Thursday, June 27, 2019

Agency and Liberty

Podcast: Agency and Liberty: I had the opportunity to talk with Paul Pulsipher on Stepping into Freedom today. It's an interesting conversation on Liberty and Freedom and our Agency.
Thomas Jefferson described the term liberty in the Declaration of Independence as “unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. ... For many, liberty means government keeping a light touch on how its citizens conduct their lives, businesses, and associations.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."  Thomas Jefferson--Declaration of Independence.

Freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice. freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint: The prisoner soon regained his liberty.

Title of liberty
Moroni was so angry with Amalickiah's dissention and wicked influence that he tore his coat and wrote upon it, "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children."


The state or condition of being able to act and think freely. Obedience to gospel principles frees a person from the spiritual bondage of sin (John 8:31–36).
I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts, Ps. 119:45.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Socialism: A Poor and Unwise Form of Government

For the past several months we  have heard news reports and open opinions about the ideals of Socialism. I was astounded at the positive thought for Socialism in our country from those under the age of 24.  They promote and accept the principles of Socialism.  What?  What has public school been teaching them?

I have been taught since I could remember that Socialism is not good for any country wanting to be successful in their economics, lifestyle, or health. Granted, much of Europe lives under the Socialism rule. It is interesting to note for example, that when Mick Jagger needed heart surgery, he chose a heart doctor in New York, not England.

Our United States has been fighting Socialism since 1776 and I believe has already included too many ideologies of Socialism into our own way of living. It's shameful that those youth pushing for Socialism has only been shown one side of what Socialism is really about. I would like to change that and publish another opinion. We need to teach our youth the whole truth.

Here are fifteen opinions of fifteen men I trust and admire who has given their opinion and advise on Socialism. They are godly men and have led a people through persecution and peace.

From The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, our modern prophets tells it like it is on Socialism:

These inspiring words gives us courage to stand up for liberty. Stand for our freedoms when we vote for our representatives, stand for liberty when unrighteous laws are to be voted through. We need to pay attention to our national leaders to promote their goodness. Vote for those representatives who will work for the benefit of our country.

Through the testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints leaders, we know that the forming of our country through the Constitution was God's plan. Through the witness of the Book of Mormon, we know that our land, "a land that is choice land above all other lands" (2 Nephi 1:5) should be protected and it's people should be a righteous people.

Take these words into your hearts and ponder them. Pray to God of what should be done to keep our land free. A land of liberty.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

She Believed She Could So She Did

 How I Survived the Havasupi Hike

Early morning start
I was  nearly hanging by a thick chain standing on the edge of a cliff trying to pull my self up the canyon wall which went straight up into a cave.  This is where I was for a few scary minutes while trying to get my body up the wall to return to the trail from Mooney Falls.  My daughter and son went on down the trail to see Beaver Falls. I was with the rest of our group returning back to the camp site with my granddaughters and the other five, but I was the last one and had to make it up that rock wall to join the rest.

Isie with my father's camping stove Circa 1950

How in the world was I going to climb up? My legs were already tired from the 12 mile hike the day before. But let me start at the beginning. At 59 years-old I dared myself to join my daughter and her group going on the Havasu Canyon Hike to camp for two nights and three days to the bottom of the Grand Canyon along with the Native American HavaSupi Tribe who live there all year round.

An opening became available two weeks before the hike with the group so I had to do as much training as I could to be ready for this challenge.  Lucky for me I was still biking and walking but not like the others who had 6 months to train. I wasn't as limber as I used to be 20 years ago but I wanted to go.

Mooney Falls

Moses in front of Mooney Falls.

I learned to pack for hikes from 20 years experience of camping and hiking and was excited to take my father's old camping stove which was especially designed as a light weight stove for long hikes. We took light weight food and some extra snacks to share. We all ate well during this time and had the chance play games at night and talk. We brought enough water for our hike in as there was a fresh water stream down in the campsite that campers could use while there and filled our bottles and packs with water for the way back.

