I believe highly sensitive, empathetic women are healers.
Whether or not you’re in the healing profession, if you’re this type of woman, you tend to assimilate the energy of the people you love and come into contact with in effort to take away their pain. It’s what we do best.
While being highly sensitive and empathetic have enormous benefits, it’s imperative that we learn the art of self-protection. With the internet and social media, the amount of people we are in contact with day-to-day has grown exponentially.
Side note: You don’t have to be in someone’s physical presence to feel the effects of their energy, as I’m sure you have already experienced to be true.
When I was in acupuncture school treating patients in the student clinic, I would see a patient and later complain of the exact symptoms I was treating earlier that would seemingly come out of nowhere. Interestingly, my patients would report they felt better immediately after our session.
This became a pattern I would notice frequently throughout my schooling and into my first year of clinical practice. This was also the reason I used to feel completely exhausted after a full day of treating patients.
Luckily, my mom is a gifted acupuncturist, masseuse, herbalist, Reiki master, lightbody worker, and yoga teacher. Since I was eight years old, she has taught me by example the art of groundedness, self-protection, and healthy boundaries. (I know, right? Go, Mom.)
When putting these rituals and intentions into practice, I am able to be present and hold space for people’s healing to happen without taking on their energy as my own.
You can learn how to do this, too, in everyday scenarios. Sometimes it takes more effort than other times depending on the person, the amount of people, and our own internal, baseline centeredness on any given day. But, with practice, feeling grounded and energetically protected can become second nature.
Whether you’re trying to conceive and could do without everyone’s energetic input on the matter, whether you’re pregnant and feeling extra vulnerable to people’s energy around you, or whether you’re feeling the need to protect yourself from the increased negative energy that’s resulted from this crazy-pants U.S. election, these techniques will help you reestablish healthy boundaries.
- Identify your internal and external triggers. Triggers in this case are situations, people, or places that cause you to be particularly susceptible to taking on others’ energy as your own.
Examples of internal triggers are certain times during your menstrual cycle, being pregnant, how well you’ve eaten, exercised or taken care of your own needs. External examples include social interactions, work environment, family gatherings, discussions about specific topics, or social media.
So, for example, if your period is due tomorrow, you know you need to eat, and you’re about to meet up with a friend who tends to be negative, know that you are particularly vulnerable to energetic toxicity.
- Visualize your protection. Once you’ve identified your triggers, take a moment to stop and find your centeredness, take 2-3 deep breaths, and visualize your chosen form of protection before entering into or continuing with the situation.
My favorite visualization is one that my mom taught me: Imagine an egg-shaped cocoon of mesh-like “fabric” made out of light surrounding your entire body, where the mesh-like quality acts like a highly selective filter allowing only love and positive energy into your energy field. Everything else is blocked or transformed into love before entering. Experiment with this visualization and see how it feels to you.
Another one that I love is imagining the energy from the core of my body coming down through my feet and connecting with the center of the Earth. This one is especially useful when you feel you need to “stand your ground” or keep from getting caught up in someone else’s energy tornado.
You might find that sometimes it’s only necessary to visualize a protective energy shield in front of specific parts of your body, like in front of your solar plexus or chest / heart area. Certain situations may call for different forms of protection. Experiment, practice, and learn what works best for you.
- Wear physical forms of protection. In addition to visualizations, physical protection in the form of jewelry can be useful, too. Try wearing crystals, stones, malas, or pieces that have special significance to you.
Long necklaces, in particular, can act as a protective shield over your chest, where women tend to feel vulnerable to negative energy. I have several mala necklaces that I have made myself at a mala making workshop, found on this Etsy.com shop and tinydevotions.com. I also frequently wear a strand of sterling silver “Navajo pearls” given to me by my mom that seem to access my female warrior energy.
- Regularly cleanse your energy with water. Water has special healing and cleansing properties, as you probably intuitively know if you’ve ever spent time near big bodies of water.
For those of us who are landlocked (Colorado represent!) or don’t have easy access to the ocean, rivers, lakes, hot springs, etc., we can recreate the cleansing experience of water simply by taking a shower or bath.
When I was growing up, my mom would always take a bath at the end of the day and say that she imagined other people’s energy going down the drain when her soak was over. This ritual is especially wonderful for women who come into physical contact with lots of people during the day like elementary school teachers or health care providers.
You can also try spritzing water into the air that is infused with essential oils and/or healing crystals if you need a quick cleanse–like this one created my lovely friend and herbalist, Crystal.
If you liked this post, please share it with the highly sensitive women in your life. <3
Photo: Lisa Rundall Photography
Outfit styling: Hiris & Co