Energy has been something that I have been working on a lot recently, so it has been on the forefront of my mind.
A few months ago I made a life-changing decision to leave a steady job. This job had been something that I thought I had wanted. Something that really felt like it was going to be the answer to prayers. I spent a year and a half there, but it never felt right. I ended days feeling angry, resentful, and drained.
Then, in early November, an event occurred and opened a door where I saw I could make a choice. I could stay in a volatile, difficult, soul-draining environment, or I could take a leap of faith, figure it out, and move towards something better for myself.
I chose the latter. It hasn't been easy, but to be honest I feel like a totally different person. My days are not filled with guilt, anger, and misery. I'm not taking hour naps to refill my sleep debt every single day. My body feels better. I have energy to do things. I'm calm. I'm centered. I take long walks. I write blogs. I contemplate. I cook. I practice. My voice isn't shredded. I have space and time for myself.
The fact of the matter is, energy isn't positive or negative, it just is.
It can be directed in any way shape or form. Think about sleep debt. If you don't get enough sleep, you accrue a sleep debt. If you give your energy to something and don't refill the tank, you have the same issue.
There's a great line from an article a friend sent me from The Cut that states: "Actively choosing who you are and what you care about, outside of the limited confines of other people’s narratives about you, is what happiness is all about."
For a long time I was concerned about my call and using my call wisely. A lot of personal work and the work I have been doing with a mentor has broken that down for me. Sacrificing yourself to make other people happy is not a good way to make this work. If you are not coming from a place of joy, then you are not really doing the work of God. One thing that has really lodged in me lately is, "Don't do the work of God someone else is supposed to do because your ego wants a boost." Remember, we mirror each other. It's part of how our neurons are wired. This is why it is soul-draining to work with someone who is just phoning it in. We literally pick up on their energy. This isn't some woo-woo stuff. It's neurology and biology.
Doing self-care does not mean being lazy just to be lazy. it means filling the cup. Think of it like a bank account. Things you do take something out of you. In turn you have to fill the piggy bank back up or you will not be able to give to the next thing.
My mantra to myself lately has been: Get clear. Get focused. Get intentional. If you aren't clear about your energy the result will be unclear.
I was listening to a podcast recently where they talked about a study done about how the words you use to describe yourself, are the words another person is most likely going to use to describe you. You tell the world how to think and interact with you. Literally.
Here are some questions I have been consistently asking myself:
Is my energy going towards what I want or what I don't want?
How can I make the best use of my time in order to be a good steward of my energy? Note: One of my mentors just wrote a great blog post about this. You can read it here :)
What kinds of things bring me joy? What makes me miserable?
Is this the best use of my energy?
Can I give 100% to this thing, or do I need to fill my cup?
Some things I have started doing (everyone is different, but these are some things that are working for me):
-I unsubscribe from pointless email lists. For example, advertisements, blogs I am not interested anymore, etc.
-I make it a goal to take a daily walk without my phone. I notice when I do this that my mind and body settle.
-I make a daily schedule. I loosely plan my free time so that I fill it with things that are a priority.
-I take time to cook, read, and write. When I take this time for myself, I fill the cup and feel more centered in my mind and body.
- I take time to be social. I take time to be around the people who make my life awesome.
Energy is your life-source. Use it wisely friends :)