How to ‘step up’ your ‘boundaries game’

How to ‘step up’ your ‘boundaries game’

Do you balk at having to say ‘no’, sometimes feel you are not being heard or get resentful for doing more than your share?

You are not alone my friend! That big old heart of yours is playing tricks on you, and as a recovering people pleaser – I’ve got you.

Boundaries are either taught to you, and you are encouraged to use them growing up, or – like me, you reach exhaustion at some point and start researching what you are doing wrong!

When you don’t set healthy boundaries, you are at the mercy of others – how much they ask of you, what makes them happy – you are letting someone else decide how you feel or should act.

You may tell yourself this is “okay” for a while, but you are human and your soul will become lost, unfulfilled, sad and more resentful the longer this way of being continues.

Boundaries are a good thing!!

They are not about excluding others, being selfish or mean. They are how you define your relationship with YOURSELF.

They help honor YOUR needs, feelings and values.

The things that are important to YOU matter, and who is going to define and protect those important personal needs, if not yourself?

Boundaries when used well protect your joy and conserve your energy. They make you a better version of yourself, which benefits everyone you are in a relationship with too!

A first important step in setting boundaries, is learning more about yourself – your true self. Letting go of, perhaps, the version of you that others have needed or wanted you to be in the past.

For example:

If you were praised in the past for helping people, maybe you do that often and it does make you happy – until it doesn’t, because you want your own space to recharge sometimes too.

Perhaps in a relationship he loves sports and you loved being a part of that with him, but how much do YOU love sports, and how much time would you like that in your life now? What lights YOU up?

If like me, you have been running on empty – without boundaries, to the extent you feel lost when you ask yourself who you are and what you want, a back-to-basics exercise is required.

If this sounds like you, I invite you to download my FREE “Know yourself on a soul level” personal work-book here.

I put together this workbook because only going back to this level of “basics” was what helped me recover from codependent relationships, and people pleasing to exhaustion.

I gift it to my soul sisters for free, because women losing themselves is an epidemic that is extremely saddening to me.

Sometimes we simply grow and change, or sometimes we battle our way out of abusive relationships and need to re-set and relearn about ourselves, as of now.

Your core beliefs, values and perspective (given your personal experiences on life) are what goes into knowing how to set your boundaries. If these are foggy, then this ‘step back’ is for you.

Learn more about this free personal workbook here

More on Boundaries:

There is no right or wrong with boundary setting. You make the rules and get to decide how people treat you, how they behave around you and what they can expect from you.

Examples of personal boundaries:

I’m comfortable holding hands and cuddling, but not when we are out with my work friends.

I want and need some quiet time to myself at the weekend.

You can email me about your work events, but please don’t add me to your group texts.

Watching one sports event per weekend is my limit.

I have no problem watching your kids for you, but please send them with lunch.

I am not comfortable the way you are talking to me, if it continues, I will leave.

Please, no jokes about xyz when I am around. I don’t find them funny.

I can come, but not every weekend.

That doesn’t work for me, here is another idea.

I promised myself I would spend more time doing xyz this year, and if I say yes to that, I can’t do xyz.

My family time/alone time/working out is important to me.

Anxiety Stinks! Especially When You Appoint Yourself Managing Director of the Universe.

Anxiety Stinks! Especially When You Appoint Yourself Managing Director of the Universe.

You guys, Anxiety stinks! there is always something in the world to worry about, yes – but also always practical, responsible action to be taken around the fear.

Sometimes the action is a practical step to impact what we are worried about, and sometimes the best action is self-care because our concern is not something we can directly control. Often its a combination of both, so it can blur where our area of responsibility ends and our anxiety begins.

For example, we know there is a real risk to crossing a busy road, so we look both ways, take our time, cross at a designated spot. We do what is responsible and move on with our lives in trust.

I can get super anxious and sad about climate change personally, so once I’m sure our family imprint is minimized, I’ve donated to green causes etc, I have to work hard at managing my emotions around it. After doing ‘all I can’, whatever that means to me personally, I then say ‘no’ to my worry thoughts and implement my emotional self-care steps.

I believe that we are all given personal and different concerns and empathy to inspire us to act, but drawing the line between acting on that ‘nudge’, and living in a state of worry can be a challenge for many of us.

The thing in the world that you are worried about right now, did you practically do all you can? (whatever that looks like to you), are you being responsible in the world around you as it impacts others? Think. Make a list. Check it off.

Absolutely do what is within your control to make a positive impact, taking some action steps will help ease the anxiety. Then, let go and work on your emotional self-care. You are not the managing director of the universe, thankfully your higher power has that job.

