Boundaries. Whew. I can't even begin to count how many life dramas that I personally could've avoided if I had simply known how to set the proper boundaries; not once the ish had already hit the fan, but from the very beginning. Everyone's story is different, but I think the reason why I struggled so much with it is because I'm a childhood abuse survivor. Abuse is all about violating and disrespecting someone's boundaries. And so, as you're in the process of trying to heal from that, it can be a lifelong journey, learning how to set boundaries and make good and damn well sure that people honor them.
It took me getting into my 30s and learning how to set some boundaries in the form of self-control within myself (which is a part of what my abstinence path has been about) that I learned how to establish boundaries with others. I read books (Boundaries is one that's a must-have). I paid attention to the wisdom of people like author and speaker Brene Brown ("Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others" is a great quote of hers). I spent time alone so that I could figure out what I needed so that I could build my relationships around that. I've "updated" my boundaries when necessary too.
And what I've learned from all of this is there are certain relationships where boundaries are an absolute must. The ones that I want to expound on today are the following seven.
Boundaries with Your Parents
Parents. Boy oh boy. Although I am not a parent myself, I am at the age where a lot of my "love" nieces and nephews are in their 20s. Just this past weekend, I saw one of them and, while I try to be intentional about treating children of any age like "little individuals", I had to remind myself that I have to come at her a different way and respect whatever it is she has going on…differently. Why? Because she's an adult now. She has her own life. All I can do is offer insight, but she's got the full right and freedom to do whatever it is that she wants to do.
It's kind of baffling, how a lot of actual parents of actual adult children don't seem to adhere to this same mindset. It's like they think that we're "grown enough" to live on our own but not grown enough to make decisions they don't agree with or like or, that it is totally ridiculous of us to tell them "no" sometimes.
I will say this—it's an epidemic, how poorly boundaries were taught in a lot of households that some of us confuse overbearing parents with toxic ones (you can read my take on toxic relatives here). On some levels, I do get how, after birthing someone and raising them for 18 years, allowing them to live their own life can be a hard pill to swallow. Still, it must be done. And so, if you are trying to figure out how to establish boundaries with your parents, check out the article "Do Not Obey Your Parents" that features a great role play example of how to say "no", no matter how much pressure or emotional manipulation your parents try and put onto you. Then check out "10 Signs You Might Have Unhealthy Boundaries With Your Mom". You might be surprised by how much you'll be able to relate to that one.
Healthy parents know that their job was to help you to become a mature and responsible adult. Once you are at that point, a part of what comes with adulthood is doing what's best for you, regardless of if they like, understand or agree. You are their child yes, but you are no longer a child.
Do not feel guilty in the least for conveying that—in your words as well as your actions. (If you are a parent of adult children, all of what I said still applies; just in the reverse.)
Boundaries with Your Spouse
Out of all of the boundaries that I'm going to set out to tackle today, I think that the most difficult to maneuver through is setting some appropriate ones with your spouse. After all, they are so close to you that, at least most folks, share a bed, bills and a last name. But marriage is not to be a dictatorship in either direction because no man wants to have sex with his mother and no woman wants to have sex with her dad. That's why it has to be a daily conscious decision to not act like your spouse's parent. Instead, treat your union like the most sacred of partnerships.
Being that boundaries are limits, as far as limits go, the first thing I would say is that your marriage vows (at least traditional ones) address boundaries of loyalty and fidelity. Aside from that, there needs to be a mutual understanding when it comes to expectations. There needs to be no abuse, of any kind. But it also needs to go deeper than that. Married people should agree to not speak negatively of one another to other people. They need to not withhold sex as a way to get what they want or to "teach a lesson". They need to respect one another's view and needs. They need to avoid going below the belt during arguments. They also need to give one another some space.
I could go on and on, but this is an article and not a book on the topic. Luckily, there is a great book that addresses all of this and more. If you are married or are contemplating getting married,Boundaries in Marriage (by Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud) is definitely worth adding to your own personal library.
Boundaries with Your Significant Other
The reason why this gets its own section is because far too many of us make the grave mistake of treating someone we're dating as if they are already our spouse when they absolutely are not (check out "Why You're Always The One Who Prepares A Man For His Wife" sometime). And because they aren't, it is perfectly fine—encouraged even—to get out of anything that no longer serves you well. It doesn't have to be about abuse, them seeing other people without your knowledge or them taking you for granted. It can be as simple as you are dating to see what you want and don't want and, as you discover what that is, you are willing to release who you're with in order to get to the man who complements you best…and most.
