Boundaries Create Freedom – 3 questions to get you started| episode #032 transcript
By: Maria Furlano, DMQ (China), MTOM, L.Ac.
Intro: Welcome to The Art Of Tuning In Podcast with Maria Furlano, sharing insights, tools and conversations to inspire your energetic well being.
Hello, everyone, welcome. This is Maria Furlano. Thanks for joining me today. And if you’re new to my podcast welcome, I want to just take a quick moment just to introduce myself so you know who I am. And what I’m here to do. I’m an energetic, intuitive and a spiritual medium. And I am a physician of Chinese Medicine who specializes in Medical Qigong. I’ve been working privately with clients and teaching students how to align their energy heal, and move into a space of clarity and focus in their lives. And I’ve been doing that for over 20 years, I have an online membership that I invite you to come over and check out it’s called the art of tuning in. And of course, you can visit that by going to the art of tuning in calm. And if this is something that would support you, I would love to meet you inside, we have a wonderful, wonderful group of members who I am honored every day to work with.
I always begin my podcasts with just a quick tune in. And I do that through breath, taking a moment and just breathe a little deeper. Inhale through your nose, if you can, and make your exhale nice and long. When we make the exhale longer than our inhale, we actually begin to calm our nervous system, we begin to release tension in our body, we let go of toxins, of course as well through our breath. Breathing is always a valuable thing to do., to breathe. But why I really do this at the beginning of every podcast is just to remind ourselves to breathe, the more we stop in quick bursts throughout the day, to take moments for ourselves, to tune in, and access our breath, and be in control of our own nervous system creates huge changes throughout our life on every level, it ripples out into every single area of our life.
Setting Healthy Boundaries
And of course, this brings us perfectly into our topic for this week, which is setting healthy boundaries for ourselves to really support our own energy. So when I talk about boundaries, a boundary, a definition of a boundary is about setting a physical or an imaginary line between you and something else. When I work with people, boundary setting is probably the number one and number two thing that come up consistently.
The reason why I say number one and number two, is because the other topic that comes up most consistently is about actually consistency… Being consistent in our life, being able to follow through on things, especially when it relates to self care, or creating everything that we want in our life. We become very inconsistent with taking the steps that it requires in order to be able to do that. The other piece to that is because we haven’t set healthy boundaries.
So these two topics boundaries and consistency really do go together, even though we can look at them from different angles separately. And it’s important to understand that what we’re talking about in this episode with this topic is about having the energy to support yourself in life. And having healthy boundaries allows you to not be draining your energy.
If you’ve ever noticed a boundary issue in your life, you also will most often notice that you really start to feel not only depleted with energy and emotion and mental focus, but you also start to feel a bit resentful in your life.
And basically how I look at this is that our own soul, the wisdom part of us knows better. It knows that we shouldn’t be draining our energy, it knows that we can make better choices. And that resentment really comes from not being tuned in and aligned with who you really are. So when we look at it that way, it’s much easier to begin to transform and realign our life than to be confused about what healthy boundaries are.
But there are three questions, especially if setting boundaries are new for you, that I always begin with to create a conscious awareness. And in my membership, we actually have a survey that each member takes to get them in line with understanding where their boundaries are right now, how they understand them, and what’s happening in their life.
And to shift boundary setting, it takes time and it takes space. But once you get it, once you really understand how you react and respond to people in your environment, to demands that are being put on you in your environment… Once you understand where that comes from, in your life, setting boundaries becomes crystal clear.
So I just want to bring that up, because I know that this can be daunting to people, there are people who’ve said to me, “I don’t think I can ever set clear boundaries, I’ve never been good at it.”
Well, that’s not true, you have been good at it. We all set boundaries every day in something that we’re doing. But it’s about having boundaries that are both flexible, so that we are able to move through life with flow and not be so rigid, that we block out everything that is joyously coming to us. It’s also about having firm boundaries and understanding our own personal alignment, the energy we want to have what we want to do and create in our lives, and how much we really have to give. And that’s a strength, that is empowerment, having boundaries and knowing how much you’re willing to give to someone else, or how much you’re willing to give to a project, and how much you’re willing to give to your own personal development. That is a strength.
And most people never take the time to really sit down and think about what it is they want, how their energy is being depleted or supported. So that’s why these questions are really important.
