Editor's Note: While this article was originally written for a teen audience, the contents apply to anyone and all ages.
sychic protection is the ability to create a safe place within and around yourself, so you can freely be yourself. It is a shield you create to deflect the negative or unwanted thoughts and energy of others and to prevent you from losing your energy and self to other people or places. It is a psychic form of self-defense and has been used for thousands of years by shamans and everyday folk alike.
Psychic protection works by strengthening your energy body to defend against any negative influences. For shamans, psychic protection includes calling on guardian spirits to help them when they do their psychic "journeys."
When Do You Need Psychic Protection?
Everyone at some time or another needs psychic protection. In this busy, full, sometimes frantic world we live in, we are frequently exposed to negative energies. The following list of questions will help you identify situations when you need psychic protection from these negative energies.
• Is it difficult for you to relax and be yourself?
• Do you at times feel overwhelmed at school?
• Is it hard for you to focus at school (but you can do so when you are alone)?
• Do you feel "dumped on" by others?
• Do you tend to feel down when a friend is down?
• Does school or any other place make you feel drained, tired, or weak?
• Do you feel overly sensitive to your environment?
• Are there places or people that make you feel useless or worthless?
• Do you ever feel "not yourself'?
• Do you feel as if you give a lot of your energy to others?
• Do you feel drained of energy after being around a certain person?
• Do you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks?
• Do you feel certain people or places "suck" your energy, leaving you tired?
• Are there people in your life who put you down?
• Do you abuse prescription or recreational drugs? (This includes alcohol.)
If you answered yes to two or more of the above, you would benefit from psychic protection, and you may want to take some extra time in this chapter.
You can begin with this simple technique that I use regularly when I am scared or simply worried. It is a call to your spiritual source to go before you and prepare your way, to make things safer for you, and to be ready to come to your aid. Simply make this declaration, out loud or to yourself:
Spirit goes before me and prepares my way.
After saying this declaration to yourself, take some time to imagine a powerful guardian or force going before you and making things better and safer for you. Hold this in your mind as you go to meet your difficulty — whatever it may be.
Such prayers of protection are found throughout all spiritual practices. Many Christians pray to Mother Mary or St. Jude for protection. In Egypt, over three thousand years ago, they prayed to the divine Mother, Isis, for protection. The power of such prayer is your ability to call on the energies and spirits of these beings to protect you. You then carry their energy with you into the world and into the environment where you need protection.
Casting a Spell of Protection
In some traditions, a meditation such as the one that follows is considered an "empowerment," a way to empower yourself; in other traditions it might be thought of as a "spell" — a way to make a wish powerful enough to become a reality in your life. There are many names for the same undertaking — use the one that works for you. If you feel stronger by saying you are casting a spell, go for it; if you would rather feel you are empowering yourself, then so be it.
Color Shield Meditation
Find time when you can be alone in your room, undisturbed, for five minutes. Sit in a meditative posture with your eyes closed.
Imagine bringing a white or golden light down from above to surround you. Let this light surround you and feel it touch your skin, so that this glow of golden or white light seems to come from you.
Now imagine the color of the light changing slowly to each of the colors of the rainbow: orange, red, yellow, purple, blue, and green (not black or brown). Notice how each color feels to you and which one makes you feel most protected. When you find the color that makes you feel the safest and the most protected, keep that colored light glowing around you. Know that this light will go with you to surround and protect you in any difficult situation. As you open your eyes, continue to imagine the shield of light still surrounding you. Any time you need it, you can simply invoke this shield and it will appear around you for your protection in emotionally or socially challenging situations. This protection is primarily energetic, so it will not protect you physically.
The Glass Body
This exercise is very helpful in situations when you are with another person who is in the habit of dumping on you and who usually leaves you feeling awful. (Even when someone has a reason to be mad at you, it doesn't give him or her the right to dump negativity on you.)
his words fell
like rocks from his mouth
and clattered all around him.
the avalanche had cleared,
I could feel them jostling
in my head
keeping me awake.
-- KIRSTEN SAVITRI BERGH, TEEN POET
Do this exercise a few minutes before you are about to have a face-to-face with someone who puts you down.
Take a moment to ground. Remember to relax and breathe. Now visualize an image of yourself standing before you. Picture yourself as a clear glass body. Then bring that glass body over to you and surround yourself with it. You are shape shifting, changing energetically into a glass body. Now go to meet the negative person, knowing that all through your interaction you will be present in a glass body. What this means is that any negativity aimed at you will just pass through you. Your energy body will follow Gandhi's example, not pushing against or resisting the other person's words, but simply letting them pass through you. You are neutral, unmoved by what is being said. Remember to breathe when you are with this person.
