“I’m Not Working Right Now”

Learn to Set Energetic Boundaries

By Cyndi Dale
[Energy Work ]

What can you do when caught with a request—or demand, depending on how you look at it—that requires assistance outside of your work-time parameters? Nearly everyone in a health-care profession shares a similar concern. You’re not in work mode. Rather, you’re grocery shopping, having a blast at a party, or walking in the park. Then someone asks you to assist them outside the boundaries of a session.

It’s hard. We’ve all been asked to help “only this once.” Told by a loved one or client that they wouldn’t normally bother you, but this is an emergency. You’ve probably even had a client leave a session and then return to your work space, asking for “just a little more help, please.”

I’m an intuitive practitioner, which means I’ve received a host of unusual inquiries. Once, a client I hadn’t seen for years approached me at the movie theater. She asked whether her mother, who had cancer, could be healed. Another time, I was enjoying a spa day in Iceland. A stranger I’d never met knew my face from a book I’d written. He asked for an intuitive session on the spot—in the whirlpool.

Petitioners don’t realize they aren’t only asking for your time when a request invades your personal space. There are other physical energies at stake. And, of course you want to accommodate when possible, especially if the inquiry comes from your mother. Still and yet, you deserve boundaries, both subtle and practical.

Signs of—and Solutions for—Subtle Compromise

People have a right to make a request. It’s on us to say yes or no. But we can spare ourselves the temptation to give away our valuable life energy—or absorb another’s problematic energy—if we recognize the signs of subtle compromise.

Subtle compromise describes what happens when we swap subtle energies with someone in a way that is unhealthy for us. Depending on our vulnerabilities, it’s quite easy to take on another’s feelings or symptoms, and it’s easier still to disregard our internal compass when the requester is desperate. Ultimately, if we’re not careful, we participate in the transferring of another’s self-responsibility to us. When that occurs, we feel compelled to assist, even if our logical mind is shouting “No!”

How can you tell what’s happening subtly, and decide how to vote nay or yea? The key is to attend to the various modes of intuition.

Physical Empathy

If your body wants to deny another’s appeal, you’ll feel extremely hot or cold, want to run away, or become frozen in place. Your energy levels will also drop, leading to sudden fatigue. These indications insist, “No, this isn’t for me.” If this occurs, be honest. State that you don’t have the physical capacity to assist at this time. If the opposite reaction occurs, and your body energy rises and you feel excited about helping, consider responding affirmatively.

Emotional Empathy

You feel angry, disgusted, sad, joyous, or scared in response to a request. Each of these emotions reflects a different message.

Anger means you need to set a hard boundary. You can always say, “That doesn’t work for me right now,” “We can cover that during an office session,” or, “I don’t respond to needs outside of work time.”

Disgust reflects shock. It’s your body’s way of proclaiming, “I can’t believe someone would even ask this of me!” Without shaming the other person, counter with a sentence like, “I’m uncomfortable with that request.”

Sadness measures balance. If you feel sad when another requests assistance outside your typical parameters, your inner self might be saying you have to put yourself first. Say “I don’t have it in me right now,” or “I need time for myself.” However, if you feel you can meet their needs without compromising your own, consider assisting.

Joy is affirmative. If you feel any version of joy, such as excitement, gratitude, eagerness, or interest, your subtle self is good with helping.

Fear is complex. Typically, if a query scares you, you need to pause and consider which of the many meanings the feeling is underscoring.

Establishing Boundaries: Physical and Subtle

Boundaries are easier to assess and create if you establish them in advance. Here are a few ways to accomplish this goal.

Be practical. There is no substitute for creating real-life physical boundaries.

Schedule “maybe” and off-time. Plan in “squishy time,” during which you might insert someone professionally. Also create rock-solid “I’m not available” times, and be firm.

Separate personal and professional email addresses and phones. Never use your personal email or phone to receive or respond to professional queries.

Learn to pause. This might be the smartest piece of advice I can provide. Add these phrases to your vocabulary: “I have to think about that” and “I’ll get back to you later.” Then search for signs of subtle compromise or indications of a yes.

Go subtle. It’s important to determine the difference between your own and another’s energy so as to make the best decision. When someone is needy or desperate, their feelings can be really strong and easily penetrate your own subtle fields, which surround your body. To boost your subtle boundaries, create rituals around cleansing your energy field, radiate your inner light, and shield yourself as a means of protection.


Boundary-Setting Phrases

Here are some handy statements to have readied to roll off your tongue when you need to set boundaries:

• Sorry, I’m off duty right now.

• I have to check if I have plans.

• Our time is over, and I’m needed elsewhere.

• We can deal with that issue during our next scheduled time.

• I never/seldom work on family.

• This is my personal time. I can give you my contact info so you can check out a session time.

• I’m happy to help you during work time.


Cyndi Dale is an internationally renowned author, speaker, and intuitive consultant. Her popular books include The Subtle Body Coloring Book: Learn Energetic Anatomy (Sounds True, 2017), Subtle Energy Techniques (Llewellyn Publications, 2017), Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Chakras (Llewellyn Publications, 2016), The Intuition Guidebook: How To Safely and Wisely Use Your Sixth Sense (Deeper Well Publishing, 2011), Energetic Boundaries: How to Stay Protected and Connected in Work, Love, and Life (Sounds True, 2011), The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy (Sounds True, 2009), and The Complete Book of Chakra Healing (Llewellyn Publications, 2009), as well as nearly 20 additional books. To learn more about Dale and her products, services, and classes, please visit www.cyndidale.com.