Drained and/or resentful?
If boundaries are new for you, you’ll know that you don’t have clear boundaries most often when you feel drained and resentful, or irritated or angry by a decision you made or something that’s being asked of you.
Boundary issues tend to come up over and over again, with the same kinds of people in your life with the same activities you’re being asked to give your energy to work related boundaries are so common to continue until you’re able to be more clear in your communication, they come up over and over again, because we want to find that place of healing.
So don’t be frustrated, as you learn to change things in your life, that you’re hit with things more often for a little while, because it’s just helping you fine tune it. And if you can change your attention, your focus to really understanding that you are now learning to fine tune things in your life, it can make the process so much easier and more enjoyable. Because not only are you shifting things, but you’re really learning things along the way.
And that’s also why a timeframe of practice and exploration is needed. It’s needed in all of energetic development and personal development work. Because it takes time to shift and takes time to cultivate.
And it takes time to integrate new things. So give yourself some space.
How to explore how you really feel…
Beginning with a journal practice is really a great thing to do. I’ve only met a few people in my life who really don’t like to journal. And so I’ve always said to them speak into a tape recorder so that you can listen back, like you would be reading your journal. One of the things about journaling that’s so powerful is that you take the information from your mind, from your body from your emotions, and you move it through a writing tool onto a piece of paper that is tangible, and you get it out. But when you record your voice, you also create a tangible object.
We often will just speak out loud and complain about things over and over again. And journaling or recording and listening back to yourself, is a way of becoming accountable and also a way of looking at what’s transforming in your life. So that’s another option besides journaling, if that works for you, I hope that you’ll use it.
So what are healthy boundaries for yourself?
The very first thing, before I get into the three questions that I’d like you to look at the really the first thing that you want to look at is what is a boundary mean to you? What is a healthy boundary? You know, again, a boundary is a line, it’s a line that you won’t cross. And there’s a line that you won’t allow someone else to cross or the energy exchange to cross. So figuring out what a boundary means for you is important.
I’ve had people say to me, “Well, I look at boundaries like they’re so strict. Like, there’s something in my life, where I’m going to become just a really mean and negative person, I’m not going to be allowing things into my life.”
So some people have a view of boundaries as being so rigid, that they really can move through their life like that. And that’s true. Boundaries are not meant to be rigid. Boundaries are meant to be a place where you hold your energy in alignment, so you can support your energy. And if you can look at boundaries as a way of being true to your own self care, true to your own health, so that you can actually create more, do more, be more of who you truly are, then boundaries may shift for you a little bit.
There’s other people I’ve talked to have said, “You know, I do believe in boundaries, I see other people have boundaries. But I feel like I always try to put up a boundary. And I never can do it. If I do it, it doesn’t last for very long. And I end up always going back to what I really don’t want to do or overworking or taking on more and making a decision.”
This is so common. Because we often are brought up especially as women and I don’t, I don’t want to exclude men, because I’ve had many male clients who have a problem with boundary setting. But as women, we can often be told to be nice, and you know, go the extra mile. with men. However, they can also give way too much, and not take the time for their own self care, because they feel that maybe that’s a weakness. So we all have our own stuff with boundaries.
Do you need to be liked?
And one of the things that I would like you to ask yourself, if you’re having a hard time setting boundaries is do you have a need to be liked? Are you saying yes to things that you really should be saying no to?
Or, are you saying yes to more than you should be saying? So you could still say yes to something, but then are you over giving because you want people to like you. And you’re really afraid if you say no, or you put up a boundary, that they’re not going to like you anymore.
One of the things that I’ve talked about before is that people will continue to expect from you what you’ve shown in the past. So if you’ve been someone who’s over given, if you are the person who always shows up, whether you feel like it or not, whether you’re tired or not, whether you’re not feeling well or not right, whatever’s going on in your life, but you’re that person who always shows up. If you have done that forever, the people in your life, especially your family members, and you know, often our closest friends will expect that of you.
It’s important to have an awareness of that when you begin to shift boundaries in your life, because you have always shown up in a certain way. And you’re going to need to also take the space as you learn to shift your own boundaries, to have better communication for yourself. And the people in your life are going to also have to adjust to that. So please know that you may feel resistance when you begin to look at boundaries a different way, or set boundaries for yourself in a certain way.
