Treat Yourself Like A Precious Thing
Generally, when you start learning about working with energy of any sort, the first thing you’re taught is safety – how to protect yourself. This applies to power tools, electricity, going into the ocean, driving… and it should also apply to moving through the world, where energies are exchanged every day, often without us realizing that it’s happening.
The concept of building walls, closing doors and windows and locking them, of securing the areas around us to keep ourselves safe – these can and should be extended to your mental state and personal energy, too. Not only do you deserve that sort of protection, but you need it to become stronger, more focused, less distracted and potentially hurt by the negative energy emitted from others. The world isn’t going to tone down the negativity for you, so giving yourself a screen or shield is simply an act of self-care.
Protecting Yourself Is An Act of Courage
Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way taught me so much about nurturing oneself and giving the inner creative the support that she won’t get from the outside world as an act of love and rebuilding. This is a lesson that I have to learn over and over in my quest to love myself: being hard on myself won’t make me better. And allowing the world to be hard on me isn’t building character, nor is it “just the way it is” – no, it’s just an opportunity for the world to beat up on me. I’m not a believer in suffering building character, because there are much more positive ways to build it that allowing harshness just seems like an excuse for someone [including myself] to be abusive to me. And folks, I’ve been in enough abusive relationships for a lifetime, and I’ve been done and over that.
So I learned ways to protect myself…
We don’t get an Operating Manual to get us through human-to-human relations in this life, though we should, right? So as I’ve worked my way through my time here on the planet, I’ve gathered tips that have helped me navigate and protect. I hope some of these help you protect yourself, too.
Much of what I do is a combination of mindfulness with ritual elements to keep me focused. I started working with rituals as a child, intuitively. Many of the rituals that resonate strongest with me are ones that I thought I’d invented, then I discovered were practiced by humans all over the world for thousands of years. I’d tapped into a collective consciousness that showed a way to focus intention, and it worked for me.
I would break down my protection rituals [spells if you like] into two categories: long term and in the moment.
Long term rituals are meant to convey a sense of safety over an extended period, and often encompass a space or person/people. A simple example would be using a smudging ritual in one’s bedroom to dispel negative energy and encourage rest and calm.
In the moment rituals are to heighten awareness of boundaries on the go, as needed. An example of that would be someone making the sign of the cross before attempting something challenging, or throwing salt over one’s shoulder upon spilling some, to protect against potential bad luck.
Some of my long term rituals:
- weekly space cleansing that includes washing all linens, dusting, vacuuming, then smudging – I use an energy mist spray from Fruits To The Roots – these are light and lovely!
- energy wards in my private spaces [room, car] made with herbs and crystals and hand-crafted inscriptions of intention. I’ll be teaching a mini-class on this soon, join the mailing list to find out when that’s available!
- Jewelry that I wear daily that I’ve infused with protective energy; a protective oil that I wear daily
- a monthly meditation for casting protection over my home, business, person, and loved ones
Some of my in the moment rituals:
- paper or stone “cast off” ritual – write your need or hold your stone and charge it against what you fear, cast it away and walk away.
- anti-negativity smudge or bath – when I feel negativity taking over, I purge the feelings with a shower or smudge. envisioning the negative energy draining away
- a string ritual – take a piece of yarn, hold it while picturing what you want to bind away from you, knot the yarn and throw it away or burn it if the feeling is very negative
I also add small things to my world around me – I plant things in my garden that offer protective energy, like sage and rosemary, I put quartz and agates in my plant pots and on my windowsills, I have a bag of salt that I often carry that is awesome to play with as a stress reliever too! I spend much less time on all of this than you might expect, because it’s just part of my everyday habits. The little things add up and give myself a feeling of calmness and focus.
One last word on protection: it’s not just about how you ritualize creating barriers. You also have to make sure that in your interest of self-care, you remove from your life the people and things who strive to hurt you. That can seem daunting when it’s someone you work with who loves to belittle you, for example – but these actions erode our well-being and generally, the only way to remove them is to take action yourself. Whether that’s by speaking up, creating a protection ritual specifically for the situation, removing yourself from the situation… action in some form is called for to protect yourself. What you allow is what will continue. That doesn’t mean that you have to confront a situation directly in order to take action – sometimes, reaching out to another for help is the action needed. But please, please… take care to protect yourself, friend. You are the only one of you that this planet has. We need you, and you need you.