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Community is where people come together to form bonds, learn, grow, and have fun. Our book club is a group of individuals united by a love of reading who gather to discuss books that inspire and challenge their thoughts. The magic of our book club lies in its ability to bring people together, foster a sense of belonging, and create an environment where members can connect in a meaningful way. Our book club's power is in providing a platform for members to explore their passions, express their perspectives, and connect with others who share their interests.

One of the defining features of our book club is our engaging and thought-provoking discussions. We choose relevant, thought-provoking books and challenge our members to think critically about the world around them. Members are encouraged to share their opinions and experiences during our discussions, fostering respectful and meaningful conversations. Our open and inclusive atmosphere creates a space where everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves and where each member's thoughts and opinions are respected and valued.

Our book club also demonstrates community involvement by supporting local authors and businesses. By choosing books written by local authors and supporting events at local businesses, we are supporting our local community and providing members with opportunities to connect with the authors and learn more about their work. By supporting local authors and businesses, our book club helps to promote growth, collaboration, and a sense of community.

In addition, our book club emphasizes personal and professional growth. By reading and discussing books, members discover new ideas, perspectives, and ways of thinking that can help them to grow and develop in their personal and professional lives. This sense of growth and development creates a feeling of accomplishment and pride, strengthening the bonds between community members. Whether you're looking to broaden your horizons, develop new skills, or meet new people, our book club provides a platform for individuals to grow and succeed.

Finally, our book club also prioritizes social justice, equality, and other essential issues by including books that focus on these topics and using discussions as an opportunity to learn and positively impact our communities. This commitment to awareness and giving back demonstrates how communities can bring people together and positively impact the world.

Join your local book club or start your own. We recommend delving into "The Cloisters" by Katy Hays and experiencing the thrill of discovering the power of community involvement for yourself. In this book, follow Ann Stilwell, a young woman who escapes her painful past and finds solace in the world of divination. When she arrives in New York City and joins The Cloisters, a group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of fortune telling, she becomes obsessed with a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards. Ann finds herself at the center of a dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition. Will their fate or faith lead them to their ultimate destiny? Let us know what you discover.

What is happening right now with the rise in women of all ages asking themselves, 'who am I?' We see and hear this everywhere we go. It has a resounding effect on all women regardless of economic stature, emotional intelligence, physical strength, and academic accolades. If you allow yourself to sit for any length of time in complete silence with no distractions, you will begin to hear your inner voice. The uncomfortability arises when we realize the distance between who we are in relationship to everything around us. This distance is referred to as the identity gap. The stuff/things, people, and circumstances around us have defined us for years. Who are we without the external identities, and who are we without the simulations these identities have fed us? The unveiling of this gap ignites our inner voice to ask…who do you really want to be?

Who Are You?

"Who Are You?" This is a good question, and we find it strenuous for women to answer. Strenuous may seem a harsh word to use. Still, when asked of women, the response is rarely quickly answered with confidence, articulation, and aspirations. The responses come from confusion as if the brain is processing in an unfamiliar way. The question is not to make you feel punished, yet why do we feel horrible and embarrassed not to know the answer? We take big breaths, frown,

raise eyebrows, and shrug our shoulders,

reinforcing the answer of "I don't know."

Who have we proven to be for all these years of living? We can look at this factual information as evidence to compare the outer identities we portray to the world around us vs. the inner world of who we are on the inside. Take off the weight of not knowing and being frustrated. You can begin to open up the door to understanding why this identity gap is happening.

Why is the Identity Gap Happening?

Your existence began with a medical professional identifying you. "It's a girl," was proclaimed, and the lace trims, hair bows, and pink baby outfits were given as gifts to celebrate you. When you look back at this western world's response to a baby's birth, do you ever shake your head and say 'huh?". Being told who you are as a person doesn't end with your medically identified sex at birth. We are immersed in years of development based on our environment. Layers of experiences, traditions, cultural backgrounds, personal history, choices, behaviors, etc., create who we are to the external world. The gap begins to grow over time, living in a world of conditions, have to's, and going through life's steps designed to keep you on a set path. Unfortunately, this path is not designed for a one way fits all scenario. The societal pressure to stay on track with social norms and lead resistance causes us to enter a quiet mode of numbing unknowingly. We get used to the numbing effect, not realizing this isn't our true self but a conditioned feeling and response.

As we meet women everywhere, we hear about these conditions. After years of experience, our environments damage our ability to identify with our purpose and identity. This inability to identify with our purpose creates the gap between who we are and who we want to be.

Who is The Identity Gap Happening to?

Suppose we understand the identity gap concerning ourselves and see why it's happening. In that case, dear God, is this happening to us? We like to be completely honest even when it may hurt a little, so the answer is YES! We have listed seven traits we see women acting out daily. These identities may seem like second nature, but only you know if the identity is helping or hurting you. Are you being true to yourself?

