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11 July 2014 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 9: What Does it Mean to be Alone?

Managing Your Energy, Part 9: What Does it Mean to be Alone?

Ambrose Bierce, in “The Devil’s Dictionary,” defines “Alone: In poor company.” This tongue-in-cheek humor is worthy of contemplation.

We can feel alone in a crowd, and among those with whom we have minimal rapport. We also feel alone when we are poor company for ourselves. The better company we become–the less we abandon, reject, criticize, or betray ourselves–the more we enjoy time on our own. When we enjoy time to ourselves we become less likely to spend time around people who make poor company.

In my early life, as in the lives of many, being alone was associated with abandonment, rejection, betrayal, social insufficiency, and even worthlessness. In our wounded condition we feel disconnected, unloved, and lonely. Being around others can distract from this, or exacerbate it if our issues arise. When they do arise, we can work on ourselves to develop our sense of wholeness.

Inner Work makes us better and better company–for ourselves and for others. As we become good company, distressful impressions about being alone carry less freight. We may have periods during which we feel loss or desire more contact and connection with others, but we also have times when we delight in spending time with ourselves.

“Alone” can also be All-One. Effective spiritual practice develops an experience of transcendental Wholeness. This means feeling At One with the Greater Whole–connected. Spiritual wholeness is characterized by feeling a sense of loving and meaningful connectedness with Life.

This experience is not a thought, opinion or interpretation. It is a feeling and sensory experience. Right now I am not talking about ultimate spiritual Union, but about feeling like a part of life.

P1070005I am feeling this Wholeness at the moment. I’m sitting in my van by a big stream, in my nightgown in a mostly-empty campground. I’m within sight of the camp hosts so I feel safe. I feel connected with you, and with people who love me–even though most of them I rarely see in person. I feel close to those with whom I connect spiritually. Whether or not I have a personal relationship with them, they are part of the fabric of my moment-to-moment experience when I am happily alone because we are in one another’s hearts.

Feeling connected is partly a function of how we focus our attention. It is a also a condition of our energy, which can be developed by doing practices that balance and vivify our fields and open our hearts.

Good states do happen. They happen a lot more when we do things that invite and sustain them. We do not get to really good states by resisting bad states. We get to them by allowing and observing our experience and cultivating our energy.

Being around people all the time can interfere with inner cultivation. While there are many ways we can and do cultivate ourselves around others, spending time alone gives us a baseline sense of who we are as in individual. We need space to be able to FEEL ourselves without being bombarded by other influences.

How can you tell who you are if you are seeing yourself through the biases of the people around you and resonating with their needs, beliefs, interests, and values?

Getting out in nature can help. When you have a keen sense of who you are and what you want and need you can represent your real self to the people in your lives. Then you feel whole around them instead of giving over to them, disappearing among them and losing yourself, or resisting them to make sure you’re really there.

Do YOU feel more alone around other people or when you are by yourself?

How does your self-talk influence how and where you feel alone, and whether or not you like it?

27 June 2014 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 8: Spiritual Exercise in Self, Sensing & Safety

Managing Your Energy, Part 8: Spiritual Exercise in Self, Sensing & Safety

Balanced development has requirements of which we may be unaware. When we have difficulty growing in a desired direction, there may be a natural prerequisite. Profound states of awareness can lead to issues and distortion, for example, without the anchor and safety of grounded body awareness.

The story below explores the relationship between expansion of consciousness and body awareness:

After a number of hard knocks over a short period, it took me several days doing intensive practices while walking in the woods to access expanded awareness and open my heart. Expansion felt great after being so contracted for so long! By “expansion” I mean feeling LARGE, diffuse, blissful, extended into the space around me, and connected with all life.P1050630

I worked with my breath, energy, and divine names. With my energy fields expanded I noticed that my awareness seemed to extend for half a mile or so around me. When other hikers passed me I felt contracted. Some wanted to say “hi,” or had various issues active and running in their energy systems. Interfacing was uncomfortable.

I began to alternate between breathing into my hara/belly center and bones, and relaxing into expansion. I practiced pulling all the way into my body, resisting the almost inevitable pull to “leak” energy as soon as people showed up. I practiced keeping my energy contained. When I did this I picked up signals to the effect that people experienced me I as cold. Containment felt counter to my natural affability.

I now had to work through my feelings and judgments about allowing myself to separate from others when I need to. At first I felt that I must choose between being friendly and being intact. As I gained skill in alternating between my expanded state and anchoring in my belly, I became able to give people a moment of friendly contact and then pull my energy back in after they passed, noticing any leaking that may have begun to occur. (I’ve learned to relate openly without leaking when I’m working. Apparently doing it in passing is a different skill. I think that’s about wanting to connect quickly and going too deep too fast.)

