One of my energy healing mentors once said: “in the simplest terms, boundaries mean: you get to choose.” — Jeffrey Allan
When he said that, my brain flipped a switch and totally re-wired itself in that instant. That was totally different from any way I’d heard it put before that time. Before that time, boundaries seemed to be all about defense and protection at all costs. Boundaries came with a lot of FORCE implied within them, but when I heard it defined that way… everything rearranged.
One of my other energy healing mentors, Prune Harris, taught me about effortless boundaries by simply putting one hand over your heart and one hand towards the edge of your bio-field (energy field, aura, whatever you want to call it).
Some people may roll their eyes at such a thing, but what that is is an INTENTION being set and a FOCUS of your energy on realizing that you are a sovereign being and you can choose what is for you, and what is not. What you will take on, and what you will not.
And both of these teachers taught me how to bridge that body/mind connection so that the body could begin to RELAX into knowing that it HAS that right and power to choose.
Now obviously, in the beginning of most people’s journey home and inward, we need a lot of defense and a lot of friggin’ thorns! Because we don’t feel safe in our bodies, we don’t feel we have choices, and we don’t feel that we are sovereign beings in our space. Because that has NOT been our experience up until that point. We do not trust that ultimate safety or sovereignty, so we put up the necessary guards.
Of course, we do! And that is PERFECT, and right on time for where we are at that time in our lives. It is appropriate to do so until another way can be felt and known.
Different people need different things around this at different times in their life. And that should be respected, even whilst new ways are being explored or taught. Sometimes we are just too tender for anything less. And other times, we’re ready for something new.
The Rose and the Cactus have needles and thorns that say to the world: “this is my space, thank you.” All without saying a word. Other things in nature have no such protections. Many other flowers have no barbs and no hooks at all, nor any poison. They are vulnerable, and they are still astoundingly beautiful and manage to thrive.
What I mean by that is that not all things in nature have forceful protections. Not all things in nature have to go to war to uphold their space. And there is a WIDE RANGE of variety of this expressed in life on earth, from poisonous snakes to thorned roses, to daddy gorillas all the way down to the tenderest tiny violas in a wide-open field.
Gorilla’s actually lead a very lazy and ease-filled life, did you know that? Other than relatively new human predators, they don’t work hard for their survival. Not at all! They languish and eat and play and love and connect amongst their community. Papa gorilla is certainly a protector, but it’s mostly his PRESENCE and GRAVITY OF BEING that does the job.
I like to think of our source self this way. Just this immense presence and gravity of being—that when directed and focused properly inward—and claiming our sovereign choice for ourselves, can do all the heavy lifting just by standing there.
In doing so, we also realize that everyone else is also free to make their choice. Jeffrey had a lovely visualization practice for this that helps to anchor this knowing in you, called ‘The Permission Rose.’
Basically, you have a permission rose (permission to be yourself and choose and believe and do what you choose), and so does everyone else, and you can give them a permission rose (and remember that yours is there with you) every time you think you need to change someone or bring them over to your way and your choice.
This way, you get to be you at all times, and they get to be them. And all are free to be who they are in any given moment. This is not the way of the world, but this is unconditional love.
It does not mean you cannot speak out for your choice, protest for your choice, act in the direction of your choice, or anything else. All it means is that you realize the power to do so is IN YOU. And you work OUTWARD from there. From that place. Instead of from the place of “I need you to see this and change this before I know I have a choice.”
You act from your freedom, AS A FREE BEING, knowing that nothing is your source but THE SOURCE. Not “those enemies,” “those friends,” “those family members,” or anyone else. And you are so so so much more powerful when you do so.
Because you are acting from empowerment. Instead of from disempowerment.
So… I’d love to offer you a slight tweak on all the above practices, if it’s helpful, and visualize yourself as the rose when you feel you need protection, and see the thorns on your stalk that say, “this is my choice, and this is my space to be me.” Visualize them there, doing the work for you. Effortlessly while you relax into trust and source.
Or, touch into that papa gorilla image within you. Feel the weight of his groundedness in your body, feel the heft of his gravity on the earth, feel his effortlessly silent announcement of your space—simply by his being there.
Or play with your own visualization that helps you touch into that space.