Chances are, you've done something hygienic today. That may include brushing your teeth, washing your hair and (hopefully) even putting on some deodorant. Hygiene is good for us, because it helps us maintain healthy bodies. We brush our teeth to avoid cavities, and we bathe to keep our bodies clean. So it's only natural that we practice spiritual hygiene to keep our etheric bodies clean too!
Why it's Important
The reason why it's so important to keep your spiritual body clean is because it requires maintenance, just as your physical body does. The more spiritual you are, the more sensitive you are to energy, because you're aware of it. This also means you are more affected by the energies of the world around you. It's important to practice good spiritual hygiene so these energies do not negatively impact or influence your life in ways you may not even know.
The Side Effects of Being Spiritually "Dirty"
There are side effects of a lack of spiritual self-care. I've seen it first hand. There are quite a number of people out there that are spiritually "dirty", and don't even know it. This is because we can't see the dirt—we feel it. If your hands are dirty, you can tell because your eyes and your skin let you know you're not clean. When you're spiritually dirty, there are different side effects. they start off as emotional feelings, but can also contribute to physical issues such as anxiety, fatigue and even insomnia. I see a lot of spiritual "dirt" on people who are both highly empathic and also surrounded by drama.
Now, just to be clear, I am in no way saying people are being bad or are somehow tainted when I say they're spiritually "dirty". When I say someone is spiritually "dirty", I'm referring to the the negative and harmful energies that have accumulated in a person's auric field and on/in a persons spiritual body. Think of it as spiritually having mud on you—you're not bad—you just need a good rinse off!
Other side effects of spiritual "dirt" include constant fatigue (even after a good night's sleep), feeling very emotional all of the time, migraines, brain "static" (brain fog), increased anxiety, frequent panic attacks, crabby mood, and it can even contribute to depression.
That being said, go see a doctor first. I am in no way claiming to be a doctor, or diagnose the aforementioned side effects. Spiritual self-care should always be done in conjunction with physical self-care—and spiritual self-care should never be substituted for physical self-care.
Spiritual self-care is an absolute must. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Spiritual self-care is crucial for anyone who remotely considers themselves spiritual (and chances are, that's you since you're reading this blog ;-).
Think about it as having sensitive skin. Being a spiritual person makes your spiritual body—your spiritual "skin"—more sensitive to energies and the world around you. That's why going to the store may be more anxiety-fueling than it used to, or you find yourself talking to your friends on the phone less, or hanging out with them less altogether because they drain you with their drama. Areas may give you "good" or "bad" vibes. Some TV shows may be more difficult to watch than they used to be. You might even find yourself picking up on someone else's emotions after standing next to them for a period of time.
All of these feelings stick to you like glue, and can accumulate after a while—and you may not even know it! If it accumulates on you it can begin to create negative side effects, which can piggyback off of, and even amplify physical issues. So spiritual self-care is important so you can always be at your spiritual best, and keep your emotional cup full.
The VERY basics are as follows: Meditation, cutting cords, grounding, and shielding. These are the very minimum that every spiritual practitioner should be doing every day. Yes. Every. Single. Day.
And they don't take much time at all! The following techniques will mostly take a bit of concentration and habit-building. That's all. Yes, even meditation doesn't have to be time-consuming. I talk in detail about some of the basics in my blog post, Empathy 101.
I listed this first because it is the most important. I can almost hear the groans. "But I don't have time", you might say. That's OK. Meditation doesn't require a chunk out of your day. Maybe, 5-10 minutes? How much of your social media time can you spare for meditation?
What's amazing about meditation is it doesn't require you to own a zen garden, or train with Buddhist monks in Tibet. It's just breathing. Literally. Just sit your butt down and breathe. Listen to your breath for a few inhales and exhales. Just be present. Stop worrying about everything in the world and just breathe. BOOM. You did it.
Meditation is important because it helps us listen to our spiritual bodies. There are probably thousands of benefits to adding meditation to your routine. Many of which include a sense of well-being and fulfillment. Meditation helps you separate yourself from the spiritual "dirt" on you, and helps you align with your spiritual self so you can listen more.
Cutting cords is an important practice that I personally do every day. It is an absolute must if you even consider yourself mildly empathic. Cutting cords is simply this: removing any unnecessary etheric/empathic connection to others. This includes people you've come into contact with throughout the day, talked to on the phone, or even made eye contact with. At the end of each day, it's good to imagine connections (via visualizing cords) to everyone you may have contacted that day, and taking a giant pair of scissors and cutting every one of them. You can even call upon Archangel Michael to help you out.