I say it as often as I can because it's the truth. Your taxes say that you're single until you are legally married. Not until you've been dating someone for a long time or even until you are engaged. So, no matter how "into someone" you may be, it's OK to have firm limits and to end the relationship, for no deeper reason than you're single and you want to. It's one of the joys of singlehood. Embrace it. Unapologetically so.
Boundaries with Your Friends
Friends—good friends, that is—are one of God's greatest blessings. Hands down. And, to tell you the truth, if you've got healthy friends, this section isn't really necessary to read. I say that because it's been my personal experience and observation that the right kind of friends will honor your boundaries as you do the same. But if you've been on an emotional roller coaster ride in some of your friendships for so long that you don't even know what kind of limits to set, here are a few that you most definitely should. Express your expectations. Never tolerate disloyalty or disrespect. Do not let them monopolize your time, space or resources. Make sure they know that their opinion is not the gospel and they are your friend, not your parent. Pay attention to any behaviors that look like narcissism, always playing the victim role in order to get their way and/or being an emotional vampire. Take an issue with them gossiping about you or breaking confidentiality. Look out for jealous friends (a total oxymoron) and opportunists. Oh, and if they can't forgive but always want their mess and mistakes to be excused? That's another huge red flag.
Again, a good friend already knows all of this, but if you're constantly getting your feelings hurt or even your heart broken by a friend, chances are, it's because either no boundaries are in place or, they keep disrespecting them—and you keep allowing it.
Boundaries with Your “Enemies”
It might seem strange to have a section on enemies, but just hear me out for a sec. If you respect Scripture, even a little bit, and you live on this planet long enough, certain verses start to make more and more sense to you. Take "love your enemies" (Matthew 5:43-48), for example. Love them? If you could love them, y'all wouldn't be enemies, right? Oh, and for the record, enemies aren't just folks that you have knockout-fallouts with. By definition, an enemy may be someone who you choose to distance yourself from because they bring harm into your space, on some sort of level. You don't "hate" them; they just aren't as good for or to you as you know you deserve.
Anyway, it's a good idea to set boundaries with these kinds of people, just so that there can be peace in the midst of it all. Try and keep whatever your issues are with them private (mutually so). Avoid that cryptic-and-somewhat-silly passive aggressive banter that some people do on social media (mutually so). Whatever was shared between the two of you when you weren't enemies, it's important that you both honor that confidentiality. Should you see one another, no one has to sit in the other's lap, but do try and be cordial (and concise).
It takes quite a bit of self-awareness and personal maturity to realize that just because someone may be your enemy, you don't have to constantly be at war. But if you're able to set limits and honor them between one another, you'll be amazed by how at peace the two of you can be. Even if you're not exactly friends (or friends anymore).
Boundaries at Work
As I was in the process of writing this, I skimmed this write-up on Vice's site—"The Backlash to the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Is Finally Here". It made me think about all of the articles I've read about how employees are working ridiculous hours with no breaks or bumps in pay. Yes, I've had the sandwich (in Durham; can't seem to get a hold of one in Nashville) and yes, it's good. Really good. But I feel a little guilty eating more of them if it comes at the expense of folks being overworked, underpaid and totally miserable (several employees have expressed those exact sentiments to me).
Thinking about what so many Popeyes employees have been going through made me also think about some conversations I've had with some of my friends about the stress and drama that they go through at their job.
A lot of it is due to a lack of boundaries. You know—constantly doing other people's work; always doing what doesn't fit their job description; doing work that they don't get paid for; enduring their employer and/or employees talking to them any ole' kind of way; being expected to honor the employee handbook when everyone around them doesn't; being called in on off days…the list goes on and on.
If this is something you can totally relate to and it's got you on the brink of straight-up snappin', when you get home tonight, have a glass of wine and read "6 Things You Don't Owe Your Boss". For now, if you just want the list, it's this—your health, family, sanity, identity, contacts and integrity. Any workplace that challenges this is a place you need to leave—quick, fast and in a super-duper hurry!
