Tag Archives: setting boundaries

Live a Brighter Life – Lesson #1, Setting Boundaries, in Action

ILF_Wtagline_Logo(Amy Dier and Jeremie Miller will be teaching an Online Live a Brighter Life Class starting April 29th. Sign up here for free! http://indranislight.org/engage/intro-course-live/)

The Live a Brighter Life Classes will change your life.

I realize that is a REALLY big claim to make, and I am not one to overuse hyperbole, so I mean every word.

However, I realize that statements like this are not overly helpful, so I would like to share a personal story from the Setting Boundaries class, and SHOW you how these classes changed my life.

My family and I were eating in a sushi restaurant in Spokane. The restaurant staff was almost all Asian, with the head sushi chef being Caucasian.

At one point, the head sushi chef walked up to one of the waiters and told him to set up four spots in front of him at the sushi bar for some regulars coming in. The waiter, with a thick accent, asked for clarification and the head chef lost it on him.

Holding up four fingers in the waiters face, the head chef shouted “Four people. One. Two. Three. Four. Learn some Engrish”

I was blown away, and in normal circumstances would have just grumbled to my wife about it and continued eating. Then I looked at my son’s shocked and confused eyes. My stomach twisted, and the teachings from the “Setting Boundaries” class popped into my head.

I have a strong boundary around bullying, but I have been very squishy with that boundary. I hold that boundary firm when teaching and working with teenagers, but I don’t hold the boundary strong in everyday life.

Well, that wasn’t going to work this time. I asked to speak with the manager, explained to him what had happened, that I couldn’t believe it was allowed in his restaurant, and that my 6 year old son had witnessed it.

The manager apologized, talked to the chef, and then the chef came over to apologize, telling us that he and the waiter were friends and they were just joking. I still couldn’t drop it (to my surprise) and talked to the chef about violence and abuse and asked if he was 100% sure the waiter was “OK” with being treated like that, and if he had thought about the effect such “jokes” could have on other people listening.

He apologized again and said he would talk to the waiter.

My wife looked at me and asked, “Where did all that come from?”

The only answer I had, “The Live a Brighter Life teaching I am listening to.”

This huge shift in enforcing my own boundaries comes directly from the Setting Boundaries class. If you find yourself in need of strengthening your own boundaries (and who doesn’t need to work on improving boundaries) you can sign up for the Live Online Live a Brighter Life class right now http://indranislight.org/engage/intro-course-live/

We start April 29th. See you there!

Brighter Life Bit #8: Drawing your boundaries

ILF_Wtagline_Logo copyYou can listen to the original teaching at 93 minutes and 00 seconds of the Class 1 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here.

A quick exercise and an “in the moment” tool for you today as we wrap up your work with the very first class in the Live a Brighter Life curriculum.

The Exercise

  1. Find a piece of paper and drawing tools.
  2. Draw yourself (stick figures allowed)
  3. Draw a box around yourself.
  4. Write your boundaries around the outside of the square. These are the boundaries people cannot cross with you.
  5. Post this picture somewhere you can see it, or put it in your wallet, purse, or pocket.
  6. When you find a boundary is being crossed remember to look at your picture as a reminder of your important personal boundaries, and that you will not let people cross them.

The Tool

Next time you experience someone breaking a boundary try this:

  1. Press down on the ground with your feet and push yourself a bit taller.
  2. Breathe into your feet.
  3. Take three breaths before you respond and enforce your boundary

And, that wraps up Class One! See you soon for LABL Class #2: Saying “No” – Say “Yes” to a New Way

Brighter Life Bit #6: Which of the four boundary types do you have?

ILF_Wtagline_Logo copyYou can listen to the original teaching at 61 minutes and 00 seconds of the Class 1 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here.

What types of personal boundaries are there? Nina Brown identifies four types of boundaries:

Soft: when your boundary merges with other people’s boundaries and is not clearly defined by YOU.

Rigid: when your boundary is unwavering, closed or walled off so no one can get close physically or emotionally.

Spongey: a combo of soft and rigid. You are unsure of what to let in and what to keep out. Your boundary changes in different situations.

Flexible: You have control over what to let in and what to keep out. Your boundary takes care of you and keeps you safe, but you can alter the boundary consciously if you feel the situation is right.

With these boundaries in mind ask yourself: Where are you with each of your boundaries? Soft, rigid, spongey, or flexible?

As you answer this question do not say “I should know better”, instead say “I did such a good job there with my ______ boundary, I wonder if the next time I meet this person what would using a flexible boundary look like”

By reflecting on your soft, rigid, and spongey boundaries you can begin the loving process of shifting them toward healthier flexible boundaries, always remembering to be compassionate with yourself.

