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Useful Personal Boundaries
"It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project," - Napoleon Hill.
In the previous article I described several simple and effective ways to rapidly change your status. Today I continue with another important aspect of nonverbal communication - your personal boundaries and their pervasive impact on every area of your life.
Where do you think you end? Inside your head, at the outer edge of your skin or three feet outward into the space around your body? Your sense of personal boundaries subtly influences every interaction you have with the world. If you live in a large city, you are likely to have very slim personal boundaries, while if you were on a farm, they would be quite wide. If you are strongly empathic, it is likely that you easily extend your personal boundary to encompass other people, while if you are consistently distant, your boundaries tend to contain you only. If you are easily distracted, your personal boundaries contain your surroundings, while if you easily stay focused inside your mind, they tend to end just outside of you. If you strongly don't like some part of yourself, you personal boundary might exclude that part.
It is simple to change your personal boundary - first get a sense for where it ends around you as if it is a bubble, then see and feel it expand or shrink or even totally change shape. Consciously changing your personal boundary is useful in all sorts of ways. You can increase rapport and get more into the conversation by extending your personal boundary to include the people you are talking to. You might imagine the boundary made of thick Plexiglas that keeps you emotionally safe. Some people see their personal boundary as impenetrable to criticism, until they have examined it and allowed it inside. Certain meditations that develop a sense of connection and care for the whole world, e.g. sky meditation, guide you to expand your personal boundary to encompass the universe.
Besides the size, other qualities of personal boundaries also make a difference. Color for instance. Try making your boundary reflective black, soft white, vivid green, and get a sense for what changes in your perception of the world. Visualization of colors is often used in shamanic and energy healing.
Personal boundaries are also directly related to health. If there is some part of your body that brings you pain, especially chronic pain, do you see your personal boundary exclude that part, as if there is a hole there? Many people reject parts of their bodies that hurt, pushing them away and just wanting it to stop. However, pain is not a cause, but a symptom. It is a communication from your kinesthetic sensors to your brain with a message that something needs to be changed. Common psychosomatic illnesses, such as depression, are messages that something needs to be changed in the mental environment. It does no good to reject the message, to punish the messenger. However, simply opening up to the pain is not very helpful in restoring health either.
A whole subfield of NLP is devoted to techniques that integrate such holes in your self, often creating rapid healing. Some examples of these techniques are reimprinting, parts integration, anchor integration and many others. In a follow-up article, I will show a simple way to identify mental and emotional holes in yourself and others using flattery.
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May You Be Happy!
- Arman Darini, Ph.D.
About the Author: Arman Darini, Ph.D. is the director of Holographic University, the author of weekly Tips for Creating an Extraordinary and Meaningful Life, and a certified international NLP Trainer. As the leader of a dynamic team of Life Trainers and Coaches, Arman's motto is "I don't believe in your limitations". To learn more about Arman, visit ArmanDarini.com