Boundaries with Your Church
If you've ever caught an episode of Larry Reid Live, you know that he is…something else. When it comes to the Church and some of the totally toxic things that transpire within it, he holds not one thing back. Some folks find him insightfully amusing while others, well, absolutely do not. But if there is one thing that I think every church-going person should watch, it's his breakdown of the Jezebel Spirit and how it functions in the Church. Then, after watching that, get free some mo' by reading "Jesus Set Boundaries".
Let's end this article with this point as it relates to where you may attend on Sabbath or Sunday. If the leadership pressures you to give outside of tithing (especially to the point that you can't pay your own bills); if they expect you to be there at the drop of a dime, regardless of what you've personally got going on (whether you're married or single); if you feel manipulated into doing things; if they act like what is going on inside of the church walls is more important than what is transpiring within the four walls of your own home; if they think their vision deserves more attention than your own; if they are never open to correction or rebuke (I Corinthians 5:12 speaks of church folks needing to be more concerned with what's going on inside than outside anyway) and/or if you feel taken for granted or mistreated and, when it's brought to the leadership's attention, it is not promptly addressed—these are just some examples of your boundaries being violated…yes, at your very own church. And violated boundaries, including at a place of worship, should not be overlooked.
A wise person once said, "If someone throws a fit because you set boundaries, it's just more evidence that boundaries are needed." That said, don't you, for one moment ever, feel guilty about setting a boundary. Be clear. Be firm. Be kind. But yes, set them—for the sake of your health, mental sanity and overall quality of life. Amen? Hallelujah indeed.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
I'm Good Luv, Enjoy: How Saying 'No' Keeps Your Life Balance In Check
Unhealthy Workplace Stresses You Need To Break Free From
6 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Ending Your Marriage
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
Amber Riley Is In Her Element
Amber Riley has the type of laugh that sticks with you long after the raspy, rhythmic sounds have ceased. It punctuates her sentences sometimes, whether she’s giving a chuckle to denote the serious nature of something she just said or throwing her head back in rip-roarious laughter after a joke. She laughs as if she understands the fragility of each minute. She chooses laughter often with the understanding that future joy is not guaranteed.
Credit: Ally Green
The sound of her laughter is rivaled only by her singing voice, an emblem of the past and the future resilience of Black women stretched over a few octaves. On Fox’s Glee, her character Mercedes Jones was portrayed, perhaps unfairly, as the vocal duel to Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), offering rough, full-throated belts behind her co-star’s smooth, pristine vocals. Riley’s always been more than the singer who could deliver a finishing note, though.
Portraying Effie White, she displayed the dynamic emotions of a song such as “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going” in Dreamgirls on London’s West End without buckling under the historic weight of her predecessors. With her instrument, John Mayer’s “Gravity” became a religious experience, a belted hymnal full of growls and churchy riffs. In her voice, Nicole Scherzinger once said she heard “the power of God.”
Credit: Ally Green
Riley’s voice has been a staple throughout pop culture for nearly 15 years now. Her tone has become so distinguishable that most viewers of Fox’s The Masked Singer recognized the multihyphenate even before it was revealed that she was Harp, the competition-winning, gold-masked figure with an actual harp strapped to her back.
Still, it wasn’t until recently that Riley began to feel like she’d found her voice. This sounds unbelievable. But she’s not referring to the one she uses on stage. She’s referencing the voice that speaks to who she is at her core. “Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind,” the 37-year-old says. “It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women. I got so comfortable in [doing so], and I really want other people, especially Black women, to get more comfortable in that space.”
“Therapy kind of gave me the training to speak my mind. It’s not something we’re taught, especially as Black women."
If you ask Riley’s manager, Myisha Brooks, she’ll tell you the foundation of who the multihyphenate is hasn’t changed much since she was a kid growing up in Compton. “She is who she is from when I met her back when she was singing in the front of the church to back when she landed major roles in film and TV,” Brooks says. Time has allowed Riley to grow more comfortable, giving fans a more intimate glimpse into her life, including her mental health journey and the ins and outs of show business.
The actress/singer has been in therapy since 2019, although she suffered from depression and anxiety way before that. In a recent interview with Jason Lee, she recalls having suicidal ideation as a kid. By the time she started seeing a psychologist and taking antidepressants in her thirties, her body had become jittery, a physical reminder of the trauma stacked high inside her. “I was shaking in [my therapist’s] office,” she tells xoNecole. “My fight or flight was on such a high level. I was constantly in survival mode. My heart was beating fast all the time. All I did was sweat.”
