Or, “Letting Go of Other People’s Emotional Garbage”
I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the 7 Chakras lately. My favorite book right now is The 7 Healing Chakras by Brenda Davies.
Whether or not you’re skeptical about Chakras, there’s some powerful concepts, exercises and meditations folded into this model which I think have pretty significant application. Most especially for Highly Sensitive People who deal with other people’s emotional garbage all the time.
If you fall into the category of a Highly Sensitive Person and think Chakras sound too woo-woo for you, pretend they don’t and read this blog post anyway. It’s going to have some good stuff for you.
I’ll probably write in more detail about Chakras soon when I feel intellectually ready to, so this isn’t intended to be a full breakdown of the model. I simply couldn’t wait to share what I suspect is going to a very helpful exercise for many Feelers in our audience, whether they be iNtuitive or Sensory. (Though I’m looking mostly in your direction, INFJs and ENFJs.)
At the very base of your spine between the coccyx and the pelvic bone is where the first of the 7 main Chakras is located. It’s called the Root (or Base) Chakra, and its main function is to keep you grounded in the physical realm. The energy of this Chakra is pointed downward, toward the ground, and its purpose is to keep us alive no matter what.
While it’s connected with many things in the physical realm (how we take care of ourselves, the food we eat, our motivation for living, etc.), there are more abstract implications that stem from this Chakra. Things like our self-esteem, our sense of balance and well-being, and our ability to appreciate our innate beauty and unique worth are impacted by the health of this Chakra.
And though it’s connected to so much in the physical realm, if your Root Chakra isn’t robust it will impact your ability to sustainably connect to the spiritual/metaphysical.
When we’re assaulted (or feel assaulted) by other people’s ‘stuff’ – their emotional or psychic garbage, whether they intended to dump on us or not – it’s very easy to hide ourselves away, slowly letting go of this toxic energy until we feel good enough to reenter society only to have it happen again.
For those of you who have these sensitivities it’s also very easy to see it as a curse, especially since there’s very few resources available 1) acknowledging that this happens to you, and 2) sharing strategies for dealing with these sensitivities.
People like you become human dialysis machines for the rest of humanity, and other people unconsciously take advantage of this. They don’t know they’re doing it. In fact, if you explained to other people what they were doing they’d dismiss you. (As you may have actually experienced in the past.)
What our conscious minds can accept as real is a very different thing than what our unconscious minds take for granted. We’re compelled by unconscious motivations even when they make no ‘logical’ sense. Utilizing you to purify icky emotions isn’t something another person is intending to do, it’s something they’re unaware of themselves.
Knowing there’s no ill intent can cushion the blow, but it doesn’t remove the result of the transaction: you’re still dealing with their ‘stuff’, and you still need a strategy to process it (since you just caught the ‘hot potato’ of their emotional garbage).
This is where an understanding of the Root Chakra can be helpful.
The earth can bounce back from some pretty major damage. We see this all the time in areas of environmental ravage, and the surprising quickness of the earth’s ability to heal itself.
When you’ve absorbed (or taken on in any other manner) someone else’s ‘stuff’, the earth now provides for you the same service you consciously or unconsciously serve for others – it can absorb the poison inside of you, and you can rest assure that it will deal with it.
Exercise #1 – Letting go of bad energy:
Sit or stand with your back erect and your feel flat on the ground, a little apart to create balance.
Let your body’s weight sit in your pelvis and distribute equally down your legs with your knees slightly bent. Close your eyes if you’d like.
Take a few deep breaths and relax as much as you can. With a single thought send a beautiful golden root from the sole of each foot deep down into the earth. Send another from the tip of your spine so that you are now sitting on a tripod of golden roots. Just as a lightning rod grounds electrical energy, if there’s anything you don’t need, allow it to discharge now into the earth. Just let it go. The earth can handle anything, neutralize and recycle it.
Now with each breath draw up the wonderful energy of the earth. Feel it hold you and cherish you as it comes up through those roots in to your body. See it begin to fill you with wonderful golden light. Strong, earthy, robust energy.
Feel held by the earth. Like a wonderful strong tree, know that you too are strong and that you’re fine. Stay as long as you like.
When you’re ready, gently withdraw the roots, but know that you remain in constant, intimate contact with the earth through the soles of your feet and Root Chakra, which should remain open.
Exercise #2 – Filling the self with empowered energy:
With bare feet on the earth, repeat Exercise #1.
Now put your hands up to the sky and draw the energy of the sun and the sky through the palms of your hands and the top of your head. Let this wonderful silver energy fill you, streaming in and down to your heart where it mingles with the energy of the earth.
Silently or aloud give thanks for all the good there ever was, for the good there is and for all the good that’s to come. Feel the strength from both earth and sky flow into you and hold you, mingling the earthly and the spiritual, the perfect marriage of your human self with your soul. Feel with wonder the current of energy flow through you. Enjoy it. Feel the strength. Feel the power. Feel refreshed and renewed. Know that you are a powerful being, your physical self enriched by the spiritual and your spiritual self humble in its human form. Feel the magic of that amazing union. Feel whole, be aware of your immense potential. Feel energized.
When you are ready, bring down your arms and cup your hands around your heart. Say whatever you need to say in thanks. Holding on to the wonderful energy of both earth and sky, withdraw the roots from the earth, but know that you always remain in intimate contact with it through your open Root Chakra.
If you anticipate being in a toxic environment or if you’re spending time with someone who ‘drains’ you, take a moment to protect yourself and your Chakras.
Take a couple of deep breaths and as you do so relax as much as you can. Imagine a beautiful white flower at the top of your head with its petals wide open. With a thought see them close. Let the flower become a tight bud. Let your focus drop now to your brow. See there a beautiful deep blue or purple flower and, with a thought, allow its petals to close into a tight bud. Drop your focus now to your throat. See here a sky-blue or turquoise flower. Allow its petals to close and then allow your focus to drop to your heart. Here there is a beautiful green flower. Let its petals close also. Now to your solar plexus. Here there is a yellow flower. Let its petals close to a very, very tight bud. Now focus on your Sacral Chakra. Here is an orange flower. Let its petals close also. Your Root Chakra stays open to keep you constantly grounded and nourished by the earth.
Cross your arms across your chest. Bow your head slightly. Now imagine that there is a beautiful midnight blue cloak beside you. Allow it to drape around you and over your head to fully protect you. Breathe. Know that you are protected.
Again, it’s not really about ‘believing’ in the Chakra model. It’s more about utilizing a strategy that has helped many sensitive people protect themselves from toxic energy as well as ‘let go’ of energy that has been thrust upon them.
Do you have any great exercises, meditations or visualizations that have helped you? Share them in the comments section so others can benefit!
p.s. I took these exercises directly from Brenda Davies book The 7 Healing Chakras. If you’re interested in learning more about this model, I recommend checking out her book!
Want to learn more?
Discover Your Personal Genius