5 Tips For Standing Strong In Who You Are: Building Better Energetic Boundaries.
In fact, every interaction we have is an energetic one: there is a give and a take, an energetic influence and exchange. At times, we are left with strong energetic residues from our interactions, both positive and negative.
One way to navigate our energetic experiences in a stable and healthy way is by building better energetic boundaries. Instead of constantly feeling drained, or left spinning in a whirlwind, good boundaries will help you stay connected to your intuitive center.
Here are a few tips I have honed from years treating patients as an Acupuncturist and Herbalist, and from teaching Yoga. These sometimes simple ideas, when put into play, can make a big difference.
1. Take care of yourself. Seems easy, right? It is so much more common to leak energetically, and to be open to the energy of others, if we are exhausted, underfed, and burnt-out. Get enough sleep, reduce your stress-response, and nourish yourself with healing foods.
Feed your soul in some way, so that the cup is full. When we know how to take care of ourselves, we are also more in tune with our interactions with others, and can more readily read a toxic encounter (more on energy vampires later).
2. Cut the cord. When you do get a sense of a toxic relationship or encounter that might have left you drained or full of another’s energy, it can be helpful to create a little ceremony during which you cut these cords.
Often they are streaming out of the front or back of one of our chakras. During meditation, try visualizing these cords, and releasing those that no longer serve you.
3. Build a better energetic boundary. This can be done in a number of ways. One of my favorites is through herbs. In Chinese medicine, we have this concept of Wei Qi. Wei Qi is one of the types of qi in the body that is responsible for our immunity.
In this way, it is our energetic boundary between us than the world, and can be cultivated to bring us a strong sense of self and other. (Where do I end and you begin?) One herb that will help with Wei Qi is Astralagus (Huang Qi).
4. Create an energy shield. A technique that I find useful is visualizing an energetic shield or bubble around you. I learned this from my Reiki teacher: visualize a bubble of golden light that surrounds you.
Imagine this golden light is really close to your skin, perhaps just centimeters off the surface. Now imagine that you can raise and lower this shield at will (from the head down towards the floor) according to how exposed you want to be energetically.
This is a great way to work with those energy vampires mentioned above.
5. Practice Yoga. A steady Yoga practice will get you in touch with your innermost self and your intuitive voice. The clarity you gain on the mat, or on the cushion, naturally spills over into the rest of your life.
It becomes apparent where your energy is going, and the situations which do not feed you on the deepest level make themselves known. It becomes easier to say No — while also saying Yes to the rest of your life.
Clear boundaries make it easier to move through the world in a way that is in alignment with our true nature.
Fall and Winter are natural times for our energy to turn inward as well, so also taking care to not overextend your energy during those times can leave you feeling more contained and less stressed.
Emily Perry, MTOM, L.Ac., E-RYT-200, is a Yoga Teacher, Acupuncturist, and Herbalist, based in Santa Cruz, California. A student of Yoga and meditation since 1994, and of Chinese Medicine since 2000, she teaches Vinyasa Flow Yoga, mindfulness and Holistic Health. Weaving together five-element theory, energetic alignment, non-dual philosophy and classical Chinese Medicine, her Vinyasa Flow classes explore energetics, mudra, chanting, and pranayama. She teaches workshops, retreats and trainings around the world. Listen to her podcast and connect with her online at Emily Perry Yoga, on Facebook, and on Instagram.