Today I want to talk to you all about energy. Now before you roll your eyes and think oh great here comes some of the hippy dippy stuff…hear me out. This week was a tricky one for us. Baby was teething and we barely slept and it was a full moon. Oh and did I mention that I had an amazing Podcast interview with someone I’m so excited to share with you and after we finished our hour long chat I went to log off and realized that I had not hit the record button. Oh my gosh you know that feeling that you get in your stomach when you’re on a roller coaster and you’re going over that first hill? Well I had it. I was so embarassed but my husband said you have to call her back and tell her what happened. So I swallowed my pride and told her and luckily we have reschuelded so you’ll still get to hear this awesome interview in a few weeks but man! The next day, I felt defeated. Just over tired and what we call in our family “crierd” which is when you’re so tired you could just cry. When I get this way it is hard to get motivated and it is especially hard to guard my heart and energy from the non-helpful energy of certain people around me. So basically what I mean is I start to let other people’s judgments creep in to my psyche and then I start to doubt myself and their negativity OR their lack of enthusiasm about my passions starts to affect me. Because it doesnt’ have to be that someone outright said something about what you’re doing but it could be that they don’t say anything which can also sometimes feel like an inadvertent punch in the gut. So ya, when I’m crierd I have a hard time not letting other people’s energy affect me. Now if you think that this energy thing is a whole lot of hocus pocus that’s fine I get it. But the fact of the matter is that we are all made up of energy and that energy has a vibration and you can SENSE it coming off of other people.
If you don’t think the whole energy thing is real then I dare you to walk into a room after two people have just had a heated argument or to be a spectator at your favourite sports team when they are winning a very important game. I’ve definitely heard people who aren’t necessarily into energy or yoga or meditation say after they’ve been to a sports stadium “wow the energy in there was awesome!”
Those feelings that you get - that visceral sensation in your body - that is energy. And that is precisely what I am talking about. When there are people around you who’s energy is so low or so negative and non-helpful then we need to make sure that our energy is protected so that we don’t get influenced by theirs.
I’m not kidding - you’ve heard the old saying “misery loves company” that’s because energy is contagious and it takes work to keep your energy vibrating at a higher frequency, or in other words - staying positive or in a place of contentment.
Dr. Christiane Northrup has an entire book about this called Dodging Energy Vampires. And in it she says that Energy Vampires feed on the positive energy of others. These people aren’t necessarily consciously sucking the life force right out of you but if you can think of a few people in your life who are always complaining or the words out of their mouths are always “I can’t I can’t I can’t” then you might be dealing with someone that is draining your energy.
Here’s the thing I have heard somewhere and I don’t know who said it but that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Are your five people the kind of people that lift you up and inspire you and believe in you even when you’re having tough times? Or are your five people negative, have bad habits, complainers, or worse? It’s super important to think about the people that we allow into our lives and therefore share our energy with.
I used to work in an open concept school about 5 years ago and there was unfortunately one colleague who was a very toxic person that would constantly complain and create un necessary drama which was so difficult since our classrooms literally did not have any walls to separate us. I would dread walking in to work or down the hall to see this person because I knew instantly that there would be a shift in my energy if we got into a conversation.
I wasnt’ as confident in myself then as I am now and so I didn’t know how to leave the conversation when things turned nasty and I would all of a sudden find myself in the middle of a conversation full of drama and talking about other people. I hated it. I absolutely hated being involved in drama or talking behind other people’s backs. I learned that year to surround myself with an invisible bubble and I would literally imagine this bubble protecting me as I walked down the hall and past that person’s open concept class. It would allow me to also visualize any of her energy or nasty words to bounce right off of me.
I also learned to walk away from conversations when they turned sour. It wasn’t easy at first but eventually it got easier and you know that person eventually got the message. I had to just let go of any worries that that person would talk about me behind my back because let’s be honest I’m sure she did. Once I got to the point of understanding that she was affecting my energy I became very protective over it and guarded it fiercely. I felt so much better at work and didn’t worry about getting stuck in those situations and I was able to keep my energy higher and more focused on what mattered - which was my own students and classroom.
So if you’re thinking “but some of the people who’s energies are affecting me are family members or people that I love” - I get that too. It’s really hard to come to terms with who in your life might be draining your energy rather than helping to fuel the tank. It can be a very hard fact to face that the people you love are also not helping your energy. And it’s actually quite common. The thing is you can hold love and affection for someone and work hard to make sure that they don’t drain your energy. It’s not always fool proof but it is possible.
