In the previous post, I covered a number of possible reasons behind energy leaks, including how other people can sometimes be draining our energy, intentionally or not. Today I wanted to talk about some of the methods we can use to protect ourselves from being energetically affected by others.
Energy cords / compassionate connections
While energetic connections with family and close friends through which we send and receive energy are healthy and normal, we don't want to hold on to the energy cords between us and a negative person who sucked us into their drama to feed on the energy of our reaction, or the cords between us and all 25 of our patients whose problems we're constantly thinking about (and thus sending them energy)!
Preventing energy cords
You may be sensitive enough to feel something pulling on your solar plexus while trying to finish that drawn-out conversation with your neighbor for the seventh time. Or you may simply feel a growing rage inside while listening to your mother-in-law's nasty remarks... and then can't stop thinking about her the whole week.
It's good to be able to prevent an attachment of an energy cord. The basic, common sense things you can do are: establish strong boundaries and insist that others respect your boundaries, say NO, and promptly remove yourself from situations that start to feel uncomfortable.
If you are a healer or counselor and deeply care about your patients' problems, you have to practice discipline to prevent forming a bunch of energetic connections with your patients. Once that session is over, stop thinking about your patient and their story. If you're thinking about someone, you're sending them energy. If you're thinking about them constantly, that can form an energetic connection. Also, train yourself not to take responsibility for others, unless they're your minor children. :) It is very frustrating when we go out of our way to help a client heal and move forward in life, and they just dig in their heels. Then we may try even harder to solve their problems for them and motivate them into taking action. Ultimately, everyone has Free Will, and we have to respect their Free Will even when they choose not to help themselves. We really cannot be responsible for others. The same applies to friends and family members, by the way!
Cord cutting practice
Luckily, energetic connections with others can be severed so we can stop losing our energy.
There is a beautiful cord cutting visualization/prayer that was once given by Samantha Fey on the Psychic Teachers podcast. I loved it so much that I transcribed it and have since shared it with several healer friends, who love it as well. Here's a pdf file with this visualization that you can download and print for yourself: download the visualization.
By the way, we check for presence of energetic cords, hooks, and compassionate connections (energetic connections we form with others out of desire to help) in Akashic reading/clearing sessions, and we help the client sever those connections.
Taking on negative energy from others
Energetic connections are not the only way people can affect our energy levels and well-being: sometimes we simply pick up "stuff" from others. Have you ever felt depressed for no reason shortly after talking to a depressed friend?
I used to take on a lot of stuff from others, including my Reiki patients. Some of us, especially empaths, simply have thin energetic boundaries that make us more vulnerable to energetic influences from outside. Even though I've learned to protect myself over time, I still often feel as if the energy of a person I was interacting with earlier in the day is still with me, which can be distracting - or worrisome if that person was very sick or depressed!
The negative energy we take on won't necessarily make us sick, but it may slow us down somewhat as we're now processing extra stuff that isn't even ours, plus it may consume our own energy to work that extra piece out of our system.
Protecting yourself from taking on stuff from others
There are a few things we can do to protect ourselves.
If crystals are your thing, you can wear crystals that deflect or transmute negative energy. Here are some suggestions: Black Tourmaline, Obsidian, Black Onyx, Hematite, Amethyst, Apache Tear, Green Quartz, Chrysoprase. I personally wear a piece of Black Tourmaline close to my solar plexus chakra.
One popular energetic technique I often hear about is imagining yourself surrounded by white light, as if you're in a cloud.
Another popular one is shielding. There are fans and critiques of this technique. Basically the method is to visualize a protective shield around your energy field that doesn't allow any negative energy to enter your space or attach to you. Some like to imagine it as a mirror, as if you were inside of a giant disco ball that reflects all negativity and allows only the Light to come in. Others imagine a metal shield, or just a layer of light... it's really up to your preference.
I've heard someone speak out against the shielding technique because they believed that “maintaining” a shield takes up our own energy. They were advocating for a stronger grounding instead. Actually, let's talk about that next.
Grounding (establishing a strong energetic connection with the Earth) is important for our energetic health as well as for our intuition, and it also makes us less likely to take on “stuff” from others. One theory for why it offers a measure of protection is that with a strong grounding we have a "positive net energy flow": energy flows from the Earth to us and from us out into the world, thus we are constantly emitting energy rather than taking it in from our environment.
Everyone knows the standard grounding practice: imagine roots growing out of your feet and deep into the earth. Well, that practice doesn't do much for me, to be honest. I used to feel very dizzy and ungrounded after doing Reiki and psychic work despite using this visualization.
What helped me was a more effective grounding technique taught in a MotoKi (type of energy work) Introduction class by a local teacher, Brian Rainie. Stand firmly on your feet, focus your attention on the physical sensations in your hips, and imagine drawing energy from the Earth through your feet and up into your body. You can imagine Earth energy as water flowing into you. It's best to have a teacher initially "provoke" a stronger state of grounded-ness in us, which we can later come back to when needed. For local folks in San Francisco Bay Area, here is a link to the Meetup group where you can take the free Introduction class and get yourself properly grounded: https://www.meetup.com/Motoki/
My personal practice
When I first started practicing Reiki, I used to take on a lot of stuff from my patients, and that made me realize that I was very susceptible to energies of others in general and needed special protection.
Over time, I picked up the different methods mentioned above and they made a big difference in my everyday life. While these protection methods are great, I still do the one quick practice before going to bed every night to get rid of whatever I may have picked up from others during the day:
First, I state that I cut all the cords that are draining my energy, and visualize that. If I had an interaction with a negative person during the day, I specifically imagine cutting the cord between myself and that person. Then I ask Angels to come and “rinse” my energy field with their white light, removing all negativity, all energy of other people, and all thoughts of other people. I imagine white light coming down like rain and washing through my whole energy field, as if I were in a shower. :) Then I thank the Angels and imagine myself surrounded with white light that protects me from all negative energy. This is just my quick nightly practice, but it can of course be done at any time, such as after a healing session.
During the day, when I'm going outside, especially to a crowded place like a grocery store, I like to imagine putting up a protective cocoon or shield around myself, and I state that no negative energy or entity may approach me or enter my space. While it's hard to completely suppress our energetic sensitivity, little steps like this offer a measure of protection and some peace of mind.
I hope some of this was helpful. What other methods do you use to protect yourself energetically? Please share in the comments!