Clearing Out Old Energy

Written by: the Editors of goop


Updated on: July 26, 2022


Photo courtesy of Li Hui

It all started at a dinner party. “I made a judgmental comment about someone who I believed had wronged me,” says Jakki Smith-Leonardini, “and someone I had just met turned to me and said, ‘How did you get so harsh? Who are you?’” That was the moment Smith-Leonardini’s path toward becoming an energy healer began.

Instead of telling the stranger to eff off, she went home and let her walls fold inward. She took a look at herself. Years of competitiveness, built-up insecurities, and performing for acceptance had drained her. As she worked to repair those wounds, a strange side effect emerged: Her intuition sharpened, and she felt the tingling of a new skill: clairvoyance. It was the beginning of a ten-year spiritual ride.

Today, Smith-Leonardini helps us (and lots of others) figure out how we can flex our own intuitive clarity. She hosts a series of WellSoul Workshops with her teaching partner, psychotherapist Kasey Crown. At the retreats, they take groups through mindfulness-based cognitive and energy healing tools.

We’ve been—and loved it. And still…the mystery of energy work is confounding. But as many healers are quick to point out, its effectiveness is not dependent on belief. Meaning it can’t hurt to try what Smith-Leonardini calls “running energy”—a meditation to clear blocks from our chakras and ground ourselves in the present. Her end game is to get her clients to a place where they become their own healers.

(New to the chakra system? See this primer on the seven chakras and the power of trusting your gut.)

How Energy Work Works

Everything is made of energy and has its own unique vibration, including you. Everything is in a constant state of receiving and radiating energy. The frequency of this energy falls on a spectrum from light to dark. Light energy is infinite, effortless, and rooted in love. Dark or shadow energy is dense and rooted in fear. As an electromagnetic being, you attract experiences and relationships that match your frequency.

How do you know what frequency you are vibrating at? You may sense this energy by seeing colors or hearing sounds—or you may just know it. If you pause before you think, speak, or act, you can usually sense whether you’re spurred by doubt, insecurity, control, or the need to be perfect or you’re coming from a place of truth, creativity, love.

Shadow frequencies block our evolution into the light, but they’re also our doorway to it. Every time we face a difficult challenge, conflict, or decision, we are in the presence of a dense vibrational energy. In these moments, we have a choice about how we want to respond. We can go toward the light by attempting to learn from the challenge, transmuting that dense energy into higher-vibration energy. Or we can remain entrapped by our pain.

The goal of energy work—indeed of any spiritual work—is both to align you with the wisdom of your individual soul and to connect you with the divine, God, or the supreme being depending on how you refer to the source energy present around and within us.

One effective way to work with energy—and my personal favorite—is to “run energy” through the chakras. According to ancient Indian wisdom and the earliest forms of energy medicine, chakras are energy centers located in the subtle or energetic body. Each chakra represents an aspect of the human experience and includes both a shadow and light side. When the chakras are out of balance, pain blocks the flow of energy through the chakra system and we run the risk of trapping pain in areas of our body that can manifest as emotional and physical stress. In other words, when we are stuck emotionally, energy gets confined and cannot circulate or run its course.

This exercise brings the mind, body, and emotions into attunement with the soul, restoring balance within the system. Clearing dense energy and connecting with source energy sharpens our intuition and clarity so that we can use our own inner guide to answer important questions. Cultivating these tools helps us navigate life and relationships with greater ease and grace. You live your life through the voice of your soul.

The Practice of Running Energy

Much as we need to exercise regularly to see the benefits, running energy is something we would all benefit from incorporating into our daily spiritual practice. Start with small doses. Take five or ten minutes to ground, run, and clear your energy twice a day. As your practice develops and the benefits of increased vitality, clarity, and focus emerge, you may decide to increase your commitment. We don’t need a quiet room or tranquil space to run energy. It can be done at any time—in a meeting, on the train, in line at the market, and even during a heated conversation.

If you can’t feel anything at first, that’s okay. Keep going. Ask for the energy to come in and trust that it is there. Practice makes progress and the more you do it, the sooner you will notice the benefits.

