Especially after a year of “6 foot rules,” we’re all familiar with what a personal bubble, or “peripersonal space” is. It’s that intangible area that surrounds your body and differentiates you from everything else. It is what allows you to know when something, or someone, is too close, and helps you maintain an appropriate amount of space. From my view, this personal space is sacred. It draws the barrier between our own being and those of everything else in the universe.

I like to imagine my space, or my aura, as a bubble extending about a foot and a half around me. Inside this bubble, it’s just me. My energy has room to move around and go where it needs to. The existence of this bubble and its boundaries allows me to have a greater awareness of what is my own energetic property in this world. More importantly, my aura protects me from the energy of others. It acts as a selectively permeable barrier, only allowing it in when I choose. These energetic boundaries make it possible for beings as dynamic as humans to coexist with each other.

All of this is true – but only in a perfect world. I wish that my peripersonal space functioned so flawlessly. Most of the time, my aura feels like Swiss cheese. I’m so in tune with the environments I inhabit and the people who I interact with. You might say I’m a typical empath. Energy can sometimes flow freely in and out of my space, leaving me feeling depleted and often confused by the influx of foreign emotion. This is one of those “blessing and a curse” situations. This quality makes me extremely intuitive and able to connect with people, but it also means I can be easily influenced by the state of another person.

As you can guess, this is not a sustainable way to be. I do not want to live a life where I avoid people and situations because of what I might feel as a result (as if that were really an option). So, I’ve put in a lot of work and learned about how to strengthen my aura through my meditation practice. It’s simple but effective – I visual this bubble around me filling in to be a solid force field lined in a strong blue. I find I’m more effective at keeping outside energy from entering my space when I make this a regular practice.

My yoga teachers often cue us to set an intention at the beginning of class. This past week, I’ve been focusing on my aura. I practice strengthening it and feeling it move with me through class. I’ve noticed that it helps me stay focused even as others in the class move through their own flow. It even enabled me to do most of the practice with my eyes closed, and keeping my eyes closed helped me further stay within my own space. It’s been really interesting to see how putting a bit of extra focus on this aspect of my energetic being has opened my awareness to things I wasn’t expecting.

This space truly is sacred. Without it, my energy would be constantly mixing with that of my environment. I would lose myself amongst everything else. As someone who has struggled to find a sense of identity, this is something I have strong fears of. My space is quite important to me. Spending time on this practice over the past week has proved to be an important exercise. I wonder how you view your personal space. Are you even aware of it?