This week I encountered Brene Brown’s work around vulnerability and shame for the first time, and, as happens when I encounter a teacher whose soul quest is in resonance with my own, I have two distinct seasons of reaction with their work, one, was to be stunned into a sort of holy revery about the sheer beauty of resonance and to be activated and usefully challenged in new ways, which is viscerally satisfying. Then I enter season two, where I have to reconcile the profundity of what I’ve learned with my core values so that these filaments can be woven into the magic carpet of my life and help me to fly higher.
One of my core values is that of vibrational complicity - what you energetically output, you get back, that we are responsible for the energy, thoughts and beliefs we go into the world with and must greet each experience from this level in order to truly understand it.
She’s a shame researcher, a scientist who “follows the data” so the work she’s published so far doesn’t include a consideration of vibration, so tonight, that’s where my Deep is calling me, because I know that trust is essential to a full life, but it’s a nebulous topic, easy to get sideways on.
I know that there are many areas of my life where I have very little genuine trust in my vibrational output because the results reflect it perfectly. I want to focus tonight on trust in relationships mostly because I want to have more trust and to be more trustworthy. It feels so wonderful to be dancing in full trust. And yet when I honestly scanned, the list of folks I trust isn’t very long or deep.
Brene offers a guide to cultivating trust: B.R.A.V.I.N.G.(this one’s kind of deep and big and am gonna do one letter a day, like Sesame Street)
Boundaries - You’ve got to know and honor yours and know and honor theirs. Boundaries became a really squishy amorphous topic for me when I became a student of The Law of Attraction. Boundary what? We’re all balls of the same cosmic energetic love dust trying to dance as hard as we can while the music still plays right?
But that attitude is very difficult to pull off once you leave star form and become a fully embodied human with children and relationships and people who may or may not be in aligned with their star bits very often.
Boundaries for me are simply staying close to a True Listening space and being willing to share what you hear with a clear expectation of being honored and heard in ways that feel good for you. This is why I recommend that folks have a way of steadily listening, like sohbet, or meditation or journaling. If you don’t feel uptodate with your real life self, Life has a way of reflecting that back to you in ways that inevitably invite you to close the gap.
My boundaries fall onto the leylines of my true yesses. And I have to advocate for me to me, firstly, about these yesses, before I go trying to set boundaries with others. I have to do the work of feeling worthy of them and cleaning up any lingering vibrations of guilt or doubt about being able to have the things, people, moments that feel yessy to me. The more I do that work the less boundary setting I’ll ever have to do in real life. In fact when I find myself having to do a lot of boundary setting in real life, I take it as an indicator that I’ve got an activated vibration that I’m going to have to tweak if I want to draw in people and experiences that aren’t so far away from my preferences.
Byron Katie says that a fake yes to someone else is a no to ourselves. That’s shitty boundary setting because we’re setting fake boundaries and all the play that happens in that fake arena is going to feel fake and terrible to us. I find it helpful to not care less what other people think (that give no fucks thing feels unkind and kind of reactive) but to not let their experience with my decision alter what I think is right or yes.
When someone gives me a “no” when I think I want a yes, I have several paths to genuinely engage this “boundary” while still honoring it. The first is to recognize it as a vibrational indicator of my true readiness to allow this thing into my life. Transformation teacher Kyle Cease says if you don’t have that thing you’re not ready for it. So one path of honoring someone’s No boundary is to go dream into your yes and close the gap toward it energetically. This one’s very hard to do but my seven year old is currently mastering it and so can you! The other day he responded to my “no” about him getting a toy in the store with, “can’t you just pretend just this once that I’m a match for getting it?” I asked him how he felt. He told me he was worried I would say no. I asked him to remember a time when I said yes, and how he had been feeling then. He told me he felt excited to get the thing no matter what and sure he was going to get it.
I’ll leave you with a first draft of a new definition of boundary,
“a confident acceptance that what you want is good and worthy, combined with a willingness to vibrate in accord with your desire not against it, and a playful willingness to share this goodness with others without shame or expectation of negative response.”
How can it be more bettererrrrrrr?
Check out the next post in this series