Good Energetic Practitioner/Client Boundaries
If you are someone who works with energy, boundaries become one of the most important parts of your practice. Here is a discussion with tools and practices of boundaried energetic exchange. As a healer, your practice, in essence, is boundaried energetic exchange. Whether we think of this energy exchange as healing, supporting or guiding, being in integrity about our boundaries is critical. After two years at the Academy of Intuition Medicine ® in Sausalito, CA, here is what I’ve learned.
Some of the key factors that create boundary challenge are the following:
We cannot physically see energy. It makes it harder and more nuanced to “separate people’s energy” (or not “merge”) clearly, like you could with a pile of apples and bananas on a table. By nature, if you are sensitive to energy, you are sensitive to ALL energy, and it is a work in progress to determine which energy is yours and which is not. Is it you or is it the client across the room or the telephone or skype line? Or the other healers in the room? Which energy is just present atmospherically (due to other events that have happened in your physical space previously, the season, the present astrology or the larger arc of evolutionary influences) and very importantly, which energy comes from pure and highest good sources. (There are always some bad apples floating around). And finally, which energy deserves to be commented on versus simply observing. This is a lot of very subtle maneuvering.
Once you are sitting across from a client and finally doing what you are meant to do (a deeply fulfilling and joyful moment) it is a challenge to remember NOT to say all the things that you see. At last you are asked to do what you do best: to see! But ironically, you must next remember to apply the ultimate discernment in saying very little. Only speak out loud what the other spirit and body is ready to know. We train ourselves to remember that spirit moves at a different pace than the body. Even if the spirit across from you may want to know everything, is their body ready for it? There can be a conflict of readiness that we must stay attuned to.
Another issue that can arise is a spirit of competition. Healers by nature have an instant response to an energetic imbalance, almost Pavlovian: “I must balance this issue immediately!”, the inner voice says. However when working in a panel setting with other healers (a panel is a group of healers working together to focus the power of their group energy on one individual), our natural competitiveness can appear. Before you know it, you are trying to get a word in edgewise or be the MVP on the healing panel.
Another issue that can arise is trying for speed: who can say it first? Best? This journey for approval takes you back into ego and out of the intuitive state. There is an endless line of egoic challenges tempting you to return to your well-worn pathways of judgment (of self and others) and duality (an either/or approach to a problem).
How do we avoid all these pitfalls?
It is crucial to stay in an “intuitive state of mind” to be ready for these challenges, the main ones being: “crossing the river into another’s energetic space”, as we call it; being in our analytical space instead of our intuitive space; or egoic motivations such as competitive/speed healing or self-importance/self-approval issues. At The Academy ®, to this end we spend an entire module learning how to properly set up the energy and condition the space for the highest healing good to happen in the appropriate boundaries. This Panel Protocol ™ is what establishes the high level of integrity that separates out a positive, boundaried energetic exchange from inappropriate and damaging information such as that as we may receive from well intentioned but misplaced healers, psychics or other readers.
So as we are taught, before a session begins, protocol must be established. In addition to this very sophisticated training on set up of the individual healer, their chakras, and the actual physical space, perhaps the most important part of protocol is asking for and receiving permission to do the work. Then, the challenge begins to release yourself into the intuitive information field and stay focused on the stated goal at the same time.
For starters, what helps me to keep focused is to remember that the most important thing is the client and their state of being. The very first golden question is always:
- “What would you like to achieve with this session?”, or
- “Is there anything you would like to work on today?”
I come back to that focus with each breath. On the inhale I sense the client. On the exhale I release any ego from me or anything the client is ready to let go of. Here are some other practices that I have developed to make sure that I stay centered when my human persona or “ego” tempts me away from my centered intuitive space.
When I am working with a client, before I give information, I ask three times whether their spirit/body is ready for the information and check their Information Gauges ™. I keep two gauges up visually for me to check in on during a session. One gauge reads the body, one gauge reads the spirit. They work like reading the gauge on a gas tank, but they start at empty and fill up as we work: and I always stop at 70% full. At this point, I strengthen and widen the clients grounding in case something releases and they are ready for more information. If that does not create more space in the gauge, I wind the session down pretty quickly.
When I do say what I have seen to the client, I check in with the client. I ask questions like:
- Does that resonate for you?
- How are you feeling?
- What are your thoughts or images?
- Is there anything you want to add?
- Are you complete?
- Are you ready to move on?