So the second day there--we climbed down to Mooney falls and I ended up hanging on the cliff at the hardest part convincing myself that I had to push myself up to get to the top. I just seemed stuck there looking down 20 feet and looking up 20 feet.  The hike along the way was fascinating as we passed by strange rock formations. The falls were beautiful and breath taking from the top but we all wanted to get to the bottom to swim and play. We brought our swim suits and towel, and snacks in our back packs. A few hours later, it was time to go back.

It was quite the feat to get down as the water falls created a mist which made the rocks very slippery and treacherous. Several chains were attached to the walls so we could hold on but now I had to get back up. It had to take some muscle power and positive thought that I could get myself up that wall. It took all my might, with both hands and feet to pull myself up and climb to the next level so I could get out.  Relief came with tears and my footing was secure as I made my way to the cave and then to the other side where the trail picked up. My group was still there and I joined them for a happy walk back to our camp site.

There are five water falls there in the area: HavaSupi Falls, Navajo, Mooney, Beaver and the Fifty foot falls. We passed by most of them except for Beaver Falls which is another 3 miles down from Mooney. The area of the falls was so beautiful. You never would have thought that a whole tribe of Natives would be living on the bottom of the Grand Canyon in such a green, beautiful, Shangrela area.

The mules with our packs on the way back

The whole camping experience on the Havasu Trail was a once in a life time experience for me.  A very challenging hike on the way back proved to myself that I can do hard things. With a 35 pound pack, I decided to let the mules carry it for me and just took water and some snacks for our 12 mile trek back mostly up hill. The last 2  miles were steep switch backs with little shade.  It was hot but we trudged on and made it back to the top.
 Truth be known, my son, Moses, helped my a lot by pushing me forward from behind when I slowed down. It helped challenge him more (as he said it was so easy for him) and it helped me get back up to the top. Otherwise, I might still be there walking up those switch backs. It was a once in a life time experience which I will never forget. Even better, it's a reminder to me that if I put my mind to something, I can do it. She believed that she could, so she did.

Top of the Grand Canyon-South Rim
Moses and I along the trail

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Suburban Micro-Farm Experience

I don't post book reviews here very often but this was too good a book to not post my review. 


When I first read about The Suburban Micro-Farm book I was excited to read it and I was not disappointed.  I really love this book.

Amy Stross is an expert in her field of gardening. Her background experience of gardening and micro-gardening gives insight to a world most people don’t know about: turning a suburban lawn in to a suburban garden. Two years ago, I lived in a home with half and acre and had as much room as I wanted for vegetable gardens and fruit trees. Now I am in a home with a very small plot of land in a small city and land management has become very important. Enter The Suburban Micro-Farm which has helped me plan and implement my own micro-farm.

The book is divided into three parts. First, Getting to know the Micro-Farm which includes managing expectations in gardening which helps us to not feel overwhelmed and anxious about planning what to plant and how to take care of our garden.

Part two is Becoming a Micro-Farmer which discusses the actual organizing, planting and maintaining our gardens.

Part three is Advanced Micro-Farming Techniques which includes landscaping with edibles, permaculture and setting yourself up to sell what you grow.

The information is fascinating and there are additional online resources which are very helpful. Her plans work and help in implementing ideas that can inspire generations. In her closing remarks Amy Stross tells us that “Micro-farmers are at the forefront of writing a new story about how suburbanites engage with their environment.” This is so true and a new beginning of independent vegetable gardening for many homeowners will help the future in feeding ourselves and developing healthy soil. A future we can live with for many years to come.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints

General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints has been finished this afternoon.  Wonderful, inspiring words of wisdom and instruction was given.

We were all so excited to hear about our new adjustments to our church schedule...

