‘Another weekend bites the dust, time to get ready for a new week and soon, a new month! Lately, I find myself butting heads with the notion of intentions versus barriers and knowing the difference between the two. Too often, we default to creating barriers to own success or growth out of fear or insecurity; deceiving ourselves into thinking (and accepting) it was the former rather than the later.

It’s never easy when you find you have to call yourself out on your own B.S., but there you go! Better to call it out at the onset than to find yourself stagnating in the quagmire of your own crap having missed on opportunities and life. So what’s the big deal? First, let’s get the dictionary definition of “boundary” and “barrier” to get some clarity. According to the online edition of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, “a boundary is something that shows where an area ends and another area begins; a point or limit that indicates where two things become different.”

One the other hand, a barrier is defined as “something that prevents or blocks movement from one place to another; a law, rule, problem, etc., that makes something difficult or impossible.” Some might ask, why the exercise in definitions that seem relatively self-explanatory? I say, there’s a lot to be learned here; namely, your mindset plays a huge role in how you relate to other people, things, and ultimately, your lifestyle. I say this because our mindset often determines whether or not we see an opportunity before us or an obstacle or barrier.

In the context of health and wellness, the notion of self-care is seen as either an opportunity for personal renewal and growth or an obstacle to one’s achieving the completion of a set of tasks, to-do lists, etc. In this setting, your health will ALWAYS be the looser when it’s stacked against that venerable to-do list which always seems to take priority over everything else in our lives; a list I might add, that we often hide behind out of fear, uncertainty, doubt or inadequacy (at least in our own minds). This is where the shift in mindset needs to come into play!

When you realize and accept that those “tasks, to-do’s”, etc, will always be there (yes people, that’s the cycle of life; nothing ever really stops until it ceases to exist so get used to it) then you can release yourself from that false sense of control that you’ve allowed yourself to be imprisoned by. The truth is, your health and fitness are central to manifesting your vision for your life because without them (a.k.a mind-body-spirit in balance) there is little hope of seeing that through to fruition.

Balance is one of the central features of a fit and healthy lifestyle and that’s why I never stop stressing the centrality of this phenomena to my clients. If you want true and sustainable health (i.e. mind-body-spirit) bringing all aspects of yourself needs to be brought into alignment. If you’re already at the point of tapping out and saying “enough is enough and time to get off the hamster wheel going nowhere” then, welcome to the beginning of your journey to self-discovery, fitness, and health! Too many times we say we’re too “busy” to “indulge” in self-care but that’s merely a choice (yes, you always have a choice) to continue down a path that has no good end or resolution.

When you say you’re “busy” it actually means that you don’t have “time” to take care of yourself and the things that really matter (i.e. living a full and healthy life, etc). The truth is that you are merely existing and not living! When you are out of alignment on all levels (mind, body, spirit), that manifests as a breakdown in both your physical and mental health; illness and disease begin to impact the whole.

This is at the crux of what it means to set boundaries vs. barriers; making space for self-care and nourishing your mind and body and separating those destructive elements or forces that will take you and your health out of alignment. Realizing that this is not “selfish” but a necessity and indicates a level of growth few are willing to work at achieving (but that’s another topic for discussion). As women, we are constantly pushed and pulled in several directions as we strive to live up to the  ideas of other people and society; the freedom and growth comes when we release ourselves from this when we get “comfortable with being uncomfortable” as we address those internal issues and wounds that we have allowed to fester.

Growth and healing are not always comfortable or easy; in fact, they often require a level of exposure and examination that make uncomfortable seem like a cake walk but it’s necessary if you want to achieve your authentic self. The other alternative? Continue to merely exist and remain a slave to your fears and perceptions of the outside world. What a choice huh?

Tonye Tariah

Tonye Tariah

Freedom At The Crossroads Founder

Tonye Tariah, Holistic Health Strategist and founder of Freedom at The Crossroads Blog, helps free women from inaction and unhealthy habits so they can get fit, healthy, and live free. Her approach is “the cookie cutter method only works for cookies,” meaning she helps each person in a unique way helps them transform their lives from the inside out. She’s not about helping you lose weight quick. She’s about changing your habits and helping you fall in love with yourself so you can live a life with pure joy.