First, please save the date for the Liberate Your Love webinar next Wednesday, July 29th, from 7:30-8:30pm EST. I will be giving away a very important FREE gift and I will be telling a very personal story about my own realizations around infidelity. Whoa, big stuff! It’s a story that has given me some tough truths, and triggered a huge heart-opening. I’m only sharing it with the people who are live with me next Wednesday. You don’t want to miss this! Register here.
Welcome to Week #3 of the Liberate Your Love: A Journey to Set Better Boundaries, Understand Your Anger and Learn Real Self Care series! The lesson this week is a really important one, so make sure you either read this now or bookmark it for later today (preferably while wearing comfortable pants and drinking a cup of tea!).
During the past two weeks we’ve been walking our powerful path toward liberation together.
First, we identified the ways we numb ourselves by living in a state of loneliness and anxiety (in Ayurveda-speak, this is vata imbalance). Click here to read more.
Then we established that the path forward means allowing ourselves to feel the repressed anger, sexuality and ambition (this is the fiery pitta energy of Ayurveda). Learn how to access your repressed fire energy here.
We’ve been using Beyonce’s incredible visual album “Lemonade” as inspiration, which she created as an exploration of true liberation in the face of the traumas of infidelity. The movie starts with images of her trapped in the pain of separation; moves powerfully through songs of pure, sexy anger; and then lands in the really, really important place of LOVE.
We are going to explore that place today. LOVE! We talk about love all the time. We crave it. We are terrified of it and yet we will give our lives for it. Personally, I believe that love is the reason we do everything. It’s so important to you, right? But have you thought about what it truly means?
This one is packed full of Ayurvedic knowledge that will help you understand your own blocks to opening your heart, and how the practice of setting strong boundaries will create more love in your life.
Ayurveda has helped me understand the power of love through the third and final dosha, called kapha. Kapha is the energy of earth and water. It’s extremely stable (like mud) and is the healthiest of all three of the doshas because of that stability.
People with lots of kapha in their constitution rarely get upset. Their true nature is to love and accept and care for the people around them. Kapha friends are true gold. You tell them your secrets and they keep them. They show up on time, and you just know they will help you clean up after your parties.
When kapha gets out of balance, it can turn into possessiveness, lethargy and depression. Again, it’s a little harder for kapha to get out of balance than it is for the other doshas, but make sure to pay attention to these signs of imbalance. Counteract them by giving yourself more stimulation with spicy foods, vigorous exercise and lots of deep breathing.
Interesting perhaps, what does this mud stuff have to do with boundaries?
Well the reason that kapha people can give so much is that they have strong structure to them. They move slowly, which lets them stay more connected to their bodies and their intuitions. They are great examples to show that when we are strong, stable and grounded, we are truly able to help others.
In contrast, when we are anxious, stressed and exhausted, we have little to offer. And yet that doesn’t stop us from trying! Those of us with more vata in our constitution are more likely to overcommit out of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), and those of us with stronger pitta will take on more in order to stay in control. Both vata and pitta types tend to rush around as a way of not listening to their intuition, and they end up exhausting themselves in the process.
As a typical vata-pitta type, my stress response is to take on more responsibility, even when my intuition is telling me that resting would be a better choice. Taking on more makes me swing further out of balance, which makes me resent the people around me who aren’t sacrificing their well-being for the common good (oh the martyr I am!).
This is where my passive-aggressive anger starts to leak out. Trust me, when that anger begins, it’s never a pretty scene. I’ve had to clean up a lot of messes in my life that came from me taking on too much and blowing up at others later.
So how can we begin to change this pattern so we continue our journey through anger into LOVE?
The best answer I’ve found is by setting boundaries.
The ever-amazing social researcher Brene Brown has found that the most wholehearted people say that they mindfully practice being honest and setting strong boundaries every day. It’s their secret to being able to show up with true compassion.
So let’s really soak that in. There’s no opening of the heart without good boundaries. It’s not a mean thing to say “no” to others when it means we are saying “yes” to ourselves.
The first step for me in setting better boundaries is to draw out my hidden kapha side. When I’m overwhelmed and angry, it’s a good sign that I need to act like mud. I need to go slower and find a structure to hold me. This means setting boundaries around my own self-care, like getting to bed on time and eating solid, nourishing meals.
When I set good boundaries around my own self-care, it’s much easier to set boundaries with others.
In this week’s podcast I go deeper into why mindfully engaging in conflict is so important for strengthening relationships. Here, I will summarize to say that conflict is so hard, even for those of us with a lot of experience. In order to set the boundaries I need to feel safe in conflict with another person, I need to maintain my own set point of internal self-care.
If you’re not used to setting boundaries, it’s going to feel awkward at first. My advice is to let it be awkward, learn to breathe through the guilty feelings that arise, and just keep moving forward on the path toward love.
Know that by setting boundaries with yourself and others, you are setting up the exact conditions needed in order to open your heart.
It’s important to find support as you step forward into this new and perhaps uncomfortable terrain of setting boundaries. It will change your relationship with yourself and with others for the better, but this kind of change can also feel challenging.
If you need extra support, I highly encourage you to read and comment on the Beautiful Life Self Care Facebook group. Share how you are starting to set better boundaries in your own life and what that is bringing up for you. You will see that you are not alone and that we can all figure out this big love stuff more easily together.
Speaking of togetherness, there is one more bit of knowledge I must share to complete this journey. Next week I will explain a bit more about a fourth very vital Ayurveda concept of ojas, and how cultivating it will help you land fully in your heart.
I will explain what this amazing self-care work has taught me regarding how to find my own tribe of awesome, wholehearted people, as well as a few practices that help you experience a significant heart-opening right away.
I’m so looking forward to sharing more and learning from you all. I am so grateful to you for your willingness to journey with me. Let’s keep moving--onwards and onwards and into the great big beautiful unknown of love.