Strong Boundaries – Essential for Business

Strong Boundaries – Essential for Business

How strong are your boundaries?  I thought mine were pretty strong, until someone threw a verbal tantrum on social media recently because they didn't get their own way.  It made me realise that running my heart-centred business my way  involves not only stepping into who I need to be, but also stepping up the measures I take to maintain strong boundaries.  My experience went like this:


After posting a quote from one of my wonderful Resonate contributors in a social media group, I received a friend request from a fellow member, who immediately asked me to promote his product to my contacts.  There was no hello, no introduction, nothing to try and form any kind of relationship whatsoever.  He used a pseudonym but didn't introduce himself by name at all.  When I asked him directly if he'd sent me the request just to ask me to sell his stuff to my contacts, he told it wasn't something he was selling, but something that would benefit my people.  He stated that if he was bothering me, he would 'unlike' me and go elsewhere.

I asked him why I would promote something to people I cared about when I'd never heard of him or his product and there was nothing to even identify who he was on his page? I agreed that unliking me and going elsewhere was probably the best thing to do and that was when he got nasty. He told me that he didn't detect much positive energy from me, and that this basically made my page 'BS'. He made the comment that "you ladies aren't evenvery friendly" and quoted what I'd posted in the social media group back at me, telling me I was "full of it" and responded to my public post in the group with an image about being judged.  WOW!  The whole episode came out of the blue and whacked me upside of the head.  It shook me up in a way that I really didn't expect.

The logical part of me knew that his expectations were unreasonable and that I was being true to myself and my tribe in terms of the way that I conduct my business. Even so, he still managed to get under my skin ....

The logical part of me knew that his expectations were unreasonable and that I was being true to myself and my tribe in terms of the way that I conduct my business.  The very fact that he conducted the whole conversation in private and via a pseudonym, instead of out in the open under his own name, made me uncomfortable from the start.  Even so, he still managed to get under my skin because he attacked one of the basic underpinnings of my business - honest and authentic connection and communication.

I spent some time thinking about why this had happened.  It took me a while to realise that this is a sign that my business is growing and that others perceive it as influential enough to want their products associated with it.  It was also a really strong sign that, while my boundaries may be strong enough in my day to day life and to say no to business propositions that aren't in keeping with things I feel comfortable with, they're not strong enough to stop me from feeling tainted by others' negative reactions when they don't get their own way.

Image courtesy of artur84 and

Image courtesy of artur84 and

As a result, I've refined my shielding practices and would like to share them with you. I'm sure you've probably heard of the idea of maintaining a protective energy field/bubble/egg around you to ward off the negativity of others.  You might also know that you can imagine that field as a mirror, deflecting the energy sent back to the sender to help them realise how they're coming across to others.  This is what I did here, but I still felt yukky afterwards (that's the technical term for it!)

I took myself off to the shower and envisaged the negativity I'd taken on board swirling down the drain with the water and leaving my body as I exhaled.  I then reinforced my reflective shield, but instead of leaving it there, I filled the inside with confidence, self-love and the whole reason why Resonate and the rest of my business exists in the first place - to empower heart-centred women.  I found I could only do this by releasing the negativity first, visualising and strengthening my reflective shield, then cocooning myself in love, gratitude and appreciation for who I am and what my business is all about.  It was only when I'd finished that I realised this was an exercise in boundary strengthening and a message that my business has now grown to the stage where other people see it as an influential thing in the world. It gave me a gentle reminder to ensure I have all of my shielding practices in place.

I'm sitting here in wonder and gratitude at such a beautiful message and wonderful gift.  I wanted to share my technique for overcoming the 'stunned mullet' feeling of having someone be so vitriolic and reinforcing my shielding techniques so that any future incidents just bounce right back at the person concerned. I'm so thankful that I can now recognise that others own their perceptions and it doesn't need to affect me at all because, as the saying goes, "Haters gonna hate".  I say let them!

I hope relating my experience helps you too.  It also makes me wonder: what shielding practices do you have in place?  How do you cope with unjustified criticism levelled at you from people who are pressuring you to do things that you're not comfortable with? Please let us know in the comments - it could help all of us!


  1. I think you articulate why we hesitate to put ourselves out in the world. Even though criticism may be cruel or unjustified, it doesnt stop it having an emotional impact. Thanks

  2. Wonderful shiny gifts can have the most hideous wrappings, right?

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Shan, and especially for your boundary-setting practices.