After the person has left, take a moment to check in with yourself. Are you feeling any negativity in your body or emotions? If so, it means that a particular comment made by this other person "stuck" to a belief inside you that the comment is true. When you are in the glass body, all the other person's negativity just moves through you and can only get stuck on a place in you that agrees to it. Your glass body is like a clean window — all the light shines through it, only getting stuck on any dust or dirt that may remain on the window.
So when Joe says, You are worthless," if you don't believe this to be true about yourself, his energy and comment will just past right through your glass body. If you do already believe this about yourself, you will feel his negative comment in your physical and energy body. This is a signal that you need to examine this belief and begin to work through why you believe it and what you can do about making it untrue for you.
Tamara, a seventeen-year-old client, once asked, "How is it that I can have a great day until just one person gives me a bad look or says something nasty to me? Everything good that happened to me the rest of the day gets trashed!"
This can be true for many of us — and there is one reason this typically happens. You get brought down because that nasty look or comment hooks up with a belief or perception you hold of yourself that is dormant — not in your conscious awareness. If it didn't feel true to you somehow, it wouldn't be likely to bother you. When you feel brought down as a result of what someone has said to you, or how someone has acted toward you, it is time to check in with yourself. Ask yourself: What belief in me agrees with this person's negative take on me?
When you do identify a negative belief about yourself, examine it with an open and relaxed mind. Is this belief based on unfair and untrue criticisms that you have heard all your life? Or, underneath the unnecessary harshness and negativity, is there a germ of truth in it? If you determine that the belief is someone else's voice that you have carried too long, now it is time to banish it from your life. If you sense that there is some truth to this belief, you need to decide how you want to handle it. You may decide that this aspect of yourself is something you are ready to change. If so, you can begin to make a realistic and positive plan for what you will need in order to make that change. If, instead, you recognize that this is a part of you that you cannot change, or are not yet ready to change, you need to be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you, like everyone else, are human and not perfect. You still have every right to feel safe and good about yourself.
Another simple, in-the-moment strategy for protecting yourself in a negative encounter with someone is to focus on identifying five physical differences between you and the other person. Simply name these five differences to yourself. "Jane has blue eyes and I have green. She is taller than I am. I sing in the choir and she does not." This helps you to be in your own space and to successfully differentiate yourself from the other person. You are less likely to take on her stuff, her negative energy, when you take control of your thoughts this way. I find it gives me something else to "listen" to instead of the criticism or the blaming that the other person may be engaging in. It also helps keep your energy neutral because you are not automatically reacting to the energy of what the other person is communicating to you.
Clearing Out Negative Energy
Are there times when you feel you just can't shake a negative feeling? Or, after being with a certain person, do you always feel down? Often this occurs after someone has "attacked" you with negative energy. He or she may not have said anything, but instead attacked you nonverbally — just giving you that look and zapping you energetically. Being more aware of the energy world will help you realize when this has happened. Then, you can do something about it and not carry this harmful energy around.
When energy is hurled at you, there will usually be some harm to your energy body. Therefore, you will need to release that negative energy. Crying, talking about it, and breathing are natural and effective ways to release that energy, as are all the breathing practices in this book. The following exercise can be especially helpful to free yourself of the negative energy you take on from others.
Amethyst Rain Meditation
Give yourself about five to ten minutes for this exercise. Take a moment to ground and sit comfortably but alert in a chair with your feet on the floor. Take five deep breaths through the nose, holding for a moment and then releasing through the mouth. On each exhale imagine releasing the negativity from your body.
On the next inhale, while relaxing in the breath, visualize an amethyst cloud above you. Watch this cloud shower amethyst raindrops on you and right through you. Continue to breathe, taking nice deep breaths through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Imagine every cell, every molecule and atom being washed by this rain of amethyst . . . the lavender water cleansing you and going down into the earth where it can be recycled and reused. Stay with this image for as long as you need to.
Teen Psychic: Exploring Your Intuitive Spiritual Powers
by Julie Tallard Johnson.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Bindu Books, a division of Inner Traditions Intl. ©2003. http://www.innertraditions.com
About the Author
A licensed psychotherapist and creative writing teacher, Julie Tallard Johnson has kept journals since the age of sixteen discovering how the writer and spiritual path are one and the same. She has spent the last thirty years working with individuals and groups to help them discover a spiritual practice that brings them a sense of purpose and happiness. The author of many books for teens including Teen Psychic, Spiritual Journaling, The Thundering Years, I Ching for Teens and Making Friends, Falling in Love, which was recognized by the New York Public Library as one of the best books for teens, she lives in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Visit the author's web site at www.Julietallardjohnson.com