My first 2 years as a clinical massage therapist were the worst. It was one injury followed by emotional breakdown after another.
Interacting with clients who came to unload their stress and negative emotions in massage proved to be a major challenge in personal boundaries and where to draw the line.
Working as a massage therapist, counselor, psychotherapist, social worker or therapist of any kind certainly requires you to sink or swim when it comes to creating healthy boundaries.
And that's exactly how most of us learn them-- by diving into the crazy deep end.
Fortunately, I started to figure this out a couple years into my massage practice through trial and error and a powerful desire to succeed.
And now, 15 years later, I have developed and distributed the following exercise for clinicians at San Francisco General Hospital, to counselors at domestic violence women's shelters and to sales teams in Silicon Valley to help them cure and dissolve the first symptoms of burnout.
This exercise will work for anyone who is feeling bogged down or drained by their daily interactions with people (whether as a part of your work or in your personal life).
-It's great for introverts who need solitude from the world.
-It's great for people living with their in-laws or difficult family members.
-It's great for anyone who wants to build better boundaries and take better care of their energy in interpersonal interactions!
The simple practice of clearing your energy shows us exactly where our weaknesses lay and where we get "stuck" to other people's stress in our relating.
The SELF-AWARENESS you get from this tool is the most valuable takeaway and result, one that automatically begins to function to protect your well-being in your future interactions as you practice the exercise regularly.
Without further ado, here is the exercise!
7 to Center:
Daily Energy Clearing Exercise
For therapists, coaches and other healing practitioners, I recommend this exercise be done after each session with a client for maximum effectiveness. For anyone else, it can be done after a particularly draining interaction or at the end of a day.
For each of the 7 directions below, simply place your full attention on the spot described and imagine a white (or any color you like) light washing through that space, like water, cleaning it.
You can first massage the point listed to help you better feel the place, but make sure you relax during the visualization.
You may ask whatever higher power you ascribe to, to assist you to clean it.
You can repeat the phrase for each direction listed below to help you focus.
MOST IMPORTANT is to feel that space being cleaned. You can sense a cool breeze, a trickle of water, some tingling motion, for example. Whatever works for you! Take as much time in each direction as you need.
THE 7 DIRECTIONS
1. "I CLEAN ABOVE"
- "Above" symbolizes your thoughts, your connection to your higher power, your mind, your obsessions, etc.
- Imagine light moving from above the head into a point just 2-3 inches behind the center of the hairline, the soft spot you had as a new born, and down, finishing in the center of your the heart.
2. "I CLEAN BELOW"
- Below symbolizes your emotions, your physical body, your sexuality, any physical or emotional pain, etc.
Imagine light moving from your perineum up through the belly and finishing in the heart.
3. "I CLEAN LEFT"
Left symbolizes your feminine, the women in your life, your relationship to your mother, your ability to receive and feel and go “inside”.
Imagine light moving from the left side into a point on the rib cage just 2 inches below the left armpit, and finishing directly into the heart.
4. "I CLEAN RIGHT"
Right symbolizes your masculine, the men in your life, your relationship to your father, your ability to give and act in the “outside” world.
Imagine light moving from the right side into a point on the rib cage just 2 inches below the right armpit, and finishing into the heart.
5. "I CLEAN BEHIND"
Behind symbolizes your past, everything that happened before, what is behind you, all the people involved there.
Imagine light moving from behind your back, into a point on the spine directly level with the heartbeat, and then into the heart itself.
6. "I CLEAN IN FRONT"
In front symbolizes everything in your future, all to come which has not been manifested yet but which is beginning to form now.
- Imagine light moving from in front of your chest towards your breast bone level with the heart, and finally into the heart.
7. "I CLEAN IN CENTER"
Center symbolizes all that is only you. Your unique and clear voice, path and purpose for living.
Imagine light moving from within your heartbeat and radiating outwardly through all the directions.
You may notice that some directions are more difficult than others to clear.
Where it is more difficult to clean shows you where your personal weaknesses around boundaries are. These weaknesses can be either specific to an individual (if you do the exercise after interacting with one particular person) or more general to you in multiple relationships (as you may notice a reoccurring challenge).
Want to be unstoppable in creating habits and relationships that FEED your vitality and growth (not drain you) in 2018? Check out Unstoppable Women Mastermind, beginning Nov. 1st, 2017! Anyone who mentions this blog post will receive a bonus 1-1 coaching call with me ($250 value).
Don't hesitate to reach out for any further help at: Nicole@livingpolished.com