Many years ago when I had just opened my healing center, my boundaries were tested every day. In all the challenges, I learned that when we set boundaries that are in our highest good, they not only serve ourselves but those around us, and help others align deeper with themselves as well.
One day a woman came in to take my yoga class. She told me she forgot her credit card and didn’t have any money. She asked if she could take my class for free that day. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time she asked this of me, it was a pattern I was beginning to notice, and her request felt like she was taking advantage of me. I had given her a free class once before, but when she asked this time, my belly started to tingle, I felt light in my legs, and I felt heat coming into my cheeks. Everything in my body screamed NO. If I let her in again without paying, it would be crossing a boundary and disrespecting me. I would be giving myself away. The payment was an energetic exchange for what I offer, and something that I required to enter class. The answer was a clear no.
So I mustered up my courage, stood grounded on both feet, and I said No, I’m sorry, you have to pay to take this class.
She was pissed. She stormed out of the building and slammed the door. I stood there shaken, but also empowered.
Days later she wrote me an email. The subject line of her email was Thank You. She told me that because I set that boundary, and didn’t let her into class, she went out into nature for a walk instead. It was the first time in a long time that she just walked in silence and connected with the trees and the land. She loved the open space, and had forgotten about her need to visit nature. On top of that, she explained that she was a small business owner herself, and she realized she had been undercharging, often giving away her services for free. She realized she had been disrespecting herself and needed to break that pattern. My boundary helped her see this.
I was floored.
In my boundary setting, she found more alignment in her own life. It was a gift. So while it was scary, and I felt shaky when I confronted her, I was serving both of us.
This story often comes to mind when I’m scared to speak up or stand up for myself. I lean into the trust that because this boundary is in my highest good, it is in the highest good for all.
This is what I call Sacred Boundaries.
Boundaries don’t have to be terrible or combative or messy. They can actually heal us. They are a way of saving ourselves, by respecting our truth.