So, here is what I recommend: first, acknowledging it is important. And understanding that you are able to protect your energy and still love someone who might be an energy sucker. Next come up with a bit of a mental ritual to guard your energy - whether it is imagining a bubble around you that protects your energy or whether it is smudging some sage in your house after that person has left. It can even just be imagining that you opened a window and let that person’s residual energy float outside. Just know that visualization can be such a powerful mental and emotional tool and it is so so easy and free!
I like to do all of the above. And if it happens to be that someone came in to my home and their energy didn’t quite jive with mine then I definitely like to smudge sage. Smudging is an ancient practice used in First Nations traditions as well as in Feng Shui. It’s thought that burning the herbs of sage, lavender, sweet grass or palo Santo wood is able to clear the negative energy in a space. I’ve attached a website that explains how to do this in the show notes.
Burning sage for me kind of a meditative practice. I walk around the house with a smudge stick and consciously think about clearing the space of any energies that no longer serve me.
I waft the smoke near my closed eyes and I ask that I may see more clearly.
I waft the smoke near my heart and ask that my heart be open and more receptive to loving both myself and others.
Actually right before my water broke with my daughter I used special sage sticks to clear the energies of each of my chakras so that I would feel clear and open before bringing her into the world - maybe it was the smell of the smoke but the next day my water broke!
And honestly - even if it is a bunch of mumbo jumbo it has the potential to act as a placebo and help you to just sense or believe that it has in fact cleared those energies and if that is the case - then I am still cool with doing it!
I guess what I am saying here is that our energy is so precious and sacred and I know for me over the years it has been so so hard and so much deep work to bring my energy up to a positive point where I feel hopeful, content and excited about waking up every day because I get to do and experience this amazing life - that I want to be really conscious of who I allow within my personal energy space because those people also carry energies and I want to make sure that those energies align with my beliefs, and thought practices of being kind, compassionate and grateful. If we only get one life (that we know of!) then I don’t want to spend mine being negative or complaining about things that either a) I can’t change or b) really aren’t that bad.
And we can also remember that there will be days when our own energies need a shift or a boost and we can easily change our own energy by practicing gratitude - for me this always helps to bring a light into darkness.
Another great way to shift your own energy is to take a shower as the falling water has negative ions - which are proven to have health benefits and when I was in Psychotherapy School my Professor told me this was his trick - he would shower after a long day of seeing clients in therapy so that he would sort of wash away the energies that they may have brought to the sessions.
I also find that a dance party or cranking up one of your favourite songs and singing at the top of your lungs in the car can also shift your energy.
Next try and turn OFF the news - whether it’s the tv or the news feed. People LOVE to gossip and share stories about tragedies. There have actually been studies shown and I can actually attest that some people I know in my own life are good examples of this - that even listening to the news for prolonged periods of time can vastly change your energy and mood and NOT for the better. There are even studies that show that watching prolonged amounts of news covering something like 9/11 or natural disasters can lead to PTSD. This is no joke people, be informed but don’t saturate yourself with the stuff.
Move your body. Energy likes to move. After all energy is vibrational. So it isn’t going to like being stuck in a chair for 9 hours a day - get up, stretch, take a walk around your office or do ten jumping jacks. Get a Fitbit or track your steps with your phone and set a number that you want to hit each day. This one is funny to me because I always always contest going to yoga or exercising and I am always the first person after the class or the walk to say “wow I feel so much better”! In fact my husband always knows if I’m in a mood to get us all suited up and ready for a walk no matter what the weather.
Basically if there is anything you can take away from this brain changing episode it is this: Your energy is precious and it makes sense to protect it. Use visualization, or smudging or whatever you have to do to rinse yourself of energies that don’t serve you. And choose carefully what and who’s energies you allow to affect you - it might be hard but maybe say no to spending time with someone who is an energy sucker. Remember that energy is contagious and so if you want to stay in a healthy mind space then being aware of this and making the necessary shifts to guard your energy is very important. Also - energy is vibrational so get up and move every so often and if you really need a dose of new energy get your heart rate up.
All of these things can help and I am sure that there are so many more ways to guard your energy - maybe you have something that you do that you’d like to share with us. Head over to the My Gratitude Attitude Facebook Group and comment on this episode’s post about how you protect your energy.