• Nadja Eriksson

Book Excerpt: Your Sexual Boundaries

Most people have no idea what their true boundaries are. This is because they haven’t explored them freely, without the influence of other people or the conditioning of society.

Almost everyone thinks that their boundaries are either determined by their painful past experiences, or from the fear that they’d be judged if they displayed sexual promiscuity. But this is not at all the case when it comes to boundaries.

Most boundaries come from the fear of hurting ourselves. This is the fear of the dreamscape of the mind. You’re thinking of a painful situation and think, “I would never, ever do that. I could not live with myself if I crossed that boundary.”

Shaping your boundaries this way is counterproductive. It tends to draw experiences into your reality where you’ll have to put up boundaries to defend your point of view.

If you put up boundaries in this way, you’ll invite unwanted circumstances into your life.

Your boundaries are often not heartfelt boundaries but ways of trying to fend off unwanted emotions. While fighting against something unwanted, we’re putting a lot of energy into creating a scenario you don’t want. As your subconscious mind answers to your strong thoughts and emotions (not separating between wanted and unwanted experiences), you'll have to fend off unwanted experiences over and over again if you set boundaries based on what you do not want.

The natural way of determining your boundaries is to listen to your present moment experience.

When we’re grounded and present in our body, it’s easy to determine whether a situation feels good or not. With that said, we don’t recommend seeking out unsafe people or situations. Often, you can sense the way in advance if a situation is going to be beneficial to you or not.

Be aware that what you’re feeling may also be excitement over a situation that you’ve attracted to grow. Fear is also known as excitement without breath. You may mistake excitement for fear and hold yourself back in old patterns out of sheer habit.

Investigating your emotions a little closer helps you determine whether what you’re feeling is fear or excitement over a new experience. If it’s excitement, we recommend that you open your heart to this new experience so you can receive it with all the love with which it was given. But if you’re sensing fear (or the feeling of closing down), we recommend you turn around and walk away.

By practicing this, you’ll get better at listening to your emotional guidance system. The world will open up to you in new ways, making it a lot easier for you to determine what you want in your life and what you don't want.

We recommend that you start setting your boundaries based on what you do want.

This way, you’ll attract situations that are inside your current comfort zone but are still inviting you out on an adventure. You can gradually invite more challenging experiences into your life as you open up to deeper contact with your Big She.

From there, it'll be easier to figure out what you want to create. Knowing your current boundaries will tell you what you don’t want. When you know what you don’t want, it’s easy to find what you do want by turning these statements around.

She-Practice: Finding Your Boundaries

You can assess your boundaries using your mind and your life experience. This is useful because any idea starts in the mind. If you've had experiences of your boundaries being violated, you may have created tension and shielding in your body that makes you say, “I’m never, ever going to allow that again.”

There are advantages and disadvantages to this way of setting boundaries. When you try to decide only with your mind what your boundaries are, you will operate from a defence system that's based on your past experiences. This can be a disadvantage because these kinds of boundaries are created from fear rather than feeling into the situation right now and assessing whether something feels safe or not. The good thing with setting up these kinds of boundaries is that it can stop you from moving into situations where you might feel out of control and unable to set natural boundaries.

Natural boundaries come out of your ability to stay within your own bodily experience no matter what.

When you have a pattern of stepping over your boundaries to please others, it's necessary to set boundaries from the mind for some time. This will allow you to retrain yourself and, over time, find your natural boundaries. By trusting your ability to take care of yourself in any situation, it will be easier to trust yourself in the meeting with others.

When you assess your boundaries from your mind, it gives you a gridwork with which you can explore the sensations in your body. When you're moving into a situation where you know that your boundaries will be challenged, it is the perfect time to decide on some ground rules. Then observe the feeling sensations of your body to decide when it’s time to bend, break, or keep those mental rules.

If you're too rigid when setting your mental boundaries, you may stop yourself from having wonderful and healing experiences. Likewise, being hellbent on stretching your boundaries and taking premature action will produce situations where you retraumatize and lose trust in yourself.

The journey of setting, maintaining, and bending boundaries is a healing journey of the heart. You should never have to explain that you have boundaries. Feeling safe with your boundaries is paramount. Give yourself as long as you need to figure out how you can move forward with trusting yourself and your ability to feel into whether a situation is “good” or “bad” for you. This process is necessary to regain your balance.

When you feel secure with your current boundaries, life can begin to feel a little boring. Then it’s time to assess your boundaries again. You may find that you want to challenge your comfort zone so you can grow into your next expansion. Whenever you challenge your current boundaries, you'll feel a slight discomfort moving beyond your comfort zone.

By allowing your boundaries to be fluid and accepting that you are an ever-changing being with varying needs and desires in various situations, you will come to a natural embodiment of your boundaries.

Step 1. Establishing Your Current Boundaries

Open up your journal. On a blank page, write down your current sexual boundaries. This may sound like, “I would never, ever accept money for sex .” Or, “I don’t do blowjobs.” Be honest with yourself and don’t try to be politically correct or figure out what your current or imaginary partner would want you to be.

