Now on the threshold of Spring, it is time to burn off the winter fog and get things moving again.
Like a bear coming out of hibernation, I am craving fresh foods, hankering for strong yoga and eager to participate in the many activities I love. But in order to find the energy to do all of that, I am noticing my need to commit strong boundaries around those places where I’m not using my energy mindfully.
What fuels you? What drains you?
So the other day I created two lists with each of these questions as my headings. On the Fueling side, I wrote things like connecting, yoga, nature, substance, creative expression, good food & ritual. On the Draining side, I wrote exertion, isolation, too much media and over-extending myself.
I was amazed to discover that there was a great deal of crossover between the two lists. For instance, it fuels me to connect with others, but drains me to lack solitude. It fuels me to practice yoga, but drains me to push through my physical limitations. It fuels me to read/watch authentic media, but if it starts crowding out my own knowing, it drains me. It fuels me to do ‘karma work,’ but drains me to undervalue myself. You get the idea!
Dancing the Reciprocity
Dancing the reciprocity between the two is like walking a tightrope, always making minute adjustments to the right, then to the left. But the trick is never to wish for things to remain as they are, but to show up with as much presence for the constant motion of change. That is dancing.
There is no such thing as the perfect middle, where our energy runs fiery all the time, only the perpetual opportunity to practice balance, yessing every subtle transition. As Rumi writes, “Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birdwings.”
Because certain ‘negative’ emotions like anger and sadness aren’t acceptable at large, it can be challenging to affirm those emotional shifts within ourselves. If you haven’t yet heard me talk about Owning Your Destroy, do check it out. The gist is that anger, boredom, grief and irritability can be powerful agents of change, if we practice the art of allowing.
The Taoists say sometimes you have to withdraw to enter.
Pulling back your energy is like drawing the bow to find the aim before releasing an arrow with precision.
So I’m snuggling in with these questions of fueling and draining, noticing where I feel most alive and learning to protect my energy as a precious resource.
I can’t help but think we are so much like the earth, from whom we take so much and give back too little. Our own energy body has so much to give, but needs to be harnessed sustainably. It requires subtle inquiry, careful listening, strong boundaries and sweet cherishing.