There wasn’t just childhood trauma to account for. After auditioning for American Idol and being turned away by producers, Riley began working for Ikea and nearly missed her Glee audition because her car broke down on the highway while en route. Thankfully, Riley had been cast to play Mercedes Jones. American Idol had temporarily convinced her she wasn’t cut out for the entertainment industry, but this was validation that she was right where she belonged. Glee launched in 2009 with the promise of becoming Riley’s big break.
In some ways, it was. The show introduced Riley to millions of fans and catapulted her into major Hollywood circles. But in other ways, it became a reminder of the types of roles Black women, especially those who are plus-sized, are relegated to. Behind the scenes, Riley says she fought for her character "to have a voice" but eventually realized her efforts were useless. "It finally got to a point where I was like, this is not my moment. I'm not who they're choosing, and this is just going to have to be a job for me for now," she says. "And, that's okay because it pays my bills, I still get to be on television, I'm doing more than any other Black plus-sized women that I'm seeing right now on screen."
The actress can recognize now that she was navigating issues associated with trauma and low self-esteem at the time. She now knows that she's long had anxiety and depression and can recognize the ways in which she was triggered by how the cult-like following of the show conflicted with her individual, isolated experiences behind the scenes. But she was in her early '20s back then. She didn't yet have the language or the tools to process how she was feeling.
Riley says she eventually sought out medical intervention. "When you're in Hollywood, and you go to a doctor, they give you pills," she says, sharing a part of her story that she'd never revealed publicly before now. "[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that's not fixing my problem. If anything, it's making it worse."
“[I was] on medication and developing a habit of medicating to numb, not understanding I was developing an addiction to something that’s not fixing my problem. If anything it’s making it worse.”
Credit: Ally Green
At one point, while in her dressing room on set, she rested her arm on a curling iron without realizing it. It wasn't until her makeup artist alerted her that she even realized her skin was burning. Once she noticed, she says she was "so zonked out on pills" that she barely reacted. Speaking today, she holds up her arm and motions towards a scar that remains from the incident. She sought help for her reliance on the pills, but it would still be years before she finally attended therapy.
This stress was only compounded by the trauma of growing up in poverty and the realities of being a "contract worker." "Imagine going from literally one week having to borrow a car to get to set to the next week being on a private jet to New York City," she says. After Glee ended, so did the rides on private planes. The fury of opportunities she expected to follow her appearance on the show failed to materialize. She wasn't even 30 yet, and she was already forced to consider if she'd hit her career peak.
. . .
We’re only four minutes into our Zoom call before Riley delivers her new adage to me. “My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway,” she says.
On this Thursday afternoon in April, the LA-based entertainer is seated inside her closet/dressing room wearing a cerulean blue tank top with matching shorts and eating hot wings. This current phase of healing hinges on balance. It’s about having discipline and consistency, but not at the risk of inflexibility. She was planning to head to the gym, for instance, but she’s still tired from the “exhausting” day before. Instead, she’s spent her day receiving a massage, eating some chicken wings, and planning to spend quality time with friends. “I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m not going to talk down to myself. I’m going to eat my chicken wings, and then tomorrow I’m [back] in the gym,” she says.
“My new mantra is ‘humility does not serve me.’ Humility does not serve Black women. The world works so hard to humble us anyway."
This is the balance with which she's been approaching much of her life these days. It's why she's worried less about whether or not people see her as someone who is humble. She'd rather be respected. "I think you should be a person that's easy to work with, but in the moments where I have to ruffle feathers and make waves, I'm not shying away from that anymore. You can do it in love, you don't have to be nasty about it, but I had to finally be comfortable with the fact that setting boundaries around my life – in whatever aspect, whether that's personal or business – people are not going to like it. Some people are not going to have nice things to say about you, and you gotta be okay with it," she says.
When Amber talks about the constant humbling of Black women in Hollywood, I think of the entertainers before her who have suffered from this. The brilliant, consistent, overqualified Black women who have spoken of having to fight for opportunities and fair pay. Aretha Franklin. Viola Davis. Tracee Ellis Ross. There's a long list of stars whose success hasn't mirrored their experiences behind the scenes.
