Put on Your Armor and Hold On, Sister!

Today, I am inviting you to put on your protective armor. Now, I’m not talking about a literal protective armor, but the energetic kind. Yup, I mean boundaries.

If you’re in the United States, you’re well aware that we are in the midst of one of our most challenging and divisive election seasons. By the time you read this piece, it’s possible that we will have a newly elected president. But by no means does it mean that the long, hard road of shaping the kind of nation and world that will serve us will be over. Far from it. Whether we experience a peaceful transfer of power, four more years of tension and unrest, or something altogether unprecedented, it is likely that the coming months and years will bring many challenging catalysts for transformation.

In this incredibly heated time, I am trying to prepare myself for whatever’s around the corner. Even the opportunity to step into a new world full of new things to look forward to is for sure going to be accompanied by some growing pains, given all that we are facing in our nation and world today. 

So it’s time for us, the women of the world, to suit up and embody the feminine warrior: that timeless being who fiercely holds space for herself and others, and who says a firm “fuck no!” to injustice and to soul-sucking energy vampires who are ready to come at her and steal her vitality.

I believe that it’s very important for all of us to protect our minds, bodies, and spirits so that we can stay healthy, inspired, grounded, and ready for whatever awaits us—the good, the bad, and everything in between. 

Creating meaningful boundaries is something we need to do both individually and collectively. As we extend support to the women in our individual communities and our global sisterhood, as we get out the word about the importance of political action to the people in our lives, and as we take to the streets and boardrooms to fight for justice and inclusivity, let’s always make sure to put on our own oxygen masks first!

This isn’t easy! I know I have certainly suffered from the burnout of attending to everyone else’s needs and spending way too much time watching the news of the world unfold, which can leave anyone feeling depleted.

At the same time, I strongly believe that effective boundaries are an important aspect of the feminine.

I’d love to share a passage from my book, Your Messy Brilliance: 7 Tools for the Perfectly Imperfect Woman, to clarify what I mean when I talk about boundaries.

A boundary isn’t something that is meant to protect us from love and partnership—it is present so that our love becomes an outgrowth of our personal well-being. It’s both flexible and incredibly strong. In fact, just like bamboo, the best boundaries evince a quality of resilient flexibility. If they don’t bend, they break. 

The gift of the feminine is her flexibility, as well as her ability to surrender and receive. If our feminine isn’t open to receiving and we are completely walled off, the beautiful flow of connection cannot occur. But when we know when to open and when to close, we become more skilled when it comes to understanding our own and other people’s motives, and forming an appropriate response.

The simple willingness to understand and honor your own reality, and to let yourself be moved by love rather than fear, will lead to deeper and more fulfilling relationships and also, most importantly, with yourself.

So let’s all commit to pausing, slowing down, and simply allowing ourselves to breathe. Let’s try not to be the general manager of the universe or solve all of the world’s evils (an impossible task to begin with). Come back to yourself and your innate strength and resilience. I’m rooting for you…and for all of us.

Check out my last blog, “Why Getting Others to Agree with You Isn’t Worth It.” Through five powerful steps, I show you that when you save your energy for what you love, you learn to become the change you wish to see instead of forcing it on other people.

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About the Author | Kelly McNelis

Kelly McNelis is the founder of global community, Women for One, a speaker, coach, facilitator, and bestselling author of Your Messy Brilliance: 7 Tools for the Perfectly Imperfect Woman. With more than 25 years of experience as a nonprofit and small-business consultant, Kelly empowers generations of women around the world to build the relationships, community, and confidence they need to achieve their wildest dreams. She finds daily inspiration in spending time with her husband and children in her home outside of Seattle.

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