Episode 28 How to set Energetic Boundaries with Lisa Lewis

Sep 15, 2021

What is an energetic boundary? Why is building your self-awareness an integral part of maintaining your energetic boundaries? Can energy be like water?


With three certificates in energy healing and Level 2 Reiki certified, Lisa has gained extensive training in the mind-body connection. She also has the traditional training of a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and offers clients a holistic approach during sessions.

Dedicated to her private practice and work in her community, Lisa sees patients in her Pasadena, California office, as well as virtually in online therapy or phone therapy. She has a keen interest in helping those who struggle with issues related to being a highly sensitive person, as well as parents and individuals navigating depression, anxiety, stress, or trauma.

With over 20 years of education, training, and life experience, Lisa is well-equipped to help others in their healing and personal growth.

Connect on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Sign up for her free 8-week email and listen to her podcast here, or visit her website here.

Email Lisa at lisa@amiokpodcast.com or call her for an initial consult at 626.319.5076.


  • How to set energetic boundaries
  • Build your self-awareness
  • How to get into your body
  • Lisa’s advice to listeners


The first step to learning how to set energetic boundaries for yourself is to:

Know how to ground yourself:

You can ground yourself into the Earth as a meditation, and feel yourself be secure and connected with the earth, sending energetic roots into the soul that connects you with nature.

Once you get really comfortable doing that, that’s when you feel more centered and more grounded within your body, and then your energetic boundary [is within] the distance from your shoulder, if you extend your arm, all the way out in front of you … that bubble that goes all the way around you. That is your space … then you can say “this is me, and that is you”. (Lisa Lewis)

Get to know what your energy feels like:

Once you are comfortable and aware of how it feels to be within your own energy space and to feel what your energy feels like, you can more easily recognize if you are holding onto or are carrying energy that does not belong to you.

By being grounded within your body and being comfortable and aware of your energetic boundary, you can more easily pick up if somebody is – intentionally or not – overstepping it.

If the other person doesn’t know how to set their own boundary, you might feel invaded by somebody. You might feel them come into your personal space, and highly sensitive people are very sensitive to people entering their space. (Lisa Lewis)


Getting to know what your energy feels like to you is an integral part of building your self-awareness.

Make intentional time to understand what it is that you need to feel at peace and grounded. This is also where self-care becomes important.


  • Taking a little time every day for self-reflection, such as writing in a journal,
  • Meditating
  • Moving your body and exercising.

Moving your body helps move emotions and feelings through [your] body. If we tend to get stuck, and if feelings and emotions get stuck in our body, that’s when disease can develop in certain areas in our body. If we separate the word disease, that there’s a dis-ease in our own physical body. So, it’s working with the energy to help move that dis-ease through your body so that it doesn’t get stuck., stagnant or blocked. (Lisa Lewis)

Imagine that the energy flowing through you is like how water flows through a river. Each day you can ask yourself:

  • Is there a part of me that feels stuck today?
  • Where does it feel stuck?
  • How can I get that energy to move and flow through me and beyond me?


To become connected to and grounded within your body, you need to slow down. The mind works quickly and is loud, whereas the body is quiet and slow.

With the body you can use the art of inquiry: when you feel sensations in the body, such as feeling a weight or emptiness in the stomach, or sadness in your heart, you can ask questions.

Imagine giving those sensations a color or a description to make them more tangible and therefore easier to heal. Do not bring judgments into this space.


The first step is the hardest, but the second and third and the rest are always a little easier.

If you are considering it, do not be nervous about being a part of group therapy, because it can offer a different kind but equally valuable therapeutic experience.

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Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Integrating Muscle Response Testing into Practice with Angela Santiago

Free 8 Week Email Course with Lisa Lewis

Practice of the Practice Podcast Network



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Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast, where you discover diverse wellness modalities, advice on growing your integrative practice, and grow confidence in being your unique self. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. I'm so glad you're here for the journey.