Credit: Ally Green
If Black women outside of Hollywood are struggling to decrease the pay gap, so, too, are their wealthier, more famous peers.
Riley says there’s been progress in recent years, but only in small ways and for a limited group of people. “This business is exhausting. The goalpost is constantly moving, and sometimes it’s unfair,” she says. But, I have to say it’s the love that keeps you going.”
“There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman,” she continues. “We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
"There’s no way you can continue to be in this business and not love it, especially being a plus-sized Black woman. We’re still niche. We’re still not main characters.”
Last year, Riley starred alongside Raven Goodwin in the Lifetime thriller Single Black Female (a modern, diversified take on 1992’s Single White Female). It was more than a leading role for the actress, it also served as proof that someone who looks like her can front a successful project without it hinging on her identity. It showcased that the characters she portrays don’t “have to be about being a big girl. It can just be a regular story.”
Riley sees her work in music as an extension of her efforts to push past the rigid stereotypes in entertainment. Take her appearance on The Masked Singer, for instance. Riley said she decided to perform Mayer’s “Gravity” after being told she couldn’t sing it years earlier. “I wanted to do ‘Gravity’ on Glee. [I] was told no, because that’s not a song that Mercedes would do,” she says. “That was a full circle moment for me, doing that on that show and to hear what it is they had to say.”
As Scherzinger praised the “anointed” performance, a masked Riley began to cry, her chest heaving as she stood on stage, her eyes shielded from view. “You have to understand, I have really big names – casting directors, producers, show creators – that constantly tell me ‘I’m such a big fan. Your talent is unmatched.’ Hire me, then,” she says, reflecting on the moment.
Recently, she’s been in the studio working on original music, the follow-up to her independently-released debut EP, 2020’s Riley. The sequel to songs such as the anthemic “Big Girl Energy” and the reflective ballad “A Moment” on Riley, this new project hones in on the singer’s R&B roots with sensual grooves such as the tentatively titled “All Night.” “You said I wasn’t shit, turns out that I’m the shit. Then you called me a bitch, turns out that I’m that bitch. You said no one would want me, well you should call your homies,” she sings on the tentatively titled “Lately,” a cut about reflecting on a past relationship. From the forthcoming project, xoNecole received five potential tracks. Fans likely already know the strengths and contours of Riley’s vocals, but these new songs are her strongest, most confident offerings as an artist.
“I am so much more comfortable as a writer, and I know who I am as an artist now. I’m evolving as a human being, in general, so I’m way more vulnerable in my music. I’m way more willing to talk about whatever is on my mind. I don’t stop myself from saying what it is I want to say,” she says.
Credit: Ally Green
“Every era and alliteration of Amber, the baseline is ‘Big Girl Energy.’ That’s the name of her company,” her manager Brooks says, referencing the imprint through which Riley releases her music after getting out of a label deal several years ago. “It’s just what she stands for. She’s not just talking about size, it’s in all things. Whether it’s putting your big girl pants on and having to face a boardroom full of executives or sell yourself in front of a casting agent. It’s her trying to achieve the things she wants to do in life.”
Riley says she has big dreams beyond releasing this new music, too. She’d love to star in a rom-com with Winston Duke. She hasn't starred in a biopic yet, but she’d revel in the opportunity to portray Rosetta Tharpe on screen. She’s determined that her previous setbacks won’t stop her from dreaming big.
“I think one of my superpowers is resilience because, at the end of the day, I’m going to kick, scream, cry, cuss, be mad and disappointed, but I’m going to get up and risk having to deal with it all again. It’s worth it for the happy moments,” she says.
If Riley seems more comfortable and confident professionally, it’s because of the work she’s been doing in her personal life.
She’d previously spoken to xoNecole about becoming engaged to a man she discovered in a post on the site, but she called things off last year. For Valentine’s Day, she revealed her new boyfriend publicly. “I decided to post him on Valentine’s Day, partially because I was in the dog house. I got in trouble with him,” she says, half-joking before turning serious. “The breakup was never going to stop me from finding love. Or at least trying. I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness, and you enjoy it and work through it.”
