A Blogazine, based out of Park Slope, Brooklyn, that features fun and interesting articles. Topics include: parenting, society, real estate, career, style, spirituality and more. Written contributions are always welcome!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Where do I begin, and End? A Brief Meditation on Boundaries

By Rahti Gorfien

I am delighted to be blogging at last. Blogging for Hip Slope Mama no less! Actually, I’ve been blogging for years. I’ve just called it ‘writing an essay’. But my understanding is that blogs are breezier, so here goes. I won’t be spending hours re-editing this because we are all friends, all women striving to integrate our individuality with our indispensable status as mothers. The key, I think, is to see both aspects of ourselves as part of a whole. We have chosen incredibly rich paths. GET A LIFE! Well, we did. Now what?

It’s a terrific life, too. But as creatures of the female persuasion, we do tend to be more relational than our male counterparts. This is, of course, a blessing, and a curse. We are cursed with a relentless tendency towards guilt over our choices because we are painfully aware of their ripple effect. Rehearsals and business trips take us away from reading bedtime stories to our little ones and the vital intimacy we must sustain with our partners. Now, I don’t know about you, but I become an emotional barometer around my family. 

The core of my coaching practice, regardless of whether I am working with someone returning to a once flourishing career, or in need of overcoming the obstacles to their creative expression in the first place, is clarity. There can be no clarity with out boundaries. Before a client can even begin to fulfill her goals, we invariably spend time identifying and establishing boundaries around them. With regard to that, I have a confession to make: the shoemaker, as they say, is occasionally barefoot.

I recently established a new home office, as I was getting ‘spaced out’ in every sense of the phrase every time I sat at the computer, which was littered with outmoded post-its, unfiled bills, canceled checks, and other assorted flotsam and jetsam such as the list of everyone’s total runs and hits last season on my husband’s softball league. Asserting this boundary was terrifying. I was disturbing the status quo, and challenging an unspoken, unconscious contract of our marriage, one that goes way beyond the scope of this ess--, er, blog.

But thank goodness I did. Sexist as it may seem, as the feminine aspect of the family we are the visionaries, the purveyors of change, both positive and negative, in our marriages. This is not about blame; it is about agency versus complacency. In the end, my entire family benefits from my commitment to claiming space. For one thing, teaching boundaries is vital to our children, and since time immemorial, the best way to do so has always been by example. And finally, I don’t know about you, but in my experience, suffocating rage makes for really bad sex.

Rahti Gorfien, of Creative Calling Coaching, is a Life Coach and Park Slope mom, specializing in creative mothers with universal and yet unique challenges to succeed both personally as mothers and professionally as artists. Join her Yahoo Group for additional tips and essays.