Reserve The Right…


“How people treat you is their Karma; how you react is yours.” ~Wayne Dyer

Line in the Sand

I’d like to talk about boundaries. 

Boundaries have been an important part of my yoga practice over the last year.  Where do I draw the line?  Do other people’s boundaries upset or affect me?  Do my limits make those around me cringe? All of this is a delicate dance along the ridges of “right” or “wrong” and that big ol’ valley in between where we find: fairness, honesty, trust, tenderness, sense of Self and the option to re-evaluate pre-existing beliefs.


During a training I attended last year, my wonderful teacher noticed my Savasana looked more like a sprawled out sea star – reaching as far as possible in all directions away from Center, the most vulnerable of expressions. She said “whoa man!  We gotta work on some boundaries!”  We talked about how to balance being kind while still recognizing my own limits.  Everybody’s got ‘em!  Ah yes, the practice of demonstrating kindness toward the Self.  She helped me explore more deeply the importance of the word “no”.  She gave me permission to start evaluating my relationships with people around me, with the universe at large and most importantly, my relationship with myself.  She reminded me that sometimes, we have to hold onto a little something for us and that we can’t run on empty forever.  I started to explore…

Do I push my belief systems onto others?  Can I respond respectfully when others push belief systems onto me? Do I cave? Even more importantly can I release attachment to the impossible dream that we can “all get along” or all “see eye-to-eye”.  Can I make amends, “agree to disagree” and then ACTUALLY stick to it.  Can I stay true to myself and allow others to stay true to themselves?  It’s not as easy as it seems.  Often times along this journey of staying true the word “no” becomes MVP in the game.  Where do we draw the line – when does sticking up for yourself and those that you love become part of the mix? 

In my yearlong path of exploring the muddy waters of boundary setting and boundary respecting I have made important discoveries.

                -I have the right to say “no”.  I will not apologize if you feel uncomfortable with it.  I only have control over the way I express myself, not over the way YOU respond to my expression.

                 -I reserve the right to be your friend…or not.  I accept that I will not be friends with everybody and that not every friendship lasts forever…nor is worth the investment.

             – I will respect views that vary from my own, but will not pretend to agree if I do not.  I will practice the art of disagreeing gracefully.

             -I will engage in the practice of authenticity: my words and actions will correspond.

             -I have the power and ability to define the relationships I have with those around me and with myself.

              -If I feel I am being taken advantage of, it’s nobody’s fault but my own. 

              -Stealing occurs in many forms: possessions, time, energy and emotional security.  It is MY choice to put an end to being stolen from. 

              -I reserve the right to practice the golden art of silence and to take my time to respond.  I do not have to give immediate answers.  I have permission to put thought into my decisions and actions.


This system I’m still develping is just a small glimpse into my own journey and practice of drawing lines in the sand.  In the end we are each individual beings learning to navigate this complicated web called life…each needing our own formed system of standards.  I only have control and choice about my own body, mind, heart and limits.  I claim those rights.  The people around me are responsible for deciding upon their own rights and claiming for themselves. 

Huge thanks to my teacher, Ashley, for helping me explore this path.  I take one small step forward each and every day.  For your push, I am forever grateful. 

“How people treat you is their Karma; how you react is yours.” ~Wayne Dyer

Written and published by Kristin Gilbert Ramirez of OM Puerto Viejo, January 2013.