Hi, and welcome to today's episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. I'm your host, Chris McDonald, and I'm coming to you from sunny and very hot North Carolina. I have an amazing guest for you today. Her name is Lisa Lewis. She has three certificates in energy healing and is Level 2 Reiki Certified. Lisa has gained extensive training in the mind-body connection. She also has the traditional training of a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and together she offers clients a holistic approach during sessions. Dedicated to her private practice and work in her community Lisa sees patients in her Pasadena, California office, as well as virtually an online therapy or phone therapy. She has a keen interest in helping those who struggle with issues related to being a highly sensitive person, as well as parents and individuals navigating through depression, anxiety, stress, or trauma. With over 20 years of education training and life experience, Lisa is well equipped to help others in their healing and personal growth. Welcome to the podcast, Lisa.


Hi, Chris. Thank you so much for having me on today. I'm so glad to be here.


I'm so glad you're here too. So can you tell my listeners a little bit more about yourself and your work?


Sure. So I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in the state of California. I'm also certified in transpersonal energy healing and Reiki Certified Level Two and I came into this work. I kind call it through the back door. I started in my own personal journey and healing back in 2006, started doing my own individual therapy sessions, and it was with my therapist I was working with at the time who was also a energy healer, she had her energy healing school and she introduced me to group classes and I was perfectly fine and content just doing individual one-on-one sessions with her. She had a way of finessing people to push them out of their comfort zone and so I started taking energy healing courses and loved it so much. I loved working with people and I saw my own transformation happening and I thought, well, I could get certified at the same time that I'm taking these classes and maybe do something with it.

So as time went on, I took three years of group classes and got certified as a transpersonal energy healing practitioner, a body-mind counselor, and a transpersonal energy healing therapist. And then I started doing some assistant teaching at the energy healing school, and then I loved the psychology part of it so much that I decided to go back to school, get my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, and then wanting to integrate the two after I got licensed using like the body mind spirit connection. So that's how my holistic approach I use with my clients.


Thank you for that. This is perfect for the podcast, I was talking about. I love it. So you have a podcast coming out as well?


My podcast is going to launch in July and the name of it is called Am I Ok? It's the Am I Ok? Podcast and how that came to be, it was a long process even coming up with that name. It started last year in 2020 during the pandemic and during that time, especially a very, in the beginning of the pandemic, not knowing what was going to be happening in the world, where is this leading us to all the uncertainty and the unknowns, I found myself asking, "Gosh, am I going to be okay? Will I be okay?" And just working with clients to just asking that question or that phrase kept coming out and I hear it quite often. Am I going to be okay? Am I okay? Will I be okay? So that's how I got the name of it. And then also it's really specific for like highly sensitive persons. Highly sensitive persons are people who are deep thinkers. They are very empathetic, they can be very intuitive, and what we have found through the work of Dr. Elaine Aron, who specializes and is a researcher on highly sensitive persons is about 15 to 20% of the population are highly sensitive persons. And we see about 50% of those people in therapy.


That's interesting numbers. I never knew there was that many people.


There is that many people. So that's why I find myself I'm a highly sensitive person. So what I find is most of my clients that come in are highly sensitive. So I wanted to give more information to the greater population. So podcast is a great way to get that information out there. And for people just to feel like, because highly sensitive people can feel like there's something wrong with them and I just want people to know that there's nothing wrong with you. This is your gift that you bring to the world and I just want people to be able to embrace.


Oh, I love that. The name I think is perfect too, Am I? Ok? Because you think about that must go through everybody's mind and your clients as well. What is normal and what is not normal?


Yes, exactly. And what is normal, what is not normal? And it's unpacking that. And it's different for everybody what's normal, wat's not normal and really getting to know yourself, getting to know what your energy feels like compared to someone else's energy, knowing how to put up a kind of like an energetic boundary so that highly sensitive people can take on other people's feelings or emotions and then they feel depleted. So it's how I work with people, really learning how to ground and be in your own body and also know how to be with people that maybe are going through something. And that doesn't mean you have to take on their emotions or feelings. You could still be with them and listen with an empathetic ear and not having to take on their issues or problems as well.