What is one boundary that you would like to transform into a flexible boundary? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Brighter Life Bit #5: Crossed Boundaries, watch for these signs

ILF_Wtagline_Logo copyYou can listen to the original teaching at 52 minutes and 33 seconds of the Class 1 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here

Continuously broken personal boundaries will have wide ranging effects on your entire life, and those you love. “Go to the movies” and watch some of your own footage to see if any of these broken boundary symptoms are showing up for you:

  • Feelings of guilt, depression, and humiliation
  • Feeling confused, unsafe, or fearful
  • A loss of confidence and ability to trust intuition
  • Starting to question your values and beliefs
  • Physical exhaustion and constantly getting sick

Boundary related stress, over time, will also have an effect on everyone around you as they witness your stress and the physical and spiritual toll this stress causes.

Write down the boundaries that are being crossed, and the different ways that these crossed boundaries are effecting the loved ones in your life, then share some of your responses in the comments below.

Brighter Life Bit #4: Going to the Movies

ILF_Wtagline_Logo copyYou can listen to the original teaching at 33 minutes and 00 seconds of the Class 1 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here:

If there is one tool you take away from the first Live a Brighter Life class, this is the one to keep close at hand, and use as often as needed. Indrani calls it Going to the Movies:

  1. Choose a person in your life you have not been able to stand up to.
  2. Imagine this person crossing one or more of your personal boundaries.
  3. Do nothing but observe yourself in this situation. Watch as if you are at the movies, watching someone who looks like you and acts like you.
  4. Notice what this character is doing while the boundary is being broken. How are they standing or sitting? What are they doing with their hands, eyes, mouth?
  5. Now notice what the character is thinking and feeling. What thoughts are running through their head? What emotions are they feeling?

Now grab a piece of paper, a word document, or your journal and answer these questions:

  • What are the personal boundaries being crossed?
  • How are you reacting to these boundaries being crossed?
  • What are you communicating non-verbally and verbally? What are you holding inside?
  • You are the director and script writer of your life: after watching your “film”, what new role would you like to play?

Share your answers to these questions in the comments section below and we can work together to find your new role in the next movie

Brighter Life Bit #3: Unhealthy Personal Boundaries

ILF_Wtagline_Logo copyYou can listen to the original teaching at 21 minutes and 00 seconds of the Class 1 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here, or from the ILF website here.

A great place to start when defining and building your personal boundaries is to look at the unhealthy personal boundaries you may have in your life. Things like:

  • Going against a personal value or right in order to please others
  • Giving as much as you can for the sake of giving
  • Letting others define you

Here is a great exercise to use to help you identify the boundaries you need to start working on:

List the ten people in your life that annoy you the most and explore the boundary that is being broken in each situation. Write that boundary down and post it in the comments below.

Brighter Life Bit #1: Focusing on the positives

ILF_Wtagline_Logo copyThe Live a Brighter Life curriculum is filled with so much rich content, Team ILF decided it would be a great idea to start sharing smaller, digestible, “bits” of the curriculum with all of you.

Let’s get started right now with a little activity from the first LABL class. You can listen to Indrani teaching this exercise by downloading or listening to the LABL Class One recording and fast forwarding to the 10 minute and 55 second mark. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here.

Take a moment right now and do the following:

  1. Write your name, date, and time on a piece of paper, in a word document, or in a journal.
  2. Write three positive adjectives that describe you in this moment.
  3. Pick a time of day.
  4. For the next seven days (or longer, of course) at the time you picked, return to your paper, document, or journal, and write the three positive adjectives that describe you.
  5. At the end of the seven days (or end of each week if you continue doing this) review your adjectives for the week, then write. Write whatever comes up for you after reading those adjectives.

We tend to focus on the negatives in our life and beat ourselves up far too much. This exercise helps stop our “internal abuser” and start to focus on our positive traits.

Now, share the first three positive adjectives you wrote down and any thoughts on this exercise in the comments section here. We would love to read your responses!

What could better personal boundaries do for you?

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What do you suppose BETTER PERSONAL boundaries can do for you?

Andrea J. Lee and I are leading a series of six classes next week and we begin with SETTING BOUNDARIES.

These classes are FREE and they are great life enhancing tools.

Click the following link to register now for Six Live Sessions & Accompanying Recordings:


Please feel free to share this link with anyone who might be interested in this free training.

The ‘Live a Brighter Life’ Online Program is a free offering to benefit all our lives and to pave the way for future trainers of the work. The six sessions of LABL will be mandatory for participants wishing to enter ILF Train-the-Trainer program.