Cutting cords is important because it removes toxic energetic elements of your connection to others. It's important to not just do it every day, but even in situations when you're dealing with someone who has a bad attitude, is sharing their drama, or even energy vampires. It cuts off their connection to you, and keeps you from being drained of your energy. It's also good for setting subconscious boundaries with others.
Grounding is important because it keeps you level-headed. It essentially roots you to the earth's energies, and keeps your energy/thoughts/feelings from floating away. It's important to ground because it helps you think clearly, focus and keep a practical head about you.
Many cultures incorporate grounding (probably without even knowing it). I've seen it in Tai Chi (in warm-up exercises), yoga, and of course, in meditations. Basically, grounding either involves rooting your feet to the earth, or specifically activating the base chakra.
Grounding is easy to do. The simplest way to ground is by making contact with the dirt/earth/grass with your bare feet and just standing there. Another way to ground is to lean against a tree. One of the best ways to ground is to stand (or even sit) in one spot and imagine growing roots out of your feet. This roots your energy to the earth, and helps reduce anxiety, stress and empathic overloading from the energy around you. Grounding helps bring you fully into the present.
You should use some form of metaphysical protection every day. Yes, every day. Protecting yourself spiritually is a lot like wearing clothing. If you don't do it, you'll be too exposed to the elements (energies around you). I try and shield before I leave the house every morning, and sometimes even reinforce my shields throughout the day.
Now, there are probably hundreds of different ways to shield (and I go into some of the basics in the latter part of this blog) but you basically imagine a white bubble of light surrounding you. You can even shield in layers, make it last for a certain amount of time, or even make it thicker or thinner. Shields are great because they add an additional barrier between you and negative energies in your environment. Shielding should be an everyday habit because like clothes, they protect you from the elements. If you wear clothes every day, why not create shields?
You can also wear dark stones (such as tourmaline, onyx, obsidian, hematite, smokey quartz, etc...) for added metaphysical protection. I recommend making sure to charge your stones because like batteries, they lose their charge. You can charge stones in various ways, such as using other stones (like selenite), laying crystals in a bed of salt, or even running them under water (be careful, as some stones disintegrate in water).
Another method for protection is prayer. Often times I find myself calling upon Archangel Michael to protect me, cut cords, and help me feel protected. Archangel Michael is the archangel of perfect protection, and can instantly help you feel safe, shielded and protected.
Additional (Important) Practices
These are recommended spiritual hygienic best practices that you should do on an at least weekly basis. These are methods that go a bit "deeper" with cleaning you spiritually. Think of it like a good deep clean shampoo/condition after a few days of using just dry shampoo on your hair. The below methods take a little bit of time, but are worth the effort to help recharge you for the week.
I know. I know. I can hear the groans with this one too. "You mean I gotta clean my bathtub?" Yes. If you gotta clean it, it probably needed to be cleaned anyways.
I was like that at first. I actually avoided taking salt baths for years, because I didn't want to clean (or felt comfortable in) a bathtub. Finally, I got to my breaking point and caved. I forget who it was, but one of my friends begged me to take one. So I did. Then I became addicted! Now, I take a salt bath once a week—religiously. I use sea salt, epsom salt, and Himalayan pink salt along with sage, Florida Water, palo santo, stones and essential oils (literally Amy soup). It detoxes me from the week prior, and helps me recharge for the week ahead. Whatever attachments you have, or cords you need to cut—a salt bath will help with all of that.
Trust me, it's worth every bit of elbow grease it takes to clean your bathtub.
This is great to do as often as you can. I even carry spray sage in my purse. Smudging is essentially using either sage (preferably white sage) and/or palo santo to clear negative energies on your person, or in your home.
It's good to smudge your home every once in a while. Depending on how spiritually active you are, I'd recommend about once a month. Just take a bundle of sage, light it, and go from room to room, making sure the smoke gets in the corners. You can even use a feather to help direct the smoke, as it traps and disperses negative energy. Afterwards, open up your doors and windows to let the smoke out of the house.
If for some reason you can't use the type of sage you have to light, I recommend using spray sage. It works just as well. Like I said, I even keep some in my purse. I spray myself after a long day at work so I don't carry any negative energies into my home. Smudging removes any and all unwanted energies.
It's up to You
Ultimately, it's up to you to determine how much you're willing to spiritually protect yourself. If you don't take this craft seriously, it won't take you seriously. Practicing spiritual hygiene isn't just for your well-being, but it's also showing the universe that this is a part of your life that you take seriously and respect. It's up to us as individuals to weed our spiritual garden—and this is a responsibility we must take ownership of everyday.
The more we respect this craft, the more it respects us and the more we protect our spiritual well-being. Practicing spiritual hygiene allows us to safely and responsibly delve deep into our spiritual practices.