Credit: Ally Green
"I don’t owe anybody a happily ever after. People break up. It happens. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was terrible, hunny. I had to get the fuck up out of there. You find happiness and you enjoy it and work through it.”
With her ex, Riley was pretty outspoken about her relationship, even appearing in content for Netflix with him. This time around is different. She’s not hiding her boyfriend of eight months, but she’s more protective of him, especially because he’s a father and isn’t interested in becoming a public figure.
She’s traveling more, too. It’s a deliberate effort on her part to enjoy her money and reject the trauma she’s developed after experiencing poverty in her childhood. “I live in constant fear of being broke. I don’t think you ever don’t remember that trauma or move past that. Now I travel and I’m like, listen, if it goes, it goes. I’m not saying [to] be reckless, but I deserve to enjoy my hard work.”
After everything she’s been through, she certainly deserves to finally let loose a bit. “I have to have a life to live,” she says. “I’ve got to have a life worth fighting for.”
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Your June 2023 Horoscopes Are All About Intuition & Love Leading You Forward
June is all about following your inner compass. Life is coming full circle, and both culminations and new beginnings are occurring. This month is a time of showing up for yourself, for others, and for your life- and about seeing things with more clarity. Gemini Season is underway in June, and Gemini is a wildcard. You never know what is going to happen when the Sun is in Gemini, and it's best to go with the flow right now. Check in to your inner compass for guidance on the path ahead of you, and feel the excitement of what is possible for you this month.
June 2023 Overview
There is a Full Moon in Sagittarius on June 3rd, and this is the Full Strawberry Moon of the year. Being that the Full Moon will be in a fire sign, this is overall a time of activation and empowerment. This is the time to overcome fears, gain the bigger picture, and experience a breakthrough in your life. A few days later on June 5th, Venus moves into Leo and even love is heating up. Venus in Leo loves loud. She loves being in this self-expressive and bold sign, and love takes on a more exciting, charming, creative, and dramatic tone over the next few months. Venus will be in Leo until October 8th, and there will be a lot happening when it comes to love, relationships, and finances over that time.
Saturn and Neptune are both in Pisces, and they both go retrograde this month. With Saturn going retrograde on the 17th, and Neptune on the 30th, although there is a lot of growth taking place in June, there is also a need to take a step back and process. Saturn retrograde makes sure your plans are sustainable and Neptune retrograde helps you take off the blinders. Both of these signs in retrograde motion facilitate a reality check, and as Retrograde Season begins, it’s better to learn lessons as they come, rather than having to repeat them later.
Saturn will humble, and Neptune will inspire.
On June 18th, there is a New Moon in Gemini as Gemini Season comes to a close, and there are some surprises in store during this time. Since Gemini is all about the mind, some important revelations are happening now, and connecting with others on many different layers is what this time is facilitating. Look out for new opportunities that are appearing this month, and back your intentions with excitement. Cancer Season begins on June 21st, and after a mentally active month, the heart takes more focus again. Overall June is a time of the skies clearing, perspective entering, and love leading you forward.
What's In Store for Each Zodiac Sign in June 2023
ARIESAriesKyra Jay for xoNecole
In June you are working on letting the past go, Aries. This is a month to choose your battles wisely, focus on more sustainability, and on putting your attention on what’s going to work for you in the long run. There is no easy fix to what is presenting itself to you this month, and it’s about standing your ground and not giving up on yourself in the meantime. You are more powerful than you know, and you will overcome any tests thrown your way this month.
Venus enters your 5th house of love on June 5th, and this is putting a positive tone on romance for you. You are attracted to confidence, emotional vulnerability, and joy in others more so than anything right now, and things are getting interesting for you in love this month. Saturn goes retrograde on the 17th and with Saturn currently in your 12th house of endings and closure, you are preparing for some big transformations this summer, and they start appearing for you now.
TAURUSTaurusKyra Jay for xoNecole
This month is all about overcoming fears, Taurus. June is the time to take off the blindfold that has kept you safe and comfortable out of fear so that you can understand where true safety and power come from. You are releasing limitations from your life that have been self-imposed and are ready to let go of the people that keep you in this state of limbo as well. The Full Moon happening this month on the 3rd is when you gain the clarity and self-understanding needed to transform from these power struggles and reach your true potential in life.
