Saturday, December 30, 2006

Energy Vampires: Cutting the Ties That Bind

My last post about family ties reminded me that I always intended to a write a post about energy vampires (interesting association!). It also reminds me that we are often drained by out of date relationships, but keep them because of the shoulds and ought tos that we have in our belief and energy system.

Family ties are blood ties and as such provide fertile ground for
energy vampires, although energy vampires are often not family members. But they often are people who trigger off energetic memories of family members.

I am reminded of a recent reiki session where the healer mentioned that three members of her family were visiting her and she'd given them reiki sessions. She felt very drained after giving three of them healing sessions, much more than if she'd done a full day's healing in which she'd see on average 10 - 12 clients.

I believe that this is because there are still very strong energetic ties in place with family members and it felt as though her family were taking much more energy from her because of those ties, than another customer would. There may also be an issue of payment and energy exchange. I didn't ask if she charged them, I suspect that she didn't because if she had she may not have felt that loss so much, but that is another issue.

I have been an energy vampire and been on the receipt of vampirism. I feel that being either is more likely to happen to a
highly sensitive person (HSP), because HSPs take more time to process energy and therefore they process it more deeply. If a sensitive person is not aligned with their purpose in life and do not operate exemplary self care with some regular energy work, they are blocking their own energy and power. They are afraid to step into their own power and as such will start seeking energy and power from other people.

Most of this takes place on a subconscious level, but how do you know if you've been in the presence of an energy vampire? You feel tired, drained or just more negative after being in their company or even speaking on the phone to them. You start getting signs from your body (stomach starts getting butterflies for eg) around them.

I had specific tell tale signs that someone I was associating with was an energy vampire. My stomach usually lurched if I heard them enter a room; it was like a kick in the stomach. Another sign was that if I was going to talk to someone I had to make sure that I was in fantastic energetic condition so that I could talk to them. If this person was also a friend, it was time to evaluate the friendship. Another giveaway was that I'd be talking to someone (normally listening to their problems) and they would say that they felt so much better after talking to me. If I didn't feel better, then I knew that they were an energy vampire.

The energy vampire within

But, like atttracts like, and I now realise that I attract energy vampires when my own energy is low, I've been giving too much of my energy away and my own self care has been lacking. We do attract what we haven't fully resolved in and for ourselves.

In addition, HSPs are often naturally giving and loving people and we are often encouraged to give away too much of ourselves to help other people, even when it is detrimental to our own energy. This tendency shows up a lot in the healing professions. And healers have to be especially aware of creating strong energetic boundaries to deter energy vampires.

So here are ways to deal with energy vampirism:

1. Operate exemplary self care

On a physical level this means sleeping well, eating well, taking regular exercise, undertaking some form of regular meditative and/or energy work. Respecting your energy and sensitivities pays great dividends in the long run, allowing you to feel more alive, grounded and focused.

2. Set boundaries

Be clear about what you will and won't tolerate in your life. It can be frightening to start setting effective boundaries, but it will definitely help you with deterring energy vampires. Using energy work to clear out any fears over upsetting people or not feeling safe enought to set boundaries.

3. Energy vampires are your mirror

Yes, like does attract like on a vibrational level and I realise that if I am attracting energy vampires, it's because on another level I'm being one myself and not looking after myself properly. So in that sense it's a great guide to resolving issues within oneself, even if it does feel painful at times! That pain is often resistance asserting itself via your ego.

4. Avoid people who are energy vampires

Easier said than done, especially if they are members of your family! But I liken this to stopping smoking. In the early stages of stopping smoking, you avoid those old haunts where you would normally smoke, because it'll trigger you into starting again. It is the same here, whilst you are building strong energetic boundaries and developing an exemplary self care schedule, it is best to avoid people, where possible, who subconsciously steal your energy. You'll find that as you do, they'll either change or move out of your life.

There are other protective techniques, such as visualising white light around you and so on and if that works for you then that is great. But generally I find that setting strong boundaries and looking after yourself using energy work is a lot easier, because after a while, the energy vampires will sense your energetic strength and will avoid you.

Growth, Stability or Stagnation: The Dilemma of Family Ties

The festive season is nearly over and I feel relieved about that. I guess that I'm not alone in that!

So many articles, features in the media focus on family disharmony during the Christmas period and it is true that relationship counselling organization receive a big increase in enquiries about their services in the New Year.

