“We all are born, we all die, and here's the secret...we all need each other in between." ~Morrie (from Tuesdays with Morrie)
The book that happened to fall in my lap was Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse. This novel is about a man who is searching for inner peace through giving up his worldly possessions (what a gambler!). He later became known as Buddha.
His journey inspired me to formulate a tangible way of illustrating the important connection between mind, body, and spirit and the energetic exchange that is constantly happening. Balancing the supply and demand of your body’s energy puts you on the path to true well-being.
I call this balancing act an Energy Packets Theory. For the sake of a visual, think of these packets like sugar packets. Someone who eats healthily, exercises, meditates, and gets a good nights sleep daily would wake up with a lot of energy packets! Who doesn't want that? Someone who indulged in a double cheese burger and forgot to go to the gym the day before (ut oh!), would have less energy packets to get through the day. The truth is, we all become lackadaisical in caring for our mind, body and spirit at some point. The key is to offset the imbalances when they occur (I'm sure you Libras are great at this!).
Throughout the day we spend our packets on different situations and people. What we need to do is to use our packets wisely and gain them through things that make us feel better. Many of us have things we “have to do,” so we can anticipate releasing energy packets for those things (sucks, doesn't it). However, it is important to replenish our energy packets through things like taking a walk on the beach, devouring a slice of watermelon on a hot summer day, or sitting quietly with coffee contemplating life. Indulging in the things you love and feeding your mind with positive thoughts will help bring about inner peace. After all, some of the best things in life are free (ahhhhh).
Taking time for yourself is about self love. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we won’t have enough energy to care for others. I learned this when I was teaching the inner city kids classified with emotional disturbances (yikes is right!). If I wasn’t feeling 100%, the students could just smell the weakness within me. They would pounce on my emotional instability and devour me like I was prey. I learned very quickly, that it wasn’t worth trying to teach when I wasn’t feeling top notch!
So what are the frivolous ways we expend our packets? Often, we lose our energy without even knowing it! For instance, our grip on the way things should have been literally tires us out. When you worry about something, or wish you could change something that happened in the past, you are flushing your packets down the toilet! It’s the same as having someone do an automatic withdrawal from your energy bank account each day before you even get up! This is considered an “energy leak” and is seen as an actual energetic cord coming out of the body by those who see energy--quite literally holding you back.
This is why it is important to look at the people whom you surround yourself with. Our friends and family are like an energy insurance policy. If we need a few packets to help pick us up, we can call our loved ones and they are happy to get us back on track to feeling better (they've got nothing better to do anyway). And vice versa. It is the people whom we feel “drained” after being with that we need to be wary of. Those people are only taking energy packets and not replacing them, so we need to adjust our relationship with them to preserve our reserves!
For many of us who have become overwhelmed by the demands of life, our goal simply becomes to “just get through the day.” If this is the case, you are likely not replenishing the packets you are loosing. The more you feel like you are becoming depleted of the vital energy that supplies you, the more your body will feel the scarcity of what is happening. This causes your body to go into the Fight or Flight mode. In reality, the mind literally down shifts into what is called “Reptilian Brain.” The name says it all. Your body has slipped into survival mode (and has released cortisol). This is when you become less articulate and make irrational decisions because you are quite literally consumed with your survival. That’s why during a verbal fight with someone, you can’t quite explain your point of view. Your body has shut down important functions like digestion in hopes of supplying enough energy to get your butt out of that terrible situation! You may have even experienced the “Ah Ha!” moment after the fight, where you have formulated the best comeback in your life. You think to yourself, “Why didn’t I think to say that?” It is because your brain has now shifted out of Reptilian Brain and you can think clearly, whereas before you were focused on survival. Pheeeew!
Lastly, we need to be sure that we are gaining high quality, long lasting energy packets! Sounds yummy! Sometimes things can masquerade as high quality energy packets. For instance, shopping is a way of gaining low quality energy packets, because the truth is a shopping high doesn’t last quite as long as a runner’s high, nor does it have the same beneficial effects on the body (wishful thinking!). Continuing to choose booze over berries is another recipe for disease. If you want to receive high quality energy packets, get some Reiki! Reiki comes from an inexhaustible resource! Awesome! I'm looovin' it!
The bottom line here is take that walk, spend the extra time with the kids---happiness is something we create! So make the choice to rehabilitate your energetic system in efficient ways. Health and happiness come from within. When it comes from within, it cannot be taken away. Thank you Siddhartha for teaching me this.