As people passed, I returned to my expanded, fully-open state, letting myself spread out and feel connected with nature and life. If I stay that open at close range with people I still tend to pick Stuff up. This is getting less and less as I am able to maintain a strong anchor and quickly sort my energy out from theirs.

I look forward to being able to maintain expanded states and solid body awareness at the same time, experiencing unity without feeling entangled. Practicing states alternately is a good start.

When we habitually “read” the energy around us it can keep us in contracted states. We look out AT people and may feel invaded by them instead of feeling at One.  SENSING the energy is different than “reading” it. We just know, just feel, just sense. Sensing is less characterized by a sense of being the Doer. It is body centered, not mind centered.

It is easier to feel the heart from sensing than from thinking.

By Sensing we can feel connected without leaking or taking unwanted energy in. Simply sensing–without an overlay of thought– does not involve considerations about what might be. It stays with what IS. Sensing relies on body awareness AND energy awareness. The body becomes the anchor–but the whole boat is part of us too.

Which of the themes in this post do YOU connect with the most?

How aware are you of your energy responses to other people?

6 June 2014 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 5: Energy Protection–My Story

Managing Your Energy, Part 5: Energy Protection–My Story

I have always been highly sensitive to energy. Initially this was only a liability. For several decades, the suggestions I received for energy protection did not work. Some depended on catching Stuff before it got in. Some depended on concentration I had not developed. Some depended on being able to ground myself and stay in my body.

I was compromised from layers and layers of Stuff that had already entered my energy fields. This energy pulled in, by resonance, all sorts of negative energy from my environment. My fields were shredded. Chunks of my energy were displaced. I did not have the focus and clarity required to repair my fields or to effectively use techniques for protection.

The easy tips didn’t change anything for me at that point. When I tried to apply them and they had no real impact, I felt inadequate. Visualizing didn’t do much. I wondered whether I was supposed to fantasize that it did, but I don’t hold with faking things.

Some years later, for about eighteen months, I was close friends and worked with a very powerful clairvoyant, clairaudient healer. When we treated clients together I realized that I could ‘patch in’ and see and hear whatever he did. Additionally, I began to get a clear sense of the most effective sequence for treatment.P1050521

The healer and I would call one another almost daily, and scan our energy to see if it had become compromised. Doing energy work with clients we sometimes picked up Stuff, which distorted our ability to ‘see’ clearly to work on ourselves. We ‘read’ one another’s fields to determine whether energy had come in, its source, its nature, its exact location, and its impact. This was great training and assistance!

Unfortunately, the healer’s personal approach to energy protection was so aggressive that it could quickly and actually harm anyone by whom he felt threatened. Issues about his ethics lead to our separation. I once encountered his energy defenses by accident and became seriously ill in ten minutes. I had to get seriously skilled help to recover, which still took several days.

The healer did not address the emotional issues that caused him to pick up energy. He defended himself from everyone without considering any part he might play. He also set friends and couples against one another by making them fear picking up each other’s energy, sometimes breaking up their relationships.

After doing personal work with an advanced healer, a Qi Gong master and a genuine spiritual teacher over a period of years I began to:

  • Correct damages in my energy fields that led to taking Stuff in
  • Close and fill in long-standing holes and reclaim missing chunks
  • Develop my sense of self and energy boundaries
  • Notice moments when energy might transfer
  • Effectively follow protection tips
  • Clear myself quickly so picking up energy was not such a big deal
  • Resonate at frequencies that are not consistent with picking Stuff up
  • Recognize when I am becoming invested and therefore too open
  • Feel into my body and bones with my breath and energy, so I can fully occupy myself
  • Ground myself effectively so I have actual energy contact with the earth
  • Rarely attract people or circumstances that carry negative energy

This journey made clarified, strengthened, purified, and tempered me, taught me exceptional discernment, prompted me to confront and resolve emotional issues, improved all my relationships, and made me much more comfortable being in the world. It supported my sense of Purpose. I have become more balanced, capable, solid, focused, and able to remain intact under different circumstances.

Part of my mission is to smooth and hasten the journey of and offer hope for those who need a comprehensive understanding of energy dynamics.

Our personal energy relationship with the world is our interface with life. We do not fix it like flossing our teeth. It changes as we explore our beliefs, intentions, attitudes, and responses.

What draws YOU to learning to manage your energy?

What was your life like before you had any understanding about how energy works?

30 May 2014 6 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 4: Energy Sensitivity: An Expanded Context

There is no question that we are all energetically connected.

