This is one of the questions I get asked most often:
How do you protect yourself from other people’s negative energy?
So many clients and students ask me about this, and it’s a great question.
It’s often asked in the context of giving a Reiki session to another person since Reiki is working directly with a person’s energy, but people also worry about being around other people’s negative energy and “picking things up.”
Maybe you’ve had that thought as well?
Read on to find out how I “protect” myself (actually I don’t, find out why) and how you can apply this to your own life.
The worry that we might take on something from the person we’re treating can be especially concerning if we’re working with people with serious medical issues. I use Reiki with patients at NYU Medical, and used to volunteer in the hospice ward at Beth Israel Medical Center, so I can understand this.
Or maybe just being around that negative coworker or family member makes you worry about negative energy.
I recently saw my Reiki teacher, Frans Stiene, and was reminded of his wonderful Weeble Wobble analogy. Remember those?
Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down!
And why don’t they fall down?
Because they’re weighted at the bottom.
In contrast, most of us carry most of the weight in our head (too much connection to smart phones/computers, email/texting, watching TV, analyzing/judging/worrying) and this is unbalanced and not stable.
When we’re more like the Weeble Wobble, we’re connected to our center. In Reiki and many martial arts, this area is called the tanden or hara (which means life force center). It’s located 2 or 3 fingers below the navel.
Place a hand there now and breathe into it. It’s a good thing to do if you’re feeling fearful or anxious.
In Reiki you learn easy, powerful meditation techniques to build energy in this area. The more you practice, the more grounded and centered you become.
And the more grounded you are, the more you aren’t toppled by fear and judgment. (Something to think about: who are we to judge who’s energy is “negative?” This ties in with the Reiki precepts.)
If we’re protecting ourselves from a place of fear (fear that we’re going to catch something, fear that we’re going to take on someone’s “bad” energy, etc.) we’re not coming from a place of strength, because fear doesn’t come from a strong place.
Real strength comes from being open, grounded, and centered.
Whether you practice Reiki or not, what do you need to do to be grounded?
Personally I need to drink a lot of water, meditate each day before I see clients, practice daily Reiki on myself, exercise, get regular sessions (my #1 secret!), eat healthy, and have time off each week to rest (not so great at this one!).
And the techniques and practices you learn in Reiki allow you to have a direct experience of being grounded and centered, so it’s not just coming from an intellectual understanding (again, just in the head!), but a more visceral understanding in your body.
The more we practice on ourselves, the more we become free and open, the more energy can flow through us and offer healing for others to use to heal themselves.
Become more like the Weeble Wobble and you don’t need protection!