The Selflove Blog

How to create absolutely non-negotiable boundaries

It is easy to spot how and when we make ourselves smaller – it occurs every time we say yes to something we really do not honestly subscribe to or believe in or want to participate in, but do it anyway? That’s when we break our own invisible boundaries and sign up to make ourselves smaller. That is how we let ourselves down and work against ourselves.

Selflove starts with setting boundaries. There is no way you can practise selflove if you can’t stop yourself from pleasing others. It is an awful habit that many grow up to – to be polite and not be able to say no. But every time we say yes to something which we really do not honestly want to, we make ourselves a little bit smaller and that is exactly the opposite of what selflove is. Learn to say ‘No’.

Learning to say no is brilliant for your own self and for the other person. Sometimes there are factors at play when people swallow pride and compromise boundaries – ‘for the larger good,’ ‘to fit in’ etc. But really, where you need to compromise for acceptance is always a losing game anyway.

‘No’ is a magic word. Start by saying ‘No’ to people, offers, plans, proposals, ventures or just about anything for which you have no passion for or which doesn’t really appeal to you.

This is also the only way that you get to carve out time and space to chase your own loves and interests.

Stretching your time, space and energy is great when it comes to growth. But there is a fine difference between a stretch and over-extending – you know the difference when a stretch leads to stress. 

Set healthy limits on your routine, time, phone, food habits, time with children, friends, work and even family. Make wholesome personal time to reflect, process and plan and tend to your own dreams. The decision to love yourself starts with the decision to protect your space, time, energy, resources and whatever you think is vital. Setting boundaries is a big sign of selflove. What do boundaries mean for you?

How to set healthy boundaries?

Identify your boundaries

What makes you feel good and comfortable and which point is the dealbreaker for you? When you know both, you know your boundaries. How high are your boundaries are for you to decide, but a good way to preserve compassion for yourself is to keep your limits strong and well defined for others in any kind of relationship.

Communicate

A lot of times, friends, partners or colleagues intend to judge your boundaries or lack of them by their own standards. For instance, if someone is okay with a lot of personal prying may feel that you are okay with it too. While, most do not like intrusion, many obviously do not understand where the line is drawn – and that is where communication plays a role. Usually rudeness, defensiveness and even anger is the result of a violation of a limit – which can all be avoided if it can be easily shown the invisible line.

Guard your time

The biggest boundary that however you need to set is with yourself, with the help of your own will – on the time you spend on your screens, the amount of sleep you get, the kind of food you eat and the sort of reaction you give to external stimulus.  The biggest reward that you get for sticking to your own boundaries is huge volumes of respect that you build for yourself. But protecting your boundaries you feed your self-esteem. And when your self esteem sparkles and shines, it pours over and reflects in everything you do. Your relationship with your own self becomes smoother, you create realistic expectations and fulfil them and eventually you create balance and flow in your life. Practise non-negotiable boundaries as a selflove exercise. Stick by them. Others treat you, the way you treat yourself.

The Selflove Blog

Start A Selflove Journal

Do you figure at Number One on your to-do list?

How you spend your money, time and energy is a very easy way to map your self-love quotient.

Apart from various needs, necessities and duties, how much of these three you channel towards your own life, growth and well-being often shows how much you prioritise yourself. There is always a chore to finish, a commitment to meet, a job to be done – but on your to do list where exactly do you figure on your daily schedule is a good place to begin when you are working on your selflove project.

There’s work, there’s daily mundane details and then there’s social media – how and where your energy is squandered over calls and meetings and emails? Do you keep track? We often do not wake up to our duties before our body gives us a wakeup call – an ailment, a disorder.

But the truth is that the only way to be in sync with your soul-needs is through a daily ritual, a routine, a goal.

A simple thing I follow is to do three things during the day, straight from the heart – something that is utterly, selfishly simple personal gratification. It can be having a cup of hot chocolate at a café, putting on a crazy shade of nail-colour or even just taking half an hour to go browse books at a bookstore. Things that have nothing to do with anybody – and very essentially me.

It is not that I do these things as pick-me-ups on a dull day. I treat these as serious business. I get an immense sense of wellbeing from these tiny chunks of indulgence that I chisel out from my packed   day. And these are places from where I draw an immense sense of wellbeing – no matter what.

There are two things which are absolutely unnecessary – one to feel guilty about spending time on your own self. The other thing which is absolutely unnecessary is to feel guilty of spending your own money on your own self. Selflove is about self-awareness too. A good place to start your selflove journey is by creating a selflove journal.

Step 1: Sit down with a pretty notebook and make a list of the stuff that makes you absolutely delirious.

Here’s a clue: Often these simple mundane feelgood activities, in all honesty will not come to you from your adult experience, so start looking at your carefree childhood memories for things that your loved doing then. Was it drawing with colours? Was it playing with your dog? Was it eating ice-cream? Was it eating pickle? It could well be an adult hobby like playing golf that brings you great joy – but childhood favourites are often key to pure bliss, even in adulthood. I don’t know what brought you great joy as a child, but chances are your clue to joy in adult life could also be in doing those once in a while. I loved books and drawing since I was a kid and for me it is very easy to reconnect with my joy, the moment I pick up paper and colour to create something. It is as easy as that.

