I love to do this exercise with my clients. It’s called the House of Boundaries exercise. This exercise is a visual representation of your personal limitations, it allows you to understand what kind of relationship you want to have with the people around you.
Start by getting out a piece of paper. You can draw the house however you want. I like to draw several rooms in the house. One is the bedroom, I’ll put a kitchen on there and a living area. Lastly, I’ll draw the front door and the porch.
As we go deeper into the house, the intimacy becomes greater.
So, think about your mailman. Think about the relationship you have with your mailman or someone general soliciting at your front door. These people stop at the door, they don’t get to come in. Their causal people, people that you don’t know intimately well, people you don’t share intimate secrets with. You wouldn’t give them your cell phone password or personal information. The front porch is for casual people/strangers.
The living room represents people that you can hang out with, watch the super bowl with, people that you can have a general relationship with. Maybe this is classmates or casual connections that you go out of your way to see. The living room is for closer, casual friends. Not strangers.
The kitchen represents people that you are sharing life with. These are people that you sit down over a meal and you talk about what is going on in your life, highlights, maybe a couple of difficulties, but you are not getting into your deepest darkest secrets. These are people that you know more closely, parents (if you have a good relationship with them), siblings, best friends. The kitchen is for very close friendships.
The bedroom is the deepest place. Sometimes this space is just for you. Or it could be for you and a higher power. Or you and your partner. But this place is incredibly sacred. This is the place where you get into giving your spoons away, having soul connections, having sexual connections, deep connections, intimate connections. The bedroom is a sacred space.
A spoon represents your personal “bandwidth”. Every time you serve another person, whether it’s giving them time, listening, doing an act of service, you are giving away one of your spoons.
When we are thinking about spoons or your personal bandwidth, a way to understand giving away spoons, how to prioritize spoons, is that people in your bedroom are giving you spoons back. People in the kitchen should be giving you spoons back. Living room people may be giving a few spoons. Front porch people, don’t expect any spoons from them.
Often time, you may feel depleted because you’ve given all of your spoons away. Let me be the first to tell you, you deserve to receive just as many spoons as you give away. It is not a requirement, it is a privilege for someone to receive your spoons.
As you are trying to figure out how to interact with people, start thinking about how you want each of your rooms to be. Start thinking about the people in your life and categorize them based on where they belong in your house. People don’t get to go from the front porch to the bedroom, they have to work their way up by earning your trust.
Use this exercise, the house of boundaries, to help determine who you should be giving your spoons to.
I talk more about this in my online course, High Libido LIfe, which is all about enjoying a new understanding of what it means to be a sexually vibrant woman, honoring your feminine body, and enjoying more fulfilling and deeper sexual connectivity.