Thanks for your question! Boundaries are something that a lot of people struggle with, myself included. In feng shui, boundaries are related to the earth element. Earth is about taking care of yourself while at the same time taking care of others, and being able to strike that balance. For people who tend to have too much earth, like myself, it can mean we put other people first and take care of others, often at our own expense. Earth is a heavy element, so this translates to a lot of weight and heaviness.
One way of not honoring your boundaries is saying yes to something you don’t actually want to do. I’ve definitely experienced this before! When you say yes, but you actually mean no (or when you haven’t even thought it through fully), you’re offering without the correct balance of generosity. The other person probably doesn’t want what you are offering, because they can feel that energetically. Nobody wants to receive something from someone who’s overwhelmed and resentful.
The biggest generosity we can offer ourselves is the gift of saying no, which creates space. Often we fill up our spaces—both our homes and our schedules—because there’s a fear of space. We’re afraid of what happens when we’re just left with ourselves.
Saying yes to everything also means you are letting everything in and depleting your energy. When I started getting aura readings, my healer told me that my energy field was very porous because I had poor boundaries and was letting too much in.
I noticed this recently too – this spring, I was very sick and I received a lot of emails from people who needed things from me. I thought I was being clear by saying that I was sick and unable to help, but still I was getting so many requests from people. I realized that by even responding, I was being unclear. Sometimes nonresponse is the clearest way to respond.
It’s important to be crystal clear with your boundaries. Take care of yourself, and listen to your needs. Sometimes, it means saying no. Sometimes it means not responding. You may even want to try saying no first, and then you can backtrack later and say yes if you change your mind, instead of the other way around. I hope that helps – let me know how it goes!
by Anjie Cho
If you’d like to learn more about feng shui, check out Mindful Design Feng Shui School at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com