As empaths (sensitive beings), we naturally have very open energy fields, big hearts, and a desire to serve others. This makes us exceptional therapists, healers, energy workers, coaches, healthcare professionals, and similar careers of service.
Unfortunately, when we aren’t conscious of our energy field, we often have loose, sloppy, or non-existent boundaries. This means the edges of our energetic container are not well-defined, if at all (think Swiss cheese). One consequence of this is that we tend to let everybody into our energetic (and even physical) space, indiscriminately.
We Are Energetic Sieves
There are many reasons for this. On the positive end of the spectrum, it is because we are naturally kind, helpful, compassionate and thoughtful. On the unhealthy end of the spectrum, it can be because we are codependent, define ourselves by how others view us or have no idea how to say no. Either way, it is not uncommon for unconscious empaths to walk around carrying everyone they know in their energy field.
On multiple occasions, I have lovingly sent clients right back out my office door as soon as they arrived and instructed them to leave everyone they walked into my office with outside the threshold. Sometimes I would give them a handful of crystals to create physical representations of who they were leaving outside the door.
One client shared, “I was a little taken aback when Stephanie made me go back outside. I had no idea I was carrying so many people with me. Once I left them outside, I was kind of disoriented and lonely because I had so much space inside my energy field. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I soon realized how much I let everyone else define me.”
Because it is so easy for empaths to merge with other people and take on their energy, beliefs, values, emotions, habits, and more, the line between where we end and the next person begins can become indistinguishable. In learning to disunite people from our sovereign space, it creates breathing room, frees up our life force, and gives us greater access to our own voice and truth.
But Wait, There’s More
Yet, to the who in your energy field you need to also add the what. In addition to all the people, we also carry around problems, health issues, pets, decisions, unforgiveness, shoulds, old belief systems, and so much more. No wonder we feel overwhelmed and claustrophobic!
It is easy to become numb to all of the baggage and energetic clutter we accumulate over time.
We acclimate to it and don’t recognize how bogged down, confused and exhausted we have become in the process. Fair warning: once you become aware of these energies, it will be almost impossible to go back to ignorance of them. Which, I suppose, is the point if you want to evolve in consciousness!
In the sidebar I created a powerful tool that anyone can use, as many times as needed, to become aware of who and what is in your energy field. It is an excellent exercise for illustrating just how much you are carrying around with you at any given time.
Establishing a Conscious Check-In Practice
I wish it were a one-and-done kind of act, but tending to your energy field and boundaries is a daily and lifelong practice. The most important habit to develop is checking in with yourself. This only takes a few minutes and I encourage you to do it several times throughout the day and especially before bed.
Your check-in practice can consist of multiple assessments, including your physical, mental, emotional, and energetic state, the condition of your edges (boundary), as well as looking at who and what is in your field that isn’t serving you. Adopting an abbreviated version of the exercise in the sidebar is a good way to start until you become adept. As the practice becomes a habit, your system will automatically start giving you feedback and the check-in process will shorten.
The point of checking in is to give you the opportunity to notice your patterns and make any necessary adjustments, including clearing your field. There are a variety of ways to clear your energy field, but your intention is the most powerful one. Whatever you have identified that doesn’t need to be in your field, lovingly but firmly move them outside your sovereign space.
Next to intention, the breath is a powerful tool as it acts like a reset button for the energy body. I regularly use my breath as a tool for moving energy and, in combination with intention, they create a fairly complete short practice. From time to time, however, I would encourage you to do a longer and more thorough check-in and clearing.
Check out the exercise at the end of this article and see what kind of impact it makes for you!
Practice Makes Practical
As empaths it is natural for us to merge with others; it is much more difficult to stay centered in our own selves. Tending to our energy field, managing boundaries, and creating a daily energy hygiene practice is critical to remaining grounded in our own authenticity and maintaining clarity about what is and is not ours. No matter where you are on your evolutionary path, making conscious choices about who and what is allowed in your energy field will help you stay firmly anchored in your sovereign seat.
EXERCISE: Exercise: Who Is In Your Energy Field?
Preparation: Create a circle around you approximately 4 feet in diameter. You can use rope, a hula hoop, crystals or scarves strung together. The idea is to create a visual boundary. You will also need a pad of sticky notes and a pen.
Write down whatever comes to you for each of the categories below. One item per sticky. Then place each sticky inside your circle.
- Every person in your energy field: family, friends, co-workers, etc.
- Decisions/issues/problems you are contemplating
- Health concerns
- Major stressors, whether on-going or one-time
- Things you feel responsible for
- Unforgiveness (who you aren’t forgiving)
- Shoulds (which includes should not’s)
- Any other categories you can think of
Look at all of your stickies and take a moment for the impact to sink in. What initial reaction are you noticing in your body?
Journal now about everything you’ve written down, asking yourself the following questions:
- What actions do I need to take related to all of the people and situations drawing upon my energy?
- What boundaries do I need to draw?
- What decisions do I need to make?
- Where do I need to ask for support?
- What kind of self-care do I need to engage in?
Finally, physically remove the stickies representing the people and situations you no longer choose to carry inside your sovereign container. Notice how you feel after they are out of your field.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in Evolving Magazine and is featured here with Author permission.