Home Base with Jeff Warren
Hey Jeff
Boundaries
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Boundaries

Knowing where someone else ends, and you begin.
18

This is a column called “Hey Jeff”, where I share a meditation in response to someone’s unique situation or challenge or curiosity.

In this month’s installment, I respond to Helen’s question about boundaries. Below is her note, shared with permission.

Jeff


Helen’s Note: Hi Jeff, I'm 61 years old and have grown kids and a husband who are dealing with uncertainty and change in their lives. I'd love a meditation about not taking on their struggles as my own and returning to my peace. Thank you, Helen

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Cyanotype created by Home Base community member Sheila Startup.

Hi Helen – I’ve been there, friend. Not only are we exhausted by our own stuff, we get to be exhausted by everyone else’s stuff too!

The fact that you’re noticing this is happening in the first place is huge. The next step is getting curious about what’s happening in your body at these times. For me, the experience of taking on other people’s struggles is mostly an experience of losing contact with my body. For example, when my preschooler son gets dysregulated and throws a massive tantrum, suddenly I’m dysregulated. I’m desperately trying to calm him down because I actually can’t stand how it all feels in my own body. His discomfort is my discomfort – we’re tangled up like two yo-yo strings.

Cyanotype created by Home Base community member Sheila Startup.

If I can become aware this is happening, then I can sometimes drop my attention into my feet – connecting to the sense of my own body – and from there let the wave of urgent feelings inside me pass. Interestingly, when I can stay present with this boundary, he’s often quicker to settle.

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Home Base with Jeff Warren
Hey Jeff
Welcome to Hey Jeff, where I make customized meditations based on your requests. I love creating meditations that respond to a particular challenge or situation, a specific opportunity or curiosity. This column is for paid subscribers only.
Authors
Jeff Warren