My guest, Alexandra Jones, is an Alignment Coach and CEO of The Empowered Collective. She’s also one of my best friends and inspires me daily on her mental health journey. I’m so excited to sit down and talk with her today to discuss: Boundaries. This is more like a conversation than an interview, and she will go in depth on the concept of boundaries, how to set them for others but most importantly how to set them with yourself.
Learn more about Alex and her purpose:
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Lauren Fritts 0:00
Hello, and welcome to That Mental Shit. My name is Lauren, but you can call me Lo. And today there = is a special treat. I am so excited today we have the first ever interview on That Mental Shit. And what better person to have on the show to take our interview virginity than my best friend Alexandra Jones. And she’s obviously is way more than that. She is a successful alignment coach, owner and CEO of the Empowered Collective, a mom, a wife, and an absolutely amazing human being. You will love her just as much as I do. And I’m so excited for you to listen to today’s episode, because this is more of a conversation than an interview. Our brains are fire when we work together. So just wait to hear all the goodness in store for today. So without further ado, let’s just get into it.
All right. So welcome to my best friend Alex… Alexandra Jones. It’s not just Alex, she has a whole name. And so welcome. I’m so excited for you to be here today, even though we talk 24/7. Anyway, now people get to hear a recording.
Alex Jones 1:05
I’m excited to be here. And I’m excited that you’ve invited me I feel honored. I’ve been listening to your podcast. And of course, I’m listening to your podcast, and what kind of friend would I be if I wasn’t, but like hearing how the things that you’ve wanted to do, you’re like now doing, and hearing how they’re coming together. I’m just so excited. And I’m excited to be a part of it. And that you thought of me!
Lauren Fritts 1:25
I gave everybody a little intro a little bit ago, but kind of let us know from your point of view, who is Alex and tell me a little bit about yourself.
Alex Jones 1:36
So I am a mom of two, my own biological son and a bonus mom of one. We are in a blended family I got married in 2018. And we have blended our families together. And through blending and all of that jazz, I feel like God has just opened up doors and opened up my eyes to certain things that he’s created life circumstances that give me purpose than that. And help me understand that for my what my purpose is and how these things are helping me with other people and how they are navigating their lives, which is kind of what led me into my profession. As an alignment coach and which is quickly morphing into like multiple things it started because I was learning to align my own life, I have an alignment coach, and I’m like, Oh my gosh, this literally has changed everything about the way that I’m functioning. And I want to be able to help other people do this. Create an own my own blueprint that helps other people do the same. So that really wasn’t alignment coach is is basically creating alignment with the life that you want, and what current circumstances in your life and certain things that you’re doing. don’t line up with the design that you want for your life, I fully believe that you can create a life that you design, rather than one that we a lot of people now feel like they’re forced into it’s like circumstances happen that forced you in to the life that you have. And I believe that you can use alignment to to line yourself back up with what you desire in your life and creating boundaries and creating, like goals that align with your vision for your life. So I do a live coaching like also through the alignment coaching have dipped into healing circles, which I am currently working on and just other events that bring a lot of empowerment and healing and connectedness and alignment to everyone’s life and relationships.
Lauren Fritts 3:28
I love that and what I think is so important for people who don’t know, yes, we are Alex’s my best friend we met what two years ago oh my god, it feels like forever, like it was less than three years ago. So the way Alex and I met is totally not normal to become best friends. We actually joined a network marketing company, and we’re sideline sisters on a team. And we both still do the network marketing company. But we ended up kind of trying to work together and run together and we like clicked instantly. But what was crazy is we have kind of been on parallel paths. what Alex said what she just said about alignment coaching and helping people be in alignment with themselves. It’s kind of the same purpose here on the mental shift. We want to get your mind right to be able to live you know the path and the dreams that in the life that you desire. So it’s crazy because we met and we’re walking in our purpose, which is kind of parallel to each other together which is why I was really excited to have her on here especially for the first interview because we have been working on this together for two years. We are conversations our fire. We have been working on our personal development together for two years we’ve been brainstorming Alex is actually the reason the mental shift is even a thing. She believed in me way longer way before I believed in myself when it came to mental health she kept you know, you got to talk about it, you got to talk about it, you have a story. This woman has seen my ups and my downs, and my cycles and my not okayness. And she encouraged me to do things like this. Coaching was in the cards for her. That’s what God led her to do. I feel podcasts and speaking is what God is like me to do. And to do it together is, today’s gonna be fine.
