One way to live more peacefully and creatively is to set personal boundaries. We can view a personal boundary as a field of energy around us that we set through intention. We intentionally set a standard we intend to live by, and choose what influences we will allow, and not allow, to influence us. These influences affect our peace of mind and attainment of goals.
Boundaries vary based on need. To get a job done, we don’t allow distractions to influence how we spend our time. Creativity requires focus and attention, putting our head and heart into the creative task at hand. Our sense of time shifts from awareness of invented time (clocks and calendars) to cyclic time. We become one with the universal rhythm of a greater transcendent reality, and demands on our time made by others become less insistent.
There are personal boundaries we can set about ourselves. If we avoid measuring our status, looks and accomplishments by outside influences, we will personally feel better about ourselves. There will always be others richer and poorer, more and less successful, less or more talented. You can set a standard of success for yourself by being the best you can be, knowing you have done the best that you can, and if you are competitive, perhaps you can compete against your past attainments to achieve a greater level of personal excellence.
Above all, be yourself. You are unique. There’s no one just like you in the universe — there never has been, and there never will be — so there is something that you, and only you, can do, relative to others. Find what it is. Setting personal boundaries helps you to keep your energies focused on what works for you and the things you wish to attain.
When you say no to negativity, you naturally gravitate to positive people and places. Although opposites attract physically, spiritually like attracts like. Decide to avoid negative people and places that promote negative energies and values that offend. Find a “third place,” a place to spend some time other than at work or at home, that attracts you and others of like heart and mind. You can determine if a certain “third place” is for you by how welcome you feel when you arrive, how comfortable you feel while you are there, and how you will feel about returning when you leave. Soon enough, you will interact with folks who feel in the same ways you do.
A “third place”can be anywhere others go because they like to be there — a favorite coffee house, church, library or friend’s home. If you are especially motivated to find one and have not, look into creating your own and send out invitations. I did in 1981, and during the 20 years IAF existed in the basement of the Old Cardiff Church in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, overtime hundreds found it to be their “third place.” So ask your friends where they go; word of mouth is the best form of advertising.
Your boundaries are reinforced by behavior. Smile more often for no reason. Close your eyes and think a happy thought on purpose. On the road or at home, close the windows and listen to music you love. Light a candle. Burn some incense. Enjoy a favorite beverage. Read something inspiring.
Perhaps you were taught that there is nothing outside of you that can defile you; it is what comes from within you that can defile you. Your thoughts are things. When expressed, thoughts generate energies that create things for good or ill. So think positive thoughts, with gratitude. Know that what you are grateful for increases; thinking positively, you can live more peacefully and creatively.
Barbara Basia Koenig is an Encinitas artist and personal counselor. Email [email protected]