personal, Wellbeing
Comments 28

Does setting boundaries make you uncomfortable? Good: you’re doing it right (Part 1)

Meditation bowls make the practice easier

I brought this back from my trek in Nepal- it makes the loveliest hum

Sunday was my Women’s Buddhist Meditation Day, and the group’s facilitator Yoda Carol began by shutting the door on any latecomers.

‘If you arrive late next time ladies, you will have to wait outside for 45 minutes while we finish our introductions and first Meditation circle,’ she cautioned.

The group of 20 women shifted on their cushions, and glanced round the room, calculating who may be missing.

‘Oh, have I made you uncomfortable? It’s simply too disruptive to admit latecomers; we must each just plan to arrive on time.’

More rustling and looking.

‘We all have families, partners, children, pets, or jobs that may make us run late to Meditation, but that’s not the point. We close the door at 9.30am sharp, and that’s the boundary. I’m setting it, and happy to. If you’re uncomfortable with that, sit with it. Boundaries are not always easy, to set or receive, and especially for women. We are so trained to be ‘nice’, to be ‘good’, to not make a fuss or upset anyone… But boundaries are healthy, so accept the discomfort.’

She grinned her 70+ years grin, and so did I.

I must have missed the memo about boundary-related unease, or perhaps it’s my feisty French socialisation as a child? Whatever I owe it to, I’m incredibly grateful, and by now at the ripe old age of 53, I have no problem in expressing my personal preferred guidelines.

Which includes prompt time-keeping, thank you Yoda Carol.

I’d driven myself home early from the previous night’s party, had resisted any intoxications or even too much sugar, and was primed to dive into our first group meditation: bring it on.

The ring of the Buddhist bowl signalled the start of the session, and my brain began to sink into itself as I focussed on my breath, leaving the chattering of my thoughts behind… for at least 5 seconds anyway.

It’s hard, this meditating business. I want to get better at it, but it’s hard.

So the least we can do is start on time.

Have you ever meditated? Would you like to try? Part 2 follows soon.

In gratitude for sitting cushions and punctuality, G xO


  1. What admonition does every flight passenger receive before the takeoff?

    Put on your *own* oxygen mask before assisting others.

    This is not about being “nice” or “going along.” It is about taking care of oneself…not in a self-absorbed way, but in a way that best enables you to help everybody else.

    Plus, my wife Nell HATES being late…whereas I will find a way to be late to my own funeral (making me the late late Dr. Berger, I suppose).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I just read this to the husband. Will read it to the teens. I love boundaries, limits, consequences for not meeting them. Them? Not so much. So I ask them: is our life stressful? Where can we improve?

    All the roads lead back to here. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right Claudette. And I see the internet as a HUGE boundary we need to set with the young ones who are practically addicted: when my dear friend complains about her son ignoring her requests to go to sleep because he’s on YouTube, I keep reminding her β€˜YOU have the power to just TURN OFF THE MODEM!’

      Good luck in your house πŸ™πŸΌ


  3. Shane Nagle says

    Nice to see you writing again, Gg.



    Shane Nagle
    Tutor and Convenor, Unilink Diploma of Design
    Health Arts & Design, Swinburne University
    John St Hawthorn VIC 3122
    TD194 | (03) 9214 8191
    0402 972 236

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks love- blogging IS fun, it’s just hard to make the time sometimes… 😬 I’m having too much fun in Real Life World 😘 xx


  4. gigglingfattie says

    I love boundaries. And especially around time. My time is precious and important and it really bothers me when people have no respect for time or plans.

    Liked by 1 person

      • gigglingfattie says

        My nanny job was like that. So many time respect issues. The last year it really bothered me lol now it’s like a major thing for me

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post and such a good point. She is spot on also about women having trouble with setting boundaries for those exact reasons. It would have been hard to hear if you were one of those latecomers! (not you personally – but anyone!)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. zlotybaby says

    Well done for starting your meditation journey!
    I find Headspace very helpful (it has a free 10 day programme allowing you to check it out). I’ve tried to get into meditation for +/- 7 years and then I decided to give it a proper try.
    I have been meditating daily (most of the time, at least) for about a year and a half now. I’ve also attended my first silent retreat this year.
    I could go on and on about the benefits but like with physical exercise it’s important to be systematic and keep it up, otherwise it gets more difficult. It’s easy to get discouraged due to “lack of results” but one can’t have them without a regular practice.

    I LOVE Carol’s attitude. I wish I was better at setting boundaries and more assertive!

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG I’m so impressed you’re a regular meditator! Well done. Thanks for the Headspace tip, I will check it out. And yes, ‘regularly’ is the key isn’t it? Thanks so much for commenting and inspiring me xO

      Liked by 1 person

      • zlotybaby says

        Thanks! It’s not easy but once you see good results it’s much easier to keep going. Many meditation teachers would tell you that what I’m saying is blasphemy, though as for them it’s not about the results.

        After years of being on and off, my “cheat” turned out to be a slightly longer meditation experience. I did an 1,5 hour long meditation in a Buddhist centre and then I felt like “ooooh, so that’s what being calmer feels like.” Then I managed to mostly upkeep short daily meditations (10-20 mins) and did a silent retreat (2 full days) which was a BIG mind shift for me and it created a nice space between an event and my programming to allow for new thoughts and reactions. After that I was hooked πŸ˜‰ So all I’m really saying is: when discouraged, meditate even more πŸ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve never meditated, but I do agree that boundaries are a good and necessary thing. I firmly believe that we all get to set our own boundaries, and that unless we enforce those, they’re not going to help us at all. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Does setting boundaries make you uncomfortable? Good: you’re doing it right (Part 1) | Living Small in a Big World

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s