Alex Jones 5:33
It’s crazy to me that we really became best friends before we ever met in person. And before we ever met in person, we became friends. And we connected that way. And then it was even more because when I really think about it, like when we actually met in real life, I was like, okay, and now I know that it’s totally good. Like, we vibe, everything is like everything is great. But it just it really it, internet friends. And what’s crazy, too, is that the way that we have become friends is very in line with the things that we’re doing. Because like, in essence, we helped each other through the limiting beliefs, right, we helped each other through the finding the alignment within our lives, and then see the weeding out and uprooting things that no longer were serving us. And, like so it kind of our friendship led us in to our purpose organically. And I love that I love that that that has happened. I mean, when we first started becoming friends, my life was a hot mess. I was doing daycare for a watching like 12 Kids, I think kind of 12 kids. And I was doing I was my hands were dipped into like too many things. And I was complete chaos.
Lauren Fritts 6:49
I’ve watched, I’ve watched this woman evolve into the most beautiful human being through everything she was there through my whole pregnancy, my pregnancy with my daughter was not fun. I was on bedrest for six months, pretty much. And so we kind of we’ve gotten each other through a lot, which is, I think why this conversation today is gonna be fired. So the reason we have Alex on here today is because on our social media, you guys, I do my mental health check ins, you know, every couple of weeks or every week or so. And I have been getting a ton of questions about boundaries, specifically with family. How does that boundaries, we do mental stuff here on the mental shift. And a lot of confidence I have found comes from setting boundaries within yourself. I don’t think people understand that one of the biggest forms of self care is learning how to set boundaries with others within yourself. And that’s what I’m excited for Alex to talk about that I had never heard about setting boundaries within yourself before. Until she told me she was setting them. And it’s a mind blowing topic. And because I was getting all those questions, I’m new to the concept of boundaries, I can learn about it, I can train you about it. I’ve watched Alex for the past year, learn about it, set them and live successfully by doing so. And I’ve watched her whole process over learning these boundaries and how to implement and what successes she’s finding. So I thought she was going to be the perfect person to have on here to talk to you guys about that. So we’re just gonna dive right in. And for those listeners who don’t know, what are boundaries, like how would you define what boundaries are?
Alex Jones 8:31
I know what’s funny is previous to the last year of my life, boundaries, I feel like are just things that you create, that allow you to define what you want in your life, what you want your life to look like the kind of person that you want to show up as. And then it’s I guess part of alignment boundaries are alignment boundaries are things that you create to make you become the most authentic version of yourself, where you are able to show up for yourself with a clear conscience saying, hey, like I was the most mean that I could be today. And if you don’t have any boundaries, it’s like you are pulling at every single show. You’re in chaos, you’re overwhelmed constantly, you’re saying yes to everything. You you kind of have no, your whatever is happening to you is just happening to you by happenstance. And there’s no like choosing, it’s just I’m taking it all. It’s like this big smorgasbord. And I feel like with boundaries, you’re allowed to truly be the person that God has created you to be and you’re making those decisions because of the boundaries that you have set.
Lauren Fritts 9:49
And I feel like there is a negative connotation with the old like the concept of boundaries, especially in the realm of we have a lot of people pleasers Lots of people who are yes, people. I used to be a yes person and no is now my new favorite word. And that’s for setting boundaries. And I feel like I’ve had to learn through you how to set boundaries, especially being in the mental health field. I love to listen to problems, and I love to listen to people and help people. But that’s also a lot for somebody who deals with mental health issues can be triggering to me. So you’ve taught me how to set boundaries and why they’re so important when, when you’re also I mean, correct me if I’m wrong in a service industry, not a service industry, but we’re trying to help other people, you are trying to help people change their lives, I’m trying to do the same thing. I didn’t realize boundaries were okay. They’re like you want to give yourself when you’re helping everybody else you just want to keep giving. So when you started setting your boundaries in your life, why? I guess why are boundaries important? Like why would you encourage somebody who’s never set a boundary before, like to set boundaries?
