How to fix a leaky “roof” and healthy boundaries

As I write this, I’m surrounded by my favorite things. My chevron print, organic blanket drapes over my lap and spills languidly onto the floor next to my “peanut shell” slippers. My antique-green chair envelopes me in a hug and next to me on a little stool sits a red mug with the word “peace,” a half full cup of coffee. And a stack of my current reads: Yoga Journal, Omyoga, Renew and Somerset Life magazines as well as the second book in the Game of Throne series, my 500 hour yoga training journal and my yoga business journal where I write about my dreams for inspiring and empowering women around the world (who communicate in English, preferably).

This is what gets me out of bed in the morning, the opportunity to sit in my green chair (although I’ve been forming a habit of going to my studio as well for an early morning yoga and meditation practice).

My island of comfort.

Outside the weather is taking turns between rain, freezing rain, little pelting ice balls and snow. How cute, even the weather shares.

I can hear drip. drip. drip. clink. (Ice pellet.) drip. drip. clink. clink. clink. clink. I don’t want to know if the noise is inside or outside, because yes, our roof leaks and we desperately need a completely new roof especially since building an attached garage.

Listening to the drips and the clinks, makes me think about boundaries. A roof is a boundary to protect us from bad weather. A weak boundary means bad weather seeps in, affecting our life on the interior in ways that are unpleasant and often worrisome.

A weak boundary for a few minutes might not seem so bad, when the weather is nice and the sun is shinning. A week boundary surrounded by all things good doesn’t seem bad.

But then it rains or sleets or snows and melts and how do we feel about our weak boundary? Are we able to quickly patch it up at a moments notice? Usually not. Usually we suffer through the storm and wait for sunny weather to patch our weak boundary. And sometimes the storm weaken our boundaries and it requires more work to patch and strengthen.

We need healthy boundaries even when it’s sunny. I might say especially when it’s sunny. When you are with your friends and family, that is the safe time to develop and nurture your boundaries. Learn to say yes andno. Learn to keep an open heart at the same time as keeping a strong sense of self.

And when the storm comes — and it will! — you’ll be ready for it. The storm might be a pushy client, an energy-draining family member, a toxic person, someone in the vehicle next to you during rush hour. In the past they might have sensed your weak boundary and gotten in to you somehow, draining your energy and giving you some of their toxicity. Now you can [nonverbally, preferably] say, back off sista! and treat them with unconditional love. Still send positive vibes, the kind that send a solid message: I understand your pain, but I don’t have to feel it or take it on. I only want the best for you in your life. You are in charge of your own healing. I’m in charge of my own healing.

Sometimes we have to back away from certain situations or people because they weaken our boundary. And it’s OK. You do them a disservice if you try to fix or heal them by giving them your goodness and depleting yourself… leaving your “roof” broken, leaky and uncomfortably cold. (Seriously: it’s cold inside if your roof is leaky!)

Chime In: Do you have someone in your life who drains you of energy and makes you feel toxic after being with them? Don’t name them (please) but in the comments below share how you have dealt with the situation or that person.