The top 7 identities creating a gap in who you are vs. who you want to be:

  • The Busy Bee

  • The SVU Olivia Benson

  • Cave Dweller

  • The Addict & Habitualist

  • Corporate Controller

  • The Blame Gamer

  • The Sleep Walkers

You may identify with one or more of these seven listed identities. We welcome you to listen to episode 3 of our 4 part series on the Identity Gap - Who is this Happening to?, on our Redesigning Your Relationships podcast for the descriptions of each identity.

Our thoughts and feelings are attached to the experiences, and we create innate behaviors from these conditions. We react and behave positively or negatively according to how we perceive these experiences.

When we do not take the time to understand ourselves, the identity gap remains or increases over time. Over time and unattended, we fall into the trap of a crisis or depression. Sometimes we are oblivious to these alarming conditions until it is too late. We become disconnected from reality or our life's purpose. This disconnect can be exhausting, continually trying to keep up with perceptions or fulfilling an unquenchable thirst to be understood.

How to Bridge the Gap

This idea of being connected within yourself looks different for everyone. It doesn't necessarily mean you're happy and outgoing or kind and considerate at all times. When you're connected and in tune with yourself, you can move through moments aligned with your deeper purpose. Being connected to yourself helps you be in tune with all the parts of you–the strong, the scared, the passionate, and the hurting. This connection gives you the best chance of being fully present, engaged, and grounded in all situations.

A gap requires a bridge. A bridge holds the tension, constantly pulling, tugging, and bearing the weight. The tension changes with the past, present, and future events and will require a strong foundation and lifelong upkeep to take the weight of what is, what was, and what could be.

Like a natural bridge, your metaphorical bridge will require the best materials and a solid plan.

  • Take responsibility

  • Make a Decision

  • Fall in love with Yourself

  • Set a Goal & Plan

Once you make a decision, there will be discomfort. Facing uncomfortable truths about yourself or perceiving the distance in your gap will require work. This work may bring a significant inconvenience or change in your daily routines. You may not have all the answers right away, but be open to the many possibilities, knowledge, and intuition you already store inside that has yet to have an opportunity for discovery.

Don't be discouraged or depressed. If you relate and find yourself as one of the descriptions mentioned above, you are actually on the right path. You can feel more inspired and don't have to live in a state of lack or want. Once you see it and understand it, all you want to do is release it. Let's begin with thankfulness for the foggy glasses, the wiping away, and an internal awakening of enthusiasm for possibilities and transformation. Let's do this!

You can find all episodes of this 4 part series of REdesigning Your Relationships on Spotify, Apple, & YouTube

The Identity Gap

Part 1 - Who Are You?

Part 2 - Why is the Identity Gap Happening?

Part 3 - Who is the Identity Gap Happening to?

Part 4 - How Do We Bridge the Identity Gap?

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

There is a buzz in the air regarding personal BOUNDARIES and the why and how behind them. A boundary is a line that marks a limit creating a dividing line. We all have limitations, BUT we all are not establishing them. Not setting boundaries in our lives generates anxiety, stress, guilt, and many other unhealthy feelings. These unhealthy feelings fuel the unhealthy habits we continue to foster. Then, one day we either severely cave in or make choices that further the frustrations. Sound familiar?

We have heard all about boundaries and the need to create them in our closest relationships. We see firsthand the lack of strength to have them. Then why are we struggling to make, keep, and enforce the boundaries we badly need? You know the saying, 'you can't see past your nose?' Let's consider this a true statement with personal boundaries. We fight knowing we want to create healthy boundaries in our life and the ability to enforce and sustain them. The straightforward approach to understanding boundaries would be to seek a quick fix. We could list healthy boundaries and guidelines and give you a list to uphold. If it were that easy, though, the internet would be full of to-do lists that are the perfect formula for creating boundaries. Before making an extensive list, struggling to maintain it, and feeling defeated again, let's try a different approach. Let's look at what a boundary is and is not, the seven closest relationships you have to consider creating boundaries for, and then the best place to begin the process.



a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line


What exactly do healthy boundaries look like?

Healthy boundaries are crucial to your physical, mental, and emotional health. They look different for each person and relationship and may change over time. Healthy boundaries involve communicating your wants and needs in a relationship and respecting the other person.

Which personal boundaries do you need more guidance? Not sure? We have you covered. Let's take a quick minute to describe the top 7 boundaries we struggle with in our relationships.


