"DARING TO SET BOUNDARIES IS ABOUT HAVING THE COURAGE TO LOVE OURSELVES EVEN WHEN WE RISK DISAPPOINTING OTHERS"
- brene brown -
The ‘B’ word.
If the personal development world has been a source of interest for you over the last few years, you’d know that ‘boundaries’ have become quite the buzz word. Appearing in several forms; physical, emotional and energetic to name a few; they are portrayed to be this wondrous thing that can significantly change your life.
And they can indeed, particularly if you identify as an empath, a highly sensitive person, a people-pleaser or someone who struggles with co-dependency. In this post, I’m going to dive a little into managing energetic boundaries specifically because they have such a life changing impact on sensitive people once they learn to master them.
We each have an energy field around our body, sometimes referred to as the “subtle anatomy”. The energy field is made up of several layers similar to an onion and surrounds the front, back, top, bottom and sides of our physical bodies. Think of it almost as an oval shaped bubble. An energetic boundary is merely where your energy field ends.
Let’s put this into everyday life context. Your BFF is super emotional and has just done a verbal dump on you. You feel completely drained like you’ve “absorbed” her emotions. The worst part is you can’t shake it and it stays with you for DAYS. Or let’s say you’re a very giving person and you’ve been dating or in a relationship with someone who is incredibly needy. If you aren’t able to manage your energetic boundaries, then you’re going to feel drained and fatigued very quickly and constantly, resulting in a huge impact on your overall well-being. So how can we start setting better energetic boundaries for ourselves?
This is a biggie! Particularly if you’re a recovering (or ongoing) people pleaser! The more you tune into how you feel and learn to say no when it’s right for you, the more energetically healthy you become. If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t want to do something or feel like someone is overstepping your boundaries, you’ll feel this in your body. Pay attention to how your body feels during these times. Is your heart racing? Do you feel drained or irritated? Anxious? Using your body as a tool to show you the way can really help you manage your energetic boundaries. The next step is saying ‘no’ of course. Please know that this takes practice and isn’t always easy to do, particularly if you’ve been put on the spot. Start with the small things so it feels less confronting and eventually you’ll be able to work towards the bigger things. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t always get it right! It’s all part of the human experience.
Tuning into your energy field is all about visualisation. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at it. You can do this by taking a few deep breaths into your heart space, and with each exhale, start to pay attention to your energy field around your body. Imagine an aura around your physical body and tune in to whether it appears to be large and extended or close to your body. What does it look like? What colour is it? Your first instincts are usually right so don’t question it and learn to trust your inner knowing. If you’re feeling tired, going to be out in crowded spaces or interacting with many people for the day, it’s important for you to call your aura in. This will stop you from picking up everyone else’s emotions and “stuff”. You can do so by imagining your aura shrinking close to your physical body. However, if you want to make an impression such as at a job interview or make an impact somehow, then you can do the opposite by imagining your aura expanding out! Just remember to call your aura in and cleanse it before going to bed! Keep reading for how to do that.
You expend a loootttt of energy during the day and in your sleep! If you’re someone who dreams vividly, you’re likely leaving your energy in other dimensions while you sleep. You also lose energy when you interact with others, are intimate with them or are not able to hold your energetic boundaries in everyday life. It’s important to call your energy back and disconnect from others so that you can remain energetically whole and energised. To do this, close your eyes and and set the intention for all your energy to be returned to you in present time with no emotional charge. This is REALLY important because you want your energy back but without all the crap that’s attached to it! Imagine watching all this energy zoom back directly in front of you. You can think of it as rocks or bubbles, whatever works for you. Now visualise a golden orb coming down over your rocks and bubbles, clearing it out for you before your energy is returned to your body and into fibre of your being. The golden orb can also be used in visualisation for cleansing your aura. Imagine it moving through the top of your head and energy field and throughout your whole physical and energy body, clearing your aura. You’ll also want to disconnect from others and you can do this once all your energy has been returned to you. Visualise your whole body radiating with sparkly golden light and visualise any cords that may be attached between you and other people disconnect and float away from your body.
I hope these tips have been helpful to you! Keep in mind, cultivating an energy management practice takes time and don’t happen overnight. Practicing healthy energy management isn’t selfish. It’s an act of self-love and requires daily commitment to yourself and your well-being. Your soul will thank you for it! And most importantly, remember to have self-compassion when you don’t always get it right.