I read an article by Bel Mooney in the Times about family ties and she talks about why Christmas can be so stressful for some of us. Pivotal to this is our role within the family. She says that we get locked into roles within our families of origin and revert back to these in family get togethers. The family members find it difficult to see and understand each other beyond these roles.

These roles are limited and have been outgrown, but the residue hasn't fully been released, so it is triggered and projected again within the family arena.

She doesn't mention this in the article, but it sparked off the idea of homeostasis. It is:

"The concept of homeostasis means that the family system seeks to maintain its customary organization and functioning over time. It tends to resist change"

What this means is that in order to maintain stability everyone must stick to their role within the family's original organizing principle. When someone wants to change their role, it threatens the family's stability and often members of the family will turn against the "rebelling" member and try to force them to change back.

Elaine La Joie, spiritual healer and intuitive writes about being an intuitive person within the family often means a renegotiation of family roles. Family occasions often trigger the emergence of unhealed traumas and it is likely that the intuitive sensitive person will take on the family's issues and try to solve them, often to their own energetic detriment.

In Bel Mooney's article, she mentions a teenage girl trying to resolve family conflicts and that:

"the sensitive daughter has tried to manage the situation in a way which has placed a burden on her when she ought to be concentrating on university"

The family, above all else, wants stability even when it doesn't look very stable and doesn't seem to be working in the best interests of all the members. Family get togethers with adult children can seem fraught because the adult children revert back into their childhood identity and depending on their original family role can feel powerless and immature.

But when does stability become stagnation?

Things are changing every day in the Universe, to resist that change is to resist growing and developing. Especially those within the healing professions, separating from the family of origin energetically, as well as physically, and removing damaging beliefs incurred during childhood is essential to becoming an effective practitioner.

Family ties are energetic ties and energy work often provides a way to loosen those ties when they become overwhelming, suffocating or just out of date, blocking growth and potential. Once someone takes responsibility for changing their vibration and energetic state, then it affects the family connection and provides a much needed release and eventually transforms and renews their existing relationships and provides a template for developing healthier new ones.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Power of Not Knowing

I was watching an episode of 30 something - that seminal drama from the mid 80s - early 90s about the lives and loves of 30 somethings from Philadelphia. It actually coined a new phrase ie 30 something, which is still being used today.

In the last episode, the main character,
Michael Stedman has left his job at the advertising agency, DAA and swears never to work in advertising again and is spending time with his wife, Hope and their two children.

Until he gets the call................................

He gets a call from an ad agency in Los Angeles, who want him to come and work for them. He is tempted, very tempted and tells Hope that he isn't really interested in the job, but would welcome the time to clear his mind.

He goes to LA - meets the ad agency, doesn't commit to anything, but meets up with his good friend and former business partner Elliott Weston. Elliott resigned from the ad agency they both worked for and is pursuing his dream directing commercials. Michael and Elliott had previously set up their own ad agency, which went out of business.

Reneging on his promise

Meeting up again with his old buddy has given Michael ideas. So whilst he doesn't want the ad agency job, he decides that he wants to move to LA to set up a commercials company with Elliott. Problem is when he mentions it to Hope, it feels like a fait accompli and she is furious and refuses to go to California.

She sees Michael as reneging on his promise not to work in advertising or anything advertising related - she perceives it as a backwards move. She then reapplies for a job in Washington which she had turned down previously and implies that she will leave him/file for divorce if he goes ahead.

Meeting his nemesis

In order to get collateral for his new company, Michael goes back to DAA agency with Elliott to secure a guarantee from them that they will work with the new commercials company. In doing so, Michael comes face to face with Miles Trentell, his nemesis. Michael resigned from DAA because of Miles' dubious sense of business ethics, he tried to ignore it until he felt that he was being compromised beyond his self respect.

As Miles, Elliott and Michael toast the success of this new company, Michael asks if anything will be different this time.

We then see Michael and Hope talking in the final scene. Michael has decided not to go ahead with the commercials company. In fact he wasn't ready to work at all at the moment. He was happy to stay in Philadelphia or move to Washington if she wanted the job.

I found this final episode a perfect way to end the series, but it also spoke of something bigger to me; the power of not knowing.

The Discomfort of Transition

Sometimes when we're in a transitional state (as Michael so clearly was), it can feel very uncomfortable to be there. We are so used to distracting ourselves away from reflection. Michael's intention was to ride through the transition, but when the call came (as it invariably does, it is ultimately a test of your resolve), it is tempting to go back to what was known - the security blanket, even if it was hated at the time.