Moving forward into June, your ruling planet Venus enters Leo and moves into an area of your birth chart having to do with home, family, inner well-being, and your foundations. You are getting some type of reality check in June but it’s helping you build more solid and stable ground for yourself to thrive on. Home is where you feel the love, especially so this month, and you are creating some new safe spaces for yourself in June and sprucing up your surroundings.
GEMINIGeminiKyra Jay for xoNecole
In June, your patience and persistence are needed, Gemini. This is a month where you will see blessings bloom, but when you also need to put more effort into watering your intentions. This doesn’t always mean taking more action, sometimes it means believing in yourself more and looking at your situation in a more positive and nurturing light. You have worked hard to plant your seeds and build a life that makes you happy, and the universe is nudging you to see that you are almost there.
The Sun is in Gemini until June 21st, and most of the month is about gaining self-confidence, being the leader of your life, and honoring your right to happiness. On June 11th, Mercury, your ruling planet, enters your sign and your mind is thriving right now. Communication is your strength more so than ever in June, and this is an excellent month to connect, engage, and keep an open mind. Before the month ends there is a New Moon in your sign on the 18th, and it’s time to believe in a miracle.
CANCERCancerKyra Jay for xoNecole
Gather your strength, and find your ground this month, Cancer. The Sun is in the sign just before yours for most of the month, and you are tying up loose ends in June. You often keep space for the past, present, and future all to reside in your heart, but this month you are taking a good look at how much you can really carry, and how much you really should be. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for support this month. You are always there for others, and sometimes it’s your turn for someone to be there for you.
Saturn goes retrograde this month on the 17th and over the next few months will be helping you gain a new perspective. Saturn will be retrograde in an area of your chart having to do with travel as well, and extra patience and planning will be needed when it comes to travel plans this summer. On June 21st, Cancer Season officially begins and you are feeling more freedom and excitement after somewhat of a heavy month. A few days later on the 26th, Mercury enters Cancer, and the spotlight is really on you now.
LEOLeoKyra Jay for xoNecole
June is a month of emotional renewal for you, Leo. You are beginning anew in many ways this month, and you are feeling the love and support. There is something exciting about what is presenting itself to you in June, and you can’t help but feel passionate about it all. There is a Full Moon in Sagittarius happening on the 3rd at the beginning of the month, and this Full Moon is bringing things full circle when it comes to love. Your intentions have been heard and you are seeing the benefit of going after what you want in life. You are protected and worthy, and it is safe for you to love, Leo.
Speaking of love, Venus, the planet of romance, love, and pleasure, enters your sign on June 5th and will remain here for an unusually long amount of time, until October. When Venus is in your sign, love takes on a bold, proud, and more charismatic charm. Venus in Leo has a dramatic flair to her so things will definitely be interesting for you over the next few months, but there won’t be a lack of love in your life that is for sure. Overall, June is an emotionally exciting month for you.
VIRGOVirgoKyra Jay for xoNecole
Your heart is free, Virgo. June is about feeling the love in your life from within to without, and feeling like things are in synergy. You believe in the power of manifestation, and this month you are seeing some of your manifestations appear, especially regarding the relationships in your life. You have moved through a lot of growth this year and you are ready to have some more fun and to see what other exciting and heartfelt experiences are in store for you.
Neptune and Saturn both go retrograde this month, and they are going to be retrograde in your 7th house of one-on-one relationships, love, finances, and enemies. Thankfully, the love you have been giving yourself will triumph over any hater that may come your way, and the community of support you have built around you will facilitate that. These retrogrades for you are more about being a better advocate for yourself and learning more about certain patterning and emotional experiences in love that play out for you so that you can recharge and renew.
LIBRALibraKyra Jay for xoNecole
Celebrations are in store for you this month, Libra. June is all about good times and good vibes. You have the support around you that you need to feel the emotional fulfillment you look for in life, and there are a lot of healing experiences to be had this month. It’s about letting go of what keeps you apart from others and focusing more on what keeps you together. You are finding your balance, having fun, and honoring your heart this month, Libra.
Your ruling planet Venus moves into your house of friendships at the beginning of the month on the 5th, and you are feeling new beginnings within your community, friendships, and your soulmates. Others are more willing to share the love right now and you are feeling more seen and heard. With Saturn going retrograde before the month ends on the 17th, you will need to take a look at your current routine and see what benefits and what overwhelms you, however. Taking care of your health should be more of a priority over the next few months but overall, June has a lot to offer you.
