- “Is the limit or edge that defines you as separate from others.
- A boundary is a limit that promotes integrity.” p.14
Through the practice of mindfulness, one is aware of boundaries and can choose size, shape, colour of your own and also notice others’ boundaries and respect them. One may choose a steel wall or a huge field with barely perceived fence posts....how close or how far those boundaries are is up to you. With mindfulness, one has the training to observe where you are in the moment and to choose if the boundary needs to soften or strengthen. Inherent in this process is a “knowing” of who you are, where you come from, what you want for your life, values, goals - where you’ll compromise and where you won’t.
Encompassed in our “mental awareness” is an awareness and understanding of our Emotional Boundaries - our set of distinct and individual feelings - how we perceive the world, our goals and values.
We can learn to recognize those boundaries through our body - noticing sensations in your gut, heart and head. With awareness, you also become in charge of your boundary balance: too rigid, too permeable, too distant, too flexible, too closed, enmeshed? or just right? Only you know.
What strengthens emotional boundaries?
- The right to say “No”.
- The freedom to say “yes”.
- Respect for feelings.
- Support for our personal process.
- Acceptance of differences.
- Enhancement of our differences.
- Permission for expression.
- Ridicule. Contempt. Derision. Sarcasm. Mockery. Scorn. Belittling comments.
- Stifling communication.
- Insistence on conformity. Arbitrariness.
- The need to overpower.
- Heavy judgements...Threat. Insecurity” (p114-115).
“Healthy boundaries protect without isolating,contain without imprisoning, and preserve identity while permitting external conditions” (p130)
An awareness of our Emotional Boundaries will also keep our Ego healthy. A Healthy Ego will keep you safe....ie trust your spidy sense (body instinct) that says “so and so” is unsafe/untrustworthy..... A healthy ego will give you the strength to go on stage in front of thousands and perform well.
A fragile ego can lead to debilitating nerves, which can lead to an over-compensating "big Ego" - resulting in a difficult work environment.
More on role boundaries and boundaries in the musician workplace tomorrow...