And Michael does just that. But the threat of losing his family brought him to his senses and he withdrew from going back into the abyss with a known enemy (Miles Trentell) and associate (Elliott Weston).

The Power of Not Knowing

I remember something similar, having left a job at a charity, which took its toll on me and rather than giving myself some breathing space, I decided to go for another job, more local to me, cut down on commuting time. I had to prepare a presentation for the job interview and left some materials at a print shop to be collated.

However, I misread what time they closed and got back too late to retrieve my presentation. This was on Friday. The interview was on Monday. I then realised (or was forced to), that I didn't want the job in the first place; it was merely a knee jerk reaction to what Ithought I should be doing. I was too scared to give myself the space to think about what I wanted. Although I did eventually.

Relaxing Into That Space

Relaxing into the space of "do nothing" can be extraordinarily powerful, if you can sit still, release and be present long to experience this power. If you can relax into this space of not knowing - something, a sense of direction will reveal itself. However, the speed at which it arrives is directly proportionate to how much you can fully relax into it. And it is also indicative of whether you resist or allow abundance into your life.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Energy Psychology of Debt and Other Addictions

Yesterday I watched back to back episodes of a programme called Spendaholics.

It is the story of individuals who get into debt through their out of control spending and lifestyle and they are advised how to control and curb their spending.

Unresolved emotional issues

What makes Spendaholics different from most debt programmes is that it believes that the root of the spending lies in unresolved emotional issues and until these are resolved, the debt is likely to continue to grow. And what is even more fascinating about the programme is the unearthing of the emotional issues that fuels the spending.

On many of the EFT DVDs, Gary Craig frequently references addictions of all kinds: chocolates, coffee, food, shopping, nicotine, surfing the Internet through to the "harder" addictions like Class A drugs and alchohol. He provides a fascinating anecdote when he and his partner went into a clinic to demonstrate EFT. The people involved were recovering alchoholics. What was interesting about this was although they no longer drank alchohol, they were drinking black coffee and smoking cigarettes consistently.

Your drug of choice is really a tranquilizer

And this provided the basis for Gary's belief that our drug of choice acts as tranquilizers for underlying anxiety. So even if one addiction is "kicked", others surface to take its place. And it doesn't matter what the drug of choice is, if the underlying anxiety is not addressed, then it just gets transformed to another vehicle.

People talk about having an addictive personality, but it may be more accurate to call it an anxious personality.

What also surfaced in the Spendaholics programme was that the free spending individuals were spending money in an attempt to feel better about themselves. Spending over the hole of emptiness and sadness inside of themselves. Instead of acknowledging and releasing the sadness and keeping their money in their wallet.

Another theme in the programmes that I saw was of "creativity denied". One woman was jealous of her older sister's glamorous lifestyle, while she was a relatively impoverished student. So she tried to spend her way to mimic what she thought her sister had.

She was a talented writer and had written several stories, including some for children, but because her family had a very strong practical work ethic, she had dismissed her skills, talents and qualities and didn't think that she could make money from writing. Once she allowed herself to "own" this part of her self, then she had also released the emotional drivers that were fuelling her spending.

Another woman had been offered a place at a musical college when she was younger, but her mother had forbidden her to take the place because she didn't think that it was appropriate for her to concentrate or have a musical career. Once the grief and sadness over this had been uncovered and released, she was free to start having singing lessons again and recover her voice which grieved through her spending.

It's interesting that I pick out these two examples because I believe that if we don't nurture the creativity within ourselves and release the pain and hurt through past transgressions, it can go astray with devastating effects.

In fact in Gary Craig's view, low income, obesity, all forms of addictions are merely symptoms of underlying unresolved emotional issues. And unless the emotional and energetic issues are addressed then no matter how much anyone diets, exercises, uses the often ineffective tactic of "willpower" to make changes, then they are doomed to failure (now you know why there is yo yo dieting)

However, EFT offers a way to reduce the craving and the related anxiety and also reveal the emotional issues behind the addictions, by placing the energy system in alignment.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Following The Path of Least Resistance....

........really gets a bad press. It's often interpreted as being lazy and taking the easy way out (and what is so bad about that?). However, after years of taking the path of most resistance and feeling the pain of that, I've decided that I'd prefer another way.

What I actually call this is working with yourself, rather than against yourself. By which I mean work to your strengths, rather than weaknesses. Now this may sound like common sense, but as you know, common sense isn't really all that common.