I love that too. So how do you set an energetic boundary? What is that like?


Well, first it's learning how to ground and that I like to use like a tree meditation or does grounding with the earth. And then once you get really comfortable doing that, and that's why you feel like more centered, more grounded in your body and then the energetic boundary is really the distance from your shoulder all the way. If you extend your arm all the way out in front of you, in this set, that energetic boundary, that bubble that goes all the way around you. And that's your space, that's your personal space from your hand, all the way to your body. And then on the other side, that's the other. So we can say, this is me and that is you.


What a great way to say that too, to think about that boundary and to be able to feel it too?


Yes. And that takes some time and some practice to really get to know what that feels like and really getting to know what your energy feels like compared to somebody else's. So that way, like if you're out and about, it could even be, doesn't have to be in person. It could be energetically like over the phone or on video that you can start to feel the difference. And then, oh, okay, maybe I need to back up a little bit. I need to do something different so I can feel more safe and grounded in my body. If someone else, the other person doesn't know how to set their own boundary, you might feel invaded by somebody. You might feel them come into your personal space. And highly sensitive people are very sensitive to people entering their space. So it's really learning how to navigate that and relate to it. It's really about taking care of yourself.


It seems like building that self-awareness too would be so important.


Yes. So self-awareness is very important and that's like to emphasize really self-care for any client that I work with, including myself and taking time for yourself every day for self-reflection, if you like to ground, if you like to meditate, if you'd like to do physical exercise, moving your body, moving your body helps move emotions and feelings through our body. If we tend to get stuck, if feelings or emotions get stuck in our body that's when disease can develop in certain areas of our body. If we separate the word, dis, ease, like there's a dis-ease in our own physical body. So it's working with the energy to help move that dis-ease through your body so it doesn't get stuck, doesn't get stagnant, doesn't get blocked. So we want a nice flow of the energy. This is how a river flows, the water flows. We want that in our bodies as well from head to toe and toe to head.


That's a cool analogy too, to think of the energy flowing like a river flowing.


Yes. I use it all the time for myself. I'm like, "Am I flowing today? Do I feel like, is there something stuck? If I have like a boulder in my river, that's blocking something?"


I got several today.


Yes. And it can change hour by hour, minute by minute, day to day. A month from now how we feel today may not be the same way we feel tomorrow, in a week from now, a month from now. It all changes in flexo age. So it's about just checking in with yourself and noticing, oh, what's going on with me and is there something that I need to do to help me feel more at ease with myself and just have that easy flow through my body?


Easy flow. I think that's important to remember.


Yes. The easy flow, just really getting to know yourself, how you can develop an easy flow within yourself so that when you get triggered, as something happens, that you can check in with yourself. And I like to work a lot with the body-mind connection. So I'm always working about what's happening in your body right now. That's a question I use a lot with my clients, what's happening in your body right now. And when we check in with our bodies, our bodies can tell us a lot of information and if we look at where we are in our life, and then a lot of us can be more mental, use our mind more than our bodies for guidance and that's okay, and it can also be that we feel safer in our minds. So all of our energy is more of toys in our head. We may not even live in our bodies or our physical bodies, maybe from the neck down, maybe feel empty or depleted. It may not even feel safe to be in your body. So I like using the body-mind connection. And it's really about having those two really talk to each other. They're there to have a conversation. What do they wanting to say to each other?


I love that. You have a lot of great ideas. I'm like, "Oh, this is great." If they were to have a conversation, and I always say that to clients too, a lot of my clients get stuck in their heads and disconnect from their bodies. So how do you get them more into their bodies?


Well, it's really slowing down the process and I mean, like really slowing down because we can get stuck let's say in our head and our thoughts and our mind and our mind could be like the one in charge. But if we really slow it down, really slow the process down and get really quiet and just start checking in, what do you notice in your body? Oh, I have this feeling in my stomach, that empty feeling or that I have a pit in my stomach or other common one is like in the heart. My heart feels really sad. So we start to go into those places, and I use what is called the art of inquiry, and there are certain questions to really get clear, what is, there's a shape or a color to it. If your heart could talk, what would it want to tell you? Does it have a message for you? Is that feeling in your heart? Is it serving a purpose?

