I try to protect myself daily and like Big Hoss was saying, I think in some cases you can over do it and not feel anything at all. I'm no expert though. But I think , at times , use too much protection but my meditation was invaded once by a ugly being and it scared me to the point I was afraid to meditate for a week. It also almost cost me the house we was closing on , which in the end I bought the house but that's beside the point. I was under attach by a neighbor that wasn't playing in the light and thank goodness a very nice man on this forum (thanks Trevor) help me work though it. That was the first time I used a shield and stopped the bad energy. It was real! And when I stopped it , I had no idea that I was using a shield. And the shield was in my hand. But, I guess it's hard to believe unless you have experienced it. So, yes, I'm a believer in shields. I guess it's according to what kind of spiritual work your doing and how well you know what your doing. I do believe I have a harder time "connecting" because of my protection but so be it. When it's my time, my guides will let me know.