While driving my daughter to school today, she tells me of a new connection she's made in middle school who is outwardly mean to other kids. She makes fun of them and talks behind their backs. She's now started giving my daughter the silent treatment.
This is middle school, I think to myself, remembering too well. This is where the painful growth happens.
But I can tell she is sad. As she speaks, I watch her energy contract.
The other girl has three older sisters. She knows what's cool and what isn't. She knows what to say, what to wear, and what mask matches best with her hairstyle.
My daughter is the first in our brood. She has to figure these things out on her own.
"You see what happened there?" I point out, after loving on her a bit. "Did you notice how your body responded when you spoke about her?"
She laughs at me and rolls her eyes. "Oh GAAWWWDD, mom!" I am an old, woo-woo, white witch in her mind, always commenting on energy, giving her gross-tasting tinctures instead of a damn Advil, and asking her to take deep breaths at awkward and socially inopportune times.
"You started speaking quietly, your posture caved in, and your emotion met your physiology. Only you are in charge of your energy, Babe. No one on the outside can change it unless you let them. Don't give anyone that power."
She sits up, brightened, but not fully convinced. She gets out of the car and dives into a sea of burgeoning crushes, zits, and kids trying to be cool that pains me just to think about. She's off to learn her own lessons, as she should.
But it got me thinking, we still deal with the same core issues as adults. Our quality of life all boils down to the same thing as adults as it did when we were middle schoolers:
Taking full ownership for your own energy, letting no one person or circumstance outside you dictate the energy you emulate, is the practice of a lifetime.
We all come up against challenging people, unfortunate or painful situations, and overpowering emotions.
Yet it is only once we take full responsibility for our state that we can live with inner freedom.
How aware are you of your own energy throughout the day? Do you notice what influences it and when?
Who brings it up? (HINT - spend more time with these people!)
Who brings it down?
When do you feel at your energetic peak during the day?
How do you respond when you hit an energetic lag? (HINT - there are other options besides eating chips or sugar)
When you open your consciousness to your energetic patterns, you begin to learn that you have options for how to handle life when you feel like garbage. (Shouldn't this stuff be taught in middle school!?!?)
If my sweet pea would have wanted to hear it, I would have told her HOW she can shift her ENERGY. She'll hear it from me sometime, the poor dear. For now, I hope will serve as an empowering reminder for you:
SHIFT YOUR ENERGY -- feeling like shit? Reclaim your energy in one of these ways:
Focus -- Focus on something else. Staying undyingly focused on what or who is dragging you down only perpetuates it.
Physiology -- Move your body. Movement can stimulate a flush of new emotions. And there are different postures for different emotions. Notice where you regularly are. Do you make yourself small? Do you hunch your shoulders? Stand tall, chest out, eyes bright. Your emotion will mimic your posture.
Language -- Reframe the situation. Stop over talking and analyzing it. Notice what words you use that make you feel like crap. Choose better when speaking about it next time. Talk about something entirely different.