How could it possibly be otherwise? Consider remote healing, effective prayer for other people, almost-palpable bonds of love, the many times you know who it is when the phone rings. Consider how we pick up energy from people or places, the impact of psychic attack or someone brooding on you with ill will, and that many animals instantly sense bad intentions.

IMG_0471Consciously or without knowing it, global events impact us. We influence one another constantly, from near and far. The more we hold in common with others, the stronger our mutual impact can be. How we feel and the energy we put out has an effect on everyone with whom we are connected, directly or indirectly, whether or not they are aware of our state.

If we ask how to shield ourselves from influence, we must also ask how, when, and why it is wise to OPEN ourselves to influence.

Looking at connection with others through the lens of the detrimental energy we might pick up from them reinforces a polarized view. Polar views increase reactivity by making the available options seem extreme. Thinking we must be either open or closed will grossly limit our scope of experience, and bring up emotions about it.

Developing energy mastery allows us to move intentionally along the entire continuum between solidly experiencing our individuality and expanding into spiritual Oneness. In addition to moving between these poles, we can also chose to filter or mediate the types of energy we absorb, to take in energy that assists us and pass through energy that does not. This way we are traversing a vast and varied terrain instead of sliding back and forth between extremes.

Dealing with energy sensitivity by finding ways to insulate from the world overlooks the great importance of feeling connected with all of life.

The way we interface with the world from a standpoint of our energy has enormous implications. It involves:

  • Our basic feeling of safety
  • How me move through the world
  • How connected we feel with life
  • Our capacity for healthy intimacy
  • Our ability to select healthy foods and circumstances
  • How we develop awareness and wake up spiritually
  • Our ability to recognize relevant spiritual guidance
  • Spiritual goals and life purpose

This larger context provides positive goals and a constructive standpoint. We may take direction by turning our sensitivity into a blessing as we expand our horizons. In this expanded context of energy sensitivity the important question is:

How do we learn to develop and maintain a strong enough sense of self to feel safe and stabile while we expand our awareness and interface lovingly with others?

This question can be absorbed and pondered as a life guide over a period of months or years.

I understand that this approach may not be satisfying in the short term. I will provide plenty of practical tips as we go along.
As we move toward this ideal for spiritual and emotional growth, times and circumstances may require methods and techniques for energy protection. These interventions, if effective, may serve us well. Remembering the larger goal of connecting with all of life–with good boundaries–will keep us from becoming defensive or edgy as we gain awareness.

Have YOU gone through a period of being uncomfortably open to energy?

Have you ever become defensive in response to feeling unpleasant energy that you feared might come in?

What makes you feel safer and more comfortable?

23 May 2014 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 3: Energy Sensitivity: Moving Beyond Defense

Managing Your Energy, Part 3: Energy Sensitivity: Moving Beyond Defense

I would like to address comments and questions before we move on. One reader said she was hoping for tips on minimizing energy vulnerability. I’m sure there she is not alone!

We will get into some tips in this series. For any energy intervention to be effective and fully of benefit, we must address the way we look at energy sensitivity and the standpoint we adopt.

My reader said she had never seen the ways that energy transfers elucidated. I have not either. I have seen lists of assorted cooties and psychic hazards. These never include the ways WE get into relationship WITH them. Virtually everything I have read about energy transfer fosters a defensive stance.

Hyper-vigilance and defense engender an us/them attitude. The energetics of this stance is similar to–and sometimes mirrors–the way the immune system operates when it becomes overactive. We begin to see potential invaders everywhere and cannot relax. This bumps up our adrenal response and eventually exhausts the adrenals. It also leads to viewing other people as threatening, or contact with people as dangerous. Feeling ambivalent about contact and isolating to stay safe is not a positive state.

What to do?

I don’t support denial, or consider denying the negative to be positive.

In this series I aim to address the CONTEXT from which we manage our energy. We cannot simply figure out how to shut out what we don’t like and be spiritually healthy. Attempts to do so can close us down and shut down awareness. To effectively address sensitivity IMG_0594to energy we need to work our related issues. The Pearls from Pain Series and Inner Work Series (under Personal Development Tab) speak to this. Also see previous posts on Dealing with External Energies.

I spent years learning to reduce my vulnerability to energy. One of my early mentors called my attempts “Band-Aid therapy.” He suggested “becoming transparent” as an alternate goal to energy protection. Being transparent means becoming clear enough that energy that is not ours does not have anything to STICK to, so it moves on through without resistance.

Resolving issues eliminates the energy Velcro that attracts and holds on to ambient energy. Resolving issues is a lot of work, but exponentially improves our lives.