Alex Jones 10:59
Well, a boundary, in the definition sense is a line that marks the limit of an area, it’s like a dividing line that you create. And so it’s really just, you can still, like you’re saying, I want to help people, right. And I want to, especially in the mental health field, but if you didn’t have like a dividing line of like, Hey, this is where the line gets drawn of what I can help because it’s within my capacity to help because work, you’re not a therapist, you’re not, you know, someone who is you, there are people that are designated for specific things. And if we try to go beyond our capacity beyond the line that we’ve drawn, then we’re not helping ourselves or other people we’re taking on more than we can handle. And it’s doing a disservice to both ourselves and the people that we’re trying to help, right. And so when you create a dividing line that says, hey, I’m going to help people within this frame, and if it goes out of that frame, and I’m going to, like send resources out to somebody else, then it like, it just it is it keeps you in line with what you’re supposed to be doing and not taking on too much. Because if you try to become a therapist, and you try to be this one person’s only thing, only resource, then it really, that puts a lot on you. And you’re not. And I think boundaries also help you not become especially in this space of wanting to help people, right, they help you not become someone else’s source of everything. Because if someone’s like, Okay, I know, I can always call on Lauren, then like, Lauren has no time for anybody else, because this person is always calling on them. And that people have to understand that I can help you. But I also have, you know, a limit to certain things that I’m willing to do. For me boundaries with helping people is knowing that like, I used to feel like I was inclined to pick up every single phone call, or I was like, I had to pick up every phone call respond to every text. Like if people if I didn’t respond quick enough that people were gonna think I didn’t care, or you know, like, what happens if something happens and like is, and I can’t put that on myself, like I am one person. And my main source of energy, for the way that I want to show up goes to my my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband, my relationship with my kids, everything else from that is overflow. And if I don’t set that boundary line, then everybody’s taking everything from me. And I don’t have to, I don’t have anything to give to the relationships that refuel me, and I’m pouring from an empty cup and pouring from an empty cup is not like, you don’t want to be there.
Lauren Fritts 13:19
No, and honestly, it sounds overwhelming as shit. To be that person. I know you for a long time I watched you answer all the phone calls, Oh, I gotta call you back. Because so and so’s calling me they might need something and not i overwhelmed leads to burnout. And that’s exactly what was happening. Not setting those boundaries. And you know, I feel then like you would say the spirit of like busyness, and overwhelm and busyness and like dealing with that those boundaries, you know, kind of, or do you feel overwhelmed and setting boundaries? Or do you have as much overwhelm?
Alex Jones 13:55
I definitely will say that I do not have as much overall I feel, honestly the most peace that I felt in probably my entire life. And I think that the crazy thing is, is that my lack of boundaries was actually triggering my add to the point where I started feeling like, borderline like, I was losing it. And I couldn’t hold any memories or thoughts. And it was like it was getting it was getting to the point where it was like my husband was concerned because he’s just like, I asked you something two minutes ago and you’ve already forgot, because I was taking on everything. There was no line of demarcation and everything was coming in. And so I had no way to filter to keep things out. And I like you said I was overwhelmed. It got to the like, it got to the point where a lot of things that I was taking on were good things but too much of anything is bad, right? And so it’s like I’m not filtering anything out. I’m having too many conversations. I’m having too many things that I’m having to hold on to too many. Too many things that I am responsible for. Are, everything is not getting the correct attention. And so I feel like right now as I let everything down and I’ve let it down with intention, like I created the boundaries, because I’m like, Okay, what is the person that God has created me to be? What am I supposed to be doing? Who am I supposed to be influencing? Who am I supposed to be? impacted? What where am I supposed to be in my life? Right? And from there deciding, okay, like what things can I put down? What things can I put down permanently? What things can I put down for just the season, and the next time I started putting them down, it wasn’t easy. But I will say that now that I’ve put down things that weren’t aligning with what God was asking you to do. It helped me to focus. And it helped me to have way more clarification and understanding of what I’m supposed to do. I remember you and I used to do a lot of like to do lists. And I feel like prior to me creating boundaries, none of my To Do Lists was getting done, because it was too much
Lauren Fritts 15:56
Facts. And that’s what I wanted to touch on when you said, ADHD, I remember when you came to me and you said, Do you think I have ADHD? And I said, Yep, I do. I don’t believe you do anymore. And not necessarily that you don’t. But it’s when you said that it triggered in me watching you even just the past few months, I’ve never seen you more focused in my life, and you didn’t go through with getting the medication with your doctor did so like that’s interesting to me that just because, you know, we talked about mental illness here. And the add in that setting a boundary medication wasn’t your answer in this, which is great. You know, not saying it wouldn’t be your answer forever. But like I remember it was getting back, you know, and and we couldn’t, we were trying to see what was working for you and what would help you. And that’s crazy to me that setting boundaries almost released your brain to think like, straying
Alex Jones 16:53
into a depression. Yeah, it’s like my brain would not function. And I remember sitting on the phone with you, like, I can’t even focus. And it’s because too much was coming in, right? So the boundary, that deed, that line of demarcation, that my boundaries became like a filtration system of like, okay, this doesn’t line up with the purpose that I have. And so even though it’s important, and I’m excited about it, and I love that idea, I can’t say yes to this, and saying yes to this, I know what that’s gonna lead to right. And so I think that, with that, it’s like it was allowing my brain to just hold on to what it needed to hold on to not all of the excess. And I think that that is like, I do know that if I, if I decide to do like, if I go back to school, I probably will get on medication, because I am going to be carrying a lot of hats at that point I was because I’m so blessed to be able to put down things in this season, like being able to put down the daycare, which was my primary source of income, most people can’t put down their jobs. So it makes sense that you need medication for certain things, because it’s like you have certain life responsibilities that you can’t necessarily put down, I was blessed being able to put down certain things so that I could focus specifically. And this is the route that I chose. But I know that if I need to pick up more things later on that I likely will have to use medication because it’s like, there’s multiple hats, and to be able to focus on the things that I need to focus on, I believe using medication when you need to using medication when it’s going to be beneficial for what you’re trying to get done. Like I wanted to just be able to clear everything out first, before I wanted to do my own.
