Many years ago, I was going through a tough time. With my life turned upside-down, I was feeling lost without any ideas on how to rebuild myself up.
Following someone suggestion, I went to talk with a psychologist; a wonderful small lady packed with energy and pragmatism. In one session, I was sharing, as usual, all my ruminations about my situation, my loneliness and my struggles. When I paused, she looked at me, and she said something I can’t forget.
“Stop thinking and go out. Do something, meet people. Introspection requires energy, and if you don’t have it, you’ll just get lost in the darkness. Go out, recharge your batteries, and when you’re happy and in the right mood, you can go back to digging again.”
Her message stayed with me since then. I feel it is still a piece of good advice, in particular at this moment. In periods of uncertainty and struggles like the one that many of us are going through, I feel it’s important to do things that energize us. Things that help us focus on the way forward. That doesn’t mean that we should ignore what’s happening and just have fun. I believe we should focus on creating meaningful relationships, expanding our strengths, sharing quality time with positive people, staying in nature, having inspiring conversations, expose ourselves to beauty. Anything that builds up our energy.
P.S. I’m not sure the conversation with my psychologist went like this, and those are not the exact words she used, but this is how I remember them.
For the last seven days, I focused mostly on one single daily practice.
I kept doing all my regular practices, but I took particular care of this one.
It was a simple recentering practice to help me stay in the flow during the day. And to make it more deliberate, I had a checkpoint with an accountability buddy every evening.
I thought my practice was all about focus, peace of mind and awareness of my emotions. And it is, but I was missing an essential part.
The quality of my attention starts with my body.
When my physical energy is low, I can’t focus. No matter how hard I try, or the mental strategies that I activate, the quality of my attention stays low.
Most of my work is based on my mental and emotional faculties, so I often overlooked my physical energy.
Yet, it is just fundamental.
When do I feel centred?
How can I know when I am fully present to myself?
I always thought the only way to find my centre, to become present to myself was through solitude, silence and stillness.
So, I committed to a morning practice of silence and stillness. Every morning I find a comfortable position, I set aside any distractions, I close my eyes, and I move my attention to my breathing. I just stay for a few minutes. In the beginning, I was trying hard to not think. Then I realized that resisting was useless and tiring, so I just let everything flow.
Yet, more often than not, I don’t feel I find my centre. Sure, usually I got some good ideas out of that morning moments. My mind can be quite creative once it’s freed from the things to do.
But that sense of presence? I’m not sure.
The other day, I was talking about these things with a fantastic coach. She told me that when we are present to ourselves, we feel energized and things flow more naturally.
The curious thing is that in that exact moment, I was feeling energized and in a state of flow. Yet, I was talking with someone. Not really the idea of solitary silence and stillness I thought was necessary.
All of this to say that everyone may have a different and unique way to find their centre. Just pay attention to what makes you feel energized, and what depletes your energy.
Everything and everybody needs energy to perform work.
We say that we feel energized when we are involved in something that increases our desire and ability to perform in any way. It’s something we can feel at a physical level. Our body is vibrating, ready to release, or I should say transfer that energy through some creative or transformative work.
This morning I woke up feeling all but energized. I crawled out of bed more than an hour later than what I planned and wanted. My head heavy and my body ached in a few places. With a bad mood about a day started with the wrong foot, I dragged my self to the kitchen to do some stretching when I realized I was wrong.
I wasn’t late at all. All of a sudden, I’ve been gifted with an hour.
I felt a surge in my energy, at all levels: physical, mental and emotional.
And that made me think and ask myself: Where is my energy coming from? What is my source of energy?
I haven’t found a clear answer yet, but I have two new questions to work on, Today. And that is definitely energizing.
Plus, I learned about “Potentiality and actuality“, two principles defined by Aristotle about which I want to learn more.
“It is therefore important to look at our own energy and the energy of those around us so we can discern its true source. It is cellular, arising from our excitement at meeting the challenges that life is gifting to us? Or is it adrenaline fuelled, a fight-or-flight response which is unsustainable in the medium or long terms and is in danger of undermining the health of the individual and the community?” – from The Way of Nowhere
Sustainability is too often seen from the perspective of resources. Do we earn enough to keep the business growing or do I make enough to sustain my family?
We rarely approach sustainability from an energetic point of view. Maybe it’s because that same fear of not having enough resources triggers our adrenaline and gives us an energy boost. But how long can we sustain this energy fuelled mainly by adrenaline?
I’ve experienced this in the past. I remember being in a new and rising company, working hard and pushing for exponential results. The level of energy in the group was incredible. I remember the feeling of moving forward at ludicrous speed.
Until I run out of steam. That same energy was consuming me until I had to leave.
When I come across a new project or idea, I often feel the surge of energy triggered by my curiosity. In the past, I used to jump on board and ride whatever wave came in my way.
I’m now learning to take a pause and check where that energy is coming from. Is it just the adrenaline for something new, or is it something deeper fired by a resonance with my essence?