Energetic Hygiene and Self Care
Just like washing our faces or bodies, we can implement practices to clear our energy field, hearts and minds in real time, so we don’t carry whatever freeze, stress or contortion from the last five minutes (or days or months!) into the next.
Shaking: Intentional shaking calms the body. Animals do this, after emerging from a swim or walking away from a conflict. We’ve seen boxers rapidly shake their bodies, returning to their corners after a round in the ring. That's what we do whenever something is feeling tense, or we need to decompress after a difficult encounter: even a 30 second full body shake can release what isn't yours.
"Washing": Make "brushing" movements around your body, sweeping any lingering, unwanted energy out and away from you, especially around the heart. Don't forget the back of the body.
Bubbles Up!: Another technique os to hold your arms out, with your palms in the "STOP" position, and to rotate them around, creating an imagined bubble around yourself. This is your private energy space, your boundary. It's a good exercise to help return to your own center. (Try it before going to a public space, it's strangely helpful: energy bubbles on!)
Time Alone: One important aspect of self-care is knowing when to take some time alone. Sometimes it's better to get a hotel room than stay with family. Sometimes the conversations or the noise or the feelings or the tasks get to be too overwhelming. A walk outside, a 20 minute meditation break, a solo errand often are just what spirit ordered.
Being yourself in a room full of people who have expectations of how you should be becomes easier when we (easefully) don't take them on. If it's helpful to you, remember: You don’t have to contort yourself for love. You belong to the human family because you exist, because you are born. That is the greatest love of all: just being alive.