As children, we were taught to be strict with our personal hygiene. To wash our hands and clean our teeth.  To change our undies daily (unless, like my sister, clothes were a foreign concept to you and you ran around 92% of the time in the nude anyway.)

You know what they didn’t teach us? Energetic hygiene.

Bah, all that hippie reiki energy stuff, I hear some of you saying.

To which I say:

But really, ever go home from an average day of work, only to find you can’t quite shake off a confronting, negative or uncomfortable interaction you had with someone? You have physically left the place it happened, or the person with which it happened is now gone, but the ‘ick’ feeling lingers, and you still feel a bunch of energy flowing their way.

Ever get off the phone to a particular friend or family member and just feel depleted, yet don’t know why?

Have you ever had someone in your life, be it a co-worker, a boss, or anyone, where just the thought of them incites stress, negativity and poison in your body?

No, you’re not too soft, or too sensitive. That’s some energy stuff right there, and when it’s not cleaned out, that stuff accumulates and gets pretty funky. Imagine if you never washed your hands? Yeah. Gross. Now think about all the energetic gunk that must be caking up on your soul, your psyche, and your energetic force field if you haven’t cleaned it up for twenty, thirty, forty years.

In the spirit of starting a New Year fresh, here are some ways we unknowingly give our energy away, or let it get all foggy, and what to do about it.

#1 The importance of boundaries

If the word ‘boundaries’ and the thought of saying ‘no’ to others is uncomfortable for you, you’re not alone. Many people, women especially, tend to give and give until they have nothing left. I used to say ‘yes’ to tasks at work I really didn’t have time for, making sure to respond to emails as soon as I received them, always making myself available to assist. I used to say ‘yes’ to holding space for anyone and everyone who needed it, whenever they needed it, providing counsel and advice on two-hour long phone calls into the early morning hours. And, I used to say ‘yes’ to helping my partner with his work projects even when it was extremely taxing on my time and energy, and not even in my zone of genius.

I thought all this giving made a good person. But it didn’t. Why?

It made me bitter, negative, and resentful to those around me.

And that was completely my fault. How are those around you meant to know what your limits and needs are? Isn’t it hard enough living in ones own brain and figuring out what ones own needs are, let alone thinking for your friend, your coworker, your family, or your partner?! That’s why we must voice our limits ourselves. Know what we are prepared to give, and up until what point, and when that point is reached, state it. 

Because giving from a place of depletion is an act of violence towards yourself and others.

It makes great relationships go stale and weird and wonky.

At work, instead of saying “Yes, I will do this right away,” try saying; “I will have this completed in 2-4 days” (or whatever time limit is reasonable for you to complete said task without having a nervous breakdown.)

At home, if you’re trying to find time and space for your meditation or yoga practice, say it. If your partner walks in from work, stoked to tell you about his/her day, and you’re in the midst of your practice, you can say “I can’t wait to hear about your day. Give me 15/30/45 minutes to finish my ritual and I will be all yours.”

You are in control of your own experience, your own energetic bubble. It is your responsibility, and no one else’s. If you respect your own boundaries, others will too.

“…there is a time to reveal your incisors, your powerful ability to defend territory, to say ‘This far and no farther, the buck stops here, and hold onto your hat, I’ve got something to say, this is definitely going to change.’” —Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

#2 Energetic Cord-Cutting

We become connected to everyone we interact with throughout the day by energetic cords. If those interactions were negative, stressful, or thought-consuming, those cords can pull at us for a long time after the interaction and leave us feeling sad, anxious, and/or energetically drained.

This is one of the greatest videos I have found for daily energetic cord cutting, by Elizabeth Dialto of Wild Soul Movement. A super simple practice that can be, and should be, done daily, like brushing your teeth.


Also, we can also still be bound by cords from old relationships. If you still find yourself thinking about old friends, partners, bosses, co-workers than is probably normal and feeling sad, stressed, or drained when you do, chances are you haven’t fully cut the cords from them yet. Here’s a fab tutorial for those longer-standing cords, to cut them and let the old, unhealthy energy from relationships long-dead disappear. You will feel lighter, and will have cleared more space for fresh, healthy relationships and energy to roll in.

# 3 Check your own energy

This is a hard one to confront for many people, me included. How energetically clean are your interactions with others? You are also a human person with ego and wants and desires moving through this world, and you yourself are not immune to giving out funky energy to others also.

Have you ever stretched out a fight or stony silence with your partner longer than absolutely necessary, because the feeling of them trying to make it up to you feels, like, kinda good? (Or perhaps that’s just me, in which case, I’m the worst person on earth, lol.)

When we receive sympathy, according to James Redfield, author of the Celestine Prophecy, we get an energy surge from the other person giving us the sympathy. This is called the  ‘Poor Me’ drama, one of four dramas people can use to manipulate energy from other people.

Other ways you might try gain energy from others, is the ‘Aloof Drama’, in which you act aloof so people start to desperately pursue more knowledge about who you are and what you are doing, the ‘Interrogator Drama’, where you ask someone question after question until they feel interrogated, unsure, and depleted, and you find a fault, or the ‘Intimidator Drama’, where you speak to others almost aggressively, in order to receive energy from them in the form of fear or compliance.

Get to know all these Control Dramas, how they work, and how to combat them, both if you are the instigator or if these Dramas are being played out on you, by others.

Also, don’t be hard on yourself if you find any of these to be true about you. We’re all learning. We’re all doing our best. We’re all undoing thousands of years of fear-based conditioning. It’s cool.

Where in your life do you need to do some energetic clean-up?

Feature Image: C-Heads Magazine