Updated: Mar 12, 2020
What is Energy?
Ask a group of people what the word "energy" means to them, and chances are you will get different definitions from each of them. Some define energy as the power required to "do work", or more scientifically, part of the electromagnetic system that powers your home and cars. Others may describe energy as a field or feeling, that is emitted from individuals and can be shared or passed on.
When we look at the word "energy" through the lenses of Yoga, we come upon three types. We have neutral energy, that's neither good nor bad, and is an example of the energy that flows through your home appliances and gadgets. This type of energy doesn't affect most of our daily lives in any significant way. It simply exists outside our field of notice. Next we have positive energy. Positive meaning "good or helpful" in this definition. Positive energy is emitted from living things, and can be shared among those things. For most of us, we begin our day emitting positive energy and it can either increase or decrease in our electromagnetic fields as we move through our day. Think about a time when you could feel the mood of a room. Could be at a sports party after a win, or among volunteers at an animal shelter. These are examples of times when we can feel the energy being released from other beings in a positive way. Typically these positive feelings make us feel happy and fulfilled as well, even if we just entered the room.
Finally, if there is positive energy, there must also be negative energy. This is the Yin and Yang of our world; an embedded desire to strive towards balance in our lives. Negative energy, like positive energy, can accumulate and be passed on from one living thing to another. Now, as humans, if we are open and accepting of others and their energies, we will inevitably collect some negative energy through our day. Some people may identify themselves as "Empaths" or a person who is particularity sensitive to the emotions of other living things. Regardless of whether we notice it or not, we are all collecting and releasing energy as we move through our lives. Some people may be more susceptible to other living thing's energies than others. People who internalize and take on other's problems and feelings are more at risk of absorbing negative energy.
Physical energy affects every aspect of our existence. It affects our thoughts, patterns and interactions with ourselves and others. This type of energy is incredibly powerful and can affect our psyche. If we find ourselves flooded in chronic negative energy, it will ultimately manifest itself as dis-ease in the body. Luckily, we have a significant amount of control over the energy we emit and accept. Thinking positively ultimately leads to goodness and vice versa. This is why surrounding ourselves with uplifting and kind companions is so important to our health.
After a full day of being busy, as we tend to be, most of us come home to our sacred space. This could be your entire house, or maybe your bedroom or space that is just yours. As we take off our shoes, and hang up our coats, we shed ourselves of another layer- a layer of that electromagnetic field that's stuck with us all day. As we enter the comfort of our sacred spaces we no longer need the outer most layers of our energy fields to protect us. Most of what does not serve us gets left at the door.
But what happens to this energy? It accumulates. Just as it accumulates in your Aura, and magnetic field, it will linger in areas of your sacred space as well. This is where energy cleansing comes in.
Energy Cleansing & Smudging
While it is not necessary that we totally understand or have full knowledge of what we have taken on that is not ours, the ritual of cleansing our spaces is beneficial to anyone who is open to it. We start by checking in with ourselves, noting how we are feeling in our physical and emotional bodies that day. Take a few minutes and sit in complete silence. Maybe closing your eyes as you scan the body for any discomfort that arises. Remember, this is not a time for self-criticism. Simply become aware of any sensations in the mind and body, and be at ease with what you uncover. Tell yourself that you're going to release any energy that doesn't serve you anymore. If you like, you can light a candle and repeat that phrase until it resonates with you. Keep in mind, this process will feel different for everyone, and there is no perfect way of doing it. Allow this time to be yours. Once you've contemplated your day, and committed to releasing any negative energy that still surrounds your physical body you can move onto smudging. The burning of sage and ritualistic use of fire clears your space of all energy- good and bad. This creates an open and welcoming environment for you to step into the New Year with. Follow the directions below or create your own pattern.
*always practice fire safety. never allow burning sage out of your site. be cautious of pets and children. always put out sage bundle with water*
1. Set aside 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted time. Quite your space.
Starting at your front door, light a small candle and us it to ignite the end of your sage bundle. Once lit, allow to burn a few seconds then blow out. * You may want to use a small bowl to keep your sage stick in, to catch any falling embers.
2. Gently with intention, waft the sage bundle around the frame of the front door. You may chose to repeat an intention as you move through your space if you like. I usually choose an intention like- "release and let go of all energy in my home". Choose something that resonates with you.
3. Move clockwise through your space. Spending extra time in doorways and corners where energy tends to accumulate and linger. Remember to breathe deeply.
4. Once you've made it back to your front door, repeat your intention one last time. Starting at your feet, waft the sage bundle up your body, sending any excess energy out through the Crown Chakra.
5. Blow out your candle and breathe deeply for several breaths.
6. Follow fire safety rules and put out your sage bundle with water.
7. Repeat as necessary, up to once a week. Making sure to smudge with the change of each season.
Thank you for reading. I wish everyone the most wonderful New Year! May this year bring you peace & joy. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.