My dog Sukha likes to dig in her heels. Shiba Inus are known for their stubbornness. Heel-digging is one of the ways they do that. We will be trotting along at a really good pace and she will get a whiff of something, and she digs in her heels. But it's more than that. She gives me this death-glare where I can hear her inside my head saying "we are stopping here!" There's no arguing with her. I've tried. I tug at her leash and coax her, but she does not budge. She's only 25 pounds, but she can stop me in my tracks. Even though Sukha is a geriatric pup with hip dysplasia that has resulted in significant loss of muscle tone in her hind end, she is still able to hold me back when she wants to stop on a walk. When her mind is made up, and she tells her body to assert her will, there's no budging her.
She establishes a very firm boundary and tells me in no uncertain terms, "this is MY WALK, MY TIME, and we do things MY WAY." Our entire relationship, I have admired her for this ability, to be so grounded and assert such strong boundaries around her needs.
In fact, over the course of our 14+ years together, Sukha has taught me a lot about boundaries and grounding. Here are just a few lessons she has taught me about boundaries:
When you need something, dig in your heels until your needs are met.
Back away when people try to touch without consent.
It's okay to growl (say no) firmly when someone doesn't listen.
As a human, and an Empath human, I am often too nice and too polite. It's too easy for me to put the wants and desires of others above my own NEEDS because I would rather suffer myself than have someone else a bit uncomfortable in my presence. Sukha has taught me, time and again, this is not the healthiest of lifestyle's. She consistently offers me the role model advice of saying NO and asserting my boundaries to get my NEEDS met.
How to Say NO - Assert Boundaries - and BE HEARD
In following Sukha's model, I developed this MOZI Method exercise for saying no and asserting boundaries. I've taught this technique to hundreds of clients over the years, and they all report the same results I have experienced for myself. It works.
Stand with your feet pointing straight ahead, and even weight on both feet.
Soften your knees (not locked, but not bent either).
Put your body's weight in your heels and your butt (think "use the mass of my ass"). Imagine a line of energy from your butt to your heels.
Breathe 3-5 deep FOCUSED BREATHS
Think or say to yourself one of the following affirmations
I have solid boundaries
I am grounded and strong
I stand my ground
I dig in my heels
I do what I NEED
Be sure to practice this exercise several times a day when you DON'T need it, so that when you do need it, you remember to use it.
while standing at counters (brushing teeth, washing hands, cooking, checking out at a store, washing dishes, etc.)
while waiting in line
while standing and listening to other people talk
when people challenge you!
If you have a particular person and situation that challenges your boundaries time and again, book an appointment and I can personalize this exercise for you to address you specific challenge.
This exercise works best when you use FOCUSED BREATHING