Because everyone in your life, personal work, romantic and friendship have all had you show up in a certain way for years. So it takes time it takes time to change and as long as we’re aware of that, we can do that really easily.
Do you need to impress?
The second question that you may want to ask is, do you have a need to impress? So the first question was do you need to be liked? And other people have a need to impress. So they always want to be the person who impresses other people who shows off who’s admired. And that can cause us to not have healthy boundaries and constantly try to prove ourselves. So impress, and prove ourselves, those are something else that are very common that come up with boundary setting and lack of boundary setting.
Do you feel you need to accommodate and be nice?
And then number three, do I always have to be accommodating and nice to others? Again, this is something that I would say is more often leans towards women feel this way and how they’re brought up. But I have had many male clients, again, who have trouble with boundary setting. And one of those issues is, they really want to be the nice person.
And of course, a lot of this is about how we’re raised family that we’re raised in and how we’ve interpreted how we should behave in our life. So if you’re someone who is constantly accommodating what would happen, if you took care of yourself, and you trusted, that, that other person or situation could actually take care of itself, what would happen if you just couldn’t be available, what would happen, and I say that over and over again to people, what would happen, what would happen, if we made a different choice, whatever project or relationship would have to make a different choice to.
So it’s not just us. And a lot of things with boundary setting is we put ourselves in this place where we think we’re the only ones that can do whatever specific thing it is, whether it’s taking care of another person, whether it’s overdoing our energy at work, whether it’s taking on another project that we really don’t have the time for. So it’s all about our own little bubble. When we start to change boundaries, we have to understand that there is a world here, there is a team of people, there are always more people who can take on other projects who can help.
Giving more than is really needed…
The other thing with boundary setting that a lot of people have difficulty with, and I know that this for me was a big one (because I’ve spent many years working on boundary setting)… I am highly empathic, I’ve always been that way, and my need to be able to make somebody else feel better often overrode my own energetic needs of being able to take care of my own energy. So I would constantly give more of myself, and especially more of my time, than was really needed because I was feeling so much from others.
But I had to learn that that’s not my responsibility, I give to what is appropriate for my energy levels, and then another person, another activity, they’re responsible for themselves. And they can become very egocentric when you think you have to take care of everything.
There’s all kinds of dynamics with boundary setting. That’s why I bring this up and why I start with these three questions.
- Do you have a need to be liked?
- Do you need to impress?
- Do you tend to be an accommodating person and always be the nice person? And so saying no, or setting a boundary is really difficult?
Those are questions to become consciously aware of.
But they start you on a path to look at, how do you from day to day, move through your life with decision making, especially when it relates to having a relationship with someone else, or with your work or whatever is in your life that demands energy. Because again, like I said, in the beginning of the podcast, if your energy is being depleted, if you’re over giving, if you’re exhausted, there is just no way that you can support yourself and have elevated energy. There’s no way to replenish your self and be able to do things in your life that you want to do.
And also, there’s no way to really support the people that you really want to support in your life. Because you’re too scattered you too depleted. Boundaries actually give you freedom. A lot of people will look at boundaries as being strict, right? But they actually give us freedom.
Boundaries Create Freedom…
Exploring how your own boundary setting (for yourself, in your life) might give you a new sense of freedom, is a wonderful tool and exercise to explore.
“What would happened if I were to set this boundary in my life, for this particular activity?”
- How would that give me freedom?
- How would that give me freedom in my energy?
- How would that give me more freedom with my time?
- How would that give me more freedom with my emotions?
- How does it empower me?
- And how does it shift the situation that I’ve been doing, maybe over and over and over again for a really long time?
I hope that those are helpful for you today. Like I said, this is a huge topic… And it takes time to transform but it is so worth it!
I thank you for being here with me today and listening and exploring this point because it takes courage to change it takes courage to explore, and it takes courage to shift your energy even though it’s the most empowering thing you can do for yourself… And again, it brings you freedom. I wish you a beautiful day. And thank you for being here and I’ll see you in the next episode.
Outro: Thank you for tuning in. If you’d like to learn more and elevate your energetic well being I invite you to visit The Art Of Tuning In Podcast comm where you can learn all about our online studio. I look forward to meeting you there.