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Build Fences not Boundaries

Do you know how to create and live with healthy boundaries? Have you ever said “I have to get better at setting boundaries?” or “I can’t say no”?  Do you feel you are at the whim of everyone else’s needs, or resentful about how often you come last? 

Or maybe you’ve discovered that saying NO is not the problem at all, in fact, you want to learn to open up and say YES more often. You recognize that you hold yourself back from life by carefully monitoring risks, by remaining disconnected or aloof from others, by only taking on activities where you know you will succeed in order to avoid failure, and as a result you’re beginning to find yourself isolated, bored or living a rigid and less- than-fulfilling life.

In either of these cases, try fences rather than boundaries.  

When most people hear the word “boundaries,” they equate it with saying NO and establishing limits around what others are NOT allowed to...

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The Girl with the Mustache Tattoo (aka Make Your Own Joy!)

I was recently reminded of an encounter with someone who embodied a spirit of play and light-heartedness that so many of us yearn for these days. It was, for me, a small but meaningful message from the universe. I sat down on a flight to Arizona ( pre-pandemic!)  beside a woman who was probably in her early thirties. She was dressed casually in jeans and a white and blue nautical style shirt with sparkly silver-sequined converse sneakers. We made some brief small talk, mentioning how warm and stuffy the plane felt. As she reached up to turn on the air vent I saw what looked like a small flourish tattoo on the inside of her right pointer finger.

Because I am a “hip and modern” 50-something who got a small ankle tattoo with my daughter a few years ago, I felt open to comment and shared – “oh how pretty your tattoo is on your finger.” She replied “oh, my mustache” and held her finger to her upper lip. Sure enough it was a tattoo of a...

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