It all begins here. You will begin with yourself if you want to start setting healthy boundaries. Boundaries can only exist if you bring them into your personal life first. The need to establish boundaries will begin with knowing what you want, feel, and the need to develop a line of protection around yourself. Remember we said we have a hard time looking past our noses? We make it hard on ourselves to establish this protection because we condition ourselves to say yes. Our parents, caregivers, religious organizations, and corporate America have created an underlying assumption regarding availability. If we don't say yes all the time, we are not being helpful and available and might miss out on the next big thing. This assumption creates a pattern of feeling the need always to be available. We link our availability to our achievements and to giving back to others. Giving is great, but not at the expense of hurting or devaluing yourself. Neglecting yourself is not a way to show you care about others. Instead, it can lead to anxiety and depression and make you feel powerless. Certain personality types are what we call people pleasures and struggle deeply with setting boundaries for themself. Being a people pleaser is often due to needing a clearer understanding of our goals and value. Once you set goals and understand your value, respecting yourself and communicating with others will create a safe space for you to thrive. Having boundaries can shield you from bad experiences and strengthen your relationships.


With technology, flexible work, and ever-changing workplaces, setting healthy boundaries is more complicated than ever. We lose sleep thinking through our workday and how to improve and keep up in an ever-changing world. Like our

personal boundaries with ourselves, we feel the tug even stronger when faced with boundaries at work. Having poor boundaries often means being responsive to other people's needs and expectations at your own expense. Essentially our work status is marked by our performance. This performance largely dictates how we show up, the hours we put in, and our ability to be available. We favor doing a good job, being a team player, and going above and beyond, but not at the expense of your health. There is an immense unveiling of mental health difficulties in the workplace, and the undue pressure businesses can place on their employees to perform at high levels over long periods. Our careers have become our identities, what we are known for, and we have highly sought-after accolades. Are you guaranteed success, raises, and titles by being a yes person? Is your career who you are or what you do for a profession? We bet you said no to both of those questions, and we welcome you to consider two healthier options. Talk to someone in HR if you feel you are being unjustly treated, disrespected, or made to believe your job is on the line. Also, consider looking for ways to serve, meet needs or problems, and solve those problems for the company or coworkers. Creating solutions is a constructive action to show your value and keep you confident about your role without making more work or long hours. Healthy boundaries play a significant role in a positive work environment.


Learning to set boundaries for ourselves, work, and a partner may seem daunting and unconquered territory, but establishing boundaries for kids is a whole other playground. The pun is well-intended. How do we, as adults and parents, set boundaries with humans not mentally developed enough to comprehend the importance of the limits we want to establish? You may find establishing boundaries with your kids challenging, and the merry-go-round of chaos lingers in your home. Establishing boundaries with your kids will promote growth, age-appropriate behaviors, lifelong healthy habits, and safety.

Look within first when establishing boundaries with your kids. Look at your motivations and what you want to accomplish. Are you a helicopter parent or a parent who focuses on healthy growth? At the root of helicopter parenting is anxiety. As a parent, you may become nervous about your child's success or ability to handle things in life, in school, with friends, in sports, or with their ability to behave appropriately. It might feel like you're alleviating stress by jumping in and taking control instead of letting your child work things out for himself. You may also find yourself living vicariously through your kids or needing to be in agreement with their co-parent. Sometimes you feel like boundaries with your children are not a breezy walk in the park but a stormy hike through a jungle. Give yourself some grace because parenting doesn't come with the perfect guide. However, you can create an action plan by establishing boundaries with your kids—work on understanding them and how and why they may be reacting to certain situations. We also recommend looking into their love language as well as your own. We prefer to receive love in 5 general categories: spending quality time, hearing positive affirmations, receiving gifts, physical touch, and acts of service. Understanding each other's love languages can help communicate and establish boundaries. Remember that respect goes both ways, even with the smallest people in your home.


"I keep myself up at night, tossing and turning, thinking about how I wish

I could tell my partner how I feel. I'm struggling inside with myself, with us,

and looking at a dim future. I get nauseated just thinking about the

confrontation this will bring if I share what is going on in my head & heart."

The above quote is valid for over half of marriages, partnerships, and intimate relationships. We live years in relationships with people we spend hours of our lifetime. Yet, we need to have a voice in our wants and boundaries. Why is this so difficult to communicate in an information and technological society?

There are 3 top reasons why we struggle with voicing our need for boundaries with our partners. We don't have a clear understanding of our personal boundaries, we are fearful of outcomes, and we live in guilt. Ouch, nothing like ripping the bandaid right off. Again, how do we expect someone else if we don't know what we desire in a relationship, our standards, or our goals? Fear sets in because we are scared to voice our options and needs. The irony of being in a close relationship yet not feeling heard, connected, or respected is very common. Over time these unhealthy boundaries create anger, resentment, guilt, and isolation. Couples can be around each other daily and yet feel completely alone. It may have taken you years to reach the point where you find yourself with your partner, but with communication and patience, the tides can turn. Understanding yourself and being calm yet assertive with your partner can create love & kindness. Reciprocating mutual respect, listening, and cultivating healthy actions will help establish intimate growth.


