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-What are and what aren’t boundaries?

-How come the energy that boundaries are derived from (e.g., from a place of fear or love) is so important?

-What can you do to set and maintain your internal and external boundaries?

Welcome to Episode 147! This week, Karen McMahon is back to educate us all about boundaries! Karen shares with us what boundaries are and what they are not! We also hear about the distinction between internal and external boundaries then learn how to set AND maintain them. Karen shares about how and why the energy we set our boundaries from (e.g., from the energy of fear or love) is so important when it comes to setting authentic boundaries. We conclude with the initial steps Karen takes with her coaching clients to help them get clear on what they need, where their emotions are coming from, and how to channel that into setting healthy and sustainable boundaries. It’s a must-listen!

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More on thise week’s guest:

Karen McMahon is Certified Relationship and Divorce Coach and Founder of Journey Beyond Divorce. Karen leads a national team of divorce coaches in supporting men and women around the world to become calm, clear and confident as they navigate divorce. Karen is the host of the acclaimed Journey Beyond Divorce Podcast, co-author of ‘Stepping out of Chaos: Turning Pain to Possibility”, creator of JBD’s exclusive Accelerated Divorce Recovery Program.

You can find Karen’s first inteview on the podcast focused on Codependency and Divorce which aired in February 2022:

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More deets on the episode:

We revisit Karen’s definition of codependency and hear her add about the importance of the emotional energy underneath our behavior. Karen describes how codependency is often rooted in victim and conflict energy whereas, on our healing journy, we move towards energy of personal responsibility and compassion. When we are codependent, we abandon ourselves out of fear of something or a desire to gain something.

Karen opens up about two recent experiences related to her codependency. In the first anecdote, she was accused of being codependnet with her adult children while she was grieving the loss of her mother. Karen went to therapy and was able to get clear with herself that it was not coming from a codependent place, but rather, a place of compassion and service for her children. In her second example, Karen noticed she was being codependent with her pets! She noticed herself wondering whether she was doing right by them, realized what she was doing, and laughed it off.

We shift gears to Karen’s expertise with boundaries. What are boundaries according to Karen? Boundaries are derived from freedom, responsibility, and love. They are a paradigm, a skill, and like a fence around a yard that establishes one’s space but has a gate that let’s people in and out.

Karen contrasts what boundaries are with what they are not: they are not a way to control people, they do not require strict adherence from others, they are not ultimatums, they cannot be used to change another’s behavior, and they cannot be weaponized/punitize/penalize others. I ask Karen why she believes we codependents often warp boundaries into attempts to control others. Karen revisits her emphasis on the energy from which they come from: if the boundaries we set are coming from victim energy compared to compassion/service energy, then we may be doing something other than setting an authentic boundary.

Karen educates us on the distinction between internal and external boundaries, where internally we can create limits so others aren’t able to “make” us feel any certain way. We conclude with hearing where to begin with setting boundaries: ask yourself ‘What do I need? Where am I at energetically? Where are my emotions at?,’ own our stuff, and discern who is and isn’t healthy in our lives.

Thanks for coming on Karen! And thank you for listening, my dear listener!
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