Lauren Fritts 18:30
Because I have a lot of people well The world is full of people who don’t want to take medication, you know, such a stigma behind ADHD behind add behind Adderall behind Vyvanse. Behind stimulants such a stigma, if you know you guys are on my Instagram, you hear me complain about the pharmacies all the time. And the pharmacists that have stigma. So it’s inspiring to hear the holistic steps, not holistic as an anti medication. But as in, you are somebody who took a step. And that was almost a side effect, we wouldn’t know what happened. Right? That was you were setting boundaries for yourself, for your heart for your, for your spirit, for God to do things. And it almost not solved but helped clear pathway in another area of your life, which just speaks volumes about setting boundaries, and how you won’t even know the capacity you could have. Until doing so. So we’re talking a lot about boundaries. But how did you go about setting them? Or how would you when you were coaching somebody? How would you help somebody set their boundaries?
Alex Jones 19:34
So generally, when I’m asking people like first start coaching, I don’t necessarily say like, Hey, what boundaries Do you want to set? Because I don’t think people really know. Right? And I don’t think people really realize that they lack boundaries. And again, I think people don’t even understand what boundaries like what why they’re important. Like how to set them any of that stuff, right. You’re just living life the way that you’re used to living life. And so I asked usually I ask them, What is your current focus and what things are distracting you And what do you want your focus to be on? And from there, we’ll kind of like go into it’s a process. It’s not like usually sometimes it’ll take us several sessions before we’re like, Okay, now we’ve noticed that this, this and this are distracting you, and they’re not beneficial to the goals that you have. So maybe we should limit them. Or maybe we should, you know, create a boundary around them. Let’s say that someone is like, someone wants to write a book, but they’re being consumed by Netflix. And so it’s like, how about we set a boundary to where you’re allowing yourself one hour a day versus the six hours you’ve been watching, and then choose to use the remaining five hours to do XY and Z. And so that that’s one boundary, if you’re noticing that, like, for me, one boundary I had to set was that I, I, my phone goes on Do Not Disturb. When I’m focusing on something if I am going into research mode, I am putting my phone on Do Not Disturb. When I started setting boundaries for myself, I had to look at what things were distracting me from what I was trying to focus on. So one thing that I decided within myself is conversations that I was having, people are constantly texting my phone. And if it’s not a text message, or phone call, or an Instagram message, or whatever, and that was consuming me, especially because it’s like everybody knows, like one second on Instagram is never really one second, you go down this rabbit hole. And so I knew that my phone needed to go on Do Not Disturb when I was working. And so that’s a boundary that I set for myself that if I was going to list out a working hour for myself, that I had to put my phone on Do Not Disturb. And even like as an entrepreneur, we kind of go by our own schedule and knowing for that boundary of like, okay, even though I don’t have a firm schedule, I would like to have a schedule of what things are going to happen within my day, and not allowing certain things to happen. Even in those boundaries. Like I set now I set boundaries for in the morning. I’m not doing anything, like related to anything other than my family from 730 to 845. When my kids are home, I want to focus on what my kids have going on. I don’t want to be answering any phone calls, I don’t want to be responding to anything I want my full focus to be on my kid and kids during that pocket. And so for me boundaries were what things are distracting me from where I need to be focused on and how can I put things in place like Do Not Disturb, like knowing that within my schedule, I’m not going to accept that in here, you know, and I created even a schedule for my life. I call it my DMO daily method of operations that I allow certain like, this is what I’m going to do. And it’s not like specific things. My DMO is mostly like an outline, like, I’m going to work on my healing curriculum during these hours of the day. And then in that hour of those hours of the day, I’ll get specific, but I only allowed those things to happen in this pocket of the day, from maybe like five to six, I’m only allowing my family to be in that timeframe. So I won’t schedule any any appointments with people during that because it’s, that’s what’s going on within that boundary of time. And so boundaries, they it really it’s all across the board, when it comes to clients of of what I what things we’re creating, because everyone’s boundaries are different. Some people need to create boundaries around people. Some people need to create boundaries around their schedule, some people need to create boundaries around even the way that they speak to themselves. Like I have created some boundaries within my words for sure, like knowing that certain words that are empowering, I’m gonna remove I’m gonna create a boundary if I’m saying too many things like I don’t use the word lazy anymore. Because for myself, because it was a boundary I created of like negatively speaking to myself, I don’t I’m not going to allow myself to speak in it speak and speak negativity into myself. And I feel like you don’t really get a positive connotation with the word lazy, right i Now the boundary that I’ve created was I’m not going to I’m going to replace the word lazy with rest, I’m I am allowed to get a rest. I want to be restful, I did a lot of work. I’ve lazy people don’t want to do anything. They’re unwilling people that want rest, want to get a break from all the work that they’ve been doing. And so there’s so many different things, you can create boundaries around it, just figuring out what needs to be created because of all of the distractions that you were facing.
