People around you are experiencing deep pain, trapped in a pit of hopeless. They may even be contemplating suicide. Emotionally connecting with them can leave you feeling depressed. You soak up their negative energy. Learn how to avoid becoming a dirty sponge. Keep yourself free and centered.


Start with awareness

Before meeting with a hurting client or friend remind yourself:

                              Their pain, grief, and suffering are not yours.

You are not a sponge – willing to soak up dirty water. Why? Because soggy sponges leak. They drip their dirty water wherever they’re flung.

Instead, intentionally picture yourself as a shiny bowl-shaped colander. Visualize all the holes around the colander.

Stay aware as you’re with someone. Take in their negative energy through your belly button. Let their traumas pour through the holes and flow out your back.

You can listen mindfully to their story while picturing yourself as a colander. And let their toxic beliefs and habitual responses pour out of them – through you.

The person you’re with leaves the encounter feeling heard. You leave with your light and power shining even brighter. You stay centered.

Shift and re-connect with yourself

Last week I shared some ways to shake off traumatic images that circle round and round in your head. You can use the same techniques to cancel emotional baggage.

Every time you feel drained or heavy from carrying another’s emotion, say out loud, “Cancel, cancel, cancel! That pain and grief is not mine.”

And then refocus. Re-connect with yourself by focusing on something beautiful in your environment.

Take a deep breath, look around your immediate surroundings and focus on something outside of yourself. Maybe a beautiful flower arrangement or the sun breaking through the clouds.

Get a new perspective. Physically turn your body 90–180 degrees and take a deep breath. And shake your hands like you’re brushing spiders off your shirt. Say, “Get off me! You aren’t allowed here!” This will give you a different viewpoint and bring you back to yourself.

Read last week’s post: Guilt Can Kill You 

Make sure you’re not blocking someone else’s transformation

Many people feel anxious because they carry burdens that aren’t their own. They so desire the other person to experience a shift that they take on that person’s pain as if it were their own.

But their loved-one can’t shift. The one loving them is holding on to the pain for them. So transformation gets blocked.

It’s not our job to rescue or fix

Transformation isn’t our responsibility. Listening, releasing, and staying centered is all we’re called to do.

Realize that and let the pain and negativity flow through you. Stay in your body. Feel free to live your own life in awareness, freedom, and joy.

Share your “dirty sponge” experiences

Hit reply and share your “dirty sponge” experiences. What helped you get re-centered?

Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,


If you’re struggling with the emotional process of grief...

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