November 14, 2021

Boundaries and Basics

So I have a question. Is anyone other than me struggling to get back to the hustle and bustle of the oncoming holidays? Last week I had three events, one per night, all in a row. Afterward, I collapsed. How did I used to do this endlessly?

When I look around, it seems like most people are just so glad to be back out and with other people that they aren’t minding the schedule. 

I, on the other hand, am looking around and wondering what I can remove from my commitment list. Why am I so tired? Where does this feeling of energy depletion come from?  

Sitting down to write this morning, I thought about all of the tools I have around me to help. For example, I have my meditation practice which I am faithful to in the morning, but my afternoon meditations are a thing of the distant past. Why? I don’t exactly know. I suppose I decided I was too busy. 

I have evening rituals of essential oil baths, relaxing tea, time specifically to wind down and shift my energy in preparation for sleep that I have gotten away from using at all. Again, why? It doesn’t follow that having an extra glass of wine and staying up late to sneak in one more episode of The Nevers is going to restore my peace of mind and lead to a restful night. 

What is going on with me? 

I suspect it’s not just me. We are such funny creatures — surrounding ourselves with tools and knowledge and then not using them to help ourselves. Is it that we get lazy? Distracted? A little depressed? Maybe. 

Whatever it is, it’s a slippery slope. I start to slide away from my boundaries, my tools, my objective knowledge of what creates harmony and balance in my life and then I land here: wondering how I got so far away from what I know to be true. 

Without beating myself up or spending too much time making myself wrong, I find it’s actually not that hard to make small shifts that start bringing me back to center. Sometimes little things are all we can manage anyway. So today, I opted for silence on my morning walk. I communed with my breath. I communed with the birds and the sky and the lake. I experimented with it as a moving meditation. That tiny change had me feeling slightly refreshed and calmer when I got back home. I filled my bird feeders and sat down to write with a cup of coffee. 

Yes, that. 

What’s next? I am committing to a short afternoon meditation today. I just added it to my calendar. It occurs to me that no one else is going to do this for me. I have to put boundaries around myself, my mind, my spirit, my physical being. I have to use the tools that work and realize that I am allowed to say no, to stay home, to need some extra rest. I’m giving myself permission to be as I am, moving into the holidays. Perfect in all of my imperfections, I suppose. 

How are you doing over there? How are you feeing going into these last months as we wind up 2021? Where do you find yourself needing to set boundaries to keep your sanity and peace of mind? I’d love to hear — post in the comments below. 

With love and gratitude,


Logo flourish

2 responses to “Boundaries and Basics”

  1. Michelle Snyder says:

    Well, do I dare say this HIT home with me once again. On this lovely Sunday morning as the air is a bit cooler, I am trying to “catch” up on my sanctuary time. Which truly sounds silly, but true.

    I too have found the things that make me balanced have slipped away again. My 3-5 minutes I had in my car driving to work listening to my spiritual teacher have been gone last week, as work calls came in and work started the minute I started my car. In the past I would hold off on the calls but these last few weeks I have felt I had to get every work minute in to hustle and get it done.
    When honestly, I know better in my heart and mind that I need and crave that time to myself.

    I have been feeling like this is a ALL OUT SPRINT to the finish line of 2021. My work schedule has been busier then ever and both myself and husband have been putting in some long hours.
    And so we are carving out more time on the weekends despite our /My TO DO LIST that looks longer then the CVS receipts these days.
    I am craving and need a long hot bath filled with Episom salt and oils to heal my body and soul.

    I also realized as I was a in a whirl wind last week, what has changed so much that I feel like a ball of stress and anxiety. I sat down and really examined my week,, and the answer was,,, I hadn’t been out on nature all week.

    I often run or walk 3x a week in addition to my 6 x a week workout cross training I do at home.
    But last week I only ran 1x. Besides the physical aspect if running/walking I love seeing all the critters along my path, squirrels , rabbits, people walking their dogs, the trees, the sun , clouds, all of it. It fills my soul.

    So I know this upcoming week and weeks leading into the holidays and year end, I will take my walks, breath and enjoy all the abundance nature has to offer.

  2. Dawn Brinson says:

    I realize that I have finally had a little shift in my thinking about a Sanctuary practice and your blog post helped crystalize the concept for me. We often think of needing to be disciplined about work, about marking things off your list in order to feel productive, in order to achieve more. But the opposite of that dynamic is actually the thing I think we’re all searching for and what you’ve been espousing for so long.

    I now think of it this way: Sanctuary is the discipline of freeing yourself. If we focus our daily disciplines — writing, meditating, cooking, painting, stroking the silky fur of a beloved pet — on that understanding, it seems much easier to start and stick to the rituals. It is the direct path to unblocking your creativity; dealing with cranky people; communicating from compassion instead of reaction; and addressing anxiety and fear before they even have a chance to take root in our souls.

    We become intentionally disciplined in creating a state of freedom.

    I’d much rather take time for that and all that it offers than using my limited discipline focus on things that render negative thoughts (I didn’t do enough today to be considered worthy), negative actions (I don’t have time to deal with you in a compassionate, thoughtful way so you get the snarky side of me instead), and negative results (Here’s everything I did and it still isn’t enough for you/me/them).

    I’m going to focus on the freedom.

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