Write each of your sexual boundaries on top of a blank page. Look at the first statement, connect with your body, trying to feel where this boundary comes from. What kind of emotions, memories, or mental pictures appear when you think about it? Write down whatever comes up. This way, you can figure out whether it is a real boundary or something based on fear of rejection from the past.

If your boundaries are based on the hurtful comments or reactions from past lovers or other people, it's time to send them back to where they came from. You are never to blame for others’ hurtful remarks. The reason why these things are still bothering you is that you've chosen to hold onto the pain instead of allowing the wound to heal and forgiving it.

You may still choose to hold down your boundary, making sure you’re not jumping the fence in the healing process. But by knowing where the boundary comes from, it becomes easier for you to make a conscious choice to either challenge yourself and heal the wound, or to keep the boundary so that you feel safe in your current situation.

You may even find that you want to discard a boundary altogether, and that is fine. If not, write down the positive reasons for why you want to keep it. This may look something like this: “I’d like to show myself that I can trust in my ability to take care of myself in any situation. I allow myself to be loving to me, even though other people might expect me to perform things that I’m not ready or willing to do. I allow myself to be kind in those situations where I stay within my boundaries, even though they might be based on fear. I know that this healing process is mine alone, and I allow myself to take full responsibility for whether I keep or let go of my boundaries.”

You may have many different reasons to keep or discard a boundary. The point of this exercise is that you explore where you are right now and why you’re acting the way you do, whether you are sexually inactive or engaging with many partners. This is a chance for you to get to know yourself on a deeper level.

Repeat the steps for all your boundaries and do this exercise whenever you feel it is time for a change in boundaries.

Step 2. Embodying Your Boundaries

What you want to get from working this process is to be able to feel in your body when your boundaries are overstepped. With the awareness of how your nervous system reacts when your boundaries are violated, you understand the guidance of your body-mind system and your Big She. The easiest way to do this is to practice with a partner.

This exercise is thus best done in a sister group or together with a trusted friend. If you don’t have anyone to practice with, we suggest practicing in simple social situations where you have the possibility to move in and out of interactions easily.

Starting out, it is necessary that you feel connected to your body. If you’re feeling anxious, insecure, or stressed, we recommend that you dance, meditate, or do other physical exercises that bring you back in contact with your body.

Masturbating or using a jade egg as a connection point to the base of your body is also a good idea.

A jade egg is an oval-shaped tool made out of finely polished jade stone. It’s commonly used to do pelvic floor exercises. We do not, however, recommend exercising your pelvic muscles with this egg. Its' mere presence is enough to gently de-armour your vagina, and no effort on your part is required. It can be kept in place while doing this exercise. This will add extra grounding and awareness.

When you are feeling grounded and present in your body, it is time to partner up. You and your partner should stand about fifteen to twenty-five feet in opposite from each other.

Choose who of you will start setting boundaries, and who is going to try to challenge the boundaries. Once you have decided, the challenger moves towards the one setting boundaries expressing anger with energy, motion, and sound. The one standing and holding the boundary will signal the other when to stop by holding out her hand when she feels that the angry person is close enough. The angry one pauses.

By standing across from each other, the one holding the boundary can feel if the distance between her and the one expressing anger is wide enough for her to feel secure.

If you've let the person expressing anger come too close, then the signal is that you need to work on strengthening your boundaries.

You will now have a conscious imprint of what it feels like in you body when your boundaries are violated. By exploring this, you will be able to recognize when this happens in social or sexual situations. You can let the person you're interacting with know and move away from the situation to feel safe again.

Now change sides and repeat this part of the exercise as many times as you wish.

After doing the experiment with the feeling of anger, you're probably quite grounded in the contact with your own body.

Now, you will test your boundaries without the use of strong emotions. Stand across from each other again and decide which one is going to defend the boundaries and which one is going to challenge them. The one challenging walks towards the one holding the boundary.

When you holding the boundary feel like your comfort zone for intimacy is challenged, hold up your hand to signal the intruder to stop. Stopping and pausing, feel into how it is to have somebody overstepping your boundaries. When you know that you’ve got the physical imprint, you can ask the challenger to step back until you are safe and calm in your nervous system. This way, you get the imprint of what your comfort zone feels like in social situations.

If you feel comfortable, we suggest that you also explore your intimate boundaries. Stand across from each other again with the distance of the social comfort zone. Now open your heart and connect to the heart of the other through your eyes. Move slowly towards each other. Feel every step of the way. If there is any discomfort or disturbance in your nervous system, report back to each other how this feels. If you’re challenged, you can stop. Take a step back and reassess or break off the exercise. If you feel safe, you can touch each other by holding hands or even hugging.

Make sure to stay in your own body at all times.

Notice how you feel without trying to figure out how the other person might feel or what she might need. This way, you get an imprint of what it feels like to stay inside of your own body in intimate situations. This will prove very valuable to you when you’re establishing whether you feel safe with a potential sexual partner.

Having sex without feeling connected to your body can be physical and emotional self-abuse that leaves you drained. Why? Because you've given away your body for your partner’s pleasure without considering your own boundaries. Your nervous system is not in a receptive mode. It is in survival mode, and all you're doing is using your energy to keep your violated emotions in check rather than enjoying the experience...

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