Birthdays, holidays, weddings, celebrations of life, showers, and family gathering can bring you warm fuzzies with great expectations. These milestones can also make you hear the phrase 'lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Hopefully, you feel the warm fuzzies and can't wait to be around your extended family, but from what we hear, you feel more like Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz. Family members on the prowl, lining up along your yellow brick road lurking in the shadows. Well, so it seems.

We care deeply about our extended families; they have often been a part of our lives for as long as we can remember. Then why the anxiety, stress, and uneasy pit in our stomachs at each family gathering? Most often, it's the lack of boundaries we have established. Blood may be thicker than water, but it doesn't mean it's always the cute choreographed dance from the Wizard of Oz.

It can be challenging to set boundaries, but remember, communication is vital. Before your next family gathering:

  1. Consider thinking through your own choices and actions.

  2. Stay away from family gossip.

  3. Make a list of controversial topics for all to stay clear of discussing. If you are married, discuss the boundaries you feel comfortable with your in-laws.

  4. Include your children, if age appropriate, so they know your family boundaries and expectations when with extended family.

  5. Before your next family gathering, give yourself the gift of listening to these reminders so you arrive with your dancing Dorthy ruby red slippers.


So no one told you life was going to be this way.

Your job's a joke, you're broke, you're love life's DOA.

It's like you're always stuck in second gear,

When it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

But, I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.

I'll be there for you, like I've been there before.

I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too.

Let your head bop back and forth, smile, and giggle a little as you remember the years of Friends episodes. Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, and Joey all stood the test of time, situations, and situationships during daily dosing on coffee. As the catchy lyrics above remind us of the iconic tv friendships, they can also remind us of our friends. Our friends know us, get us, and walk through life with us. We, in turn, are there for their journeys. If these friendships are 'The Central Perk' in our lives, why do we struggle with boundaries with our closest friends? Can the best of friends need boundaries? Isn't that the whole reason for having besties, so we can be there for them, cause they are there for us too?

Setting boundaries with our besties can be challenging to manage. We have developed a friendship over time which means we have had time to build memories and a history together. Sometimes this history can show us, over time, that we are no longer comfortable with the status quo. We may see patterns in ourselves or others that no longer work for us. There can be hurt, unresolved issues, personality conflicts, and moral choices we aren't comfortable with anymore. Remember that even the best of friends grow, change and develop over time. Maintaining a common ground of understanding takes effort and communication. If you feel a solid connection to your friend, then openly communicating with them will strengthen the bond. When the 'rain starts to pour' you can be there for each other.


Quite interesting to have time listed as one of our relationships, let alone listing it as needing boundaries. We are in a relationship with time. We are connected to it and have feelings toward it, which creates our behaviors toward time. Our concept and attitude toward time affect us significantly, and this effect requires healthy boundaries too.

We try so hard to try and control time, but time is not in our grasp to maintain. Time happens regardless of what we say, do, or feel. However, we can change our attitude toward time which in turn will give us positive results with time. Time is relevant to the past, present, and future. The past has happened, and we can learn and gain great wisdom from our experiences. The future will come, and planning our time now will bring about the opportunities we seek. Our present time is often the most neglected but the most essential. Present time means living in present moments and engaging in the fullness of our being in the here and now. We can certainly influence the very thing we think we can't control. Creating healthy boundaries regarding time can create more time. You can change your thoughts and words about time. You are what you think and speak; therefore, if you think you don't have time, then you won't. By changing your thoughts so

I can create my time, you have decided to focus on making the time. If you think time is going too fast, changing your attitude to thinking everything is happening at the right time will relieve you. Learn to appreciate and live in the moment. How you show up at the moment dramatically influences your perspective.

Once we have a healthy perspective of time, setting boundaries will help protect how we spend our time. The boundaries will protect you from agreeing to do things you don't want to, having people waste your time, and being overworked. Understanding your priorities and setting aside enough time for the many areas of your life without overcommitting will alleviate stress, frustration, and overwhelm.

Now that you think about boundaries and the need to create healthy ones, we want you. We are here for you. We also have a 6 part podcast series on Boundaries (plus a bonus episode) we welcome you to listen to for more understanding. We discuss the importance of having, creating, and initiating boundaries and their associated obstacles. In each episode, we will examine the most critical 'dividing lines' and how you can begin establishing boundaries in your life NOW. Already you want to take a closer look with a one-on-one connection call? Great, let's do it. Either way, the next step is where the growth and change occur. Please see the links below.

You can find all episodes of REdesigning Your Relationships on Spotify, Apple, & YouTube

Part 1 - Yourself

Part 2 - Business

Part 3 - Kids

Part 4 - Partner

Part 5 - Extended Family

Part 6 - Friends

BONUS - Time

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