Writing out agreements.
This is a practice I created last year to help me set clearer boundaries so I didn’t have to rely on anger to do that for me. Note that your Current Way of Being is how you’re currently showing up—through your beliefs, actions, doings, reactions, and ways of checking—and your New Way of Being is how you’d like to show up. In Integral Coaching®️ we use metaphors as a way to capture these two different Ways of Being.
Writing Out Agreements
Developing your ability to identify and articulate—in the moment—the agreements you have with specific boundaries.
The purpose of this exercise is to develop your ability to identify and articulate—in the moment—the agreements you have with specific boundaries so that you can have more effective conversations with people about what is crossing the line for you.
Your Current Way of Being believes that anger is inevitable as people will always cross their boundaries. Your New Way of Being, however, knows that if they can better articulate where the line in the sand is for them then they can rely on those agreements—instead of anger—to maintain their boundaries. Your New Way of Being is aware that boundaries being crossed actually helps them get clearer on what boundaries are needed. And by doing so, they allow for new conversations to happen around where the walls of their interpersonal container truly is.
When a boundary has been crossed and anger arises, take 10 minutes after the situation has come to pass to write down the agreements you’ve made to that boundary and/or relationship.
First, get into your body. Plant your feet on the ground, straighten your spine and relax your shoulders and jaw. Take a few deep inhales and long exhales.
Now, write down, list-style, the agreements that you have with that boundary and/or relationship.
Keep your pen moving until you feel you’ve captured all of them.
Then, get back into your body. Plant your feet on the ground, straighten your spine and relax your shoulders and jaw. Take a few deep inhales and long exhales.
Read over your list and notice how each item feels somatically—or in your body—as you take it in.
Make any edits necessary based on how your body responds to the list.
Then put the list aside.
When it comes time to address that boundary and/or relationship, use your list of agreements as an objective focal point in the conversation. Go through the list and invite the other person to share how they’re relating to those agreements.
Daily Reflection Questions
At the end of the day: Please take an additional 5-10 minutes to reflect on the experience of writing out agreements:
What agreements does your Current Way of Being feel most strongly about and what beliefs support those strong feelings?
How does your Current Way of Being feel after completing this practice and reading over their agreements?
Where is your New Way of Being checking in their body to measure the resonance of an agreement?
Weekly Reflection Questions
At the end of each week: Please take 15-20 minutes to reflect on the experience of writing out agreements:
What did you learn about what supports your Current Way of Being in addressing trespassed boundaries?
What did your New Way of Being learn about their boundaries when they could step back from their work and take it in more objectively?
What was the somatic shift that your Current Way of Being and/or the your New Way of Being experienced as a result of doing this practice?