Our energy is like a currency…
We really only have so much to give out to the universe and to others. With family, friends, work commitments and passion projects our energy can be easily depleted. And if you are a Highly Sensitive Person, an introvert or an empath, living an outward life can be incredibly draining.
We are all made of pure energy. We are all stardust, cosmically connected by that one moment of creation. When the big bang hit, the planets began to form and upon the Earth a single cell organism sprung up from the stardust like a phoenix rising from the ash. And it all started with just one singularity. From stardust.
What is Personal Energy?
Our bodies are kept warm from the beat of our hearts, circulating blood through our bodies. Unlike cold blooded animals, us humans maintain a base temperature no matter what environment we are in. We have our own internal thermostat. Our own furnace. But keeping that furnace burning uses energy. Just sitting, doing nothing uses energy. But doing hard physical or mental work also uses energy. As does enduring emotional distress.
The thing about energy is that when you have a plentiful supply you don’t really monitor how much you are giving away. As a kid I never considered my energy. I just had it. I’d say yes to everyone and everything. I never really remember getting tired. I do however remember becoming overwhelmed and emotional when I had been around people too long.
But now as an adult I am beginning to understand that my life revolves around energy. Every interaction in life, every conversation, every act is a form of energy transfer.
The majority of ads we see on a daily basis are trying to sell us the hope of increased energy, or a way in which to save our energy for the things we enjoy doing; like surfing instead of cleaning.
Have you ever noticed that if you go to a party where you don’t know people very well, you get home and you are completely exhausted? This can be a lot to do with the energy you are giving out to others. Meeting new people is exhausting because we not only use a lot energy to present an edited version of ourselves but we be also expend a lot of energy taking an interest in the lives of others.
Different Energy Transfers
There’s a whole bunch of different ways in which us humans expend our energy
Equal balance energy transfers
When I am hanging out with my bestie, I never feel like I am expending heaps of energy. I know her and she knows me. I’m not burning energy through anxiously trying to be polite or adhere to her ways of living. We’ve been friends for forever. If I want a cup of tea I make one. If I’m hungry I nag her for food. She doesn’t care.
When she needs support I give it to her and vice versa. But our give and take is 50/50. I never feel drained after give her my time and energy because I know my advice has been heard and I also know she has and will be there for me a million more times in life.
Unbalanced energy transfers
An unbalanced energy transfer is when one person in the friendship or situation is expending more energy than the other. This could be in the form of physical energy – doing all the leg work; driving everywhere, organizing everything or always coming to the other person or doing what they want. Physical energy can also be expended in a friendship where one person has excessive rules the other must adhere to. This is draining as they must constantly use energy trying to remember the certain set of rules for this one person.
An unbalanced energy transfer can also occur with emotional energy; where one person uses the other to off load their emotional baggage excessively, but never receives the baggage in quite the same quantities.
How to notice an unbalanced energy transfer
If you are constantly leaving a meeting with someone feeling tired, deflated or unfulfilled by the encounter, then you might be experiencing an unbalanced energy transfer situation. Think back: are you handing over genuine emotional energy to the other person, only to have a limited amount offered back when you bring up your concerns or needs? Do they ask to hang out only when they need to off-load or organize their thoughts out loud? Another red flag is that the conversation may be quite one sided, you may get a few words in before the energy draining person gets bored and moves the conversation back to them.
If this behavior is more common than not, you may have an Energy Vampire on your hands.
Emotional Energy transfer
As a mother I find my energy is always making an outward journey. Even if I am not actively parenting; physically engaging or watching my children like a hawk, I am always thinking about them, about their lives or their emotional needs.
This can also be the same with friends or acquaintances who are going through a tough time. If you engage so much in their story and their struggles, you may begin to notice your energy slipping in their direction, even when you are not with them.
If you’re a sensitive empath (I feel ya!) this can be incredibly hard. People are generally drawn to empaths as a safe person to share their pain with. But for the empath this can be doubly hard, as not only do we feel hear their story and offer our healing energy, we also fear their pain as if it were our own. This makes the pain very hard to let go of. It can take hours or days to regain our energy equilibrium. What’s more, during those hours and days that we are left still thinking of the person in pain, we are actually still sending them our healing energy, as if in a long-distance reiki healing session.
Fear related or anxious energy transfer
As an anxious person I know all too well how draining constant fearful thoughts can be. These can be thoughts of self-doubt, judgement, or fearful thoughts of things going wrong or that you just don’t have enough time to do everything.
