“yoga must not be practised to control the body: it is the opposite, it must bring freedom to the body, all the freedom it needs” Vanda Scaravelli
This quote reminds me a lot of boundaries with parenting. The boundaries we have for ourselves and our children are not there to control, but there to bring all the freedom we need to live a healthy and free life that supports our growth towards our highest selves, free from manipulation and control.
But what are boundaries?
Personal Boundaries are the limits we set ourselves for how others treat us and how we treat others. They form the cornerstone of healthy relationships with ourselves and others. They can protect us from accepting behaviour from others that don’t serve our highest self and can give us the framework to manage ourselves in our dealings with others.
When you think of your own life, what would you have wanted a parent to do for you when you were a child? Would you have appreciated someone controlling your behaviour for you, completely handing over your responsibility to an external source, or would you have appreciated someone teaching you how to manage yourself, allowing you the power over your own body, mind and emotions and trusting you?
Throughout our lives there are many stages where we have a boost in our desire for independence and these can be tied in with the development of our chakras. For example, around the ages of 0-7 we develop in terms of our connection to our family and belonging and seeing ourselves as physically separate from our parents. Through ages 8-14 our independence is usually centred around our sexuality and during 15-21 we develop independence around our sense of self. From 22-28 we develop our independence in terms of our love for ourselves and for others. From 29-35 is our independence of speech and self-expression, and so on as our chakras develop over time. Boundaries are usually all set within the first seven years as each chakra is awakened and this then paves the way for a lifetime …. however, like everything, this is not set in stone. Boundaries, for most, are a lifelong learning opportunity and we make choices everyday based on our knowledge and capacity at the time.
If boundaries are new to us, we can choose to have a discussion with our child(ren) about them and their importance, and come to a mutually agreed upon set of ‘rules’ for how each party wants to be treated. It can be helpful to be aware of our basic human rights when setting boundaries. Judith Belmont discusses these:
“I have a right to say no without feeling guilty…. to be treated with respect….. to make my needs as important as others….. to be accepting of my mistakes and failures…… to meet others’ unreasonable expectations of me” (Healthline)
These rights are as true for our children as they are for us, regardless of age.
It is also helpful to determine the values and attitudes we would like to cultivate when we set boundaries. Here are a few examples – exploration, curiosity, kindness, non-judgement, respect, and compassion both for ourselves and others.
Questions you may like to discuss with your children:
How would you like to be treated when you make a mistake?
How would you like to be treated when you have a problem that you need help with?
How would you like to be treated when you are experiencing a strong emotion/having a tough time?
How would you like to be treated when you want to explore new ways of being or new things?
How would you like to be treated when you feel an expectation is unrealistic?
How can you give others the same respect, kindness, trust, non-judgment and compassion (values or attitudes you want to cultivate) in these areas?
How can you give yourself the same respect, kindness, trust, non-judgment and compassion (values or attitudes you want to cultivate) in these areas?
If it feels right, take some time imagining what this would look like, feel like, sound like, etc… to really get a concrete sense of what maintaining these boundaries would be like.
Finally, be patient with yourself and others as you embark on this journey. Boundaries are often a lifelong journey and they may change and develop alongside us, as we let go of our limiting beliefs, and step more into our true self.
If you would like to book a private session with Crysal, do so here
As published in The Inspired Guide Issue #14