Boundary CeremonyMar 28, 2021
I can’t say I’ve always been good about making, or keeping, boundaries, or even knowing what my boundaries are to begin with. However, in the world we inhabit now, today, boundaries seem to be of utmost importance.
Boundaries are often made with people in our lives – a challenging family member who we need to speak up to, or a desire for healthy boundaries around parenting. These types of ‘physical boundaries’ are formed through words, written or spoken, or through actions.
There are also times when boundaries are best initiated in the energetic realm. This is vital when it isn’t possible, or safe, to establish physical boundaries with a person. Energetic boundaries are also lovely is to construct around a concept, such as vigorous health or financial abundance.
For energetic work such as this, ceremony is a very powerful and accessible tool. Ceremonial work can occur in the physical world but the impact vibrates in the energetic space around us. Ceremonial work can positively influence our relationships, clear negative thought and energetic patterns, create protective fields, and elevate our spirits.
Ceremonies can be very simple. The power of a ceremony comes from any necessary preparation, setting aside sacred time, being present and receptive, and having a heart-centered belief in the fulfillment of your intentions.
I performed a simple boundary ceremony when I was on retreat in Galisteo, New Mexico. Below is a detailed description of how I performed it. For all ceremonies, personalization is encouraged, so feel empowered to take what you need, and improvise the rest.
1. Prepare the boundary
Create a physical representation of the boundary. I used an infinity scarf, you can also a rope or cloth with the ends tied together, a belt, or something else more creative. Just ensure that the boundary is continuous with no gaps or openings. Set your boundary on a flat surface.
Cut up scraps of paper, perhaps 20 to 30 pieces.
Have pens or markers ready.
2. Prepare the self
To be in a ceremonial mindset, it is helpful to let go of your day, the to-do list, the thinking mind. Some ways to do this are:
- Take a walk (without your mobile phone, of course!)
- Meditate for at least 15 minutes
- Take a ritual bath or shower with Epsom salts
- Dance or other body movement for at least 15 minutes
- Clear your ceremony space with sweetgrass, sage, palo santo
3. Create the intention
One you are in a centered space, let your intuition and heart-sense guide you towards the intention for your boundary. Examples are:
- This boundary establishes a space where I can have a healthy relationship with Person Z
- This boundary protects my emotional health
- This boundary invites financial abundance into my life
Write this intention on a piece of paper and place on this boundary. I recommend beginning with just one intention
4. Fill the inside of your boundary
Now begin writing, without censorship, items that are inside your boundary. These are things that support your intention, grow your intention, expand your intention.
For example, if you are using “this boundary protects my emotional health”, some things that may fall inside the boundary are: time with friend A, my mixed media art project, cross country skiing, sleeping by 10pm, etc.
If you are working with a particular person, some things that may fall inside the boundary are: using my voice to express my needs, eating well to stay strong, trusting my inner feelings, etc.
Place these papers inside the boundary.
5. Define the limits of your boundary
Now, allow yourself to ponder those things that lay outside of your boundary, that inhibit your intention, are barriers for the intention to come true.
For example, for “this boundary protects my emotional health”, some things that may fall outside the boundary are: long conversations with Auntie M, checking my phone when I wake up at night, allowing my coworkers to determine my happiness at my job, etc.
If you are working with a particular person, some things that may fall outside the boundary are: being expected to agree with everything, going to events that don't feel nourishing, feeling that I have to immediately reply to texts or be disdained, etc.
Place these papers outside the boundary.
This is how my boundary looked after the completion of the above steps.
6. Fire ceremony to release
This is the fun part! To create the energetic signature of release, you will burn the pieces of paper laying outside of the boundary.
If you have access to a fireplace or firepit, build a small fire there. Alternatively, you can setup a candle and fireproof container, such as a cooking pan or terracotta pot, for your fire ritual.
For each piece of paper, begin by saying I release or I say no to and then read aloud what is on the piece of paper. Toss the paper into the fire, or light the corner over the flame and toss into the fireproof container. Watch the piece of paper burn out before releasing the next one.
When complete, pause, take stock. Reflect on what has just happened.
To complete, give thanks to yourself and all the forces that allowed you to complete the ceremony! Give thanks for the future fulfillment of your intention.
As a takeaway, it can be helpful to create a visual of what remains in your boundary and place this on your wall or other supportive art work piece.
Sail away in your boundaried boat
To conclude, you may be thinking, well I performed this energetic ceremony, but I still have to follow up with some of the pieces, like having that difficult conversation with Auntie A.
Yes, this is so true. The ceremony may have revealed things that require some sort of physical action. The beauty of ceremony is that the intention and initiation of this action has already begun in etheric space. You can liken the impact of ceremony to creating a blowing wind, a wind that then allows your boundary sailboat to make forward progress on its path.
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