Setting Boundaries Not Barriers

Setting Boundaries - Armadillo MedicineArmadillo Medicine

Setting Boundaries

This morning at sunrise, just as my Agnihotra ceremony was ending, there was a rustling under the fig tree in front of me. I live in the woods. My drive is covered in wood chips and runs in front of my house….the fig is on the other side of the driveway. Everything likes to root around in those wood chips!

This morning I got a surprise visit!  From the rustling under the tree came an Armadillo taking off down the driveway to the West. Usually, I only run into them at night. He was almost jogging (for an armadillo) and made me laugh. He seemed happy and upbeat, almost like he was doing something scandalous by being out so late (for him)! Then,  I heard more rustling and out popped another one who took off after his friend.

I laughed and thought how wonderful and unexpected the Armadillos were this morning. They also pointed directly to something I had been struggling with a bit lately, SETTING BOUNDARIES. It’s taken me a lifetime to learn about setting boundaries and it isn’t always easy……it can sometimes feel like a battle between my heart and my head.

Just for fun Check out the Armadillo Medicine Card by Jamie Sams & David Carson  to see how armadillo can help you understand more about setting boundaries.

Setting Boundaries is an Art

For me, setting boundaries got a lot less difficult when I realized it is about choosing what’s right for me and not about making someone else wrong. Often we are afraid to do this for a myriad of reasons; social expectations, feelings of responsibility, fear that someone won’t like us, what will people think, etc. I guess I needed a reminder this morning!

When we are afraid of setting boundaries that will help us experience the life we want, we will often throw up Barriers. We resist what someone is wanting instead of quietly and calmly making the choice we know is the best for us and allowing them to go where they want. We try to convince them we are “right” or we hate them, or we get mad………what ever. Sometimes, we actually feel like a stone wall inside. All of this can let go when we give ourselves permission to do what is right for us and trust that we will be given what we need to accomplish it.

Many years ago I spent a year and a half only doing what my heart wanted to do. I had to! If I tried to do something my heart didn’t want to do it squeezed in my chest! A normal person would have headed for the emergency room but what I realized was this, my heart was talking to me. It would squeeze when it didn’t want to do something and feel happy when it did. It could react differently to the exact same thing depending on the timing. For instance, going out to dinner. My heart would let me know if it was appropriate for me in that moment…… it might say no and, two days later, the same activity might be perfectly fine!

Let me say, this was scary! Aside from the physical symptoms I was experiencing, I  had to let go of a lot of “shoulds” and create a lot of new boundaries to keep my heart happy. My fear was I would end up without a friend in the world! What really happened is this; I wasn’t sick one day the entire time and it was one of the most peaceful and happy times of my life.
(once I started trusting the process! 🙂 )

Setting Boundaries is good for you. Being honest with yourself about what you really want to experience can change your entire world. Allowing yourself to function more and more from that space without fear is enriching. We can’t prevent everything from happening but we can even set a boundary about how we choose to experience unpleasant situations. They can be experienced without allowing them to eat your life.

How is your heart speaking to you right now?

The West Direction

I also wanted to give a moment to the direction the Armadillos ran this morning because I think a lot of us are making new boundaries now for ourselves involving our physical lives.  The West is a place of introspection and wisdom….. a place you can go to listen and recognize wisdom about goals, stability and the conclusions you are reaching. In Chinese Buddhism it is considered the direction of enlightenment.

In Jamie Sams book, The Thirteen Original Clan Mothers, the Month of May is for Listening Woman. She is the Mother of Stillness & Inner Knowing, the Keeper of Discernment and Guardian of Introspection. The color is black. Listening Woman teaches us how to Hear the Truth, how to be still and hear our heart’s quiet voice, discover our Inner Knowing, hear the voices of our Ancestors, review the advice and opinion of others and understand unspoken thoughts and body language. These are many of the attributes associated with the West direction.

If you haven’t taken a moment this month to reflect, listen, discover and establish new boundaries for yourself and what you want to experience, think about taking some time to do so. You will move forward more clearly with what you wish to accomplish in your physical world. I’ve been spending some time doing that the past few days and was so glad to get information this morning from my two friendly Armadillos! Especially the message that you can do this joyfully and still have friends too!


If you are having trouble setting boundaries perhaps I can help! I’m available for private appointments in my office, by phone or Skype. I also do a brief (10-15 minutes) discovery call for free so we can talk and see if the work I do can benefit you and if we are a good fit.  You can contact me below to set up a time. Blessings!


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.