, but you shouldn’t stop trying just because you get disappointed. 
No one else is responsible for knowing you. 
Know yourself. 
See yourself clearly, and through that lens see others. With clarity you will find no reasons for misunderstanding. 
We are all looking for the road back home.

6. Body

The mind, the boldest sense, asserts its dominance 
but I’m not just a pillar upon which rests your head

My body is not my servant
Temple, Commander, I live to serve it
What I choose to feed in, 
every decision comes with consequence

It is God I find in the muscle, the heart, intestines, and ovaries
And ‘self’ is found in the gut, the origin in pursuit of happiness and liberty

You are built upon mouthful by mouthful 
The garden you tend, you pour in poison or nutrients

Do not take the daily routine of eating so blindly. It is the most important of decisions, with an impact reverberating. Take the time to be mindful. Really listen to what is being asked of you. Our bodies possess untold wisdom our minds are often too self-absorbed to notice. Don’t replace that exalted voice within with the overlords of the Fat Bottom Line, who will just as readily sacrifice you as they will any other voiceless soul, standing in the way between them and their profits. 

7. Outside

No bells or whistles, fancy outfits or exotic locations. Sit beside a door if you have to, stick your head out of an open window, cut a hole through the fence. Fresh air will revive you more than any drink in your mug. If you have to choose, leave the phone, movie, book behind. Heck, bring the book outside if you have to. But just sit and watch nature for a bit. You might even find you have no more need for a book. Mother Nature, in all her infinite wisdom and humour, puts on the best show ever. 

8. Arguments

You don’t have to be right, you know. Make room for others - for their sufferings, their experiences, their truths, their triumphs. They and theirs are nothing but the same whole from which we all come. It is like your left hand fighting with your right foot. Each has their own unique perspective for understanding life, and both are relevant and true. You wouldn’t want them to be the same, and neither would you want to lose one or the other. We are all vital and come from the same beginning, going towards the same end. 

Things To Let Go

  1. Chatter
Sometimes you talk a lot when you’re nervous. But in the ensuing small talk you fill up the void with something just as empty. You steal from yourself the opportunity to just feel into the silent moment, as uncomfortable as it might be. Uncomfortable is a feeling. Feel all the things. 

2. Energy vampire

I don’t want to depend upon others to define my self worth. I don’t want to steal energy from others in order to feed my ego. The relationships that are meaningful are when we bring each other up, to watch our individual growth. Together create a new loving energy that wasn’t there before, and like a step ladder, climb it to reach new heights we couldn’t otherwise reach on our own. No one a chaser or the chased. Respect based on real love and support, not competition and pretence.  

3. Inauthenticity

Not trying to fit in to what I think is the most acceptable version of me. 
Square peg chiseling away at all my edges, 
hammer weighing down again and again. 
Slowly drain away all the reflections I used to recognize. 
The universe waits for you to open up your mouth. 
Let the words out. 
What do you want? 
If you have a voice, so needless to choke to death on the things you are afraid to say.

4. No

You are not newly discovered land, ready to be divvied up and parcelled out to any settler wishing to make a claim. Your time is more precious than that. Wield the word No like a shield and you won’t need to resort to it as a weapon. It can be a beautiful kindness when given out with love and not fear. 

Use it extravagantly; offer it as a gift to loved ones when you see they have misplaced their own. Shout it from the rooftops and rain it down like a thunderstorm. 

Let the world know your

5. Boundaries

are the fences I build, around all of the precious seeds of new growth, new ideas, new love, I have sown. 

As I grow, I continue to weed out all of the things that used to be True Enough. Things which once may have served me, are perhaps, even now, serving me still. But theirs is not my final destination. By being True Enough they cover up what one layer deeper I know to be True. 

Being a vegetarian but occasionally eating fish and meat was True Enough. Cutting out alcohol then getting drunk was True Enough. Keeping people in my life who showed little respect for others was True Enough. Keeping people in my life who showed little respect for themselves was True Enough. Being portrayed as an environmental ambassador was True Enough. Knowing that choices I make weren’t great for the environment and making those choices anyway, was True Enough. Counting all my blessings while knowing the suffering of others was True Enough.

Stopping at True Enough feels safe. Stopping at True Enough is comfortable. My life is full of conveniences, I am socially accepted, small talk is abundant, no one’s feelings are hurt. 

But Enough is simply not. I drown under it, feeling the True True gasping for air as it fights to make itself known. If I stay at Enough eventually I will implode. I can’t un-know what I Know. If I am honest with myself, I need to do Better.  

So in I go, pulling out Enough and planting in Better. New little seedlings, eventually sprouting up new ideas, beliefs, feelings. In order to aid their growth, to keep my new seedlings from getting trampled or eaten, I will put up fence after fence, hold the line until it can hold its own. 

And just like that, a new year begins. But every moment, a new beginning.

One thought on “Boundaries

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