Hope Sets Healthy Boundaries

Isn’t it interesting how we can tell others what to do but not apply that same wisdom to ourselves?

In my life coaching ministry at GateWay, I often ask women, “What are you doing for fun?” We track their progress and talk about the importance of setting healthy boundaries.

Sometimes we refer to an emotional boundary as setting a fence around the heart. fence-autumn

Likewise with my writing clients. I may ask, “What are you doing for an artist date?”

They tell me about roaming through bookstores, writing morning pages at a quirky and fun coffee shop or choosing a new journal.

Terrific success for my coaching clients. Not such a good job by their coach.

I find it increasingly difficult to schedule artist dates and/or find some time for fun in my busy schedule. Am I too busy? Yes. How can I remedy that? Hmm.

One of my friends recently asked me, “What are you doing for Rebecca?”

I had to stop and think about that question, because we often define fun as something we do that costs money.

But I need to consider other things that are just as relaxing and important for me – activities that cost little or nothing. Fun might include playing the piano, banging out chords that help release some of the pressures of a stressful day.

Walking through crunchy leaves or strolling through colorful chrysanthemums at a garden store. These joys remind me of the creator and how he blesses us with an autumn Kansas.

Other possibilities for fun:

  • An occasional movie
  • Watching the baseball playoffs with my son
  • Jayhawk basketball and OU football
  • Pulling out my coloring book and finding a quiet moment on the deck
  • Singing
  • A new color of fingernail polish
  • The turquoise and corals of a Kansas sunset
  • A haircut
  • One of the autumn craft shows
  • A new journal or reading through the old one with an attitude of praise

These are some of the things that bring me joy, however I need to work harder at getting away and forcing myself to relax. Is that an oxymoron? Forced relaxation?

Even now, I feel the need for some time away to reboot my soul and refresh that creative spirit in me.

I write better after a break when I feel more energized to connect sentences that form paragraphs, outline chapters and introduce new characters to the world.

So I need to be more proactive about using my time off. I need to actually schedule a writing retreat and a personal sabbatical – wherever and whenever I can – soon.

As 2017 approaches, I need to discipline myself to do the same thing I ask of my clients – to find that special place of inner rest, to plan an artist date, to find my own creative boundaries.

Hope asks accountability of others but also demands spiritual nourishment of the self. Even as I help others, I need to do a better job finding myself and define that fence around my heart.

Anyone else want to join me in the search?

©2016 GateWay of Hope – repost of RJThesman.net.

Inhale !

For the past several weeks, social media has included several photos, links and/or articles about relaxation and rest.solitude image

Maybe it’s because we’re in the last part of the summer season and everyone is either on a vacation or thinking about one. Or maybe it’s because of the increasing stress in our world.

We all need a break, but women who are stressed out need even more than just an occasional vacation. We need to find a regular place of rest – where we can inhale, find peace and be restored.

If we don’t inhale, we can’t exhale. If we don’t fill up with joy and hope, then we can’t share those qualities with anyone else.

Abby Seixas, the author of “Finding the Deep River Within” calls this place the “Time-in.” She describes Time-in as:

• A time without interruption, distraction or multi-tasking
• A time spent by yourself and with yourself
• A time where the emphasis is on being with yourself more than doing the activity

When was the last time you just sat and did nothing? Or at least, you thought you were doing nothing.

What you were actually doing was inhaling, resting your spirit and silently building up defenses for the next exhale.

Maybe you didn’t realize it at the time, but without that time-in, you would have reacted to the next stress-filled moment with a less than satisfactory outcome. Tears, exhaustion, screaming – these are reactions that sometime happen when we need a time-in.

So how in the world do we find a time and a place to truly rest our souls?

We have to be intentional about it. Schedule a time on your calendar to get away. Then do it. Don’t talk yourself out of it through false guilt or lack of personal boundaries.

Find a place that is away from your stressful job, home or situation. If you need to hire a babysitter or a caregiver – then do it. You are worth it and you will feel better for it.

Initiate the help of a friend or a family member. Let someone else fix supper while you escape. Then one day, you can reciprocate for that friend and cook supper while she escapes.

Ask God to help you remember that He created you as a human being, not a robot. He knows that no matter what good things you’re doing – you need a restorative time-in.

Even Jesus rowed across the lake for some R & R. If He needed a break, then so do you.

© 2014 GateWay of Hope – The Helping Place for Hurting Women