Lauren Fritts 24:09
So that comes with getting to know yourself better, right and breaking down and being honest with yourself over what’s going on. I think that’s like you said the first step to boundaries is figuring out what the hell you need. And honestly, that comes from no bullshit, as I say here is you need to be real with yourself about what areas you’re lacking, where you’re and that’s hard to do, but in order to set successful boundaries. I want to talk a little bit about boundaries with people. You mentioned that that some people have to talk about boundaries with people. And I think for a lot of the people pleasers. Yes people like we talked about boundaries with people are probably the first step to even focusing on them. selves before they get into self boundaries. So how would you help somebody set boundaries with the people around them?
Alex Jones 25:06
When it comes to boundaries with people? I’m normally asking you, you kind of focused in before we went into ask you about like the boundaries of people about knowing yourself better, right? And so with that, knowing yourself around certain people like, are you knowing your body reactions around certain people when you’re around certain people? Are they? Is your brain disheveled? Can you? Are you? Do you feel like panic? Do you feel unease? Do you feel like you need to brace yourself? Like are certain people bringing you discomfort? And what things are being triggered by those relationships? You know, are you being triggered in those relationships? And why? And because sometimes it’s not always the person, sometimes it’s whatever you need to work on within yourself. But in order to set boundaries around people, you need to understand how other people are affecting you. And so rather than just saying, I’m cutting you off, because you don’t make me feel good, right, saying, hey, what feelings Am I getting and naming the feelings? What things am I what things am I experiencing when I’m around this person, if someone is edifying me, and someone is helping me walk even deeper into my purpose, then obviously, like, I want to be around that person more than just someone that is like that you are one of those people. For me, when I am on the phone with you. It’s like I can give you an idea. And then we can peel back all the layers. And now I’m like, now I’m ready to go. Versus if I give someone else an idea, they’re putting a lot of doubt or putting a lot of and all of a sudden my brain is like distracted, right? And I feel like my my ad ADHD may add that it has given me a it’s almost been a blessing in the sense that my brain is restful around certain people. And it’s chaotic around certain people. So for me, the boundaries are like, if you are someone that I’m able to be restful in a space with you or someone that I will give more of my energy to because I know that it’s like we’re going back and forth with the energy right, and you’re someone that’s helping me stay on track. If you’re someone that I’m giving this energy to, and I’m feeling chaotic in my brain, that’s that’s like my indicator and my own. It’s like a safety button for me. I was like, hey, this person is is disgruntled and your focus and and it helps me understand why. And sometimes for me, it’s just like, hey, maybe the boundary is my people pleasing? Maybe I’m telling them like certain things. Maybe I’m because I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. I’m keeping certain information to myself, instead of telling them hey, you know, when you’re speaking to me this way, it really is triggering XY and Z and me and can we talk about like, why this is happening? Or like, Why do you speak to me that way? And do you understand? Did you know that it made me feel this way? Right, versus, you know, being someone who’s people pleasing and keeping that all to yourself, because there are some people that will speak to you anyway, that they want to and not recognize that it affects you deeply. And so if you do have people like that in your life, and you’re like, hey, this is now it’s being on the phone with you for 30 minutes has now I’ve now had to unpack something for three hours, because it’s like, my brain is overwhelmed. Instead of just saying, I’m not going to talk to this person anymore, reeling within myself, why is this happening? Is it because I’m lacking a boundary of standing up for myself? Is it because I’m lacking a boundary of letting someone know what how they can and cannot speak to me? Is it? Because you know, whatever have you? Is it? Or is it honestly, because there are certain people that you have to limit time with,
Lauren Fritts 28:30
when you figure out what person you need to set the boundary with? And why? Like that’s, is that a fun? I’m sure that’s not a fun conversation. I have a tendency, which is bad. I just shut off. And I’m like, Well, I don’t need to talk to that person right now. How would you have that conversation as a people pleaser confrontation is not in our wheelhouse, like, these hard conversations are hardest, but I don’t have a problem with hard conversations. But you know, compassion is an issue with me as well. You know, how could somebody? Do you have to explain you’re setting a boundary? Or is that something you keep within yourself? Or how do you differentiate between that conversation?