So we get really specific with questions. We can't unravel. You can start to unravel what is happening and that area of the body. And it's really like the way out. It's like the way out of the issue. And I think of, if there is a, you're standing on one side of a, let's say there's a hole and you have to get to the other side. So in therapy it usually gets worse before it gets better and it's like going through, it's like jumping through that hoop, going through that ring of fire or whatever you want to call it to get to the other side. Because the other side is that, oh my gosh, it's that sense of relief, and once you get through that and looking back, it may feel like, wow, that wasn't as bad as I thought it was or wow that just unleashed so much energy. When we get into those areas of the body where it feels stuck, where it feels blocked and once we release there's just a flow of energy.

And that's when people have so much energy to go do things like, oh my gosh, I can go clean my house. I can do this. They get motivated. And it's such a exciting thing to see when clients would do that. And I've even experienced that myself in my own healing. So just knowing what that experience is, and then trusting the process. And that's what I think really it is about with any healer or therapist. It's like holding that space for our clients to be able to do what they need to do and not having any judgements about it. They need to be sad, they need to be angry, whatever it is, just holding that space, is those are things that maybe have been, they haven't been able to do in their life. So they want to feel safe and have someone trust them and that are not going to leave them or shame them or make fun of them, but really holding that space so they can show up and be the person that they want to be.


So I read your blog about the highly sensitive business owners and how could being highly sensitive impact therapists as they work with clients? Because I imagine there's a lot of highly sensitive therapists.


Well, for one, like for therapists, we're very empathetic. So we may come to a point where we feel depleted or we're over-giving or over empathetic and not taking care of ourselves. So we just have to watch that for ourselves so we don't start blending in with all of our clients' stuff that they bring to us. So we have to keep our boundary really clear and clean and that is, I have a ritual of grounding and centering myself in the beginning of the day and then at the end of the day. So when I close my door or close my laptop, turn off my computer, I'm leaving all of my clients there for the day, so I can go out and be myself.


So what do you do to ground and get yourself started for the day?


Physical exercise is really one of my main things and that can be hiking, running. I live across the street from a trail. So that is one of my resources to help me feel safe, help me feel grounded, help me feel more of a sense of present. And also then I come back and do some stretching and a dis-grounding. I can do it laying down, I can do it standing up. It may be different every day. And that's really, I connect to the earth. Then I also do a process we call Harline setting my intention for the day and then the levels of the field.


And what about the end of the day, because sometimes I think that's harder too. Because I know sometimes I'm so tired. I'm just like, I just want to get done and lay on my couch.


Yes. So at the end of the day, it's like doing the same thing and that might be, I need to go for a walk, I need to go outside, get some fresh air, be in a different environment. I also do shaking. If you're familiar with Chingong, there's a part of like shaky. So that is really helpful for me.


That really helps regulate the nervous system from what I've learned with research.


Yes. And this is what I think it's really all about too, is regularly our nervous system. When we get triggered, we go into the sympathetic nervous system. We want to come back to that state of feeling good. We also call that resiliency zone so that we're not getting triggered out of our resiliency zone, in the high zone where we may feel anxious or in the low zone where you feel sad or depressed, but it's being in that resiliency and learning how to expand it. So when we do get triggered, we may feel sad, we feel anxious, but we can bounce back much quicker.


That's a good way to put it, the resilience. So you were talking about transpersonal energy healing. I'm not familiar with that. Can you talk more about that? .