Adjustments at Church

Adjustments to the Church experience are intended to support increased gospel learning and living at home. These changes include adjusting the weekly Sunday schedule to include:
  • A 60-minute sacrament meeting,
  • A 10-minute transition time,
  • And a 50-minute class period,
As outlined in the sample schedule below:
60 minutesSacrament meeting
10 minutesTransition to classes
50 minutesClasses for adultsClasses for youthPrimary

Another great item of news is the fact that we should be using the full name of our church. We are not Mormons, we are not the LDS Church.  We are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints which is why I changed one of the pages I have posted over the years..  See heading of blog.

Women of our Church follow this creed below and set a great example for the world to love and nurture those around.  

Ministering in our Church now is more personal and takes the place of Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching.  

Exciting times. 
relief society declaration  Get Relief Society Ideas at -  "I cannot believe how many LDS resources I found... It's about time someone thought of this!"   -

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Truth about the Trump and Putin Summit

Over the past several weeks the media has been extreme in their attacks on President Trump for what I feel is no good reason.  It’s frustrating for me as an American to read half-truths and uniformed information from what was once a trusted source. I now only take what I hear from the news with a grain of salt. I have experienced enough “seeing with my own eyes” and then hearing the media spin lies into what really happened.
A friend of mine has written a wonderfully insightful piece about this very topic which I am reposting here with his permission:

“Yesterday an historic meeting took place between our President and Russia's president. One of our nation's most respected Russian experts praised President Trump for engaging Putin when it was extraordinarily politically risky for him, and consequently defuzing the Russian nuclear threat (the US and Russia combined hold 90% of the world's nuclear weapons) as well as confronting Putin face-to-face over Crimea, Syria, trade, and meddling in US elections. And eliciting a commitment for Russian joint humanitarian aid to Syrian war victims AND to defend Israel! And a most amazing invitation from Putin to Moeller to bring his investigative team to Russia and participate in the interrogation of the 12 Russian agents just indicted for US election interference.

But all this was drowned out by a mob cry from too many on the right and a tidal wave on the left decrying Trump as a "traiter", "a disgrace", and "an idiot".

In less than 24 hours this has become a bigger witch-hunt than the last 2 years of the Russian "collusion" investigation.

And it appears cleverly orchestrated by both the liberal press and the President's own Justice Department. What an extraordinary coincidence that Rosenstein announced the indictment (by Moeller) just hours before the Trump-Putin Summit! How remarkable that the only 2 American correspondents at the post-Summit news conference -- from the "highly respected" news agencies AP and Reuters -- asked scathingly humiliating and baiting questions of both Putin and Trump. And the "lofty" New York Times releases the most vile political cartoon in our nation's history mocking both leaders to millions of viewers on Twitter. 

My wife and I -- unlike 99% (or more) of Americans -- recorded and watched the entire 45 min Helsinki press conference, plus the entire Chris Wallace interview with Putin held  immediately after, plus the post-Summit Tucker and Hannity interviews with Trump. We then saw authentic news coverage buried by a storm surge from the anti-Trump press of slime commentary and sound bites from the Summit taken out of context. 

And tragically, this conspiracy (and, yes, it is genuinely a conspiracy) may indeed get its way -- swinging the upcoming elections in the Democrats' favor, leading to Trump's impeachment, and plunging our nation into an economic abyss not seen since the Great Depression, if the Democratic Socialist progressives get their way. 

Donald Trump not a Patriot?! What other US President has forfeited much of his personal wealth and submitted to such attacks as Trump the past 3 years? What other President has so diligently kept his campaign promises? And Linda and I must say we have a greater respect for Putin for not angrily storming out of that press conference, canceling the interview with Wallace or even canceling the Summit altogether when confronted by the poison press. (We suppose that observation makes us traitors, too....)

Is Saul Alinsky laughing his head off at the gullibility of the American people and this unprecedented success of his "Rules for Radicals"? Our only hope is if enough American patriots have the courage and insight to see and call out this travesty for what it is -- now and in November! And NOT let this cacophony of vitriol overshadow the Strzok revelations, the Moeller bias, the Hillary crimes, and the Kavenaugh nomination. 

