Several days ago I was contemplating a common theme I had noticed amongst my newest group of yoga teacher training students. Many, if not all, of them are strongly empathic, and at times it seems to create unnecessary suffering in their day-to-day lives.
I remember feeling this way myself, not very long ago. I avoided going into Costco for almost 3 years because every time I came out of there I felt like I had been hit by a truck. At that time I was still in denial that I could feel energy. I am very good at seeing and hearing but feeling was a gift I was sure was not one of mine. Little did I know how the trauma of my past had created a protective layer in my body from feeling too much.
As I have removed this layer to be able to heal and reclaim my body, I started to feel deeply. So much so that it would cause intense anxiety and even panic. I was not sure what was mine, what I was feeling, and most importantly, what to do about it and how to manage this so-called “gift”.
Over time, I acquired additional tools, practices, lessons – all of them aimed at helping me learn to manage my energy, and understand that I am ultimately responsible for how I feel.
As I practiced these lessons, I realized how empowering it is to know how to perceive and manage energy, and what I need to do to keep mine from being leaky or absorbing another’s projections.
What I have found is more joy, more peace, and a sense of knowing that I can choose and therefore create how I experience life.
I wrote most of these out for my students, and added a few more, as I know how impactful they were and still are in helping me each day.
Here are 12 rules I abide by to help maintain my energy in a place of clarity and harmony:
1. You are responsible for the energy that you bring with you everywhere you go. (Release the victim mentality and reclaim your power.)
2. You are in control of how you receive and perceive other peoples’ energy. (How you choose to feel and react or respond is up to only you!)
3. Learn to say, “No.” as a complete sentence. (Simple yet hard. This means not saying, “No, but..” or “No, I’m sorry…” just say No!)
4. Learn to say, “Yes.” only to the things that create peace or joy in your life. (Even things that are outside of your comfort zone can create joy when it may feel like fear on the surface.)
5. Learn to control your breathing – this will help you manage #1 and #2. Begin my placing a hand over your navel and as you inhale, expand your navel out into your hand. And you exhale, contract your navel to your spine. Repeat for 10 breaths. Practice often.
6. Create healthy boundaries of body, mind, heart, and soul. If boundaries are not familiar to you, start by feeling into what is your yes, and what is your no. (Use your body as a pendulum. Stand tall in what yogis call Mountain Pose. Ground into your feet, lift your knee caps to engage your thighs, tighten your abdomen, open your heart, and lift the top of your head to the sky. Now ask yourself a question that you know the answer is, “yes”. For example: say to yourself, I am a man/woman. Notice what your body does. It may sway forward or back, or side to side. That is your yes. Now ask a question that you know is a “No” answer. Notice what your body does. Practice this until you get a clear yes and a clear no. My body moves forward on my yes answer, and backwards on a no answer.)
You can use this every time you are unsure of a boundary or to make a decision that you are struggling with deciding. This taps into your heart energy instead of your head energy.
7. Daily love seal around you every day – not protection! Tune into your heart space. Imagine a green light (or color of your choice that feels like love) radiating 8 feet out in front of you from your heart, and in an 8 foot wide diameter around your whole body in all directions. This will help you contain and maintain your vibration of love and not feel affected by the energy of others. See this as an inside out sphere of Divine Love holding you and keeping you in your illuminated energy. This is how you maintain #1.
8. Love yourself – if you don’t know how, a gentle way to begin is with a simple gratitude practice of going through each part of your body and saying, “I am grateful for my toes. I am grateful for my feet. I am grateful for my shins and calves. Etc.. up the entire body. You can include organs, muscles, bones, cells”
9. Learn to be an observer, not an absorber. This I learned directly from Sunny Dawn Johnston, a psychic medium and angel communicator, that is a huge support on my journey. This statement: “observe, don’t absorb” is life-changing. You can see and even feel what’s happening without allowing it to soak into your being.
10. Meditate daily! Here’s one way: Create a grounding meditation practice that feels like a release and receive exchange. I use a golden chord that travels from my navel center down my spine, into the core of the Earth where she burns up what I don’t need, recycles it, and uses it as compost. The chord travels up my spine opening through the crown into the heavens where I receive Christ Consciousness energy filling me with golden light. This becomes a daily, any time needed practice.
11. Move your body every day. Your body was created to move. Movement allows blocked, stagnant energy to release and fills you with new vitality. Whether it’s taking a walk, a yoga class, intense cardio and weights, do some kind of movement each day. If you say you don’t have time, I ask you this, “How much time have you spent on social media, checking emails, staring at your screen?” You have time.
12. Be willing to forgive yourself. There are not many things that lower energy, cause an imbalance in your energy, and make you an empathic bulletin board more than guilt and shame. Start by stating, “I am willing to forgive myself for ____.” The willingness creates an opening for the lower energy to leave. Be sure to fill in with grace, compassion, and love.
This may seem like a lot or maybe even too much. Start with one or two of them that feel gentle. Or start with the one you resist the most.
If you practice these, you will become less reactive, less irritable, and more empowered in daily life.
When you learn to manage and control your energy, you are able to create profound changes in how you live your life.
I hope you give them a try!