Tip: Record the following practice on your phone and play it when you need a quick clearing or an energy boost.

Get Grounded

Rarely are we present. The activities and stressors in daily life send us ruminating in the past or tripping about the future. The practice of getting grounded is the process of bringing ourselves into the present moment. Presence is the doorway to healing and the necessary first step in bringing our mind, body, emotions, and spirit into attunement.

Step 1: Establish a grounding cord from the first chakra.

Sit upright with your legs and arms uncrossed. Firmly place your feet flat on the floor. Visualize a cord or beam of light traveling from your first chakra—located at the base of the tailbone—directly down to the center of the earth.

Step 2: Open your seventh chakra.

Visualize a beam of light traveling from the seventh chakra—at the crown of your head—directly up, connecting with divine or cosmic energy.

Step 3: Call your spirit home.

Repeat your full name out loud three times. Your name is unique to you. By repeating your name, you call yourself into the present moment.

Step 4: Establish grounding cords from the feet chakras.

Wake up the chakras on the bottom of your feet. With your feet still firmly planted, visualize beams of light traveling from their center down to the earth’s core.

Step 5: Run earth energy.

Now that you have established cords from the first chakra and feet chakras, along with a cosmic cord from the seventh, you are ready to pull earth energy up. Earth energy is forest green. Call this energy up from the center of the earth and allow it to travel into the feet, up through the legs and torso and out the crown of your head, filling the outer layers of your energy body as far as the aura’s edge. The aura is the layers of energy that surround the physical body with an expanse as far as our arms stretched wide. Once the body and aura fill with this earth energy, allow it to flush down the grounding cord at the first chakra into the center of the earth.

Step 6: Run forgiveness.

Forgiveness energy, also referred to as Christ-force energy, is a translucent gold color with a blue hue. Just as you did with the earth energy, pull forgiveness energy up through your feet, legs, and torso. Allow it to flow out the seventh, filling the aura. As it travels through, it pushes away energy that doesn’t serve our highest and best good, making room for our spirit. After you have filled the body and aura, once again let that energy release down the grounding cord into the center of the earth. Repeat this step four times.

Now: You’re grounded and ready for what’s next.

Run Your Energy

Once you’re grounded, you can pull energy through your chakras, cleansing them by running loops and removing blockages. You know better than anyone what it is that you need. Bring that healing energy in and allow it to wash through your mind, body, spirit, and emotions so that you have the vitality necessary to radiate that same high-vibration energy outward.

Step 7: Run cosmic energies.

Grounding energies travel upward from the center of the earth to fill us and wash down the grounding cord. In contrast, cosmic energies come in through the seventh chakra at the crown of the head and travel downward through the chakras. They go into the grounding cord and end their journey at the center of the earth. I recommend running these energies four times each, and imagine the colors running through your body as you do.

Deprogramming energy: a deep royal-blue color that washes out dense vibrational energies from our system.

Clarity energy: a neon-electric-blue color that enhances clarity and expands knowingness.

Healing energy: a green color that heals wounds.

Love and truth energy: a golden color that revitalizes us with light, reminding us of who we truly are.

Step 8: Replace the grounding cord.

An important final step in the energy-healing process is to replace your old grounding cord with a fresh one, realigning and anchoring you into present time. Let all the residual energy run through you and release it down your existing cord. Then remove that cord by envisioning a rose rooted to the earth through its stem. The rose is symbolic of forgiveness and transmutes dense energy into light. Place your old grounding cord into the center of that rose and allow it to explode over a vast ocean, sending the rose petals down to be rinsed and renewed. Follow steps one through four, and off you go—present and in harmony.

Jakki Smith-Leonardini—a clairvoyant, an energy healer, and a soul coach—travels the country supporting clients on their journey to heal old wounds and connect with the essential wisdom of their soul. Her chakra-based energy-healing techniques help point individuals and groups down paths of purpose, balance, and creativity. Smith-Leonardini offers individual and group healing sessions, and workshops along with her teaching partner, Kasey Crown. She lives in Northern California with her husband and three children.