Hello Again, All-Star!!
You made it back for Phase 4! Congratulations!! Way to stick with it!
Remember to celebrate yourself -- with a resounding “Woohoo!”, some sensuous self-care, a delicious treat, and/or a good old fashioned pat on your own back. Reward yourself for successes like this, and you’ll find it easier to collect more of them!
We’ve been having such a wonderful time steeping in this material and sharing it with you over the last few weeks. We have been getting some really heart-warming feedback, and trust that you, too, are finding what you need, and enjoying your growth here. That being said, please feel free to reach out should you need anything to improve your experience in this course. We’re here for you!
Now -- do you have your coziness levels turned all the way up? Got your accoutrements of comfort with you? Remembering to breathe, fully and easily?
Alright. Let’s get to it!
In Phases 4 and 5, we’re going to immerse ourselves in the actual steps of formulating agreements around our boundaries. This week, we’ll give you the step-by-step process for talking through when we notice we have a boundary coming into play -- whether it’s being stepped over or just activated -- naming the feelings and needs we have related to the boundary, and making a request for some agreement to be made in order to honour the boundary. Next week, we’ll circle back to run through the related process of renegotiating when an agreement goes south.
If you’d like to, you may feel free to scroll down to the bottom of this page to review the Mini-Course for Phase 4, which is pretty comprehensive in terms of the How of navigating boundaries. For our purposes in the Master Course, we’ll focus mostly on the process of formulating agreements.
There are 2 scenarios covered by the Formulating Agreements template:
When we experience an action someone else is doing that activates a boundary in us; and
When we know in advance about a boundary we want to make an agreement around.
In the first scenario, we may not even recognize initially that a boundary is involved. The first sensation we usually experience when someone (knowingly or unknowingly) steps over a boundary we (knowingly or unknowingly) have is repulsion. It might be a small, subtle, tiny peep in the back of our consciousness -- especially if we tend toward people-pleasing -- that just says, “Not this”. We may notice a desire to move away, to step back, to break connection, and/or find ourselves being triggered into survival mode. We may feel irritation, frustration, sadness, anger, fear, worry, or something similar. We may suddenly start telling the story that we aren’t “wanted” or “respected” or “cared for”. However it shows up -- whether the signals are loud and clear, or quiet and nuanced -- it’s worth getting good at telling when our boundaries are being tripped.
It’s also useful to remember that:
Most times, people aren’t trying to ignore our boundaries. They might not know about them, might not anticipate them, and/or might be too triggered themselves to even be aware of others; and
How we feel about a boundary being stepped over, is always about more than just the boundary. And in order to distill our personal truth about the boundary and our needs in the situation, we would do well to process our feelings around it, and regularly process our feelings in general, so that neither the boundary maintenance nor our perceptions about it are colored with pre-existing and/or unprocessed emotion.
In the second scenario, when no boundary is currently being activated, but we are aware of one that we wish to design an agreement around -- there may not be any uncomfortable feelings or sensations involved, that is, until we begin to consider talking about it. Often, just preparing to ask for what we want can be a triggering event. Again, the feelings process can support us here, both, to offload the emotion and to get in the best brain state for formulating agreements.
In this case, you may skip the initial stages of the Formulating Agreements template that address the actions you observed, and the feelings you notice being triggered around the actions, and begin with simply stating the need you have noticed wanting to be honoured. Then make a request for how you’d prefer your need be met.
Given what we have covered already, working with this template may be relatively straightforward. That being, said, please feel free to pose any questions, and/or requests for clarifications you may have in the Discussion Center. You may also feel free to bring some examples you’re working with to the live call on Thursday, and we’ll help make sure you are on the right track.
Ok! Bring on the template!!
The Better at Boundaries Minicourse, Phase Three, that precedes this course, is available below for review!