Identifying Boundaries

Ryder Carroll
6 min readApr 29, 2022

On Boundaries: Part 1

Image by Robin Wersich

The Inner Garden

In our hyper connected world, the distance from one mind to another narrows in every moment. The boundaries separating us steadily fall away, giving rise to the age of hyper-reactivity. The more reactive we become, the less we’re able to understand each other. What if this alarming decline in productive communication isn’t due to how connected we are with one another, but rather how disconnected we are from ourselves?

Most of us struggle to identify our own boundaries let alone those of others. We usually become aware of them only after someone has crossed ours, or we’ve trespassed others. Trespassed what though? What is this mysterious demarcation that delineates the acceptable from the unacceptable?

New York times best-selling author Dr. Henry Cloud likens personal boundaries to property lines. I like this analogy because it grounds a somewhat nebulous emotional concept: If boundaries are property lines, that makes us all property owners. The question is, what property do we own?

Within our property lines lays the space where we cultivate our lives. This inner garden is where we tend to our rest, values, intentions, goals, ideas, beliefs, feelings, and dreams. This is where all the things that we’re capable of bringing into this world come from. It’s…



Ryder Carroll

Creator of the Bullet Journal®. NYT Best-selling author and digital product designer, living in Brooklyn, NY.