Who will join me in stopping this gross dishonesty by the Left and the Establishment Swamp...and pass this on to as many voters as possible?

Bruce Palmer

Then the next day he wrote some follow up thoughts:

"Were indeed the President's actions at Helsinki "disgraceful"? Even many Republican leaders are embarrassed and decrying him. As for me, I believe he is simply following Teddy Roosevelt's famous motto, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Period. 

Trump demonstrated in Singapore that he is not a diplomatic idiot that would humiliate our foreign adversaries once they come to the table. He speaks words of reconciliation and offers friendship. But Trump's big stick dealing with Russia is much bigger than Obama's ever was: most notably he has beefed up NATO strength thru significantly greater contributions from the other allies, armed the Ukrainians, and is strangling the Russian economy thru very tough sanctions and encouraging Germany to drop reliance on Russian natural gas. General Jack Keene clearly sees Trump's Summit as an effort to improve relations with Russia in order to end nuclear weapon proliferation, stop Russian threat to the Ukraine and Eastern Europe, and end the bloodshed and humanitarian catastrophe in Syria -- even while he keeps tightening the tourniquet. And as former Chief of the Joint Chiefs, Keene is no patsy, nor are Pompeo, Bolten, or Coats who still stand by the President despite the latter's questionable extemporaneous words at the Helsinki press conference. 

Should Trump's translator during the private meeting with Putin be subpoenaed to reveal what was discussed? Only if we want to forever shut down any future presidential private meetings with world leaders (what world leader would ever agree to meet in private with a US leader with such a precedent of nonconfidentiality??)! 

Finally, the idea that Trump's invitation to Putin to the White House is weak and inappropriate ignores President Eisenhower's precedent in hosting USSR Premier Kruschev's visit the US in 1959, decried by the Democrats at the time but hailed by historians as a brilliant step toward the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. Does Trump have a love affair with Putin? Only if you believe the moon is made of green cheese...or that Democratic socialism will save the US from the relentless prosperity of capitalism...."


The United States is being snow balled.  The media continues to spin the news with lies and falsehoods and Americans are continuing to believe what is written and spoken. Don’t believe everything you read or hear from someone else’s report of what happened until you see with your own eyes the real event.  We need to stand up for what is truth so our President can continue to lead and protect our country.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Patriotism: A Family Virtue

With the celebration of our Independence Day today, we know that families play a big part in contributing to the patriotism of our country. Patriotism is an important family virtue. Our children need to learn respect for the flag, respect for veterans of past wars and honor the U.S. Constitution.  As they learn the U.S. Constitution in school, they must recognize the importance of how our forefathers worked to write what our country longed for to stand free for many years.
Our children need to remember to stand at attention when our national anthem is played and reverently pledge their allegiance to the flag each day at school.  It is important to pass down the attribute of patriotism as this should be carried on into future generations.  We need to instill a reverence in our children to remember the importance of our country’s history, the heroism of those who died to protect our freedoms, and how to retire an old flag.
Teaching Our Children about Patriotism

Through books and movies, Americans are reminded of the great sacrifices our parents, grandparents and generations before have made in keeping this country free.  With the help of knowledgeable parents, all children can learn to be devoted to their country and learn the importance of patriotism.

Here are a few ideas which can help parents teach their children about patriotism:

1.    Post a U.S. flag: Buy a flag kit, hang it on the front of the house, and teach children to be respectful of it.  The flag should never touch the ground and should always be removed when raining or at night unless a light shines on it.  When the flag is being carried at parades, everyone should stand, remove any hats and place their right hand over their heart as it goes by.  Discuss the appropriate behavior we should have for our country’s flag which can help children be more reverent of this great symbol.

2.    Vote: One of the best ways children can learn about the importance of their country’s leadership is if their parents vote.  Explain, and include children in the voting process.  Discuss how important we are in choosing our national, state, and local leaders who make decisions for our country.