    I’ve not needed anything like that … but I have no doubt that as I continue to grow + evolve + getvisible, it’s going to be useful to know them.

    the goddess known as Jacqui

  3. Deb,
    You’re right about it still having an emotional impact. Now that I know it’s possible it just means I’ll shield more thoroughly whenever I put something out there. Hiro Boga talks about sovereignty and that we’re the rulers of our own worlds, therefore we have the right (and the responsibility) to decide who we let in. Maintaining appropriate boundaries is a HUGE part of that for all of us – whether in business or not. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  4. Jacqueline, I’m glad that you haven’t needed anything like that. My wish for you is that you don’t. Part of me wondered what I’d done to attract such a vitriolic response to saying no, as I did it as respectfully as I could. Then I rememberd that I can only be responsible for my own behaviour and I have no control over how others choose to act, hence the boundary tweaking. If you do need it at any stage, I hope it helps any comments slide ever so easily from your very classy back 🙂 Thanks for visiting – it’s lovely to see you here!

  5. Shan, thank you for sharing such a valuable lesson through your experience. I love how you phrased this: “cocooning myself in love, gratitude and appreciation for who I am and what my business is all about”. Oh, yes!

    Much love! 😉

  6. oh dear! glad you were able to see the silver lining in the incident. you don’t owe anyone anything!! yay for you and your growing biz!

  7. Wow Shan, what makings for a great conversation well into the wee hours of the morning. You got me thinking about the parallels between making mistakes and feeling negativity – they both help us to learn about ourselves in ways success and positivity wouldn’t. You also raised once again an internal conflict I have between the desire for protection and remaining separate vs opening and finding new ways of being together. This all makes me wonder if the pieces are trying to show us we are entering a time of figuring out how to experience Life as the good, the bad and the ugly and move through it instead of absorbing or holding on. Then we wouldn’t have to be concerned about being protected or letting our guard down because we were skilled at say transmuting, letting go, etc. You’ve definitely provided a lot of mulling material to last days.

  8. Dar, thank you – cocooning myself felt like just that, along with the end result of emerging stronger and clearer about what I needed to do to let the negatives just melt away, but ensuring I heeded the lesson.

    Janet – that’s the conclusion I came to as well. Thank you for reaffirming it 🙂

    Lorraine, I’m SO glad you brought all of this up. I was in two minds about posting this for a number of reasons:

    a)I actually didn’t want to admit to myself or anyone else that the situation had gotten to me so much. My ego likes to think I’m “too spiritual” to be rattled by something this “petty” and can rise above such things easily.

    b) The whole thing presented me with a bit of a quandary similar to the one you’ve raised. Is shielding actually a protective practice or does it merely draw a very firm line in the sand that you won’t allow others to cross? (Perhaps that should be a line in the concrete!) Are they one and the same thing? Is shielding necessary to remain sovereign? I know that Hiro proposes that if you maintain sovereignty firmly enough over your own “realm”, then others will sense this and won’t try things on. In this instance, the shielding was also a protective thing for me because I felt a little tainted by his nasty attitude, but I’m not sure that that’s the case all of the time.

    Then there’s the continuum thing – Hiro also says that we exist on a continuum of being: at one end we are all formless and one, while at the other we exist as we do here – separate and distinct beings. The points you raise here make me wonder whether successfully moving through Life as you suggest above means moving more towards the formless part of the spectrum, but then I’m not sure what that would look like in terms of interacting here in the 3D realm.

    c) I know that people experience things according to their own reality. He obviously had an agenda when he messaged me, but I also feel he thought he was offering a genuinely helpful product that he believed in. The way he did it got my back up from the very beginning because it was in a group where everyone else was sharing their offerings openly and the way he approached the whole thing made it feel a little “off” to me. His response reinforced that impression, but I wasn’t sure that writing about it on my blog was the right thing to do. In the end I decided to go with it because this whole thing is more about my reaction to it all rather than an attack against him, and how I chose to handle the not-so-nice feelings that surfaced as a result. If the approach I took and the realisation that I came to in terms of my business growth helps someone else, that’s just awesome and the lesson has a bit of a flow-on effect for others. The very fact that we’re having this discussion is a flow-on effect which is just awesome!

