Perhaps you've experienced the sensation of walking into a room and finding the air thick and heavy as if an argument had just taken place. Or you have lunch with your sister who chronically complains and you wind up feeling anxious and dissatisfied yourself. These encounters are experiences of negative energy, a subtle but significant force that can alter our mindset, our emotions, and even our health.
Reiki practitioners, feng shui consultants, and dozens of other healthcare practitioners from massage therapists to spiritual counselors recognize and work with subtle energies. They exist in and around every living thing and can also inhabit space. To become more aware of subtle energy, Toronto-based Reiki master Diane Young advises, "Tune into your feelings in the present moment. Are you more fearful or depressed than normal? Does the air around you feel sluggish and heavy, or light and cool?"
Clearing negative or unwanted energy is a useful tool for creating more health, clarity, creativity, and calm in your life. Young asserts, "When your space is clear - you'll know your emotions and thoughts are your own. It is easier to just be."
Donna Steinbeck, third generation Reiki Master at Mii amo Spa goes even farther. "Clearing negative energy is important for good health. Negative energy blocks your vital flow (or chi) causing illness and disease to manifest." Smudging, or burning sacred herbs, like white sage, and wafting the smoke around you or throughout a room is a classic remedy for clearing energy. Other methods include using sound or movement, lighting a candle, or saying a prayer, but the key element is intention. Vocalizing your desire to dispel negativity or asking the divine for assistance are excellent ways of making your intentions known.
Singing, playing music, clapping, chanting, and using singing bowls are also effective means of dispersing negative energy, particularly in a space. If you need to clear the energy in a room, pay particular attention to corners, where energy often gets stuck. Dancing and spinning are great for shedding unwanted energy on the body, but in order to ensure it doesn't leave you and fill the room, Young recommends adding visualization. "Imagine a violet flame, which is very purifying. Everything that you throw off is moving into that flame to be purified."
As for shielding yourself or your space from unwanted energy, wearing or carrying special gemstones, especially smoky quartz, can absorb negativity. Be sure to "recharge" the stone periodically by placing it in a body of water, out in the sun, or under a full moon. If you're just not a crystal-wearing person, Steinbeck suggests, "Focus on positive thinking. Imagine a ball of light surrounding you or anything that helps you to focus on universal love. If positive energy spills over into everything and everyone around you, illumination replaces the darkness."