From Chapter 7. Your Energy Container: "Shields Up Mr. Sulu"
Understanding Your Energy Container
Quite simply, you are more than just your physical being. You have a field of energy that surrounds you: your personal energy field. It is unique to you, just like a fingerprint or a snowflake pattern. Basic physiology teaches us that each cell in our body has a charge. The very fact that you are alive--from electrical impulses traveling throughout your body to your cells converting food to energy--creates an energy field.
Yet your energy field is comprised of more than just the byproducts of human biological functioning. Thoughts and actions also have a frequency to them. Everything you are, think, and do contributes to the distinct frequency or vibration that is you and your unique energetic signature. You have probably already surmised that as empaths it is much easier for us to be boundless and it requires much more effort and focus for us to establish and maintain boundaries.
You would be correct. Without mentors or an understanding of the fluid nature of our energy field, we are prone to arbitrarily allowing any energy into our field and leaking vital life force energy into the ethers.
Exercise: Who Is In Your Energy Field?
This exercise illustrates very clearly just how much you are carrying around with you at any given time. 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.
Gather up your supplies for this exercise. You'll need to create a circle around you that is approximately 4 feet in diameter. You can use rope, a hula hoop, scarves strung together, or whatever you can come up with. The idea is to create a visual boundary or container. You will also need a pad of sticky notes or paper you can rip or cut into small pieces, and a pen.
Write down whatever comes to you for each of the categories listed below. One item per sticky. Then place each sticky inside your circle.
- Everyone who is in your energy field: family, friends, co-workers, etc.
- Decisions/issues/problems you are sitting with
- Health concerns
- Major stressors, whether on-going or one-time, like a death
- Things you feel responsible for
- Any other categories you can think of
Look at all of your stickies and take a moment for the impact to sink in. Look at all the names and categories. What initial reaction are you noticing in your body?
You will discover that some of these people or things in your energy field are legitimate, right, and necessary. And you'll discover that some are invasive and unnecessary. These are energies that you've let into your space whether you're conscious of it or not. Some of these people or situations give energy back to you, meaning there's a partnership or equal investment in each other.
Many of your stickies will represent people or situations that are not supporting you. They are taking from you in some way, have expectations of you, or tell you what to do. Or you take responsibility for them when responsibility isn't yours, you over-give, or are in some form of codependence.
Journal now about everything you've written down, asking yourself:
- What needs to change?
- 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 kind of self-care do I need to engage in?
To understand the concept of energy leaks at a visceral level, close your eyes and call up in your body what it feels like when you are feeling powerful, solid, grounded, confident, energetic, and excited about your life. Look around inside yourself and at your energetic container. How do you feel? What does your container look like? How big is it?
When you are in a positive and powerful state, fully embodied, alert, and present, your energy container is solid and defined with no holes or leaks. Your container is able to fully contain you and you have clear boundaries. Your container is in integrity.
Imagine now what it feels like in your body when you feel weak, disempowered, codependent, doubting yourself, and afraid. Again, take note of whatever there is to notice. How do you feel? What does your container look like? How big is it? What is the consistency, structure, or content of your container?
Now take a deep breath to clear that visualization out of your energy field, shake out your hands, and return to a neutral state.
When you are in a disempowered or fearful state, the integrity of your energy container is obliterated. It looks like Swiss cheese, leaking energy like a sieve. Boundaries are non-existent and you probably feel exposed, weak, and vulnerable.
When your container has leaks, then it means you are either venting vital energies out into the ethers or allowing compromising energies from others or the environment into your space. Or both. Leaks show up as all kinds of unhealthy behaviors including squishy boundaries, disempowering money habits, co-dependence in relationship, taking on problems that aren’t yours, not speaking your truth, suppressing your authentic self, feeling responsible for other people’s emotions, and letting people take advantage of you, to name a few.
With attention and practice you can sustain a more consistently intact container and develop the skills to restore balance (plug up leaks), clear your field of unwanted or unfavorable influences, and stabilize your field after a destabilizing blow. I will cover energy leaks more in Chapter 8, which discusses boundaries in greater detail.