- Is it work stress?
- Kid's activities?
- The house/yard?
- Family time?
- Demanding boss?
- The dog/cat/ferret?
- Hating grocery shopping?
- Avoiding vegetables?
I'll define boundaries as making your yes mean yes, and your no mean no.
Last Thursday, I was scheduled to attend a group event that I originally thought was going to be in Westerville. When I received the confirmation email, however, I found out that instead of being in Westerville, it was going to be about 25 miles away.
You know one of my very favorite things about my life? My business is about a mile from my house. My church is about two miles from my house. My sister is about two miles from my house. The grocery store is on the way home. The worst rush hour I ever have to contend with is Cooper Road.
So, when I got the email about the event being held 25 miles away, my answer was no. Until I emailed the leader, that is, and she wrote back and I wavered and put it on my calendar anyway. I am such a people pleaser! Approval monger! Good grief.
Anyway, Thursday comes around and I head onto 270/161 at RUSH HOUR. How any of you do that day after day is beyond me. I'm following along with my GPS navigator, while drinking a coffee from McDonald's. I turn onto one country road and drive five miles. Then I turn onto another country road. Five more miles. The snow is now blowing sideways, there's a very angry pick-up truck on my tail because evidently I am going way too slow for these parts, and there aren't any lines on the road so I feel like I'm about to wind up in a ditch.
Suddenly I become aware that my own head is yelling at me. YELLING.
My ears perk up. I remember my mantra: "I had been trying to get my attention for a very long time."
I pull into the driveway of a farmhouse that is set back off the road a bit and I take a big, deep breath. "What's wrong?", I ask out loud.
I heard it clear as day. "You violated your No."
Well, shit. I sure did. Now what? They think I am on the way, I can't turn around now! They'll think I'm ridiculous. I'll disappoint them.
"But what about me?"
It is second nature for me to make myself continue with an obligation, and just deal with all the internal drama. But I am learning that this does not create the peace I long for, nor does it really please anyone around me, because I end up frazzled, resentful and not at all in my integrity.
So I reset my GPS for home and turned around. I was probably less than ten minutes away from the destination, but I've spent a lifetime violating my No. I decided Thursday that I was going to honor my No.
I had been trying to get my attention for a very long time.
This is just one small example. It's very challenging, especially in December, to choose what to say yes to and what to say no to. All I know is this: When I struggle with my health and fitness, it is because I have been saying yes to other things, and no to my fitness path. I can't do that, because I decided long ago that one of my essential core values is my health. So, I can't give that time away, and I can't violate my No.
A few ways I check in with my mind/body/soul when I'm not sure:
- Am I feeling resentful and angry?
- Do I feel like I don't matter or am being overlooked?
- Do I find myself saying, "Why did I say yes to this?"
- Am I afraid of letting someone/everyone down?