Working with energy
Energy is central in my approach because it is the driving force in our life! When I say energy, I’m not talking about mysterious processes. I’m talking about the energy that we all use on a daily basis or that we miss in our life. The energy level that has a strong influence on how you feel and what you are able to achieve and can have strong fluctuations. More about what energy is and how it works, you can find here.
Do you prefer some explanations through your headset? Listen here to a lecture I gave on the retreat I organised in France (duration: 30 minutes).
This impact of the level of the energy can be clearly seen in how a top athlete is up and celebrating for hours after an exhausting final and even has difficulty going to sleep after all of that, where the one that lost the match sinks to the floor straight after the last point and has trouble to even get up from that again. At the highest levels especially, that isn’t because one is in that much better physical shape than the other. The amount of energy we have is more than just our physical strength and endurance.
Probably you know that when you are in love, it seems you’re able to do almost anything and you have tons of energy. At the same time it is possible to feel completely drained after a boring meeting or uncomfortable telephone call, even if you are physically in top shape. In the same way an unpleasant conversation can feel like a marathon, where a heavy sport training can energise you. If the energy ‘flows’, you live in a flexible and powerful way. Is it like ‘being in the zone’ in sports. If the energy doesn’t flow and stagnates, your life is not easy going and you will keep running into things. That is the case for physically as well as mentally. Your energy level in life is determined by both.
Regulating and optimising your energy level
Physically most of us know what to do and to not do to increase our fitness. Mentally most people don’t have a clue how to influence our energy in a positive way. And that while also our mental energy level determines how we feel and what we can do and stress and burn-outs aren’t rare anymore. What does an athlete that is physically in top shape but depressed and burned-out achieve? When it comes to our mental energy level, most approach it as being in ‘the zone’ in sports, it’s either there or it isn’t and if it isn’t we wait until it comes back again. When not mentally ‘fit’ most people seek for distraction and that’s it. Because our mental energy level determines for an important how we feel and what we can achieve, being able to influence it in a positive way can be a very valuable life skill. And it is possible to raise your own energy level, direct or indirect and in the moment as well as structurally.
Almost all young kids have a high energy level and are therefore enthusiastic and full of investigation all day long. As adults we often lost this. Of course we recognise the moments we feel powerful and full of energy in life. Often this isn’t structural though and when the evening starts, a lot of people already feel tired. That we partly lost that endless energy we had as a kid, isn’t because we aged a bit. Although we feel physically tired as well, the reason for it is mainly mental.
What interferes with a high energy level?
Our energy level is almost always low because we fill our lives with things that aren’t making us happy. If you do what excites you and is your passion, you will almost always have tons of energy. That is what’s the case with kids. Of course there will always be tasks in life that don’t spark joy and happiness. If they only take up a limited amount of our time though, they hardly impact us. If you mainly do what you really like, these tasks are peanuts and have almost no influence on the big picture. If your life is filled up with things that aren’t really exciting for you, energy doesn’t ‘flow’ and you can ask yourself if it isn’t time for a change.
How odd it may sound, mostly people have no clue what they want in life and are hardly aware of what gives and costs them energy. Most people hardly ever give any thoughts to that and don’t arrange their priority list that way. The top spots are often filled with the things that society and the social environment indicate as important. That is also the main place where we look for confirmation that we are okay. What success and happiness means for us, is something we rarely determine ourselves.
If it comes to happiness and success, we unconsciously follow what our society presents to us. Lots of consuming is the mantra in the West and the possibilities for are limitless. If you just work hard and generate a lot of income, you will be able to access happiness. The companies that supply the stuff you can buy and consume work hard to keep this mechanism alive. They make sure they have a ‘solution’ for you and know how to advertise this in a way that makes you crave for their product. There is of course nothing wrong with having a high income and buying the things you like. The things that make us truly happy and fulfilled, often doesn’t cost a lot of money though. Every hour we spend on generating income to consume more, we actually pay for it with freedom, free time and time for the things that truly matter in life. The things we mainly regret not having done when we come to the end of our lives. The reason we hardly think about it this way is simply because we weren’t taught to.