Alex Jones 29:10
I think it I’m not going to say that I’ve done that perfectly. Because of my recovering people pleasing needs, that I knew I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, I don’t want to enter into confrontation. And I also recognize that like, confrontation in my childhood was very triggering, right? And so sometimes my body still responds in the same way when now it’s like, hey, confrontation now can actually strengthen relationships if you’re doing it in the correct way. And I believe that if someone’s important to you, you should communicate the boundary and explain why. And if the person you know, really wants to be a part of your life, they are going to they might be hurt. They might, you know, be like oh man, but hopefully it causes them to look within themselves and be like, Oh, I didn’t recognize that I was doing this And if they care about you and what you’re going through, then they’re going to want to like help. And help help reframe the way because boundaries are brand new, like when people have free will of how to and free I guess, open space to do whatever they want. They don’t recognize
Lauren Fritts 30:16
and up and they go slap, whoever just made a joke about their wife. Expect no repercussions when everyone’s just given free open space to you. No, no. Yeah, well,
Alex Jones 30:29
and I think the funny thing is, is that, like, when you’re triggered, you get a choice to choose, you can choose I think, like, a lot of times people are like, you know, oh, I was triggered. And so it’s okay that I responded this way, right? I think understanding yourself helps you understand your triggers. So then you can communicate to somebody like now when I’m setting a boundary with my husband, for instance, if I’m like, hey, when this happens, it triggers this thought and this emotion, and this is where my brain goes. And so in order for us not to go there, what boundary can we set? Or how can we work through this? Now, what do I need? Is there a way that I need to speak this? Or how should I say this? A boundary obviously has to be set, right? And so how can I do this? Because I want our conversations to go positively. I want our interactions to go positively. I don’t want to go into a negative space. What how can we do if people care if the relationships that you are in if those if you care about them, and they care about you boundaries should be spoken about. But I think the process of creating the boundaries, and then executing and adhering to them initially is hella messy. I’ve definitely hurt a lot of people’s feelings. As I’ve set my boundaries, because I didn’t know how to set them. I’m like, Okay, this is just what I’m learning myself. I’m learning how certain conversations make me feel. I’m learning how certain people make me feel, and I need to pull back. And I think initially, when I did that, it was like it sent a, like a shock wave to a lot of people around me because I stopped, I really honestly stopped talking to almost everyone. At first, like I was just staying within myself, because I feel like, for me, my relationship with the Holy Spirit is like the central. It’s my, it’s my central everything. It’s like how I function from everything. And because I was letting everybody in, I couldn’t even hear the Holy Spirit within myself, because I’m hearing everybody’s voice. And so initially, when I said I think even with you and I like we weren’t even talking as much, we were talking every day multiple times a day to like, it was like we were talking away less. And it’s because I had to, I had to shut everything down and then reprogram myself.
Lauren Fritts 32:34
So that was, what a great way when you said the people you care about to set boundaries is almost the most important because I was just thinking when you were talking about shutting everybody down. Me and you almost set one without realizing we were setting one. And we did one with each other in mind, I knew you had a lot going on. And so me and you have started texting each other because we use each other as a event, not necessarily event, the brainstorming, hey, I have this idea had, well, we were taking each other’s phone calls no matter what was happening. But we also have a lot going on. And so we had set in place. I don’t we never even talked about it. It was just understanding that if I have something and I need somebody to actually like listen, and if I need you in a way that I use you, you know or that we have a relationship. Alex, do you it’s a text message first. Alex, this is what I want to talk about. Do you have the capacity to listen to me right now? And a lot of the times it’s a hey, not today can we do tomorrow? Apps a frickin lately? And that doesn’t say anything that you weren’t willing to be there for me right now. Sometimes it’s a hey, I’d like me do and yeah, we stop everything we’re doing. It’s like, hey, I need you like I’m not okay. But I’m not going to take from you if you’re already drained. A healthy relationship, a healthy friendship. Not saying setting boundaries should be easy, but it should be as easy as that. Like, I love you enough to your boundaries and your capacity to take on I love your mental health enough, right that I’m not going to put you in a situation that’s going to drain you when that’s not what this friendship is. And, you know, or you know, there’s not a take and take thing. So I thought when you said like your husband, you know, we set that marriage counseling, we learned about that all the time. What do you do when you go to set that boundary and the person you know, is toxic and not that you want to cut off? All I’m not saying cut off all relationships with toxic people. But I can imagine sometimes that conversation doesn’t go as we hope it would. Have you had those hard conversations.