Working with your strengths

I remember the yearly annual appraisal. Boy that was fun with a capital F! Managers and the managed looked forward to the appraisal with the same enthusiasm of taking out wisdom teeth without anaesthetic. I remember that all too well. I felt frustrated with the appraisal and the thought that I wasn't really bringing my strengths to the table in this position. My then boss, an astute man, said that he felt that I wasn't really working to my strengths, but my weaknesses.

However, when you think of the annual job appraisal, it tends to be approached with the belief that weaknesses must be identified and brought up to scratch.

But what happens to our strengths?

My experience was that whenever I used my strengths to full capacity, the "weaknesses" tended to catch up. Whenever I did the opposite, my strengths atrophied.

Yet that is how we operate in many parts of our lives.

Culturally we do tend to take in the beliefs: "no pain, no gain" "if it ain't hurting, it ain't working" "love hurts". Yes, these are tenets for having a happy life! And underlying all of these is the thought that if things come too easily, then they're not worth having. We must work hard and struggle to feel that we've deserved it.

How many poor souls are overstretching themselves adhering to these unhelpful beliefs!

Life coaches often don't help

Life coaches, self help gurus play a role in perpetuating this as well. We are told that we must strive for our goals and take action and plan where we want to be in 5, 10, 15 years time. No matter if we're worn out and exhausted by the effort of doing so.

Talane Miedaner believes that we should ditch the goals, the "to do" lists and all of those worthy and disempowering "shoulds" and "musts". As relentlessly pursuing goals set yourself up for frustration, stress and disappointment. And that to be successful means being energised, making yourself attractive and a success magnet.

She also says that we can go after goals or attract them.

I agree with her. But there's one thing that she's missed out.

I've read and experienced all sides of the spectrum. I've been the goal setter supreme and felt the pain and pleasure of being relentless in pursuing them. I've also gone the other way and not set any goals at all and that has felt lackdaisical, aimless and demotivated. It could be that I was setting the wrong goals or I wasn't clear why I was setting these goals.

Introvert or Extrovert

Ultimately, it all depends on your personality, temperament and best use of your energy.

(i) There are some people who are in their element going after what they want in a BIG way. It suits the way that they operate and they can become very successful using this mode of operation because IT WORKS FOR THEM. Their mode of operation tends to be the default setting in the West.

(ii) Because there are others who are better off harnessing their energy, visualising clearly about what they want, imagining how good it'll feel, making sure that their self care is of the highest order in order to attract the opportunities, resources, situations and events that they desire.

I sense that there is an extrovert/introvert split and that the extroverts are more likely to go for (i) and the introverts (ii). Because extroverts and introverts thrive on using their energy differently. Extroverts are more outer directed, orientated to the world around them, seeking out people making connections; they are energised from without.

Introverts are inner directed and are more guided by their inner world of ideas are oriented towards the inner world of ideas, imagery, and reflection. Introverts get their energy from within rather than from the outside world. An introvert values quiet time alone for thinking while an extrovert wants time with others for action. They look to the inner world for energy and meaning and need plenty of quiet time and space alone.

There is no "right" or "wrong" - it's just a difference in temperament. But because of the bias towards extroversion, it is the introverts who often find themselves drained by going after their goals in a traditional manner; they are in fact, working against themselves and can set themselves up for a whole host of disadvantages, not least of which is the effect going against their temperament has on their energy levels, which can result in stress related illnesses.

If you're reading this, you're more likely to be an introvert. And because I'm writing it, I am an introvert.

So working with yourself means using your tendencies, strengths to your advantage. It also means knowing yourself. For years I chided myself on not being a team player. I didn't like working with or in teams, I always worked best with minimal supervision and meetings. But because so much of what you see and hear emphasises being a team player, I tried to "force" myself to become one. I had some success, at least on the surface of it, but I felt drained, resentful and exhausted trying to be something I was not.

Working with yourself also means being kind to yourself and taking care of yourself mind, body, energy and spirit. Increasing your energy supply is probably the best way to start working with your strengths and following the path of least resistance. It means that you have more energy for self awareness, acceptance and knowledge. It means being clear about who you really are. Know thyself.

If, for instance, you are seeking to change jobs, careers, be clear under what conditions you will thrive. Write it down, imagine it and use EFT to clear out any energetic blocks you have to create the job, life that you truly desire.