3.    Be involved in community: Attend patriotic events and be the example when the national anthem is played by standing and singing along. Every year most communities have a patriotic celebration for Independence Day and this instills feelings of devotion and respect for our nation’s history. Make a fun day of it and children will respond.  Join in singing the national anthem at ball games and other events and attend Veteran Day activities for children to meet those who fought to save our freedoms.

Instilling these patriotic ideals is an investment for the future. While some might feel patriotism is not necessary in these times, we can be a force for good in our country by teaching our future generations the reverence needed in patriotism.  Families should remember the importance of our nation and its history and revere the flag. Include honoring our veterans for their sacrifice for freedom, and families can instill the importance of patriotism for years to come.

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Time of Sorrow and a Time of Forgiveness

My bike ride this morning started in the dark.  As the days are getting shorter, early morning and early evening have less sunlight and it's strange riding my bike in the dark but it clears my head of the cobwebs of sleep.  My brain took me to a place that surprised me. I thought about my widowed and widower friends and our conversations over the years. We meet monthly and sometimes more often for activities.

In the last eleven years, I have learned more about death than I ever care to admit. As we grow older we know more who pass on to the next life but the most difficult for many is losing their spouse. (Losing a child is just about as tragic in difficulty and maybe this is a message for parents as well)

The one person we are tied to in such close intimacy is gone from earth until we can meet again on the other side. It is so very painful emotionally and physically and is considered the most stressful experience a human can have. So how do we cope with others trying to help?  How do we react when others tell us ridiculous things like "It was his time to go, anyway." Or "Lucky you, single and unattached." I have heard so many more unknowing, crazy words from others.

Those were my thoughts this dark morning riding around Mesa. There are so many who want to help, so many who care and want to take the pain away and make it all better.  They can't but they try and we, as the recipient of this love and compassion become hurt and bitter at times because no one understands what we are going through. No one except those who experience it themselves really know. We have such great sorrows.

The inspiration which came to me this  morning was that along with these great sorrows, we must find some compassion and forgive those who mean well but say hurtful words. Most of the time (I would say 95% of the time as I had someone purposely be hurtful to me after my husband passed away) people are caring and want to help. They want to know what they can do to make life easier and then do it.

This is where forgiveness on our part bridge the gap between bitterness and hope. Widows and widowers need to forgive those who mean well. We need to be compassionate towards all those who try to do their best in understanding our sorrows but miss the mark.

The big question is, how can I say we need to be forgiving when all those other people throw those well  meaning words at us and expect us to feel better? It's a touchy subject among widows and widowers but I feel strongly that I need to write about it.

After the initial, raw pain is lessened by time (and it's different for everyone) we can take a step back and think about those well meaning people with their words and know that they were talking from the heart. They wanted the best for us.

One of my husband's favorite songs is Don Henley's Heart of the Matter. It's on a CD he made along with a whole selection of favorite songs which I play from time to time when I drive to work. Yesterday was one of those times and as I listened to the words of this song, it reminded me that I had to forgive others.  I had to remember the intent from where they were coming and know that they were trying to be kind. It can be difficult to forgive but for our own well being, it is necessary.
These words really speak to me:

Heart of the Matter
by Don Henley
(Starting with the Chorus)

I'm learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand,
All the things I thought I knew, I'm learning again
I've been tryin' to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

Ah, these times are so uncertain
There's a yearning undefined
And People filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age?
Ah, the trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness
They're the very things we kill, I guess
Ohh, pride and competition
Cannot fill these empty arms
And the work I put between us, you know it doesn't keep me warm

I'm learning to live with out you now
But I miss you, baby
And the more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I'd figured out
I have to learn again
I've been trying to get down
To the heart of the matter
But everything changes
And my friends seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

There are people in your life
Who've come and gone
They let you down
You know they hurt your pride
You better put it all behind you baby
'Cause life goes on
You keep carryin' that anger
It'll eat you up inside baby
I've been trying to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me

So, after the sorrows have subsided and after the pain loses its rawness, we can forgive those well meaning people who love us and want the best for us. We can forgive their silly words and be strengthened by the fact that there are many who care about us. That is at the heart of the matter.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Perlocutionary for Mental Health

Perlocutionary is not even in the regular online dictionary!! Wow. I found this really cool word looking for another cool word to talk about mental health.

