The difference between a boundary and a wall

Photo by AdobeStock/  gal2007

Photo by AdobeStock/  gal2007


Energetic walls and boundaries feel so similar that it can be hard to tell them apart.

I like to think of walls as being boundary’s distant cousin. They are similar, but both have very different ideas on how to get the job done. 

Let's have a quick look at the basic differences between walls and boundaries. 




Energetic Walls

  Are created from a place of fear, insecurity and judgement 

   Honor only our self

  Are created with a contracted a body, tight jaws and little breath

  Created to regain control of another person or situation

 Created when we see, feel, hear or sense something that we don't like or does not feel safe to us, creating a separation between us and them, and to take negotiation off of the table. 

Energetic Boundaries 

  Are created with love, gratitude our breath and our presence

  Honor those around us as well as our self  

  Created with a connection with our natural mindful breath and a relaxed body

  Created to support collaborative interactions and outcomes

  Create a safe container for us to interact with the world, including that which is different than us and to navigate the unexpected in embodied ways


Just because it is walled off, does not mean it is not still there

The trouble, when boundaries and walls get mixed up, is that walls create a false sense of separation. Here is how walls work, say our dog is on the bed, and we do not want him there. If we were using a wall, rather than asking him to get down, we throw a blanket over him so we could not see him on our bed anymore.  You see? The dog is still on the bed, he is now just under a blanket. This is how a wall works. 

When we rely on walls to do the job of a boundary the same thing happens. If we don't like a person we are interacting with at a dinner party when we put up a wall to block out them from us, they are still there at our table with us and our wall, just like a dog under the blanket. 

Here is a relevant example with the upcoming elections. Imagine, we are in a conversation with someone we just met and as they are talking we realize how different their political position is from ours. An energetic wall would block out their energy from getting into our space, for sure. But a boundary would allow us to interact with this person and perhaps find some common ground so we could both walk away having learned something new about the world and our self. 

When we rely on walls, it is important to note, that it takes a lot of hard work to maintain our walls. Requiring us to regularly stoke the fires of our anger, or fear to create the energy to do so and this can be draining! 


What is an energetic boundary? 

Energetic boundaries are softer than walls, they are created with love and gratitude, rather than fear or anger. And as I cover in my book, Energetic Boundaries 101, love and gratitude are a part of the formula for creating an energetic boundary. Here is the magic formula for creating an energetic boundary...

Our physical body

+ Our energetic body

+ our natural, calm breath  

+ our presence in the present moment

+ our love and gratitude

+ our intent to tie it all together

= Our Energetic Boundary


As you can see in the formula, our energetic boundary is not something outside of us, but rather it is us. It is created by the combined efforts of all aspects of who we are, landing firmly in the here and now, ready to face each situation with compassion and the presence it deserves. In my understanding, this holds endless possibilities for creating a more loving and peaceful world. 



I love energetic boundaries 

If you struggle with creating energy boundaries, you are not alone. Most of us have grown up and lived most of our life without having ever learned these basic life skills. But if you are like me, you crave something more.


I fell in LOVE with energetic boundaries. The kind of boundaries I am talking about are not protection tools, but actual boundaries created with our very own presence. I love them so much, I wrote a whole book about them.  And I promise nothing in this book will tell you to hide or that you are less than, but offer you simple yet powerful empowering embodiement tools to help you become the empowered empath you and I both know you are ready to be.

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About Joanna

Joanna is the author of  Energetic Boundaries 101. She is a shamanic practitioner, animal communicator and mentor. She works, writes lives and tends to the important matters of spirit-energy with playful, transparency and honesty. 

She works with clients all over the globe from her healing studio that is lovingly nestled between Mt Baker and the Salish sea, in Bellingham, WA.