Energy Part I
identifying that which depletes your energy
In your typical hectic, fast paced day, feeling a bit tired is not unusual. We have learned to accept it as something that comes with the territory and move on. Over time, we have adapted to what we see as “the norm”, it has become a part of us. Not only did we adapt to it and become quite effective at it, but we are proud of this highly regarded trait. Often we may even attribute our very success to our “work ethic” and the ability to “deliver”.
As we expand our examination of energy, we will work together to re-discover and build mechanisms to create energy. However, one of the most challenging tasks you will have is to unlearn some of the very habits and perspectives that have been useful in keeping you going. These have likely been some of the de- pleters of your inner energy and your spirit.
Your single most dangerous enemy is negative energy. Two traits of negativity make it so formidable. First, it is cunningly adroit at entering our psyche when we are tired. Second, is its pervasive nature. If we pay particular attention to the negative energy around us, whether it be from team members, board members, employees, strangers on the elevator, it is rare (and quite enlightening) not to see, hear and feel various forms of fear, anger, rigidity and negativity. Our journey is not about judging others, nor is it about labeling people, places or events as good or bad. It is simply and profoundly about learning how to live our lives fully, with abundant positive energy and deep authenticity.
I was the 4-year old child molested by the boys next door who later became aGuardian ad Litem defending the best interests of children, feeling so sad for what the boys next door must have experienced themselves.
I was the career-woman who gave love a chance and got engaged in the Eiffel Tower only to divorce within 5 years of marriage when ego, depression and alcohol consumed the love of my life and already father of our 2 small children.
I was the first female partner at my firm who left 11 months later when the truth of the partnership was understood - only after my $150,000.00 investment.
These and hundreds of other experiences with negative energy have helped me to create a strength and happiness and sense of peace that I otherwise may not understand or appreciate.
Through this exercise, I’ve identified myself as the pillow, the fast speed car and the brick wall when faced with confronting the emotions and negative energy of others. The amazing tool is to be able to stay in the moment and understand how to adapt, stay in self-control, and work with - instead of against - another who may be creating negative energy and impacting our perceptions and decisions.
Rarely does a day go by that I don’t experience someone yelling, crying, or hurt- ing. As a single mom of children 7 and 8 and spending every day as a divorce attorney, I am constantly in the thick of it. I describe negative energy as the falling into a deep dark hole.
I can feel the fall, see the dark and sometimes even catch my breath not knowing how far I will fall. Because of the work with the exercises, I am no longer afraid to fall. I am prepared to catch others who may fall during my day, and I have faith that with patience in “the dark” I will rise to “the light” of good energy in time.
So often I am asked about my happiness and light given my career and life experiences,“Why are you always so happy?”, “I don’t know how you could possibly do that for a living – how sad.” and “How do you do it on your own?”. I can’t remember a time in life not knowing optimism and sensing happiness. I am always quick to remember The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis and pray it often. In part, I pray:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned....
Even with the few experiences above, my worst encounter with negative energy was the day after Sandy Hook when I had to walk my oldest child into preschool, holding back tears in such pain for what other parents my same age with babes just 2 years older than mine had just experienced. Luckily, I had already taught Anni a song we would sing each day as we walked into school:
“You’re my best friend. You’re my best friend. ‘Til the very end. ‘Til the very end.” Wow, did it mean a bit more that day... somehow in that dark hole of fear and sadness, a two-line song while holding hands with my 3 year-old made the world a good place to be again. It really can be that easy when we can stay present.
In every day–good and bad–we have a choice to rise to our higher self or keep falling.
Questions for Self-Exploration
The content, structure and flow of this exercise are designed to guide you in:
listening to your thoughts
examining your thoughts and the negative energy they may contain
learning what to do with that negative energy
applying these thoughts and energy positively and productively