These energy transfers are between us and our Ego. The Ego wants all of our focus and all of our energy at all times. That way it is in charge of our lives and our actions. But our Ego is not our friend. It is fueled by fear.
When we allow our minds to take us on emotional fear-filled journeys all day long, it’s not surprising we can start to feel drained. Simply getting your head in the right space can prevent you from bleeding unwanted energy all day long.
When I hear those nagging thoughts in my head; worrying about whether or not going for a swim is the ‘best’ use of my time, when I feel these thoughts tug at my solar-plexus chakra, I force myself to take a breath and consciously silence them. I even say out loud: I refuse to waste my energy on these thoughts. I need it for greater things.
How to protect your energy
When I go to a new friend’s house I am more likely to be on edge. I don’t know their rules around social etiquette and if I actually like them I want them to like me too. I am trying to pretend that I am not secretly a little bit feral. I am trying to show the very best side of me and that takes conscious effort. And effort = energy.
Because I am slow to open up to people, I’m more likely to give support before I ask for it. This makes me far more prone to expending energy rather than receiving a top up, as only a certain few will be called upon to loan me some of their emotional energy. So as you can imagine I’m constantly monitoring how much energy I have and how much I have to offer others.
As an introvert, empath and HSP I have learned to get very good at saying no. If someone wants to hang out and I feel instinctively that they want to off-load (again) and I don’t have the emotional energy available for it, I say no. If someone in a lot of pain wants to have a coffee, while they may not even speak about their struggles, I can feel them, so I might say yes to a catch up, but I know I will need to take some time out afterwards to meditate in order to restore my energy.
If you are an empath take care when browsing Facebook or online news stories. Even reading about someone in an awful situation could suck the oompf right out of you. When choosing films or shows to watch, first assess how able you will be to separate the story from reality. Even pretend tragic stories can be draining.
Meditate, meditate, meditate. I can’t say it enough! I hear ya: There’s so much to do every day! Who has time to sit on a cushion and hum? You do! Believe me!
I too struggle to make time to meditate but when I do it I feel like a million bucks! It instantly calms my mind and allows me to get on with my day. It quiets the anxious chatter in my head and therefore prevents me from leaking energy all day long.
When I don’t meditate my mind wanders constantly. I find it hard to stay on topic with what I’m writing and everything takes longer. When I’m with my kids I’m more snappish and less likely to let them create magic (read: mess) in the kitchen or do science experiments.
Eat Like a Unicorn
It’s a common misconception that unicorns live on doughnuts and candy floss. The truth is unicorns are creatures of the divine. They dwell in the forest lands of faery realms. Do you really think they would fill themselves with processed guff made of who knows what? Hell – to the –no!
Unicorns thrive on plant based foods; berries, green veggies, fruit, nuts and coconut. They eat only the purest of foods and because of this keeps their minds, hearts and souls are pure too. When you eat like a unicorn, you run like one too…
Move like a Unicorn
Which leads me to my next point: move your tail! It may seem that to conserve energy you should sit still and rest but nope! Not at all! To ensure you have energy you gotta keep that furnace burning. If you are still for too long it goes out and all you’ll want to do is sit down and eat quick release energy foods – like candy.
Unicorns love to run but you can move however you want. Do some gardening, walk in nature, swim in the sea, practice yoga. Do what you love. Just move.
Crystals and Candle Magic
Most days I need a little help from my friends – earth and fire. While I’m working, I surround myself with crystals and burn a natural candle. At the moment I am burning an Ix Chel candle by Triquetra Candles. It’s made with soy wax, rose quartz and dried herbs and it is BLISS.
The energy from the candle, herbs and crystals helps to keep my vibration lifted. It also helps me to maintain my focus with a sense of ritual.
How to restore your energy
Despite taking all the precautions to protect my energy, there are still times when I reach the bottom of the barrel. It’s usually after a trip away for work, or after an intense work project – where I am more likely to skip my energy protection practices– that I will hit a burnout. Once it has hit there’s nothing much you can do but ride it out. Take a break. Watch Netflix. Eat well, stay hydrated and do some light exercise. If you’re in the midst of a burnout, definitely do not agree to a meeting with an Energy Vampire. Make your default answer ‘no’ until you are feeling replenished.
As soon as you’ve recharged through stillness, resume your energy protection practices.
Everyone’s energy is different
A lot of us go about life assuming that we should all have the same levels and that there’s something wrong with us if we tire easily or need to take breaks. There’s not. We are all magnificently different. The best thing you can do is forget about the energy levels of others and simply focus on your own. The better you know yourself the easier it is to stay true to your individual needs and strengths.