Healthy Boundaries . . .


Deborah O’Conner’s newsletter about Saturn Retrograde (effective into July 2013), suggests that we spend some time reflecting on what supports us, what drags us down (my words, my interpretation).  This wonderful Infographic  reminded me not only of that, but also of this whole spiritual evolution process we’re all going through–whether we know it or not.

Ram Dass wrote about this phenomenon years ago and I was especially taken with his  notion that when two people interact, the energy of the higher-evolved one “trumps” the lower (my words, my interpretation).  Another writer reinforced the concept in his  story about the belligerent drunk on a train and the little old man who was able to defuse his rage with a simple question, “How can I help?”

In my experience, everyone imagines themselves to be in the “higher-evolved” group, because it’s human nature to see ones self as “right.”    Perhaps it’s our protective armor created by the Ego.  Given that observation, as long as we’re breathing, we’re going to bump up against other equally self-righteous Egos.

“It is well, when judging a friend, to remember that he is judging you with the same godlike and superior impartiality.”  ~Arnold Bennett

To maintain our own inner peace and to facilitate harmony when we’re dancing with other Egos, we have to learn about healthy boundaries.

Some people balk at that idea.  I know I did.  In 1991, a teacher at Kripalu invited me to walk the grounds with him.  Because I was also a teacher (professor) at the time, I recognized the message–he had something important he wanted to tell me–about me:

“I’ve noticed that you have no boundaries.  Having no boundaries, you’re living your life like Merlin, going backwards.”

“I thought we were supposed to be open and vulnerable and have no boundaries. You know, ‘we’re all ONE kind of thing.'”

“That happens later.  Once you’ve had boundaries–once you have learned to discern what is you and what is not you–then you can choose to let them go.”

I thought a long time about what he said and when I returned to the college I watched that remarkable video again, The Global Brain, because I needed to hear Peter Russell explain, one more time, his concept of “skin-encapsulated egos with leaky margins.”  Suddenly, my vision in the desert the previous year made sense; the overlapping energy fields everywhere I turned were clearly what he was talking about.

I had just spent a year studying A Course in Miracles in a hot garage in California, hoping to raise my spiritual IQ.  But after talking with the Kripalu teacher I realized that I had more work to do.  Just like my learning experience in school, I often skipped steps that would trip me up later.  I had skipped this essential step in personal development:  having healthy boundaries.  I spent the next twenty years working on that issue–for myself and others–learning about boundaries so I could have them and then,  some day–when I become a spiritual master who can manifest a rose in my hand–choose to let them go.

For More Information:

  • about Peter Russell’s video:   The Global Brain
  • about the great Infographic above:  Sungazing on Facebook
  • about a Course in Miracles
  • about boundaries . . . so many excellent resources!  Dealing with a heavy dose of religion, this book written by two psychologists specifically for Christians was the one that helped me the most:  Boundaries:  When To Say YES, When To Say NO To Live A Healthy Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
  • about Kripalu

Till next time,

Please be kind to everyone you meet, for we all have our hidden sorrows. ~Tzaddi

[This article was first posted in 2013.]

2 responses to “Healthy Boundaries . . .

  1. This article has made me realize that perhaps I don’t have the necessary boundaries. Like you Pam, before your encounter with a teacher, I have taken pride in being open and vulnerable. I have always welcomed anyone and everyone into my space, making every effort to be compassionate and nonjudgmental. I have done some of your recommended reading but will need to explore this further.


  2. I highly recommend The Global Brain video re’ his concept of “leaky margins.” I bought the video years ago, but that link might be the same thing. If so, it’s an incredibly generous gift.


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