Today I want to talk to you about energy! Not the energy that we typically talk about (“Gosh, I wish I had more energy to do this project.” Or, “I don’t have any energy”). No, this episode about the subtle energy that is discussed more outside of the American culture. There are different ways that it is discussed in the world. I’m going to talk about energy from the shamanic perspective, which I’ve briefly discussed in some of the earlier episodes. This will show you how to change your energy and change your life.
Many traditions refer to energy from a perspective of energy centers in the body or Chakras, meridians or nadis (which are channels). That this energy flows in and around the body. In traditional Chinese medicine or reiki, blockages or disruptions can lead to pain or illness.
Multiple layers to the energy story
In my perspective this is one layer of energy (a very important one, but still one layer). This subtle energy is very powerful and it’s our own signature energy that we carry with us. Just like our personality, we have an energy that is specific to ourselves and it is vital and vibrant. In my experience, our energy can also be influenced by emotions, thoughts, past experiences, as well as other people and the land.
The example I often give that is most relatable to present day life is the energy that we notice when we enter a hectic place like the airport, versus the energy of a spa. People have their own energy. Plus, your emotions can also contribute to your energy.
You may have noticed that some people just feel different to be around, even if you haven’t spoken to them or know their story. This is the subtle energy that isn’t really discussed in the American culture, except in a vague way. Example: “Well, i just got a funny feeling about that person.” Or “I had a gut feeling about it.” Both of those are great examples of our body-based sense of energy.
Because we don’t discuss energy anymore in this particular cultures, we have lost the art of caring for our own energy. We aren’t taught basic principles of hygiene or management of energy in the world. This is where some of the problems begin. We haven’t been taught what to do with our own energy or to recognize that we may accidentally (or even purposefully) pick up other people’s energy.
When we walk through that airport full of thoughts and emotions of others, we may accidentally gather pieces of it. It’s like socks picking up dust on a hard wood floor that hasn’t been cleaned recently. It’s not that there is anything wrong with that dust, it just isn’t ours. We need to discern when the energy isn’t ours and it doesn’t belong to us, and when it is ours and needs attention.
Additionally, because we haven’t been taught how to manage the energy, sometimes we will be the ones leaving dust on the floor. We haven’t been taught to clean up after ourselves! Again, there is nothing wrong with any of it. It’s just energy. We need to do a proper job of caring for it and giving it back to the earth to be recycled.
What happens if we pick up energy that isn’t ours?
Energy can show up in different ways. Because I work with energy often with my clients and, well I’m a human and sometimes am vulnerable to energy around me, I can pick up energy that doesn’t belong to me. In my experience, it can feel like I’m not myself. A crying that happens that I don’t really understand, for example, or a physical heaviness in the body. I’ve also experienced a tightness in the next or the shoulders. At one point in time, it felt like I was getting really sick (like a fever almost) except that it never really progressed. Another time, there was a great fatigue that overwhelmed me where I just felt like I couldn’t get out of bed due to physical exhaustion. Another way it can manifest is the feeling of stuckness that I talk about quite about in this podcast and with my clients. This stuckness can be energetic, but it feels like emotional, mental, or physical stuckness.
In all of these cases, what I’ve found to be most helpful is to ask the question “Is this mine?” and listen for the first intuitive response. Don’t let the mind come in! I encourage my clients and students to listen to the body-based feeling or what is called the ‘truth cord’ in some shamanic traditions to see if you can find the yes/no response.
If you know it isn’t yours, then it is something that can be removed. In our current climate there is great amplification of unrest right now with the pandemic and the racial unrest that is occurring across the country. I found that I had my own energy to deal with, but also the collective energy of unrest that was occurring. Once I sorted out that not all of it ‘belonged to me’ I could stop searching for what was “wrong” with me and have the energy cleared.
The missing piece
This is part of what I trained in shamanism, is that it seemed to be the missing piece in many of my clients’ struggles, and when I was in the different trainings, a light bulb went off as I could see the connections. For example, there was a depression that was present that didn’t seem to make sense for the client, or they complained of feeling heavy and stuck. Sometimes this is connected to a person who may have connected energetically, or is what is referred to as ‘corded’- taking energy from another person (either knowingly or unknowingly).
There is also the possibility that we connect our cords on to others (again, usually without our knowledge). These energetic connections provide disruptions, or drains on our own energy that we experience as emotional or physical pain, and because we aren’t taught that energy can be a component of the emotions we feel or the physical pain, we don’t get to the root of the problem, and then we have trouble fixing the issue.
By removing the energy that doesn’t belong to us, but removing cords, helping the energy in our body to move again, we feel better, feel vibrant, and can move forward in our lives. Change your energy, change your life!
This is why I’m so passionate about looking at wellness and well-being in a much more holistic way using the centered wellness framework and the 5 wellness bodies. The physical body, the emotional body, the mental body, the energetic body, and the spiritual body all have a role in how we feel each day.
Alright friends. Thanks for listening today, and I’ll see you next time.