Do you know what a sacred zone is? I learned about this during Lululemon The Immersion and it’s helped me strengthen my confidence and navigate a few relationships. Your sacred zone is your own personal space where you determine who is allowed to come in. In essence, you learn and decide to not let other people’s bad moods, poor social skills, or ego-filled comments affect your day.

I used to let others’ attitudes and moods dictate my day. It was my way of being an empathetic person, but once I put my sacred zone into play, I learned that I could still care deeply for someone and hear what they had to say, but place them outside of my sacred zone so that my day was not affected. I know what you’re thinking — easier said than done, right? Here’s a visual:

Imagine you’re Buzz Lightyear and you have a protective shield around you at all times. On your wrist is a button that allows you to open or close your shield. You’re in full control of that shield and nobody can get past it unless you let them. Visualizing this shield (or whatever variation works for you) is something I had to practice every day for the first few months. It was my daily reminder that no one had control over my day or my emotions.

But let’s say someone catches you off guard. Out of left field, someone you didn’t expect to say something rude, does. Your heart drops. Maybe your blood starts to boil. The last thing you’re thinking about is a Buzz Lightyear shield. We’ve all been there, right? This happened to me twice last month. In the first instance, a typically supportive friend wasn’t so supportive when something good happened for me. In the second, someone close to me said something very inappropriate about me, physically. I’m so very thankful I had enough confidence and poise in each of those moments to respond in a respectful and truthful manner. Here’s what I’ve learned since utilizing my sacred zone, and how I approach tough situations.

photo via styled avenue

It’s not about you.

99.9% of the time, other people’s moods and comments are not about you. If someone loves and respects you, they will talk to you like an adult and with kindness. As upset as you may be about something, I encourage a thoughtful dialogue once you’ve had time to cool down. Don’t write someone off for one bad comment — but if you can’t get to a place of resolve, it might be time to move on.

photo via madewell

Set boundaries.

Take the high road, but don’t let people get away with inappropriate comments or behavior. You are in control. If someone says something negative to you, you have every right to shut it down. Don’t for a second let it into your space — I don’t care how close this person is to you. My response? “That was a very inappropriate comment. Please don’t talk to me like that again.” And leave it at that. If you don’t shut it down, you’re giving them permission to do it again.

photo via cheetah is the new black

Your happiness comes first.

I know you’ve heard “you do you,” but I’m asking that “you choose you.” We are allowed to be happy every single day, and for no reason at all. Vibe killers are going to attack it, question it, talk about it, etc. Be ready to not give a damn about it. We have far bigger things in this world to question; someone else’s happiness not being one of them.

photo via alex noiret

Protect your energy.

Do you listen to your friends, absorb their pain or frustration, then try to help them find a solution? I’m guilty of this. I love helping people. I want everyone to feel loved and supported and I can thank my family for that. While I will never stop caring, I have pumped the brakes on how much I extend myself. When you give, give, give upfront, people may expect this from you all the time. Friendships are a two-way street. If you have a one-way person in your life, it may be time to reevaluate.

photo via gal meets glam

Listen and ask.

If how someone is behaving or what they’re saying really isn’t about you, then chances are that they are hurting. Do you care enough about this person to say, “You said _____, which made me feel _____, what’s going on?” If you don’t, let it go. You really only have two options in any scenario like this: listen and ask, or respond and move on.

I hope learning more about your sacred zone helps give you the confidence to handle situations and people that might have made you feel bad in the past. These people may always be around — but how you respond, react, and internalize can change.

Read more Living Kindly posts here!

22 comments
  1. 1
    dariaed | August 15, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    I am totally obsessed with your blog ! x
    -Daria
    https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/daria-edu-19010657
    http://dariaed.com/

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | September 7, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you, Daria!! Happy to see who reads this column.

      Reply
  2. 2
    jill elliott | August 15, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    I needed this today! I need to work on my shield and protecting my sacred space for sure…great post!

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | September 7, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      Thanks, Jill — it comes in handy all the time!

      Reply
  3. 3
    Laleh javanbakht | August 15, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Well said !!! I need to learn to use my sheild once in awhile. ?

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | September 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      I use it almost every day 😉

      Reply
  4. 4
    Joy | August 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Your blog is one of the blogs I love reading because it’s always informative yet entertaining, thank you.
    http://www.lifestylespiration.com

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | September 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      Ha! Glad to hear, thank you Joy!

      Reply
  5. 5
    Sally | August 19, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Wow! Perfect timing!
    I finally found the words to describe what’s going on with me! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | September 7, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      So glad that it resonated, and hope it’s been helpful!

      Reply
  6. 6
    Nisha Malik | August 20, 2017 at 3:15 am

    Wonderful article. I really needed some good tips to stay positive as I am sometimes surrounded with too many negative people!!!

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | September 7, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      The negative people aren’t goin’ anywhere — but how we deal with them hopefully sets some good boundaries (for you & them!)

      Reply
  7. 7
    Jeanette | August 20, 2017 at 11:40 am

    love this! just discovered the blog and love reading those posts about how to live a healthier, better & happier life..and how to be a kind person 😉

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | September 7, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      Love this, Jeanette! Thanks for the kind note.

      Reply
  8. 8
    Amanda | August 20, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Great article. I work with some really negative people. Time to put up my shield! 😉

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | September 7, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      I can relate 🙂

      Reply
  9. 9
    Joan Courtney | August 20, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    When I am protecting my energy and have someone who “throws up” verbally (I have to do this. What do you think? Where should I go on vacay?)… before the conversation gains steam, I ask, Do you want me to listen? Or help you solve this issue? Clarifies expectations for both of us. And I get to keep my friends!

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | September 7, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      That’s good!!

      Reply
  10. 10
    Natalie Redman | August 21, 2017 at 5:18 am

    Your own happiness matters most for sure!

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | September 7, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      AMEN!

      Reply
  11. 11
    frankie | October 10, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    this is good i often try to find ways to ward off bad-juju in my life. But I just to agree with the part about not letting in people in with poor social skills it like saying your not going to let a person in your circle just because they have one leg, which is how most people feel when they’re not sure how to talk to people or who might say an off key joke that everything is offended by. Blocking a bad vibe in my opinion is a presence that may make you feel off balance, and your feeling off balance it usually because intention my be off as well.

    Reply
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