Protect Your Energy Study 4

Collage with Linoleum Block and Phototransfer Elements on Cotton Rag Paper
15 x 11.25 inches

This print is about my own practice in setting boundaries and expressing myself clearly. The series depicts the beauty of saying NO so that I can say YES to that which is aligned with my vision. The figure is grounded while also being in movement, with a hand gesture that symbolizes protection.

I protect my energy by stating my needs, using my words to express what I desire, what feels good and what doesn’t, and setting boundaries in order to care for myself. I practice forgiveness and focus on the present. I allocate time to care deeply for myself and my joy, whether that’s sleeping or valuing my solitude or having solo play time.

I was raised to be a big giver, like many BIPOC femmes who grew up in migrant families. I was given a lot of responsibility at a young age, including the demand to excel in school and be an overachiever. Thus I became a natural leader and entrepreneur.

Yet for many decades I put my needs last, and took care of a lot of people. I started unlearning that after 2018 when I found myself in relationships that were not equitable and did not support my growth. On the contrary, I was stuck in dynamics that were extractive and that took advantage of my gifts.

I hit a low so I started to do some deep work with some amazing coaches and therapists. It's interesting that once I started learning how to set boundaries and protect my precious time and energy, things just got better for me all around - on the professional level, the friendship level and the romantic level.

I have many mantras around my energy that I say to myself often: - A NO makes room for a YES - What I give my attention to grows - I say YES to things that feel good in my body

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