I remember feeling as a little girl, when my Dad was driving somewhere, that I was totally safe. I had not a care, lying down in the back seat in the 70’s without a seat belt was peaceful for me 🙂 I knew my job was to rest in his care, and I did so completely.

I like to remember this feeling often, and remind myself that I am to feel safe now, because my higher power is driving.

Sometimes I forget, wake up from my slumber in the back seat of life, and try to grab the wheel back from my higher power. I do this all the time! I imagine myself fighting for the wheel, and then being gently and lovingly reminded to trust Him.

In these moments, I have to gently remind myself – again, that I am not the managing director of the universe. That He’s got this.

Just because your mind wanders to many things that can happen, it doesn’t mean that it’s your personal responsibility to take action past “what you can”. I also doesn’t mean that your precious brain has discovered something that He forgot .

You can say “no” to the feeling of overwhelm that follows any thought. When your mind wanders to something that you can’t control, gently remind yourself that you don’t need to micro manage your higher power, and yes, He did already think of that too.

Letting go is hard! (see my personal struggle with surrender here), but once we let go, our main job is then to look after ourselves. We are important to this world. When we take our emotional self-care seriously, we can show up for others as our best selves.

For some of us self-care is turning off the TV with the bad news and playing a board game with the family, for some of us it’s meditation and prayer, reading a fun book or cuddling with our pets.

You deserve and are meant to access and embody peace! Breathe, create your peace and enjoy it.
Much love!

Joanna

P.S For the specific steps I take to say “no” to my anxiety thoughts, download my free “PRESS REWIND” guide here.

Inner Child Connection and Healing

Inner Child Connection and Healing

One of the most healing experiences I personally experienced, after many years of different types of talk therapy, was spiritual inner child work. I love sharing this modality with others, to other healers and individuals looking to heal in a deeper way.

What is the ‘Inner Child’?

The ‘Inner child’ refers to that part of us that we can connect with, the girl version of ourselves inside, who likes to play and feel loved. It is also where we store our childhood wounds in our bodies energetically.

We can still feel that pain from our youth some days, or maybe it’s there but we are disconnected from feeling it; either way, our personal triggers are created from having that trapped emotion or energy in our body.

Spiritually, we still have the wounded inner child within us – split off, or frozen at the age when the difficult event happened that wounded us.

You may have a sad eight-year-old girl inside of you, because that’s the age when you moved away from your first family home. Or maybe you’re an abandoned ten-year-old girl that needs comfort from when your parents divorced, or perhaps you’re still angry about the divorce because you were never allowed the space to release it at that time.

For some, obviously the traumas were much harder. It doesn’t matter what the trauma was, just that it was significant enough to change how you feel about the world or yourself after that event.  

Part of going through any spiritual awakening involves these childhood wounds coming up to be healed, whether you like it or not. You simply cannot increase your vibration significantly while carrying them.

Holding space for another human during the inner child revelation is beautiful, getting to be there for the big relief of a “a-ha!’ moment and feeling the joy and freedom that delivers for the person often brings tears to my eyes.

“Oh, so eight year old me felt she had to defend herself to feel safe! – I see it, and I’m still doing it!”

They see the world differently after that moment. It’s lighter and with more freedom.

How do I know that I have inner child wounds?

In short, most people do. Our parents are human and were doing their best with their personal unhealed wounds when they raised us.

We all have reactions to current events that are based upon our unhealed wounds. For example, if you have a tendency to feel defensive when criticized, it is likely that you are viewing the situation through your personal lens of life, which includes a childhood wound of feeling betrayed.

Of course, this happens in milliseconds and subconsciously, so you are not always aware this has happened to you.  It feels super true in the moment that it’s the other person’s fault and they are attacking you. 

That’s why the work is so important, because it brings to your consciousness what is actually driving your adult reactions, and once you have all the information, it gives you a chance to choose differently.

Will I feel any different if I do this?

With each memory, discovery, release and healing, you will feel lighter and closer to who you really are.

If emotionally disconnecting was your coping strategy to avoid the difficult feelings, then you will start to feel more connected to yourself. If you were using other ways to numb the difficult feelings (comfort eat, drink etc) these urges will gradually decrease.

It will start to create a small amount of space between your typical automatic reaction (reach for food, yell at someone etc). Enough space for you to make a different conscious choice of how you want to respond.  

I used to be super disconnected, it was a strategy I picked up during my childhood so I wouldn’t feel any sadness or anger. But I learned that we can’t live our lives this way. We cannot cherry pick which emotions we disconnect from.

