Energetic Boundaries (life lessons from my 13 year old!)

by | Nov 22, 2013 | Getting Real: The Blog



So tonight, I was home with my youngest, Jonathan (modeling his Fedora above!), who is a wide open 13 year old. He’s a natural born actor, at home on any stage, has never met a stranger, and lives for engagement with others. Intelligent, vivacious, creative, and extremely sensitive… he has a very powerful personal energy field.

A few years ago, Joshua, my oldest, and I, were watching him steal a show at a theater camp performance, when Joshua leaned over to me and whispered, “It’s amazing… the very things that make him so charismatic on stage, are the things that across the dinner table, make me want to strangle him!”
It was true!! We all had a good laugh about that… and absorbed a deeper appreciation for the gifted side of Jonathan’s wiring.

But tonight, I was finishing a ‘from my heart’ email to a dear friend, and needed some space to feel into what I was writing, and be with it.

Well, Jonathan, who has recently discovered classic rock in general, and Pink Floyd in particular, had volumes of Floyd trivia to impart to me, as well as some YouTube videos on the band that needed to be shared directly!

He plopped himself on the couch next to me, vibrating with anticipation, and occasionally blurting out interesting facts about the band, that just couldn’t be contained.

Now, I love Pink Floyd as much as any other child of the 70’s, and we sing a fun duet on ‘Wish You Were Here’, but I wanted to finish what I was doing, before I could give him my full attention.

I have taught Jonathan how to work with energy, as he is sensitive to it, and very aware of it. So I asked him if he could pull his own energy back into his field, and give me some space to finish writing.
He did, and the difference was palpable.

Well, I finished the email – alternating between bursts of inspired typing, and lulls where I distractedly reached into the popcorn bowl beside me, munching on the air popped popcorn, that is my salt fix, and searching for my next words.

As I sent out the email, with the Mac ‘swoosh’ sound, and turned to Jonathan, he was staring at me with his jaw dropped open.
“Mom, that is SO wild!!”

I had no idea what he was talking about.

He said, “I did what you asked, and pulled my energy back in, but it was hard to keep it there. So I stopped, and as soon as I stopped, your fingers stopped typing and you started digging into the popcorn like crazy, as if you’d been thrown off track. So I pulled my energy back in again, and as soon as I did, I could hear your fingers flying over the keyboard. I tried it a bunch of times, and every time I let my energy go out, you would stop typing and reach for the popcorn, and you wouldn’t start typing again until I pulled it back in. THAT’S FREAKY!!!”

I was blown away…
Nothing in me was consciously aware of what he was doing. I was completely submerged in my own process, though I was aware of times of flow, and then times of grinding gears, where I would stop typing and stuff popcorn into my mouth!
But I had NO IDEA that it was corresponding with what Jonathan was doing with his energy.

I’m very sensitive to others’ energies, and extremely responsive to that… it’s one of the tools that helps me as a coach, but I had never done an experiment like this to see just how powerful one person’s energy effects those around them.

This was a beautiful object lesson… so simple, and so clear.

Our lives have an impact… even when we can’t see it, feel it, or point to evidence of it. Our own energy affects each person we come into contact with, whether we are aware of it, or not.
We’re deeply interconnected, and allowing ourselves to become aware of this, is the first step towards developing healthy energetic boundaries, and learning to relate effectively with others, especially those whose energies may not be easy for us to be around.

I’d like to invite you to notice this in your own life. Try your own version of a ‘Jonathan experiment’.

Notice how you feel around different people.
Are there people who drain, or distract you?
Are there people with whom you feel easy, and at peace?
How does the quality of different people’s energy feel, when you’re with them?
How does the quality of your own energy feel, around different people, as compared with being alone?

Feel free to share below, about what you’re discovering.
I’d love to hear how this shows up in your life!!

This is one that I’ll be coming back to…

Celebrating YOU!!

Elizabeth Love




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  1. Diane Faist

    I loved reading about your experience. My 12 1/2 yr old daughter and I frequently enter the ying/yang path of mother -daughter… Walking the path… Sometimes hand in hand and other times in stilted silence

    • Elizabeth Love

      So glad you enjoyed it, Diane! I’m always in awe of how much I learn from my boys… :)

  2. Elysha

    What a fantastic awareness! I love it! Thank you so much for sharing this amazingness!! Love you!

    • Elizabeth Love

      I’m so glad it spoke to you!! I’ve been digging deeper here since that evening, and seeing so much!! Love this stuff… :)

  3. Lori Grant

    I notice this with Andy and I. Always thought it was me being distracted and not holding my energy space. Now perhaps it is a combination. Thanks.

    • Elizabeth Love

      That’s so cool, Lori!! I hadn’t realized this dynamic either, until Jonathan pointed it out.

  4. Robert Love

    Most interesting. At church we have been talking about how in the greater reality we are all connected. It is a tough concept to really accept and understand. This is such a wonderful example of one of the many ways we are all connected.

    • Elizabeth Love

      I love seeing the practical implications played out!!

  5. Nancy Smith

    Can’t wait to process what this one meant to me!

    • Elizabeth Love

      Still processing it myself!! I’d love to hear what you discover… :)