Alex Jones 34:46
I think that I haven’t really had a whole lot of toxic people in my space. Um, but I will say that certain people that were like fully talks, I haven’t had anybody that I’ve had have to completely cut off. Like, where I’m like, Okay, you no longer can be in my space, I did recognize that certain behaviors weren’t producing the best things in me. Like, let’s say I’m around someone who’s constantly negative. I am someone I’m an empath. So I take on people stuff. And so I had to, I’ve had to kind of give people limited access to me. And I think that sometimes you can’t necessarily tell people your boundary, you have to just be able to adhere to it in a specific way. Because those boundaries, I don’t, when it comes to my relationship with God, I know that like he is he speaks about not creating division and creating unity, right. And so there are certain boundaries that you have to set that if someone is not in a space that they’re ready to heal and receive the things that you’re saying in that specific season, setting that boundary and then telling them about the boundary. And it can be more harmful than it is helpful. And so letting that person know that like, Hey, I’m still here, but I’m setting boundaries, like I have to let everybody in my life know, like, I’m setting all of these boundaries now. So I hope that nobody’s taking them personally. And I haven’t even specified with all my boundaries are yet because I’m still figuring them out. I’m trying to figure out what I need. I never asked myself prior to the season of my life, what do I need, I have spent my whole life trying to be and give everyone else that they need. And I was like, you know that saying, like, keeping everybody warm, by setting yourself on fire. Like, that’s what I was doing. I was const, I was running around on fire, so that everyone around me felt warm and felt super uncomfortable. And I was in a constant state of unrest, I was not regulated at all. And so I had to figure out within myself like these, the boundaries that I created, and some people I called specifically, like, like, and some people, like you said, even like with you, like our boundary kind of just flowed into, hey, do you have that we never used to ask each other if we study, we would just go into Oh, my gosh, XY and Z thing happen. And I think as I started setting boundaries within myself, I could see how other people, it’s almost like I could see other people and how they like you could see how they felt on the outside without having to ask them on the inside. So there would be certain conversations before we started asking that question to each other, where I can see that you were visibly drained. And so it’s like, okay, I’m not I’m gonna let let’s have a conversation tomorrow, you look tired, like, Let’s do X, Y, and Z. Because the more you become aware with yourself, I feel like the more you become aware of people around you, Oh, yeah. And so then you’re able to ask certain questions. And because you’re like, hey, I want this for myself. I want to have a capacity for myself, let me make sure that I’m not taking other people’s capacity. But luckily for myself, I haven’t had to cut anybody off cold turkey. And there are there has been conversations where I’m like, Hey, I, you know, I want to do XY and Z boundary. And then there has been conversations where, like, people are like, Hey, I feel like you set a boundary, and I wasn’t told about it, and my feelings were hurt. And then I had to, like, apologize for that and explain why I was doing and if the people care enough, they’re going to still stick with you. And then you’re gonna have to have that hard conversation. And if the people are still hurt by that, and they want to move on, and it’s like, you have to bless and release people like that. Just that is how life goes sometimes.
Lauren Fritts 38:16
And have you ever come across someone who? Yeah, Alex, I totally understand your boundary, respect your boundary, but they don’t. They keep pushing that boundary. Say it happens to somebody listening, right? And somebody just keeps not respecting it. And it’s someone and say, as close as a sister, or a mom, and you’re like, Well, I can’t just cut them out of my life, but they’re not respecting my shit. What do you do in that situation?
