I have always had a good ear for music. Even if someone is off-tune just the slightest bit, my grumpy inner ear will hear it and start complaining.
I wish I could say the same about my inner energy sensors.
To be fair, for the first three (okay four) decades of my life to date, my sensors were set wrong – instead of tuning in to my own inner energy state, they kept busy scanning the energy of those around me and attempting to re-tune my own to match whatever they found.
But now, late in my fourth decade, I seem to have at last located my own inner energy and have since become increasingly focused on a little game I call “name that emotion.”
This is a very hard game. It extends quite a bit beyond the primaries – mad, sad, glad, et al – and into far subtler states.
Here are some examples. I could be sad-mad, or mad-glad. Or sad-glad.
For instance, I could be mad but in a glad direction – maybe I am very angry with someone for letting me down (again) but also glad I’ve finally noticed and have made a decision to let that connection go.
Or I could be feeling sad but also glad because I have completed a hard task or challenge I didn’t really want to do that also really needed to be done. So I’m sad but also feeling glad I was up to it and, if I do say so myself, really rather proud of myself for doing it.
A newer game I am now learning to play is one I call “change the inner energy channel.” Here, I notice what words I use to name and then describe to myself the emotion(s) I am feeling.
For example, just the other day I caught myself telling a friend, “I just feel like my life is so empty now that I don’t have a partner.” And even in the midst of saying those words to her, I realized the word “empty” felt really, well, empty! It felt sad-mad – discouraged, hopeless, put upon, left out, so angry – and I wasn’t liking those feelings one little bit.
I caught myself mid-share and said to her, “I need to change the word I am using to describe this feeling. Empty feels awful – instead, I should say ‘I feel so open and spacious in my life – read to welcome new possibilities.'”
And I do. I do feel oh-so open and spacious – so much so I sometimes feel like I’m wandering around inside a giant undecorated mansion where my cozy little cottage used to sit.
This is not a comfortable feeling….at least not yet.
When I get really uncomfortable with all the bare walls and hard floors I start calling the mansion “empty.” But it’s really not. It is open. Consummate thrift store devotee that I am, all those walls and all that square footage are just great finds waiting to be moved in. That is, if I can wrap my stubborn mind around it.
The other day I was reading one of new books by Sonia Choquette (I have five so I’m not sure which one I was reading or I’d tell you).
But the author was talking about how when you focus on a problem, the energy of the problem is what you get.
Conversely, when you focus on a solution, the energy of the solution is what you get.
The moment I read this it instantly clicked. It just makes total sense.
It also neatly erased the decades-long arguments I’ve been having with myself over movements like the law of attraction, which always ended up making me feel like a particularly backwards student – in that the more I focused on what I wanted, the more I became aware that I didn’t have it!
But honestly, I am just not one of those people who can think of a Porsche one day and walk out the next day and find it parked in my driveway. According to Instagram, there are lots of people who can manifest Porsches (for me it would be the new bright blue Toyota Rav4, actually) but I am definitely not one of them.
But what I can manifest – what I absolutely already know I can tune into – is the energy behind seeking a solution instead of endlessly worrying over a problem.
It is a relatively simple shift. I know how it feels – intimately.
It is the difference between that moment when your doctor tests you to find out if you have a pituitary tumor because he really suspects you might and then you wait and worry and wait some more while the tests are being processed….and then the moment when your doctor tells you that, while he still isn’t sure exactly what is wrong with you, you definitely do not have a pituitary tumor. And then you turn to your mom and say, “Yay! No pituitary tumor! Let’s get mimosas!”
This is how it feels to me, anyway. The energy of the problem-focus feels dense, scary, depressing, out of control…the future is very dark.
The energy of the solution-focus feels light, hopeful, like you’re getting somewhere, learning, growing, on the right track. The future feels light and packed with possibilities.
It feels much much better!
Today’s Takeaway: If you, like me, have been struggling for days or decades with the subtler nuances of emotion and energy, I would love to hear what is working for you to help lift your inner spirits and keep them lifted!