I find that a lot of peoples' energy is scattered. And most of the time, those people who spread themselves so thin energetically are victims of exhaustion, restless sleep, mood swings, and can be the rest stop for other negative energy.
Before you meditate or do other spiritual work such as energy healings, divination or magic, or...you know...just go about your daily life, you should prepare and protect yourself. Our energy is not an endless, ever-flowing fountain. We have to contract; we have to come back to our home base.
You can do this by centering your energies, grounding yourself, and shielding yourself from unwanted influences. I have lovingly dubbed this as CGS.
First of all, we need to reel in the energy you are sending out. Think of yourself as a fisherman on a tiny boat with multiple poles and many lines strung out into the sea. This type of multitasking can work for you on a busy day where there is a lot to accomplish, but there is no way the fisherman can manage 30 fishing poles at a time.
That is where centering comes in. It is simply returning all of your scattered energies to home base. Throughout the day, you have little energy tendrils out doing things while you are attending to business. Perhaps you are writing a report, but one ‘eye’ is on the clock, because you have a meeting coming up, and a fragment of your attention is thinking about your children, since one was sniffling this morning, and you also have a fraction of your mind drafting a letter of resignation you know you’ll never send.
To center yourself, call in all your scattered bits of attention and focus, and bring them into your body’s space. You are mentally compacting yourself around your mental or ‘spiritual center of gravity.’ People have different concepts of where their spiritual center physically is. Mine is at my apex, just below the notch of my sternum. Some people locate it at their heart chakra or their solar plexus chakra. Some find it in the pit of their stomach. Wherever center is for you, locate it.
Take a moment to close your eyes. Visualize the strings of energy cast out into the world. And, like our fisherman, start reeling them in one at a time. Work. Marriage. Children. Stress. Bills. Dreams. Goals. Pull your energies into a tight ball at the location where they seem to want to be at rest---if you aren’t centered, you might feel 'psychically top-heavy’ as if you were prone to topple over.
Pay attention to your breathing while you call in all your forces; imagine yourself inhaling feather-light cleansing energy and exhaling musty, dusty 'busy-ness’ (futile wheel-spinning.) Take a deep breath with each string of energy you pull in. Exhale when you go to the next. Trust your intuition when wanting to know when to stop.
This process can take 10-15 minutes while you’re first learning it, but once you learn the 'centered’ feeling, you can center yourself with a few breaths at any time, even while driving your car or walking into that important meeting.
Grounding connects you to the energy of the earth, and is important in healing and magical works since it prevents you from depleting your own body’s energy. For those of you who aren't necessarily witchy, think of it as an external battery. Humans tend to drain pretty quickly if we don't have a "power supply" (food, water, rest, etc.)
Simply put, you ground to the earth by imagining you are literally connected to the earth, and you use that energy to power your body and spirit instead of running yourself ragged. Here’s how you do it:
Imagine you are standing with your bare feet on the ground. (It doesn’t matter if you’re in your cubicle in a high rise or even flying somewhere on a plane.) Your feet are planted firmly on the earth, and by an exercise of your will, you send roots into it.
Imagine the roots themselves: What color are they? What are they made of? Do their burst through rock and stone? Do they dance among the soil and flower bulbs? Each of us will experience connecting to the earth differently. As you inhale, you draw energy up through your new 'roots’, and as you exhale, you send your roots even further into the earth. Let them seek out and find the very core of it.
Do this for several minutes–you should definitely feel a change in the state of your feeling of 'aliveness.’ Again, trust your instincts when wanting to know when to stop.
(NOTE: A great stone for grounding is hematite. When learning to ground, have some on hand. But there is a forewarning for hematite: where or carry it too much or too often, and you may become too rooted.)
Shielding is the process of protecting yourself from the energetic influences around you and is something you can do independent of grounding, centering, and meditating.
Have you ever experienced a day when you were full of vague, directionless anger? Or a strange hope inappropriate to your current circumstances? Have you ever been around someone that constantly leaves you feeling exhausted? Or perhaps you have just felt the weight of the world on your shoulders?
Before you schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist, see if shielding makes these intrusive emotions cease---you may be taking on the energies of people around you, complete with their own brand of hope, fear, anger, worry, or whatnot.
Like I said before, shielding is a skill that you can use independently, and when you are going into highly charged situations (a courtroom, a job review or interview, a family argument), shielding is a vital step in keeping your energies separate from all the swirling energies around you.
Shielding, like grounding and centering, is a visualizing process, and everyone evolves their own special shielding ritual.
While grounded, draw up energy into your being. Imagine that, through your roots, you are receiving the power of the earth into them, coursing through your legs, blossoming across every part of your body.
We can use this energy to form a protective barrier between ourselves and the negative vibes of those around us, or random free-floating energies. Once you feel the energy has topped-off (from your head to your toes), give it a little push. In your mind, imagine the energy blooming from the exterior of your skin and forming a barrier between you and the rest of the world.
You can even visualize a transparent plexiglass egg around you, where the good intentions and friendly emotions around you are free to pass through your shield, but all bad stuff gets deflected.
Some people make shields that reflect negativity back to the source, but this, while perhaps satisfying to one’s sense of fair play, still leaves too much negative energy in the atmosphere. Set your shields to 'ground out’ any negative energy that impinges on it, and let it flow harmlessly into the earth, where it can be neutralized and recycled into good energy. You can do this by setting it as an intention or by saying it aloud. ("No negativity will pass through my shield and will return to the earth to be reused.")
And once you are done shielding, you are good to go. Move, shake a leg, take a walk. I recommend CGS at the beginning of your day, taking a moment for yourself, and harness your own power.
It is yours. Own it.