Whenever I’m preparing for a workshop or have a focus subject for myself, I’m exploring it in different aspects of my daily life. It’s natural that you start seeing connections when you maintain an intention for a while.
On my Sunday walk in the Viennese Forest yesterday, I once again ended up cloud spotting (one of my favorite past times). And sure enough, without having had any plan of connecting work with leisure, the boundaries issue popped into my head.
Yesterday, there were few clearly visible cumulus clouds, but a lot of cloudy masses with less differentiated shapes. (For fellow cloud spotters among you, more in the direction of cirrocumulus, stratus and stratocumulus cloud formations.)
While walking, I have found that clouds can be a nice metaphor to see how clear I feel right now. How clear and aligned do I feel myself. How clearly can I perceive my surroundings and how clear or blurry is the connection in between.
We don’t have clear lines of separation in human interactions. For material things we can have clear demarcations: playing fields in sports have clear demarcations, our living space is separated by walls. But the human side of things doesn’t have clear boundaries.
So, when we walk through daily life, we can experience ourselves sometimes as clearly defined, sometimes sucked into a group dynamic, sometimes like not knowing who we are.
Our minds idea might be that we should always have clear boundaries. In cloud visuals it could be like this:
© Daniela Razocher
(Of course, when you look more closely you’ll see that the clear lines disappear.)
Sometimes we are in a situation, where it’s more like a big mass of something, where’ it’s hard to tell what belongs to whom, especially when emotions are very subtle or very high – this makes it hard to read them well and let them guide us. We’re still able to identify some shape and differences, but it gets blurry.
© Daniela Razocher
What has proven very helpful for me over the last years to know my limitations, where I want to get involved and when things aren’t working and I say No or Enough, are body awareness, knowing my values and purpose. Being aware of myself and my physical being (in addition to my thinking and emotional state) allows me to read situations with more sensory input that is relevant in the moment. And knowing what values are important to me, also offers a guide for action and attitude. My purpose provides me with the bigger picture that let me know if I’m on my way or on a detour.
Some of those aspects we’ll be working with in the upcoming workshop on Setting Healthy Boundaries. The main focus will be on strengthening sensory and body awareness to have a strong sense of self in challenging situations.
What kind of cloud are you today?