Perlocutionary is:
adjectivePhilosophy, Linguistics.1.(of a speech act) producing an effect  upon the listener, as in persuading, frightening, amusing, or causing the listener to act.

So my thoughts over these past few weeks have been on the state of the mind.  How is my mental state you ask?  I've been reading and writing about this and wanted to share what I have found. It's not pretty.  It takes some self-discipline and thought, some change of lifestyle but it is worth it!

Image result for mental healthOur bodies need nutrition and emotional stability.  We eat garbage, we drink garbage, we don't get enough sleep and our lifestyle is way too stressful. You have heard it before. We don't take care of ourselves as we should and our mental health and physical strength are suffering.

So as I try to persuade, amuse, or even frighten you into listening as perlocutuionary says; I'm hoping some good will come from this rant.
Our mental health as in what our brains need to be healthy, are drastically on overload.  We don't eat many whole foods and we eat too much process food. We weigh too much, drink sugar all day long and don't exercise.  (I'm sure you are thinking, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I've heard all this before.) We allow garbage into our heads with all the unwholesome entertainment that glares at us from movies, books, magazines, television screens and any and all electronic devices that have not been mentioned. It really is amazing how far down the tube we have flushed ourselves. Sometimes I'm amazed how resilient we really are, but just sometimes.

Image result for mental healthNot only that, we don't give ourselves enough boundaries to live by as adults. How in the world are our children going to know how to live if we do not set the example of a healthy, wholesome life?

We are unhappy with our marriages, our parents, and our children and many times try to put on a happy face when we really need to take care of what is inside us. I include myself in this as well.

We are bi-polar, schizophrenic, depressed, over drugged or lost in a world of whether we should make good choices.  We know what to do.  We know how to take care of our bodies. We just need to do it.  Just a shout out for those who have taken on this challenge of keeping our bodies fit and our minds clean. We watch what we do and care deeply for others first. I'm glad you are the example for the rest of us.  Rant over.

For some learned thought, see below:

Boundaries are essential to healthy relationships and, really, a healthy life. Setting and sustaining boundaries is a skill. Unfortunately, it’s a skill that many of us don’t learn, according to psychologist and coach Dana Gionta, Ph.D. We might pick up pointers here and there from experience or through watching others. But for many of us, boundary-building is a relatively new concept and a challenging one.
Having healthy boundaries means “knowing and understanding what your limits are,” Dr. Gionta said.