Alex Jones 38:43
Oh, that’s hard. I think it really depends on how, like, how, how disrespectful they’re being in that boundary? And if it’s like, and what is that causing in you? I know that I’m with right now with my mom, were setting a lot of boundaries with each other. And, and at first, I don’t feel like she was adhering to them. And so it was just a continuation of like, for me, hey, this is how I feel. For instance, we have we have to set a boundary with the way that we talked about COVID, right? Because my mom has her opinion, I have mine. And when when we were talking about it, it became explosive. And so I was like, Hey, how about we just stop talking about COVID? Like, I know what your opinion is, you know what mine is? Let’s just stop talking about it. And there would be times where she would still kind of bring it back up. And I’m like, you’re crossing the boundary. Let’s not do that. And really, you know, I eventually told her, I don’t want us to cross the boundaries because I don’t ever want to speak to you on a tone where I feel like I’m disrespecting you. But when my boundaries are being crossed, I’m being like my bodily responses are being triggered. And I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to take before I ended up saying something. And so we can just set this back and I feel like through time now we don’t have those conversations and both of us will just like if something does come up. We’re like okay, let’s let’s just put a pin in it and like move on. Um, but I think that it number one? How if how close are you to that person? Are you willing to lose that relationship with that person? Is that person really just blatantly going against it? And what are you putting in place? Like, are you telling people hey, I noticed that you’ve crossed this boundary, and I need you to know how it made me feel like you have to be able to tell the people how it makes you feel when they’re crossing that boundary, what let the person know what it does to you when they crossed that boundary. And if they are still crossing it. And then even when you’re telling them that they’re crossing it, and you’re, you’re getting met with a lot of like, what’s the word I’m looking for? A fence or, or just disdain or like rudeness? I guess, then that tells you like, hey, this season, we might have to like, just push back. Like, we might have to separate for a little bit. Because I feel like if we continue on this way, it’s not going to be good for our relationship at all. Like we might have a complete dissolving of our relationship. Right? So
Lauren Fritts 40:58
boundaries is people talked about that. I’m super interested. We’ve I guess we’ve touched on it here and there, but the boundaries with yourself, self aware, everything starts with us. We would love to blame the world. And we would love to blame other people. We would love to blame situations. But our life is our responsibility. situations will always happen, people will always happen, they will talk to you in certain ways, but how we respond to life? And that happens with us. And that’s our responsibility. So when you went through, did you have any steps you took when you decided like you were going to set boundaries with yourself? This is what Alex needs, because that’s, I like the phrase boundaries with yourself because it doesn’t seem like I don’t know, I think people it’s a new habit, I’m going to set a new habit that I’m not going to be on my phone. For more than no one sticks to habits, let’s be real. But I like the term boundary, because that seems unwavering to me. Like it’s a, I don’t know, I have a connection with that term. But you know, hits me harder. So how did you go about setting those boundaries or finding even what you needed to set.
Alex Jones 42:08
I really went back into again, body responses and where my mind was at. And I wanted to stay at peace and at rest. And so if I noticed within myself that certain things taking on certain things are creating, like anxiety responses, or if certain things are like if I’m getting these heart palpitations, and I’m getting uncomfortable, if I’m feeling and discomfort is, is not always a bad thing, but I meant like uncomfortable in just like there’s a general sense of the way my body will feel where it’s like, okay, this doesn’t feel safe. And there’s there’s a difference between discomfort and feeling like unsafe. And so when I feel like I’m not in a safe space, that I’m like, okay, then that can be even if I don’t feel safe, if I am constantly, let’s say I’m constantly being down on myself, if I’m constantly criticizing myself, I’m making my my brain and unsafe space, I can go into darkness really fast, right? And so boundaries within myself looked like, you know, what am I? Am I taking on too much? What who would who do I want to give the best energy towards what am I? How am I? The question that I asked myself every morning now is how do I want to show up for myself and for others today? And and what does that look like? And so if I throughout the day, I’m like, Okay, I’m noticing that I’m feeling super disheveled. And I’m being super snappy with people. And I’m not showing up in the way that I want to, I need to deep root that and like, go go down the rabbit hole of why I’m acting that way and set a boundary for that. Does that make sense?
Lauren Fritts 43:44
No, that makes perfect sense. And I think that this was super helpful, because we kind of went over everything that people have been asking me and I definitely want to bring you back. If you guys love this interview, which I love having you on. This is more of a conversation and we kind of want to do this. We were thinking about doing this once a month since kind of our purposes are in alignment, what we’re learning is in alignment with each other. And so I think having a conversation with some different peoples and different interviews would be great. So we’re definitely going to have Alex back. But is there anything we want to end on Alex or last? Last quote, last lesson before we wrap it up,
Alex Jones 44:24 I
would just say be committed before you even think about setting boundaries. Be committed to knowing yourself deeply. And knowing what makes you tick what makes you boom. And and from there. Allow yourself to decide what things are going to be in your best interest, what things are are going to help you to show up in the ways that feel authentic to you. And that feels like it’s allowing you to be who you are like you don’t have to put on a mask like you don’t have to show up pleasing everybody to make everybody happy that you don’t to show up in a way that is stretching your capacity that you just you wake up and you feel at peace with the way that you’re showing up.
Lauren Fritts 45:09
Okay, this is so good and thank you if you stuck around for this whole I think we’re at an hour now, which is amazing but we will have Alex back. So thank you so much for being here today, my love and we will see you guys next week.