Boundaries

What keep something out also keeps something in, hence the beauty and necessity of gates. Boundaries with no exits or entrances stifle life. There’s no flow. We need both and the consciousness to decipher where to draw the line and where to welcome and open.

Boundaries are often created out of fear and are consequently rigid and impede growth. When created out of a sense of needful care they support life. We can relax in the appropriateness of them, and know we make better neighbors when both a boundary and a gate are present.

Phrases posted on Facebook October 2016

When a tree is cut down I’ve always marveled at the growth rings. It seems paradoxical that the necessary boundary of the bark at any given time of the tree’s life is part of how the tree is able to expand. Maybe boundaries do not always keep things out but help things emerge.
To reach excellence and perhaps a gold medal, an Olympic gymnast must stick to and master a prescribed form. That form is a series of boundaries. In order to be masterful and go beyond strict boundaries we must embrace them and push against them. It is good to think they will make us freer in the end if we persist.
Being able to say no and mean it is sometimes very difficult. It lays down a boundary. To me it also means that I have said yes to something else. A sure no is the boundary line of a sure yes.
Personal boundaries are flexible and depend on the trust we have between others and us. Any time you are not sure imagine that you are a house. Whom would you allow to come through the garden gate? Whom would you allow on the porch, in the front hall, the living room, the kitchen, the bedroom? You’ll know by instinct. Trust it!
Who ever thought being courteous is actually the ability to use careful boundaries? Courtesy is a quality that recognizes and respects others. It is an attitudinal boundary that helps us to be gracious and to not overstep.
When we realize that every breath we take has been breathed at some time or other by all others who have lived and who are living now, then in a fundamental way we come to realize that boundaries do not exist. We are essentially one. With that perspective whatever boundaries we set up in order to function are provisional and temporary. If we set them up in the service of the whole would we not be co-operating with reality? 
It is staggering to me to realize that our points of view are often solid boundaries, ones we aren’t aware of most of the time, or ones we take for granted or as inalienable rights to insist upon. What if we could hold them lightly? What if at the edges of them we could sense that they are not barbed wire fences? What if we could sense that there are openings in them to new dimensions of discovery?
In order to be unique we have to have boundaries, but the paradox is we are only unique in relation to everything else. That’s the spice of life.
Self-imposed boundaries can be very important. Don’t you think there has to be a boundary to underscore a sensible have to do list?
Continuing the theme of self-imposed boundaries, it seems important to be mindful about what we are going to spend our time on. If we say, yes, to too many things we end up having bits and pieces and no depth. To set a considered boundary is to embrace more simplicity. Then we can be about what really arouses us to love.
Thresholds are gentle boundary markers between spaces. We don’t pay attention to them much, but they are great places to pause and to become aware that we are about to enter into a new space. There are invisible thresholds in our minds, and if we made a habit of pausing often we would sense them. Crossing from one state of being to another with awareness and respect brings us softly home. 
We sometimes say I am bound to do such and such. Our wills make a boundary around something we feel we want to do. By naming an intention we can work with it. Boundaries in this way are very helpful.
Receiving can be an ambivalent thing. How often we set subtle boundaries on receiving allowing only just so much to be taken in. Fears that receiving has a price, a hidden obligation or a weakening of our sense of self erects those boundaries. It’s not wise to tackle our fears with harshness. Why not put a gate in our fence, oil the hinges a little and open it with discretion?