Step 2: Make a detailed list of as many things that honestly make you happy. Make a list of people around whom you feel happy. Make a list of places where you feel joyous. Make a list of food stuff that makes you full and content. Make a list of activities that makes you feel at the top of the world.

Step 3: Once your have created a list, it gets very easy to identify where your joy lies. All you now have to do is meet your happy people more often, visit your happy places more frequently and eat your happy foods more and finally do your happy things more frequently.

You should at the same time, also make a list of places, things, people and activities which you absolutely dislike. An honest look at both these lists will tell you something about yourself and where your joy lies. If you are spending more time, energy and money on your ‘dislike’ areas, you would know that you have a lot of self-loving to do.

Make a switch. Start small. Take it up as a daily ritual – over three weeks, a simple selflove routine will transform you and show you truths about yourself that you did not know existed.     

The Selflove Blog

Start With Forgiveness

Forgiveness of anything that you may have to grow through and forgiveness of anyone who may have judged you or even harmed you. And while creating that list, don’t add yourself to it as well. Very often the toughest deal is to be forgive our own selves.

The journey from self-neglect to selflove must definitely move through an essential step – forgiveness. Forgiveness of people, incidents, situations, experiences. Anyone who may have ever hurt you – let go.

How to forgive yourself?

Guilt is a slow-poison. It kills over time and destroys your trust towards your own self and further erodes self-confidence. If there is anything in your life for which you feel guilty – it is time to let it go. And then start-over. Start with selflove. Selflove is self-acceptance.

Acceptance is about embracing the whole and not parts. And if we have the courage to look at ourselves honestly, there would be many occasions when we have not been particularly proud of ourselves. Some things we said, or did which may have caused hurt or harm. These things belong to the past. Unless we absolutely uproot and release these nagging pains – there is no way that selflove and growth can flourish.

How to forgive others?

Make a list of people you hold responsible and don’t feel easy to forgive. Make a list of occasions when you have really not been at your best, and they continue to affect you.

Now decide to release both.

The forgiveness ritual is about considering each of the occasion, try and absorb the wisdom and then let it go. We often cling too much to the past. We create a comfort around those incidents which may have affected us deeply. We create an identity around these experiences while in reality, time may have moved on.

This is the best way to achieve peace and grow. Make it a daily practice, a night ritual. This is the greatest act of selflove you would practice in life.

Only after forgiveness, down love flow.

There are various healing techniques like Hoponopono practice which helps to release tough emotions. To the person or situation you release, say – I thank you, I love you, I forgive you and I am sorry. It is easy to understand this ritual – because everyone we meet or every incident that occurs has something to teach, we express gratitude. Then we extend unconditional love to that person. Because the universe doesn’t choose and bestows freely – by giving unconditional love, we mimic the intelligence of the universe. Once you have already given unconditional love, forgiveness is easy and finally apologise to take ownership of any hurt you may too have caused.

The journey from self-neglect to selflove must definitely move through an essential step – forgiveness. Forgiveness of people, incidents, situations, experiences. Anyone who may have ever hurt you – let go.

Forgiveness of anything that you may have to grow through and forgiveness of anyone who may have judged you or even harmed you. And while creating that list, don’t add yourself to it as well. Very often the toughest deal is to be forgive our own selves.

How to forgive yourself?

Guilt is a slow-poison. It kills over time and destroys your trust towards your own self and further erodes self-confidence. If there is anything in your life for which you feel guilty – it is time to let it go. And then start-over. Start with selflove. Selflove is self-acceptance.

Acceptance is about embracing the whole and not parts. And if we have the courage to look at ourselves honestly, there would be many occasions when we have not been particularly proud of ourselves. Some things we said, or did which may have caused hurt or harm. These things belong to the past. Unless we absolutely uproot and release these nagging pains – there is no way that selflove and growth can flourish.

How to forgive others?

Make a list of people you hold responsible and don’t feel easy to forgive. Make a list of occasions when you have really not been at your best, and they continue to affect you.

Now decide to release both.

The forgiveness ritual is about considering each of the occasion, try and absorb the wisdom and then let it go. We often cling too much to the past. We create a comfort around those incidents which may have affected us deeply. We create an identity around these experiences while in reality, time may have moved on.

Only after forgiveness, down love flow.

There are various healing techniques like Hoponopono practice which helps to release tough emotions. To the person or situation you release, say – I thank you, I love you, I forgive you and I am sorry. It is easy to understand this ritual – because everyone we meet or every incident that occurs has something to teach, we express gratitude. Then we extend unconditional love to that person. Because the universe doesn’t choose and bestows freely – by giving unconditional love, we mimic the intelligence of the universe. Once you have already given unconditional love, forgiveness is easy and finally apologise to take ownership of any hurt you may too have caused.

This is the best way to achieve peace and grow. Make it a daily practice, a night ritual. This is the greatest act of selflove you would practice in life.