If you are disconnecting yourself from the pain of an unhealed past, you are disconnecting from joy too. Healing is the only way to radical self-acceptance and to a joy that grows with every layer healed.  

Releasing the trapped energy is also beneficial by itself, chronic emotional and physical ailments are often caused by this trapped unhealed energy.

More on this beautiful healing modality:

When you connect with, listen to and nurture your inner child you can find and heal the energetic roots of your ‘issues’ as an adult.

This is a truly spiritual, sacred and rewarding experience.

Examples of inner child wounds that I have been honored to support clients through are from abandonment (perceived or actual), verbal, physical or sexual abuse, or fear of lack of something (such as food, money or a place to sleep).

Most abused children perceive that these events were their fault in some way. They feel responsible to effect change at the time but are unable to. They start the “I am not good enough—/I don’t matter” type of core self-beliefs that damage our self-esteem as adults and lead to anxiety and depression.

There is evidence that these types of wounds are linked to addiction, because the desire to numb the emotion pain with food or other substances is so strong.

Other types of wounds are caused by parents reprimanding their children for being children, “Stop crying, you are so sensitive, etc”. “I’m tired of you forgetting things, what is wrong with you?!”

This feels to the child as being shamed and criticized about the core of who they perceive themselves to be, so again the “I am not good enough” wound is born. Likely the story the child makes up to make sense of it is “people don’t like me when I’m myself”.

These wounds and stories are deep in our subconscious and feel very much like the truth. With work and support though, it is possible to bring the event into consciousness, soothe the inner child within, and in doing so, release the trapped energy the emotion is causing.

Once this process is conscious, you are able to get clarity on the real truth with your adult mind, that a difficult thing happened, but it never had anything to do with your self-worth.

The release I personally experienced, and now get to see in individuals while coaching them, is truly a sacred and beautiful thing to be a part of.

In private soul sessions, I guide you through the process of how to access this part of you, rediscover what lights you up, and what is holding you back, all with Divine guidance and intuitive insight.

I have also developed this low cost work-shop to guide you through how to connect with your inner child, and support your healing, in connection with your Source at home – check it out here. https://joannapeters.com/products-and-services-inner-child-connection/

Reach out with any questions or insights to hello@joannapeters.com. (Seriously, I love to hear from my soul sisters!).

I’m rooting for you!

Much love,

Joanna

PS: Remember, I can ‘see’ and feel other peoples’ unhealed inner child wounds, so if you want guided healing and support at any time, reach out.

That Type of Thing Happens in Every Family Doesn’t it?

That Type of Thing Happens in Every Family Doesn’t it?

“That type of thing happens in most families doesn’t it?” “I had it better than many”. As an intuitive trauma coach, I can tell you that all victims minimize their trauma, in fact it’s a symptom to.

I have coached homeless women struggling with addiction, they are wanting to numb the pain from the most horrific experiences that humanity has to offer. They compare their pain to other women who had it worse, and think there is something wrong with them that they can’t stop using or find work. If these brave warriors do it, for sure we all do.

Like the stay at home Mom who comfort eats to numb the pain of a stressful day. She tells herself that while dysfunctional, her childhood was like many others (which was so long ago now anyway), and if she only had more will power, she would be able to stop comfort eating.

Or the over achieving executive, killing herself to prove her self-worth over and over again. She must not make a mistake, because then everyone will see that she isn’t good enough for the position. Her childhood wasn’t so bad either compared to most (many Dads have tempers). The anxiety is maybe a medical thing. Or perhaps she is going crazy, either way she is certainly not going to tell anyone about it because everyone else has it all together and she is embarrassed she doesn’t.

Sisters – Childhood trauma is so common because we are all raised by struggling humans, and the world just sucks sometimes. Childhood trauma is most of us, but we all think everyone else is dealing with their stuff better than we are.

Trauma can be that one big thing, a period of time or a relatively small thing in our youth. Either way we can identify it because it has a big impact on us and how we view ourselves afterwards. It impacts our self-worth, if we typically feel lonely and how hard on ourselves we are.

This saying states it well :

“Someone who drowns in 7 feet of water is just as dead as someone who drowns in 20 feet of water”

Let’s stop minimizing our trauma ladies.

We all deserve love. We all deserve support. We all deserve healing.

Much love,
Joanna

Rainy Day Gifts to Your Soul

Rainy Day Gifts to Your Soul

Hello Beautiful Souls…

List of rainy day tips as promised. We all have rainy days. What happens when we hit some hard emotions is that the catabolic energy that is released into our bodies limits the options our mind is usually able to see. We get tunnel vision, and can only see the problem or pain. Save this list of tips of things to do in advance when the blues hit, so you can reach for it and give your beautiful soul these gifts.

