Glamour, hype, and glitter surround the topic of positive energy. This repels pragmatic people. They may observe the antics, inflated optimism, and glee of the newly-spiritual or of brand new Reiki practitioners the way a cowboy might regard a child with a bouquet of balloons, taking an enthusiastic stroll in Pipe Cactus National Monument.
The words positive and energy call to mind spirituality as well as healing. Separate these topics if you prefer, and disregard the one you like less. I lump them because extensive experience with energy begs the question of spirituality, and profound spirituality usually confers direct experience of energy. Un-lumping energy from spirituality is generally—in my opinion—a courtesy to the non-spiritual reader.
I have another idea. My idea is to present you with a way of looking at spirituality that doesn’t irritate the thinking person. It is not my way to twist myself into a pretzel just to play apologist for the hyper-rational. That’s not what I mean. I’m talking about approaching the topic without the container of a specific belief system that you have to buy into to be on board with the conversation. For example, I’m not planning to tell you that you have to be nice constantly, fan the fires of materialistic frenzy, or recommend one-size-fits-all solutions that you have to be someone else to apply.
I was a stubborn skeptic early on. Life had to prove itself to me. Experiences with energy and with spirituality had to impose themselves on me for me to take notice. Impose they did! I have had a vast number and variety of experiences that I would have initially rolled my eyes about if I had read them instead of having them myself.
My clients also present me with experiences with which they are attempting to come to grips. No matter how these experiences are interpreted and no matter what belief system one might approach them with, some simply don’t fit in the bag. They stick out though the fabric of whatever container you might select, shining, searing, flashing or ripping through to thud like an anvil at our feet.
As an empirical (pragmatic and experience-based) thinker, it has been my fate to re-craft my belief system over and over until what I have left is somewhere between not having a system at all and the card catalog in a vibrant library.
Perhaps it is a bit odd that I haven’t then sought to lose myself in a spiritual haze, hopping from galaxy to galaxy. I respect meditation. My way has always been practical application in daily life. As a thinker and purposeful person, one belief that remains steady is that we have work to do. Not to validate ourselves—our worth is a given, whether or not we are intact enough to feel it.
Our work is to bring ourselves to the moment with the type of attention that makes the moment meaningful—from the inside. We appreciate our time here by bringing value to it.
Many find that gratefulness helps. I love that path but it is not my own. It depends so heavily on the ability to feel a certain way on demand. For me this presents a problem.
If I tell a client in despair to simply feel grateful s/he will merely feel judged. My path is to learn through direct sensing and experience how to stay open to life, using whatever inner resources we have at themoment to really BE here. As much as I love different paths and expressions of life energy, this is the one core element that can give the ordinary person purchase to meaning in any moment s/he remembers to attend.
Love? Yes, it is glorious. Who among us can make it happen—authentically—in any given moment? It’s a wonderful aim, but it is through learning to accept ourselves moment by moment that we become capable of feeling love without sending disregarded parts of ourselves scurrying for cover. Any part we leave behind will become problematic. (I cover this topic in depth in the post series on Inner Work.)
Rule of thumb: If you cannot sustain it in your daily life it doesn’t work for you.
Rule of forefinger: If you have to be someone other than yourself to do it, it is not for you.
Rule of middle finger: If you think you can change your identity you’re in for a wild ride. I engage in profound transformation and have written a great deal about identity. Even to alter it you need to be authentic. AND although you can radically change how you think of yourself and your behavior, your core nature remains the same.
I have a real problem here. I want to discuss positive energy with you and I keep running into walls of preconceptions about what it means to be positive. Bear with me in the following posts while I dismantle preconceptions, so we can meet on the same page. I’ve had to learn a good bit about positive energy to survive. After chewing on this topic for years, I believe I can offer you useful insights.