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Recovering people pleaserThe key to failure is trying to please everybody. ~Bill Cosby

A healthy boundary is like an energy bubble that protects your mind, body, and spirit from negative influences.

Think back to a situation when you felt angry, frustrated, or resentful. Got one? If you’re human, you do.

Now look for clues to the kinds of boundaries you coulda-woulda-shoulda set in the past.

 

Did you feel a bit like a doormat in that situation?

 

To set a healthy boundary with another person you’ll need:
1. A friend to support you before and after the conversation

2. Language to set the boundary gracefully and honestly

3. To make a direct request

 

Remember, when setting boundaries you cannot control another person’s response or behavior.

You can only deliver the message with as much grace and compassion as you can.

 

And don’t forget JADE: You don’t need to justify, argue, defend or (over)explain your position. Your needs are always valid.

Start with the easy boundaries. It will probably feel uncomfortable when you first start setting them. As you get stronger, tackle the more challenging ones.

Back up your boundaries with action. If you relax your boundaries by giving in, you invite people to ignore your needs.

 

Some people think of boundaries as walls. I prefer to think of them as doors with the doorknob on my side.

 

What do you think of boundaries?

Comments welcome!

Have they made your life easier? Or harder in some way?

 

 

My office makeover, using Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of keeping the ‘chi’ (energy) flowing. Katie Rogers took me by the hand and led me on a fun journey, helping me see the problem areas and the easy solutions.

BEFORE  – Smessy officeee how my desk chair faces into a corner? And the gold ‘earth’ color walls dam the flow of energy and money. Trust me, this is not ideal for a home office!

 

 

 

BEFORE  – I was a stacker.  Office - No creative flowEach project was in a neat pile, but my energy was constantly being pulled from one task to another.  (ugh) So hard to focus. I felt scattered. No wonder I avoided being in my office.

 

 

AFTEROffice - AFTER (2)

See the ‘water’ color walls? The paint is Artesian Well by Martha Stewart Living, at Home Depot. I took everything out of the room and only put back what supports me and brings me joy. Do you like the watercolor I did of an elephant family?

Now my office is like a 3-D vision board.

It feels great to have my desk chair face the front door of our house.  Katie, my Feng Shui goddess, calls this the Command position. And the leafy green tree is in the ‘money corner’ of the room.

I hung a crystal in the window so rainbows dance across the walls all morning. Pretty. Now I love-love-love being in my office and my creativity (and finances) are thriving. Yay for Feng Shui!

Connect with Lee at http://www.girl-friended.com

 

Where's the mouse?

Where’s the mouse?

Earlier this month, I decided to convert. To Apple.

Ahhh, Macbook Air. Sleek. Light. It doesn’t heat up in my lap. Oh, and even better — it was free, inherited from my mother-in-law.

I hauled the Mac and my old PC over to my favorite computer geek. He spent two days copying all the files plus piles of emails and photos.

I was so excited when he called and said my new Airbook was ready for pick-up. Yes — my new identity. I was finally a savvy, shiny Apple person.

Now I could travel with my tiny laptop. I’d whip it out of my purse and utterly amaze my seat-mate on the plane.

Not so fast, pardner.

 I tried to embrace the new operating system. Really, I did. I wanted to like the Mac layout that crunched my calendar, emails and task list onto one tiny screen. Tried to keep breathing when my 200 favorite bookmarks got lost in translation.

Sometimes I enjoy change. But this one turned out to be too big a stretch.

About 2 weeks into my conversion experiment, I found myself cheating on Mac.   After all, P.C. understood me.  He had his quirks, but he was familiar. And with the Fall weather, I enjoyed the fact that he was, well, hotter.

Mac and I have broken up. I guess he was a little too slick to ever be the right one for me.

Oh, well. At least my cat likes sleeping on him.

Like most of you, I was riveted all week by the dramatic story unfolding in Boston. I went to bed Friday night believing the people of that city remained gripped by a violent suspect who was still on the run. What a relief to wake up Saturday morning and hear on the radio that he had been apprehended. The people of Boston endured the impact of misguided hate — they kept calm and carried on.Boston harbor

What follows is part of Scott Simon’s NPR commentary from April 20:

This week’s assault and tragedies in Boston could have caused scrambling, fright and panic. Instead, they revealed character. People ran unflinchingly into smoke, fire and blood. They worked through weariness, opened their arms and gave of their hearts.

 

Friday night, I got an email from my friend Gordon. He works in a restaurant and opened the doors so people from the race could stumble in for shelter and comfort. Friends who run a family bakery nearby came in crying.

“It will be some time before my anger subsides,” Gordon said. The restaurant, which is usually bright and loud with laughter, has been quiet and somber. “Boston’s characteristic cocky humor is taking a backseat,” he said, but adds, “I was struck by the calm, serious resolve not to be intimidated. Boston is a tough, smart, proud town. We know what’s important … Bostonians refuse to lose our trust for one another.”

And when police arrested the 19-year-old suspect Friday night, Boston ended a week that opened with a vicious crime of violence with an act of justice.

Facing a Lifelong Fear

A few weeks ago, I was in the Smoky Mountains for a camping vacation with my spouse. The first morning we set out on an adventure – a hike to the top of Rich Mountain to see the fall colors pouring into the valley.

The night before, I had fallen asleep reading the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed. It’s the story of her solo 1100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Now I found myself walking behind Kent, pondering Cheryl’s observation that rattlesnakes are polite – they always warn you. Two minutes later I heard a heart-stopping brrrrrr and saw the leaves moving a few feet ahead on the dirt trail.

Let me just say here that I’m scared of all snakes. Little green garter snakes. Even king snakes who helpfully eat other snakes.  They don’t need to have a pit viperish triangular head to scare the heck out of me.

I blame this fear on a trick my older sister enjoyed playing on me. She would leave an encyclopedia on the floor outside my closed bedroom door. She had carefully turned it to the full-color page depicting poisonous snakes. After knocking and calling my name, she would scoot into her bedroom and listen for my scream.

Many decades later, I saw my fear embodied in a coiled, upset serpent.

I screamed, “Snake, snake!” Where? Kent asked, as he turned toward the rattler beside his left foot. Apparently the sight of the snake impaired my ability to communicate effectively. I could only stab my finger into the air and squeak, There! Right there!

In her book Comfortable with Uncertainty, Pema Chodron writes about the part of us that can actually be stirred by stepping into something that’s uncertain and unknown. We think we want to be comfortably cocooned, drifting along. But there is also a part of us – the warrior – that longs to be thrown out of the nest. She asserts that this part of us wants to be challenged.

In the past I haven’t always had the giddy-up to walk into unknown territory. I’ve stayed in jobs and relationships that were way past their shelf-life. But over the years I’ve discovered, through many baby steps, that taking risks helps create a juicier life. Even at the risk of meeting up with a snake, hiking that trail helped me feel more alive.

Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive—the risk to be alive and express what we really are. – Miguel Angel Ruiz

When have you taken a risk by walking toward your fear? What impact did that have on your life?

Play for Life: A Feel-Good Guide to Boost Your Brain Power, Spark Your Creativity and Inspire More Fun

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