With this respectful communication I allow the client’s body to pace the session, even above the client’s own spirit, which may move faster than the client’s body. After boundaries are in place, grounding for the client is the next most important thing to establish. Think of travelling to another planet: first you need to land and anchor, and then you need to set up communication channels. In any case, it is very important for the client to feel grounded and safe. For all of us, when we are not feeling safe and grounded, we cannot process, absorb or create lasting change. For this reason, if during the session the client has had a big shift or development, I will stop and re-ground the client in present time and allow the shift to integrate. That is when I will also check the gauges to see if more work is possible.
There can also be moments where what I see is different from what the client sees for themselves. And perhaps I may even think I know better (this is the biggest ego temptation of all). In all cases, I remind myself to defer to the client. There are several reasons for this. The client may be unready to see something; they may not feel safe enough to see it. I would do the client a disservice by forcing them into a knowing that is out of alignment with their process or even their highest good, and create negative karma for myself. If what I see is meant to be known, it will be known to the client in the right time and place. Or I will see when it is the right time or place to share the information. This is the equivalent of a tour guide pointing out the river meandering by or grabbing the client by the hair and plunging them into the nearby river. There is also another possibility, and that is that my information is wrong. The best of us have an 80% batting average. If so, perhaps I am in my analyzer and I have merged and am transferring my story onto their story. This is a sure sign that I am in analytical mode, and is a reminder to move back into intuitive space.
One note here: healers do not operate in a vacuum. We are all part of an extremely complex interwoven creation ecosystem. You can count on having shared life experiences or lessons with your client. Experientially, I would say that when I am working on an issue, I will magnetize those whose spirits are also working on that issue. As we say at The Academy ®, “Give a healing, get a healing”. But again, we must apply the utmost subtly and discernment to allow our own energetic healing to occupy some background or over-arching channel, as we remain focused on our present goal: “the needs of the client in front of us”. That will and must always keep us anchored in present time and our present time mission and away from merging experiences or becoming distracted by our own healing. The overarching presence of the healing of all humanity will roll itself out of its own accord. Actually, that healing energy is directing US. We are the instruments, and as such do best to focus on our part. Paradoxically, we then gain entrance into that quantum field of intuitive information and pure love.
To assist in this boundary, The Academy® trains us to work with healing guides in the beginning. This assures that we stay in a place of neutrality, and truly embody the understanding that we are not responsible for the healing. We are witnesses, vessels for the work of healing, and must maintain neutrality for this channel to stay pure and powerful. The goal is to work spirit to spirit, meaning just my spirit talking to the spirit of the client across from me. Again, staying in intuitive meditation allows me to keep that connection open and clean, not dipping into my or my clients personality. It cannot be stated enough that the integrity of the information we receive comes from clinically establishing a high integrity setup. For example, if you Google a question on the internet, there is a lot of information available. However you are only interested in the high quality, well-researched information from the best sources. Not Maeve the opinionated maven from Ft. Worth, TX. A clean and boundaried energetic setup determines the highest quality information for the highest good.
As I mentioned, The Academy® also has a set up where we work together as a group on a single client. There is one person, or moderator, who runs the “Panel”™. As a Panel Moderator™, my first concern is again the client. Are they deeply grounded? Are they ready to receive information? Are they happy? Scared? Full? Sad? Feeling safe? When they are grounded and ready, I spend time checking in with the other panel members to see what they are seeing. I create time and space for each panel member to make their contribution and complete their energetic work. However, the clients’ needs are always in the forefront. Only if they are feeling safe, ready and receptive, do I turn my focus to the other Panel members.
If we are doing a short “speed” Panel™, my first concern is still the client. I will try to pick one thing to work on, and let that one thing unfold, to make sure that I do not overwhelm the client in a short amount of time. More is not better. I often see a barrage of images and get a lot of information very quickly. When this happens, I increase my own grounding and go deeper into my intuitive space, or go to a brown neutral color. The client must be the one to set the pacing. The quantity of information that I receive is secondary.
It is so important to hold these boundaries of integrity. Otherwise we fall into the different group of readers who do not respect these boundaries and cause energetic injury or damage to the client and to themselves. And in this case, we do not receive the work or the healing either, which is, among many other things, time spent out of the ego and safely nestled into the world of intuitive awareness, the wordless information grid, the mystery of the unknown.
Perhaps most importantly, the most valuable thing we can truly offer another is our own healed presence. Our expansive witness. To hold the deep, silent, boundaried field of the grid of information in place for another to walk confidently through, held and witnessed—now that is healing.