NOURISHING YOUR SOUL
NOURISHING YOUR SOUL
Today is the last day of the course.
In the past 8 lessons, you have learned why boundaries are crucial for a healthy self and relationship, how to create and communicate boundaries, and how to face challenges with compassion and understanding. Setbacks may still arise as you move forward. Try not to judge yourself and fall back into feelings of insecurity and fear. Be patient, welcome the support of others, and take care of yourself.
Boundaries are a powerful form of nourishing your soul and an act of self-care. However, some of us self-sabotage and sacrifice our self-care in order to be a "good person" who must always put another person's needs first. Self-care does not means we are being selfish. It is essential to our well being and also to the wellbeing of our loved ones. This is because if we don't feel at our best, we can't really be of any use to others.
What does self-care mean to you?
Do you believe setting boundaries is a form of self-care?
Do you find ways to be kind to yourself?
Is your need to "do good" sacrificing your own happiness?
Where does this belief originate from?
If self-sacrifice and poor boundaries continue to be an issue for you, think about whether or not these traits are a choice you've made because they align with your values and priorities. Or are they an unconscious pattern of behaviour that's actually causing you harm?
Sometimes self-sacrifice, and maybe even the lack of a boundary, is your only choice and reflects what you need to do in the moment. But if you recognise it as an unhealthy, compulsive habit, then it's up to you to restore your happiness by advocating for your well-being. It helps to begin with small steps. It may also mean evaluating and reordering your priorities and setting new self-care boundaries, so that you find balance between what you want to do for others and what you do to nourish yourself.
Setting healthy boundaries is also a way to rejuvenate and nourish your soul. It may not be obvious at first, but just as boundaries protect your physical and emotional wellness, boundaries also safeguard your spirit, your values and your connection to a higher being or consciousness. The health of that spiritual connection needs your loving care.
As we learned in the first lesson, spiritual boundaries define your belief system about spiritual matters, your soul, and your life purpose. They protect your spiritual life, the freedom to explore and discover your calling, and your ideas of what life means to you. Because spiritual boundaries are more internal and less visible than a boundary that protects your body or your space, they can be harder to pinpoint and easier to violate by others. This can be especially true when it comes to one's politics or spiritual beliefs, the need by others to "convert" you to their values is an urge that's hard to resist.
Here are two examples of these kinds of boundaries being expressed: "In my home, everyone's beliefs are accepted. If that isn't comfortable for you then you are free to leave" or "I like to keep my politics private." If you know someone that brings a lot of negativity to your relationship, you might need to set a boundary to protect your energy and peace of mind: "My energy is important to me and it is affected by your negative attitude. If you want to stay friends, please address your negativity before we spend time together." You might also add: "If you need help dealing with your negativity, please let me know how I can help." Whether it's your spiritual beliefs, politics, energy, or personal values, they are all just as important to protect.
Write down a list of your spiritual needs.
Be as specific as possible.
Are you getting your spiritual needs met?
For those needs that are being met, write down how you're fulfilling them.
For those needs that are not being met: How is this affecting your life, your work, your mood, and your relationships?
What or who might be preventing you from having those spiritual needs met?
To help you get in touch with your deeper spiritual needs, to recognise and nourish them, practice this heart- centring mediation:
1. Find a quiet place to sit. Keep your back straight, your shoulders level, and let your hands fall gently on your lap.
2. With eyes closed, take a few deep breaths until you feel calm.
3. Notice any tension in your body. Take a moment to gently breathe through that area of tension and release it. Go through each area of tension until your body is relaxed.
4. Take a moment to connect to your heart centre. Sense into this centre.
5. Visualise and feel a sacred energy flowing, like a golden light, out from your heart and through your body, from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet.
6. As you feel the light glowing within, silently set an intention to connect with your higher self. Let yourself be still, open, and receptive. If your mind wanders, gently shift your awareness back to your breathing and your intention.
7.Continue to breathe deep into your belly while letting the light radiate and fill your being. When the light embodies your entire body, silently express gratitude to your divine self.
Write down your meditation experience.
What insights did you receive during the meditation?
Write down any specific spiritual needs that you felt during the meditation.
Then reflect on each one and decide if it could use a boundary to protect it.
For the spiritual needs that require a boundary, go through the process of creating a personal boundary (using what you've learned in this course).
Prioritise them and decide how you will communicate the first one.
Then, move forward and do it.
To deepen your connection to your spirituality, it's fruitful to seek the support of a spiritual community that shares similar beliefs with you.
The energy of practicing with others who support your spirituality has wonderful rewards.
When you're in a spiritual community, you have help staying on the path when things get tough, you have a caring group of friends who share common beliefs and ideas, and you have the chance to support and help your community as well.