EXCAVATING YOUR ‘NO’ ~

Most {privileged} adult women I know, have had their boundaries violated in some way, at some point in their lives.

What does that say for those who don’t have fortunate circumstances?

Many women I know, also have a hard time carving out the time & space that they need to care for themselves and their families, saying no to others’ demands on their time and energy, or making the choice to fulfill their own desires, if those are in conflict with the needs of others.

Do you think there’s a connection between the pervasive violation of our boundaries, and our difficulty in making them?

I do.

I’ve been told that I’m an expert at making boundaries. I’ve also been perceived as having sloppy, rigid, or confusing boundaries. I’ve had friendships end over both my ambivalent and my clear boundaries.

I’ve stood in the fire of making very unpopular boundaries with entire communities of people, extended family, and authorities…all in the name of giving myself {or my immediate family} what I know that I/we absolutely need.

Boundaries has been a hot topic for me. And I know that I’m not alone.

Expressing clear boundaries is a learning curve for so many women who are on the path of Conscious Womanhood. And, it’s an essential ingredient in the stew of our collective evolution.

Here’s why:

If we want to live in a world where the Earth ~ our home and source of food ~ is respected and honored, rather than violated or destroyed…then we need to create a world where women are respected and honored, rather than violated or oppressed.

The way humanity cares for the Earth, will always be reflected in how we women are cared for. The Earth Mother is an extension and mirror of our female bodies, and vice versa. Just look at how our bodies cycle, so much like hers. See how we too, are the source {of home and food, and so much more}? Look for the similarities and you will see, we’re one in the same. 

So how do we get out of this mess?

It’s up to us.

The privileged and conscious women of the world, who have the opportunity and resources to do so ~ are responsible for learning to respect, honor, liberate, and care for ourselves.

We’re the leaders, teachers, and pioneers of THIS.

Changing the way humanity relates to women/the earth/the Feminine ~ STARTS WITH US CHANGING THE WAY WE RELATE TO OURSELVES. 

Makes sense, right? 

Here’s a little background on how I learned about boundaries ~ the hard way

About 5 years ago, I came down with debilitating chronic illness. With chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia as my two most prevalent symptoms ~ on the hardest days, I was unable to do everyday activities {ones that most people don’t even think about}. Going to the grocery store caused me significant pain, and driving a car felt like a monumental effort.

The healing journey that I faced, forced me to turn so much farther inward than I ever had before, and look at myself so honestly, that I could not deny the truth:

I NEEDED A NEW INTERNAL OPERATING SYSTEM:

~One that functions in alignment with being a {sensitive} woman.

I needed to SLOW WAY DOWN and stop moving at the pace that the rest of the world moves in…

I needed to learn to spiral with each turning season of the land where I live, to receive the life force of the Earth Mother…

I needed to flow with the rhythms of my female body, to harvest the healing power of my Menses…

I needed to learn to move through every aspect of life, with tremendous respect for the magnificent, and complex instrument of my female body & being…

AND IT FELT LIKE MY SURVIVAL ACTUALLY DEPENDED ON IT.

During a difficult few years of my life, being mostly horizontal, I learned to listen. I listened and listened. A lot. And I paid attention, very closely.

One thing I noticed, was that saying ‘NO’, making boundaries, and overcoming the urge to meet other people’s needs over my own {which I was unable to do} ~ is both taboo and an unspoken rebellion against the status quo.

Surprisingly, it was the women in my life who had the hardest time with my ‘NO’.

I eventually discovered that I had become a mirror of the disowned, repressed, and deeply buried ‘NO’ that so many women in our world have denied within themselves, without even knowing it.

I feel inspired now, on the other side of this healing time, to hold up the mirror for you, and ask ~

WHERE IS YOUR NO?

Is it hidden away in a deep dark corner of your psyche, where it’s hard to reach when you need it? Or, is it right up front and center, in the conscious mind, where you can access it whenever you want to?

It’s OK if your NO is a little dusty, hiding somewhere in a dark corner.

If that’s where it is, I’m sure there are many GOOD REASONS why it’s there.

Be kind to yourself.

AND MAKE THE COMMITMENT TO EXCAVATE IT.

If you’re up for the task, I’ve shared below, a simple, step-by-step process, to help you begin.

Thank you for having the courage to dig it out.

3 STEPS for EXCAVATING YOUR ‘NO’ ~

#1: ASK YOUR BODY.

THE BODY NEVER LIES, it is our most reliable resource for the clarity we long for.

But because modern women have become estranged from our own body-wisdom, it’s also our most frequently overlooked resource.

The next time you find yourself in a situation where you’re either ambivalent, or unsure about some request or demand from another ~ slow down and ask your body: “Is this a ‘YES’ or a ‘NO’?”

One of the easiest ways to TUNE IN to your body, is to lie down and take a few deep breaths. If you’re feeling agitated or anxious, rather than tired ~ movement or touch might be more helpful than lying down.

First, prepare yourself for the rest, movement, or touch your body needs.

Make any adjustments you need to make with your clothing or posture.

Then, ask yourself the specific question you’re holding, in a ‘Yes or NO’ format.

Now, take a deep breath, sink deeper into Rest more fully, OR if you need to move ~ rub your belly, shoulders or feet, maybe move your hips from side to side…

Now ask again…

And again…

Continue to ask.

Rest, move, or give yourself nourishing touch, unit you feel ready for what’s next.

#2 LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

Listening to your body is simply about PAYING ATTENTION.

What do you notice in your body as you ask your ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ question?

Is there flow?

Tightness?

Shortness of breath?

Spontaneous Movement?

Aches?

Relaxation of muscles?

Warmth?

Coldness?

Color?

Sensation?

The more you pay attention to your body’s signals, the more you’ll come to understand the language your body speaks.

For example, you may begin to notice that when something is a NO, your body becomes cold.

Take mental note of what you notice, or do some journaling about it.

Be curious, and again,

PAY ATTENTION. Notice the subtle details. Look below the surface.

Enjoy learning your own body-language.

#3: TRUST YOUR BODY.

Developing trust in your body is a like developing a muscle. For many of us, our trust in our body-wisdom is weak. But with practice, it will inevitably be strengthened.

So, how do you strengthen your trust in what your body reveals to you?

Well, the thing is ~ often trust is not present, without fear or doubt arising first.

If there were no doubt or fear, your trust might not be needed at all. The action would simply be taken without hesitation.

One way to learn to trust, is to acknowledge your doubt and fear, and make the commitment to take a leap of faith.

So, again, check in with your body.

Ask yourself “How would it feel to trust what I sense my body is telling me?”

Then take the risk to follow it, and pay attention to what happens. 

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If a NO is what you find, when you ask your body, and you listen ~ I hope that our conversation here encourages you to take that leap of faith to TRUST it.

Our daughters deserve to grow up in a world where it’s completely acceptable for a woman to say NO, and to have her NO fully heard and complied with.

Women deserve to have our boundaries respected.

And it’s up to us to co-create a culture that supports this.

It’s an inside job. 

…a job that empowers us to change the future of our world.

So let’s.

With love, 

Marianah Jade

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