In the short term it Band-Aids and energy protection may be necessary. The Highest Possible Option is to take on your own development and to relate cleanly with others. “Cleanly” means with good boundaries, self-awareness, and without manipulation.

As a technique, it is a good idea to set up a clear, inner statement of intention, to take in only energy that serves you in any particular circumstance. It can be convenient to “set” your state by establishing a particular intention. Trying to control your state in advance of a situation is less than ideal, however, since being on automatic is not consistent with being spiritually awake and responsive.

An ideal to work toward: Develop a fluid, responsive, and discerning state of Being, from which to respond to life’s changing conditions.

The more we become established in maintaining healthy energy boundaries and in being able to alternate quickly and cleanly from a more-expanded state of awareness to a grounded, body-centered state, the less effort and attention is directed into defense. At first this is like a martial artist learning body awareness habits that kick in when needed, without walking around defensive or being unprepared in an actual attack.

As we develop mastery, we just shift our focus and our breath in a natural way that allows us to feel at ease. We deal gracefully with potential issues before we might feel a need for defense.

This being said, while I am moving toward that mastery, I still do use methods for energy protection from time to time, particularly when working directly with clients when their energy is compromised.

I will say more about all this in other posts.

How has learning that energy can transfer between people impacted your life?

What skills and insights have you developed as a result?

8 May 2014 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 1: Leaking Energy

Managing Your Energy, Part 1: Leaking Energy

Energy-sensitive people are usually empathic and intuitive. We tend to have challenges keeping a healthy balance between our own needs and the needs of others. This leads to various issues managing energy. We may find ourselves, for example, dealing with unwanted energy coming into our systems, or find that energy we need for ourselves is leaking out of us as we interact with others. Our porousness–open fields–can be confusing.

In this series we will explore “leaking.” By “leaking,” I am referring to this phenomenon of porousness. Leaking is the opposite of being contained and insular. An ideal balance allows us to modulate how open or contained we are in any given moment, so we get to choose how we are impacted by energy, and whether or not we give it away.

Some energy-sensitive people attempt to insulate through isolation. Periods of isolation or retreat can be regenerative. As a lifestyle, isolation makes for an unfulfilling emotional life.

According to the well-known intuitive psychiatrist, Dr. Judith Orloff, a large percentage of intuitives are chronically fatigued. She talks about “the very real situation of empathic illnesses where empaths literally take on the stress and symptoms of others.” Judith goes on to say: “Because empaths can be emotional sponges and take on the literal symptoms of others, it adds to their stress levels and leaves them more vulnerable to adrenal fatigue.”

Leaking energy is a significant cause of fatigue.

IMG_0105Energy-sensitive people often notice that unwanted energy gets IN–and less often attend to the issue of energy leaking OUT. Invasion by or absorption of other people’s energies commands our attention, yet leaking out also breaches our energy fields. Leaking creates, in fact, avenues through which external energy may enter.

In several posts in the Guidance Series we looked at managing external energies and influences. We know that energy that is not our own rarely enters us without some sort of–usually unconscious–participation on our part.

In Part 2 we’ll consider types of interaction that can open us up to energy transfer.

Over time I have developed the opinion that our experiences of taking on energy are lessons. These incidents point out how or where we need to shore up and clarify our sense of self, intentions, boundaries, or energy fields. By using these experiences to learn from we put them to beneficial use. This attitude helps us relax excessive vigilance and learn to keep ourselves safe without having to isolate ourselves. We may still find the barrage of impressions we receive from other people overwhelming, and need time alone to recharge, but we will be in better shape and more comfortable around people. This development takes time and practice.

In the beginning of this learning process it is easy to view unpleasant energy influences as originating from outside self. They may indeed originate outside of us–but the parts of us that allow them IN are INside. At this stage we may respond defensively or feel unsafe around people whose energy impacts us.

As we develop more mastery and therefore choice about what comes in, we feel safer and our perspective begins to change. We learn to work with our own energy and emotions to prevent energy transfer instead of having to avoid people. We may still choose to avoid some people, but we can deal with a broader range of energies when we necessary. Our responses and boundaries make us less susceptible to unwholesome influences. We also become much more skilled at removing energy that DOES get in. Clearing ourselves becomes more like cleaning mud off your shoes and less like being a target.

Exploring the ways and the reasons why we leak OUT energy around others takes this Work to yet another level of experience. We gain even more choice about how we spend our precious vital force.

Learning how to minimize leaking is a wonderful discipline in the ongoing development of energy management–and eventual mastery.

When and how do YOU leak energy?

What do you tell yourself about why you do it?