SCORPIOScorpioKyra Jay for xoNecole
Trust your intuition, Scorpio. This is a month of tuning into the universe and paying attention to the signs. You are inspiring those around you with your sound wisdom and advice, and you are stepping into your power this month. June is your time to get creative, tap into the divine, and create more beauty in your life. Venus moves into your 10th house of career on June 5th and will be shining the spotlight on you over the next few months. It’s all about showing up and allowing others to admire and appreciate who you are.
There is a New Moon in Gemini occurring on the 18th, and this New Moon is a transformative one for you. You are letting go of self-doubt and pain and moving forward into self-empowerment and healing. You are learning more about self-mastery right now and how to be the leader of your life, rather than someone who’s the result of their circumstances. June is an empowering month for you overall, and this is a game-changing time.
SAGITTARIUSSagittariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
June is all about letting go, Sagittarius. It’s about honoring your health, letting go of control, and focusing on what aligns with your well-being rather than hindering it. You are learning some important lessons on allowing rather than forcing right now, and are getting the opportunity to put yourself on a new path in life. There is a Full Moon happening at the beginning of the month on the 3rd, and this Full Moon is signaling to you where to let go, and where to dive in.
You are closing some chapters in your life this month. With Venus moving into fellow fire sign Leo on the 5th and entering your house of adventure, you are not in the mood to be tied down to anything that feels forced or smothering. You are overcoming some addictions and mental hurdles to feel more freedom in your life right now. Saturn goes retrograde on the 17th and will be in retrograde in your 4th house of home and family until November, and you will be defining and refinding what family means to you right now.
CAPRICORNCapricornKyra Jay for xoNecole
June is all about baby steps, Capricorn. You are putting one foot in front of the other, and paving a new path for yourself this month. Your finances, income, and synergy here are in focus for most of the month, and you are looking for new ways to see growth in this area of your life. You are putting the feelers out there, taking on new opportunities and responsibilities, and are seeing the results of your resourcefulness. With the Full Moon happening at the beginning of the month, you are letting go of what has been weighing you down from fulfilling your dreams.
Pluto has been in retrograde since May 1st, and on June 11th, it moves into your sign. Pluto will be retrograde in Capricorn until October, and during this time you will be finding your power, and owning your voice. You deserve to take up space, and you do make the great leader that you aspire to be. Your ruling planet Saturn goes retrograde a few days later on the 17th, and you will be experiencing growth when it comes to communication, neighbors, siblings, transportation, and connection.
AQUARIUSAquariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
You have the Midas Touch this month, Aquarius. This is an impactful and abundant month for you, and you are happy with the spaces you are finding yourself in right now. You have found the key to your success and are creating and living the life you dream of. With Venus moving into your house of love as the month begins, there is so much to be grateful for right now and you have it all right beside you. Remember to appreciate the gifts of today and not get so lost in the details that you miss the moment.
Saturn goes retrograde on the 17th and will be retrograde in your house of income until November. Create a strategic plan for your financial world, and focus on stability here. You have made some essential gains here recently, and Saturn will be serving lessons on how to maintain that. Saturn is one of your ruling planets and you especially feel its influence. Over the next few months take an honest look at your financial world, and create a long-term plan here.
PISCESPiscesKyra Jay for xoNecole
June is a new beginning for you, Pisces. You are in high spirits this month and are feeling the hope that you align so well with in life. New communication is coming to the forefront and you are getting the answers you have been looking for. You are seeing things clearly right now, and your heart is leading the way. The Full Moon on June 3rd will be happening in your house of success and achievements and you are spending the beginning of the month honoring how far you have come, and celebrating where you are now.
Saturn and Neptune are both in your sign right now, and they both go retrograde this month. Saturn first, on June 17th, and you may be feeling more restless than usual over the next few months. You could be feeling a little more anxious and pressured right now, and more compassion for yourself and your life path is needed. Neptune goes retrograde in Pisces on the 30th, and you are getting lost in the mystery of it all. Divine intervention will be at play for you over the next few months, and perspectives are shaking for you to see some new truths. Overall, this is a very creative and life-changing time for you.
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Featured image by Kyra Jay for xoNecole