Anyway, today's card is called Boundary Dance. It seems obvious what is going on in this card -- two horses are engaged in a ritual of dominance and hierarchy. Boundary setting. However, the book calls it 'a tenuous dance of respect and connection,' which is actually a very healthy and more realistic way of looking at boundary setting. Actually, setting boundaries isn't about determining who gets the upper hand and who has to back down, though it might sometimes look that way.
'Few people truly understand what a boundary is, mostly because dominance-submission still rules,' writes author Linda Kohanov. 'A boundary is not a wall. It's a flexible physical or psychological buffer zone that, if respected, allows you to relax and feel safe in someone's presence, leading to great trust and intimacy...If only people could learn to stop when they sense discomfort rising, back off without disconnecting, and give each other space they need to feel safe and present.'
This is the Boundary Dance. It's not dominance and submission. Setting a boundary is not the same thing as being assertive. It is about being sensitive to the responses in yourself and others and backing off or moving in accordingly. In that sense, it really is like a dance.
Now, I wonder why I have drawn this card today. I will watch very carefully today and seek to be sensitive to the boundaries of others, and in letting people know my own boundaries.
ETA: I know why I drew the card...today during lunch several members of staff had an earnest conversation about our feelings regarding an issue that comes up sometimes at work. The need to approach someone with strong or offensive body odor and speak to them about it. It is in our procedures manual, and is something that does come up, being a public space and a safe haven. Some of us felt unable or unequipped to do so at all and would have to defer to a manager to do it. Others felt more able to take on the task. I realised this was an example of personal boundaries.