Yes. So transpersonal energy healing, I was taught through the Lionheart School of Transpersonal Energy Healing in Studio, City, California, and that school has since then renamed itself to Transpersonal Energy Healing Therapy. Also my teacher, the director of the school was trained through the Barbara Brennan School of Energy Healing. So that's where my training comes from. And what transpersonal means is across the body. So you're looking at all aspects of the body mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. So like when we check in with a client, those are the things I'm listening for and wanting to check in about because when one of those is out of balance, it may affect all the other ones as well. So that we can look at different aspects of the piece of the pie, because we want to be whole, we want to feel like a whole piece of a pie. So that's learning to really balance yourself and see what may be out of balance or not feeling quite like yourself.


What does a session look like with you, if you're using energy healing and regular traditional therapy? How does that go?


So if someone's coming just to see me just for energy healing, and now that the requirements are lessening, it can be in-person sessions again, some people come just to see me for transpersonal energy and like hands-on work. And when I do hands-on work, I'm working with balancing the chakras of the body. And when you say it was like traditional therapy, it's really just the body-mind connection and I'm just really tracking people's energy in their body and helping them and teaching them how to track themselves. And you can do that in person, you can do that by Zoom, it doesn't even have to be hands-on.


So you also do some talk therapy, I guess as well?


Yes. It's mostly, it's talk therapy, but it's also just using a lot of questions about the body and mind and seeing how they are connecting to each other, how they're communicating to each other, if they are, and if they're not, what would it be like if they were to talk to each other? It's really interesting to see what happens. It's different for everybody. And it's like do you want to talk to each other? And maybe through family conditioning, our childhoods, if there's traumas big traumas, little traumas that over time that we can maybe learn not to trust our intuition because maybe our intuition was shamed or we felt guilty about it. So then we shut that part of ourselves off and we come more mental. We use our head, our thoughts, our reasoning to get us through each day. However, when we start to open that up again, maybe that gut feeling that intuition, there can be a lack of trusting that again. And people may think, "Well, no, I don't think that exists anymore. I don't think it's there. No, it's there. It's just that there's a lot of layers covering it up." So we just want to start to uncover that.


Yes, makes sense.


And some people feel it like that's their spirit, that's their life, that's their guiding force, whatever that is. And it's so exciting to see that happen.


Yes, I imagine so, once they realize it's still there.


Yes. And that's the part that can be hard, too, and not trusting that. Well, I don't know, that didn't serve me so well back then. I don't know if I can use that again. So it's working with both ends of it and seeing how they can come together.


What's your take you could share today that could help listeners that are just starting their holistic journey?


I think the first or the hardest part, maybe just making that initial phone call to reach out and get help. I know for me, when I started, it took me two years to make that first phone call. So it's like the seed was planted and it had to grow a little bit for two years, how to nurture it, put some water on it, let the sun shine on it before I had the courage to reach out and get help. So I just want to encourage everyone. The first step can be the hardest, making that first phone call. The first session may be hard too, but usually it's just when you start talking, it just all unfolds. And just having someone who can just witness what you're going through and just be that witness who is just so loving and caring and empathetic and so validating, that's healing right there in itself.


Definitely holding space and witness, so therapeutic.


Yes. And also that group sessions are also a little different from individual sessions. When you are in a group and be witnessed by a whole group of people that is so extraordinary, it's even much different than just being witnessed by an individual person, if it's a therapist or a healer, how have.


So have I missed anything, Lisa? Anything else you want to share?


No, I don't think, I think that covers all of it. I appreciate you having me here today, Chris.


I appreciate you coming on. What's the best way for listeners to find you and learn more about you?


So to find me, my website is lisalewiscounseling.com and my podcast is, amiokpodcast.com. The letters of OK are O and K. And also if you go onto my amiokpodcast.com website, I also have a free-eight week email course will help with learning about the highly sensitive person.


Excellent. Well thank you again for coming on. I think we have so many great gems. You had so much to share in here.

Thank you so much.


And thank you so much to my listeners for continuing to support the show. And don't forget to subscribe, rate and review wherever you get your podcasts.

Yes, and that brings us to the end of this episode. I want to thank my listeners for tuning in today and so glad to have you here on this journey. Remember to subscribe, rate, and review wherever you get your podcasts. This is Chris McDonald sending each one of you much light and love. Until next time, take care.

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