Below, she offers insight into building better boundaries and maintaining them.
1. Name your limits.
You can’t set good boundaries if you’re unsure of where you stand. So identify your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits, Gionta said. Consider what you can tolerate and accept and what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed. “Those feelings help us identify what our limits are.”
2. Tune into your feelings.
Gionta has observed two key feelings in others that are red flags or cues that we’re letting go of our boundaries: discomfort and resentment. She suggested thinking of these feelings on a continuum from one to 10. Six to 10 is in the higher zone, she said.
If you’re at the higher end of this continuum, during an interaction or in a situation, Gionta suggested asking yourself, what is causing that? What is it about this interaction, or the person’s expectation that is bothering me?
Resentment usually “comes from being taken advantage of or not appreciated.” It’s often a sign that we’re pushing ourselves either beyond our own limits because we feel guilty (and want to be a good daughter or wife, for instance), or someone else is imposing their expectations, views or values on us, she said.
“When someone acts in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s a cue to us they may be violating or crossing a boundary,” Gionta said.
3. Be direct.
With some people, maintaining healthy boundaries doesn’t require a direct and clear-cut dialogue. Usually, this is the case if people are similar in their communication styles, views, personalities and general approach to life, Gionta said. They’ll “approach each other similarly.”
With others, such as those who have a different personality or cultural background, you’ll need to be more direct about your boundaries. Consider the following example: “one person feels [that] challenging someone’s opinions is a healthy way of communicating,” but to another person this feels disrespectful and tense.
There are other times you might need to be direct. For instance, in a romantic relationship, time can become a boundary issue, Gionta said. Partners might need to talk about how much time they need to maintain their sense of self and how much time to spend together.
4. Give yourself permission.
Fear, guilt and self-doubt are big potential pitfalls, Gionta said. We might fear the other person’s response if we set and enforce our boundaries. We might feel guilty by speaking up or saying no to a family member. Many believe that they should be able to cope with a situation or say yes because they’re a good daughter or son, even though they “feel drained or taken advantage of.” We might wonder if we even deserve to have boundaries in the first place.
Boundaries aren’t just a sign of a healthy relationship; they’re a sign of self-respect. So give yourself the permission to set boundaries and work to preserve them.
5. Practice self-awareness.
Again, boundaries are all about honing in on your feelings and honoring them. If you notice yourself slipping and not sustaining your boundaries, Gionta suggested asking yourself: What’s changed? Consider “What I am doing or [what is] the other person doing?” or “What is the situation eliciting that’s making me resentful or stressed?” Then, mull over your options: “What am I going to do about the situation? What do I have control over?”
6. Consider your past and present.
How you were raised along with your role in your family can become additional obstacles in setting and preserving boundaries. If you held the role of caretaker, you learned to focus on others, letting yourself be drained emotionally or physically, Gionta said. Ignoring your own needs might have become the norm for you.
Also, think about the people you surround yourself with, she said. “Are the relationships reciprocal?” Is there a healthy give and take?
Beyond relationships, your environment might be unhealthy, too. For instance, if your workday is eight hours a day, but your co-workers stay at least 10 to 11, “there’s an implicit expectation to go above and beyond” at work, Gionta said. It can be challenging being the only one or one of a few trying to maintain healthy boundaries, she said. Again, this is where tuning into your feelings and needs and honoring them becomes critical.
7. Make self-care a priority.
Gionta helps her clients make self-care a priority, which also involves giving yourself permission to put yourself first. When we do this, “our need and motivation to set boundaries become stronger,” she said. Self-care also means recognizing the importance of your feelings and honoring them. These feelings serve as “important cues about our wellbeing and about what makes us happy and unhappy.”
Putting yourself first also gives you the “energy, peace of mind and positive outlook to be more present with others and be there” for them.” And “When we’re in a better place, we can be a better wife, mother, husband, co-worker or friend.”
8. Seek support.
If you’re having a hard time with boundaries, “seek some support, whether [that’s a] support group, church, counseling, coaching or good friends.” With friends or family, you can even make “it a priority with each other to practice setting boundaries together [and] hold each other accountable.”
Consider seeking support through resources, too. Gionta likes the following books: The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Timeand Boundaries in Marriage (along with several books on boundaries by the same authors).
9. Be assertive.
Of course, we know that it’s not enough to create boundaries; we actually have to follow through. Even though we know intellectually that people aren’t mind readers, we still expect others to know what hurts us, Gionta said. Since they don’t, it’s important to assertively communicate with the other person when they’ve crossed a boundary.
In a respectful way, let the other person know what in particular is bothersome to you and that you can work together to address it, Gionta said.
10. Start small.
Like any new skill, assertively communicating your boundaries takes practice. Gionta suggested starting with a small boundary that isn’t threatening to you, and then incrementally increasing to more challenging boundaries. “Build upon your success, and [at first] try not to take on something that feels overwhelming.”
“Setting boundaries takes courage, practice and support,” Gionta said. And remember that it’s a skill you can master.