Please add to the list in the comments or confirm for others what works for you. 

=> Read pre-written love letter to yourself (see instructions below if needed)
=> Give yourself a dance party
=> Write a love letter to your Source/angels/guides.
=> Pray (connect, ask for help, words not important)
=> Use calm/buddhify/clearfear type mindfulness apps to walk you through naming and processing your emotions.
=> Reach out to someone you love.
=> Get creative in whatever way that means to you (draw, paint, garden, write a poem, look through house magazines or Houzz app).
=> Ground yourself in nature (if you can put your feet on earth, hug a tree, be with a body of water)
=> Get some sun on your face.
=> Get lost looking out at the stars and moon.
=> Move your body (walk, bike, dance etc)
=> List out 10 things you are grateful for and why.
=> Make future plans that you will enjoy.
=> Allow and make space to “sit with/in” strong emotions and allow whatever comes out of it with out self judgement.
=> Cuddle up with your pets.
=> Bake something you love to eat, or order it in.
=> Light your favorite candle and sit and daydream.
=> Take a nap.
=> Stretch your muscles out (see anxiety stretches)
=> Take a bath/shower – use the good products.
=> Make a list of places you would like to visit.
=> Browse photos of loved ones.
=> Burn your favorite essential oils.
=> Reach for your favorite crystals.

I’d love to hear what other things works for you in the comments below!!

Are you “SOUL TIRED” or exhausted?

Are you “SOUL TIRED” or exhausted?

How do you know if you are “SOUL TIRED” vs exhausted and in need of a vacation?

The tricky part of answering this question is that a large majority of us are both.

Decades of social conditioning has created an epidemic of women who consider that taking care of others before their physical needs is expected.

We are all running around meeting even the cat’s needs before our own. People pleasing, a fear of disappointing others and our own unsustainable standards have many of us considering a pee break at work a personal self-care luxury.

For more on how to stop that madness, stay tuned. Just know that if any of that felt familiar, you are likely walking around dehydrated, somewhat malnourished and likely aren’t getting quality or enough sleep. That all adds up to being plain old exhausted.

So, what’s soul tired?

Some symptoms of soul tired are:
=>You struggle to feel passion for anything positive
=>You feel tired and lack enthusiasm even at beginning of day, but you are a champ at pushing through.
=>You feel like your life is a long list of ‘to-dos’
=>You are not sure you are measuring up.
=>Sad is in the background for you, even when happy things are happening around you.
=>You have disconnected from your body, nothing affects you emotionally for days or weeks, then you explode in resentment and anger over everyone you love over something small.
=>You feel foggy and lost, not sure what your passions are any more or what would light you up even if you were to make time for yourself. You pretend to enjoy what others enjoy, its not about you and that’s fine.

If any of this feels familiar, you are soul tired or soul weary. It is your soul that requires attention.

We are spiritual beings connected to each other and nature and the Universal Source (God, Love, Light…). Our souls need that connection. Your soul needs to feel loved and heard and honored as the unique and special expression of Source that you are. You may be wanting your partner to meet this need for you, but you would be looking in the wrong place.

Your soul needs to sit with nature and feel supported by it or be able to dance or laugh or just stare at the stars. When you are connected to the universe, however you do it and whatever you call it, you feel alive and unique and special. You know where you fit and it feels joyful and fun.

Many of us deprioritize ourselves in the service of others, don’t make time for what lights us up or simply fall out of the habit of connecting to our own souls quietly. Or perhaps we have turned some of what could help us (praying, meditating, mindfulness exercises, nature walks etc) into “to-dos” on our long list.

If so, they become things we ‘have to’ or “should” do (if only we had the time) instead of things we “get to” do. Once we do that our inner resistance and internal struggle begins and we actually commit to not doing it whether it is on the list or not.

If any of this resonates, please make a quiet promise to yourself that this nonsense ends now!

Ask for help even if you aren’t sure who or what is listening to you. “Universe, please help me to find ways to enjoy feeding my soul”.

You are so special, quirky and unique. You were made that way on purpose, truly a perfect master piece. Listen to all the different aspects of you that want to play differently – your creative side, your need to recharge and be alone more, or perhaps that wild side.

Love and honor all the different parts of yourself. Allow yourself over time to love doing it, love the feeling of honoring yourself and to choose it first over anything else, because you deserve it.

Much love,
Joanna Peters

Ps. If no soul lifting activities are coming to you right away, check out my “Rainy day gifts to your soul” list for some simple ideas to get started and see if they work for you./”:

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