Finding your inner calm starts with clear boundaries.
You may be saying - wait what? And if you’re like many of us, even thinking about creating boundaries can feel overwhelming.
But rather than an entire communication overhaul, we suggest small steps to create clear boundaries for a sense of personal alignment and inner calm.
American Tibetan Buddhist, Pema Chodron, surmises the teachings of inner peace as cultivating loving-kindness for yourself. And there’s nothing more loving or kind than clear, honest boundaries.
What’s The Difference Between Peace and Calm?
Peace and calm can feel interchangeable but there are nuances to each word. Peace means that your internal and external environments are free from turmoil. Whereas calm is an internal feeling state. One that can encompass peace and happiness.
So each time you’re able to have a moment of inner calm, you are expressing peace from inside yourself, regardless of your external environment.
That means, that whether you’re in an intense meeting or having a relaxing day at the beach, you can find inner calm anywhere, with these simple tips:
Boundaries: The Key to Finding #YourInnerCalm?
Boundaries don’t have to be harsh or extreme but they do have to be clear and honest to the person setting them. There are endless possibilities as to how this can look. What’s important is that it feels true for you, because that is practicing loving-kindness for yourself, and what you need to achieve inner calm.
The best way to create boundaries for yourself is to find moments of quiet reflection. In those moments, think about what is important to you, what you need to feel well resourced, and how you can do just that.
Try this daily ritual, for 66 days to create a new habit of inner calm:
- Find a quiet place in your home.
- Light Palo Santo or diffuse your favorite scent to infuse the room with calming energy.
- Take deep breaths in and long exhales out.
- Ask “what do I want at this moment”, “why do I need to know” or any question you feel called to ask.
- Reflect on the answer that comes to you.
This can take anywhere from 5 mins to as long as you want. Setting this time for yourself helps to bring a moment of pause to your day and allows space to get clear on what you want. Once you have an understanding of how this works for you, you can close your eyes if that’s available to you, and come back to those breaths to find this calm feeling state wherever you are.
This can be challenging so if you’re new to it, go low and slow. You can’t control others, but you can control what you do, say, and think. Don’t like “tap back” emojis in group chats? Instead of leaving the chat 👋 start by asking one person, the one you feel most comfortable with, to not do it, and see how that feels.
Trust us when we say that what you will connect to in your daily moment of calm will surprise you and this may end up being smoother than you think. Boundaries can be anything from physical (hello social distancing) to personal contact boundaries (for example, not accepting phone calls past 9pm, unless it’s an emergency, because, bedtime).
Data shows that there is an association between being connected to nature and a feeling of happiness. This is an internal feeling state that can be stirred up when convening with nature.
That could look like a camping trip, hike, or a simple walk around the block. The more connected you are able to be, the deeper of a connection you build. That could look like a daily walk outside or putting your feet in some grass or sand, whatever natural earth is available to you. You can carry that connection home with you by breathing in scents from the woods like cedar or sweet floral notes reminiscent of a fresh spring day like Ylang Ylang.
And How Does This Relate to Boundaries?
Connecting with nature is a two-way relationship that requires boundaries, and no we don’t just mean closing the window to prevent the cold air from getting in (although that IS a boundary).
We each have an impact on the Earth and getting clear on what you will (and won’t) do is important. That could look like recycling, only buying what you need, making purchases from sustainable companies, or leaving the places you visit better than you found them.
Say you make a commitment to leaving the places you visit better than how you found them. Then you’re on a hike and you see a discarded bar wrapper. If you pick up to toss on your way out, it’s more than just picking up trash. You’re also aligned with the boundary you set and are showing yourself that you trust your intuition. Take a deep breath in and out on that one!
You DO trust yourself and ARE aligned with your boundaries and values. Wow, now that’s loving kindness and a sense of calm.
What is the hardest boundary you’ve ever had to set and how did it affect your inner calm? Let us know with hashtag #YourInnerCalm.
Author: Bridgette Clare