Self care for better boundaries and honouring the ‘broken barks’

When you’re new to setting boundaries, you’ll likely overcorrect then beat yourself up for being so clumsy. I hope the tips in this blog post help you have more compassion for your inner puppy as you get better at using your voice…


I listened to this gorgeous podcast recently and was horrified to hear how Constance Wu had been treated and struggled.

A lot of what she and iWeigh podcast host (and The Good Place star) Jameela Jamil talked about felt vary familiar from my own upbringing (Indian Irish London born but looking white so a lifetime of white privilege).

It also helped me better understand why boundary setting and maintaining can be so difficult.

I was thinking about my early attempts at setting healthy boundaries and how terrified I was to express a need and want. I had to work so hard to psyche myself up to say something so blatantly normal that I often didn’t do it strongly enough.

While I felt like I was being a sledgehammer, looking back, it’s obvious why those early attempts weren’t completely successful. Still, it got easier and I got better at it.

It’s totally natural, when your boundaries have been violated at an early age and at any age (but especially preverbal) to struggle with autonomy and feeling safely embodied.

Working with the body and breath is one of the quickest ways I know and you can access several free book bonus videos to help you HERE

80% of the signals via the Vagus nerve go up from body to brain so it’s MUCH faster to move or breathe ourselves into an empowered state than to tell ourselves we should have more respect for ourselves and our boundaries. Compassionate self talk is also key for toning the Vagus nerve and this is where Cat Coaching can be so helpful.

Have patience with yourself as you learn to speak up for yourself

Jameela talked about watching puppy videos of puppies finding their barks and how Asian women are just learning to bark.

You can see in some of the puppies’ faces a sense of surprise at how they sound.

We humans are similar when we learn to express different aspects of ourselves.

Jameela and Constance described being exiled by their own (brown women) and this then signalling that they were easy prey for the white women who then held nothing back in the online bullying.

And in Constance’s (again, so so sad considering how confident Jessica Huang is one of my all time favourite fictional characters, so TOTALLY confident in herself) it leading to her temporarily believing that her life was worthless.

Am so grateful to both of them for being so open and vulnerable (and courageous and strong) in this gorgeous podcast.

And I’m going to continue to attempt to honour my broken howls as progress (it’s natural for the pendulum to swing the other way as we overcorrect).

I love the idea of women supporting women in speaking our truth (all people supporting all people) and some grace  kindness and forgiveness as we clumsily articulate whatever it is we’re trying to express.

How will you give yourself permission to get it wrong?

To honour your OWN broken barks?

I hope the compassion and admiration and love you potentially feel for this puppy will help you redirect some of that same patience and support to yourself

And if you want to let me know about a time you used your senses to help you change direction in any area of your life, feel free to email eve@selfcarecoaching.net

And feel free to share this post on your social media etc so others who may find it helpful can read it.

With love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

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