    So many other thoughts and questions come to mind that I find it difficult to distinguish and separate, but as you said – the makings of a great conversation well into the wee hours.

    This response has now grown humungously long, so I’m going to leave it there for the moment. Thank you for your comments, ladies! I love the discussion it’s raised as well.

  9. Great conversation Shan. I don’t necessarily see “spiritual” as being immune from the crazy crazies in the world. Like you said, we are navigating this world in our way to bridge both ends of the continuum. I do think being on a spiritual path equips one with a different perspective and skills with which to deal with the crazy crazies. You used yours to manage the situation beautifully. And you took a hit for the team for all of us to go deeper. I suspect in giving voice to the whole situation for us to learn instead of remaining silent you quickened the energy release and shifted to a different level. All of this would seem a pretty good demonstration of spirituality in action.

  10. Lorraine, I’d like to think I dealt with it as “spiritually” as I was able to, but then I think we do, regardless of where we are in terms of our spiritual journeys. We always have the choice, though. I certainly feel happy about the way I responded, as my first base inclination was to give as good as I got, which of course doesn’t serve anybody! Thanks for your kind words 🙂

  11. Wow, it amazes me how some people just don’t know how to do business online! But of course, this was probably something that person needed to learn, as well. And I love how business brings up stuff for us to deal with and grow from. Thank you for sharing your process here! So useful to see how you dealt with it, and such a useful reminder that we all have our own tools and techniques for dealing with trolls online.

  12. Holly, you’re so right. Business allows SO much growth and review of who we are, whether we’re being true to ourselves, etc. In spite of the challenges, I love every second of it for exactly that reason. Nothing like being s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d! I’m glad that you found my sharing useful. I appreciate your letting me know.

  13. Shan, i really loved your honesty and how you overcame your ‘humanness’ in this post. I know exactly how you feel .. both the upset from the poor behaviour and being upset for being upset over that behaviour 🙂

    Here’s your sister and I’m sure many would feel the same. For some reason I keep forgetting to shield myself, i loved your extra-loving one.. and am going to write it down by my bed to do morn & night until its a daily practice. I’m always advised by energy healers to shield myself as its said my aura is wide and takes in even the negativity of strangers if i’m not careful. Yet i slip up again and again, much grateful for the reminder.

    I feel one fault many of us tend to make on the spiritual path is to always seek blame within for each event, “what did i do to attract this?”” yes self-responsibility is essential but sometimes it really has s.f.a. to do with us when another behaves poorly, its how we react that is our only responsibility and you, dear lady, reacted powerfully. It’s only human, and we are after all part human :), to feel saddened by such actions as we’re sensitive souls wanting to spread some sunshine in the world.

    Keep on keeping on Shan,you’re a ray of wonder and this poor guy hasn’t found that yet. much love xo

  14. Caroline, thank you so much for your lovely words. I think shielding is essentialy when, like a lot of us in the coaching/healing world, we feel very strong empathy for others. I’m not surprised in the slightest that you find yourself taking on the negativity of strangers if you don’t shield often!

    I’ve found that it’s pretty much automatic with me to shield nowadays, even though that wasn’t always the case. Having said that, it came as a huge shock to realise I needed to refine that practice even more now that I’m a bit more ‘out there’ in terms of promoting Resonate.

    I loved your description of “being upset for being upset over that behaviour.” It says it perfectly!

    I’m so glad that this has prompted you to look again at your own shielding practices. I hope it helps you to incorporate it enough to practice automatically without having to think about it.

    Thank you for commenting – it’s always beautiful to see and read your comments 🙂 xx

  15. Thanks Shan, I’ve wrote out your practice to serve as a reminder until it is automatic to me. I think of it when already feeling affected which is not the point of it 🙂 So was delighted i was led to this to read your words. Hope you’re out the other side now, I’m sure you are.. <3 xo

  16. Sorry to take so long to respond, Caroline. I’ve had the lurgy what with the cold and unbelievably windy weather here!

    I’m well out the other side now – thank you for your wishes. I’m absolutely thrilled that you’re looking at incorporating it into your own practices and hope it helps. Isn’t it always the way that you often don’t think of this type of stuff until you’re hit in the face with something and then realise that existing practices need to be altered some way? I’m not quite sure how we get around that particular part of it 🙂 xxxx

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