Are blurry boundaries and disempowering tasks leaving you feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from yourself? When you identify your personal limits, you can start protecting your energy and as a result, achieve more present, vibrant living.
“The path to all great things passes through silence.”– Friedrich Nietzsche
In 2018, when I began creating the initial outline for my book, BUOYANT, I asked myself what had made all the difference in changing my life.
What were the essential lessons learned during my time in the fires of Nuclear Winter? What would constitute oxygen and comfort for my readers who were on the same emotional gurneys I had been on during those years?
My brain sat on its haunches and stared back at me blankly. The thought of reliving those years felt like placing a knife into a socket. My brain was going to require a gentle coaxing if it were to play ball.
I grabbed a sketchbook and began creating a mind map of sorts. In the center of the page, I drew a bubble, and inside of it, I wrote the following question: “The most important things I discovered that made all the difference?”
I let my brain wander, going back and forth in time, seeing images of what I had selected as life preservers during those years. I saw myself grabbing for branches as I was carried down whitewater rivers of anxiety, loss, and overwhelm.
Which branches did I choose? Which ones held and enabled me to pull myself out of foaming currents of doom?
At the very top of the page, I wrote: Protect your sacred energy.
And right beneath it was this: Stop being mean to myself.
Once completed, I tore the mind map page out of my sketchbook and pasted it into a commonplace journal. I intuited its importance and wanted to ensure it was somewhere I would always be able to find easily.
When I Noticed a Boundary Slip: How You Can Build a Habit Out of Protecting Your Energy
I thought about this sketchbook page this week as the hectic energy of the holiday season descended upon my already very busy schedule. During a late afternoon texting exchange (with a wonderful VA who is helping me with a new creative project), I began to feel my breathing become more and more shallow.
I had spent a few days prior working intensely on things I love: my second book, a podcast, and new marketing initiatives. A lot of Deep Work that simultaneously drained and excited me. When the rapid-fire text exchange came, my brain and energy reserves were nearing empty, and I felt the signature ick and resentment of porous boundaries.
I was surprised by how easily I had arrived at these shores, at how quickly I’d reminded myself the importance of protecting your energy.
I had once tolerated years of overdoing, not being able to hear myself think, an inhumane schedule. I spent years in a zombie state, the proverbial frog in the heating water, too stunned and scared to look up and search for an exit out of the cooking pot.
Now, though, it had only taken a few days of not being connected to myself and my healthy boundaries to overload my system and trip all my emotional breakers.
The house of me had grown dark.
Oddly, this rapid descent into a funk and my awareness of its cause filled me with a quirky sense of pride. I had been so vigilant about protecting my energy and being kind to myself that when I slipped even the tiniest bit, my soul shouted back with an admonishing slap, “Snap out it!”
Protecting Your Energy: 2 Steps To Get Started
If you are feeling unmoored, overwhelmed, and/or lonely in a crowded room, ask yourself how you might begin protecting your energy. Often if we gift ourselves a few minutes of reflection, we can spot immediately the habits and actions we are engaging in that are big No-Nos for us.
1) Take a few minutes now and write down your answers to the following questions:
- What are the ickiest tasks on my To-Do list?
- What am I routinely doing that fills me with dread?
- Which tasks might I give to someone else? Which ones simply need to go entirely?
Understand that our brains will insist that soul- and mind-draining activities are musts and absolutely may not be deleted or delegated.
We can create rivers of delicious, white space in our schedules if we begin pruning with love.
2) Next, write your answer to this—how might I be more kind to myself?
When we feel exiled from ourselves, we can call ourselves home. When protecting your energy and reconnecting to your sacred energy, creativity, and intuition, everything changes. We begin to hear ourselves think, leading us to make decisions from an empowered, intentional stance.
This connection to ourselves is the ultimate ripcord for parachuting back to the landing zone of being whole, balanced, and at peace.
As you consider how you will start protecting your energy and being more kind to yourself, you take an important step toward a more empowered, joyful, and abundant life.