Are you constantly being thrown by the feelings and needs of others? You watch a documentary about abused children and it’s hard for you to muster enthusiasm for a previously anticipated outing later that day. Your friend bemoans his latest life challenge and after consoling him, you no longer feel cheerful, have lost your energy, and crave a nap. When someone enters a room filled with anger and conflict, your prior sunny disposition suddenly crashes.
How strong is your energetic spine? When we regularly allow others’ emotions to enter our own sphere in a way that destroys our equanimity that is a sure sign that we are not protecting ourselves. Often we are so empathetic that others are drawn to us like a magnet. We want to help! However, we become disabled in the process. We have not created a strong enough barrier to withstand the emotional energy that others create.
The ability to discern the emotional barometer of those around us is inborn but you may have developed this skill to a high degree. Perhaps it was a method of survival or coping with the challenges that came your way in childhood. By quickly understanding the emotional atmosphere of those around us, you are better able to avoid “land mines”. However, you may be so adept at listening for other people’s emotional bandwidth that you can’t hold on to your own emotions. The barrier between others’ feelings and your own get lost.
We can rebuild that protective energetic spine! By becoming aware of how others’ emotions affect us and then practicing simple exercises, we can consciously shield ourselves from the onslaught of unwanted feelings coming at us. The energetic spine runs along our physical spine and we can access it by working with what Traditional Chinese Medicine calls the Central and Governing meridians. The Central meridian runs up the front of your body from the pubic bone to under your lower lip and the Governing meridian follows the line from your tailbone up the spine, over your head to end above your upper lip. They actually meet in our throat.
Just as keeping your physical spine strong gives you greater flexibility in meeting physical challenges, keeping your energetic spine strong will give you greater ability to withstand emotional challenges. One of the best exercises to strengthen your energetic spine comes from Eden Energy Medicine’s Daily Energy Routine and is called the “Zip-up”. It creates a permeable barrier that allows you to decide which emotions and energy of others, if any, will be allowed to enter your field. The Zip-up keeps your own emotions intact so that you stay self-aligned and balanced. It can be practiced daily or whenever you feel you’ve lost your emotional balance.
- Starting with your hands at your pubic bone, draw them up the center line of your torso, under your chin to just below your lower lip. Then reach to the heavens. Repeat a total of 3 times.
- Starting with your hands at your pubic bone, draw them up the center line of your torso, under your chin to just below your lower lip. This time turn your hands as if you are locking a key and then throw the key away.
- Starting with the palm of one hand against your tailbone, draw your hand up along your physical spine, reach over your shoulder with the other palm to “catch” the line and bring that palm over the top of your head and down your face to just above your upper lip. Again, turn your hand as if locking a key and throw the key away. Note: your hands will not necessarily directly touch on the “catch”.
Sheila Peters teaches stretch/energy group classes at Yoga & Nia For Life in West Concord, MA. She is also a Reiki and Energy Medicine Practitioner and sees clients on a private appointment basis. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781-354-0725. Copyright ©2015 by Sheila Peters.