This week’s Defense Against The Dark Art’s “Mindful Wednesday” newsletter helps you learn how to create boundaries.

From Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy

Limits are the barbed wire of life. Boundaries are split rail-fences. When you push past limits, personal or professional, there’s a good chance of being pricked as you hurtle up and over. But boundaries set apart the Sacred with simple grace. There’s always enough room to maneuver between the rails if you’re willing to bend.

We want our lives to feel limitless, so we must learn the art of creating boundaries that protect, nurture, and sustain all we cherish. For most [of us], creating boundaries is excruciating, so we don’t do it until we’re pushed to the outer edge of tolerance. To create boundaries we must learn to say, thus far and no further. This means speaking up. Expressing our needs. Indicating our preferences. These moments are tense and can easily escalate into confrontations complete with tears, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings. This is why many [of us] stay quiet, rendering virtually mute by unexpressed rage and unable to articulate any needs at all.

But even if we are mute, we’re not powerless to draw a line in the sand.

Speaking the language of “no” is a good place to start creating boundaries. “’No’ can be a beautiful word, every bit as beautiful as ‘yes,’” writers John Robbins and Ann Mortifee declare. “Whenever we deny our need to say ‘no’, our self-respect diminishes,” they tell us in In Search of Balance: Discovering Harmony in a Changing World.” It is not only our right at certain times to say ‘no’; it is our deepest responsibility. For it is a gift to ourselves when we say ‘no’ to those old habits that dissipate our energy, ‘no’ to what robs us of inner joy, ‘no’ to what distracts us from our purpose. And it is a gift to others to say ‘no’ when their expectations do not ring true for us, for in so doing, we free them to discover more fully the truth of their own path. Saying ‘no’ can be liberating when it expresses our commitment to take a stand for what we believe we truly need.

—Sarah Ban Breathnach,
author of Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy

Brene Brown on setting boundaries
Brene Brown explains how setting boundaries can make you a more compassionate person.

Mindful Mantra and Practice

Today I will say ‘no’ to one request or task and not look back.

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know / What I was walling in or walling out

Robert Frost

My Emotional Bill of rights

  1. “Forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting. It has everything to do with remembering and choosing to move forward.” —Claudia Black
    • I don’t need an apology. I can choose to let go, move on, and reclaim my power.
  2. I am entitled to R-E-S-P-E-C-T every day and in every way.
  3. My family of origin does not have to be the family I identify with. I can choose my family.
  4. What happened to me was not my fault.
  5. Being my authentic self and being happy are my fundamental rights.

Simple Pleasure

Pumpkins make very attractive natural vases for autumn bouquets. Scoop out the center as you would for a lantern and fill with a damp oasis (the floral sponge) cut to size. Arrange jewel-tone flowers, preserved leaves, and vines in the oasis for a long-lasting arrangement. Occasionally test the oasis to see if you need to add more water.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Mindful Wednesday Discussions

4:00–4:30 pm EST Mind Magic for Well-Being (for students)

4:30–5:00 pm EST Mindful Tea & Chat (for grown-ups)

Defense Against the Dark Arts (for students)

When: Thursdays from 5:30-6:15 pm EST
Where: In the Champlain Room (enter under the big clock next to Eats)
Zoom link for Virtual Wizards here.

Getting Unstuck: Releasing the Shame That Binds You

Along with the weekly meetings, you can check out the most recent episode in my podcast, Mindcraft, which tackles the feeling of Original Worthiness: How to Get That Feeling Back!

Original worthiness, that feeling we were born into this world with before any negative and shameful messages were said to us, can get lost…while these automatic negative thoughts drive the bus, the authentic self waits patiently to return to power. Join in and learn how to make this happen!

Mindcraft, Dr. Kim Quinn

Interested in learning more about Mindful Wednesday or Champlain’s Psychology major? Explore the major on our website!

Dr. Kimberley Quinn
Kimberly Quinn, Ph.D., is a professor at Champlain College and teaches Cognitive Psychology and Mindcraft.

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