There are also other reasons why the energy doesn’t flow in your life. Often people have some ‘mental luggage’ that prevents them from seeing clearly what it is they really want in life, or have surrounded themselves with people that don’t really resonate with them or chose a partner or a job for the wrong reasons. With some guidance or balancing, these obstacles can be overcome and the focus can be pointed in the right direction again. After that, the right circumstances mostly follow automatically. This is where I help people with.
Next to clarifying what it is why the energy level isn’t optimal in your life, the most important thing is getting clear what are the things that give and cost you energy in your life. This way you yourself can start influencing your energy level. Being more conscious of your energy makes it easier to recognise when and why your energy level isn’t where you want it to be. It is even possible to directly shift and raise your energy. By changing your focus this can have a directly noticeable impact on your life.
Working with energy is very normal
Energy is for some people a somewhat unconcrete and ungraspable subject. Energy in itself isn’t something you can actually grab or perceive with any of your five senses. It isn’t anything mysterious eiter and is sensable for everybody. Like when you feel it rushing through you after a workout, running up the stairs or intensely biking for a while, or when you are fully engaged in soemthing you like, everything flows and it feels you can continue for hours. Also every person work with it every day again, also you, consciously or unconsciously. The probably clearest example of that is gravity. Gravity itself isn’t perceivable or graspable, but you can sense it’s presence and what it does. Same goes for an electromagnetic field and electricity. Energy isn’t something you physically can grab, but it can do something to you. Just like you can’t physically catch sounds although they can move you. That energy isn’t graspable, doesn’t mean you can’t influence or work with it though.
Another example of energy is ambiance. This also is something you perceive outside of your five senses. Alsmost everybody can clearly feel when the ambiance isn’t nice at a certain place. This way you can even still feel the tension when you enter a room where two people just were in a fight, even if they are sitting on the opposite side of the room and with their backs towards eachother. Also it is possible to feel how the atmosphere can change suddenly in a crowd of people, often without that there is something you see or hear that points to that. If you ask yourself how you perceive this, you probably cannot answer it based on what you perceive through your five senses. Just like that happens when you visit a place for the first time and without knowing why, you directly feel nice and at home. Or feel very uncomfortable for no real reason and want to leave as soon as possible. You pick up the energy that is present somewhere. Or with someone when you meet someone for the first time and straight away feel safe or uneasy. Even without knowing anything about that person and he or she didn’t say or do anything in your presence yet.
Because you pick up energy, often unconsciously, it can influence your mood of how you feel. Therefore you can suddenly feel tired or happy without knowing why, where a minute before you felt totally different. Your ‘gut feeling’ or intuition ‘knows’ things without or before your ‘head’ knows. Our intuition, the ability to know things without you knowing why, is something we tend to listen to less and less, even though originally it is strongly connected to our survival. It is the reason why a new-born baby knows that and how it has to drink at the nipple and an animal knows what to eat and what not in nature. They didn’t learn this anywhere, they just ‘know’. Just like your gut feeling tells you what and who is and isn’t good for you. Even though our intuition hardly ever is wrong, we learned that ratio is more important. Therefore our thinking often overrules what we feel, even if we clearly know inside what is actually best for us.
That in most adults the thinking obscures clear observation, is also noticable when we compare it to how children and animals react to what they perceive. If you are in a bad mood, you don’t have to say or do anything to have them avoiding you. We also still do this instinctively, but often let it be overruled by our ratio and therefore we bring ourselves in situations that aren’t good for us and make us feel tired, exhausted and uncomfortable.
If you learn to listen to what your ‘gut’ tells you, you will come less quickly and less frequently into situations that aren’t good for you. You don’t even have to know how it works to work with it. Just like you don’t have to know exactly how the mechanics of a car or scooter function to get somewhere, or that of a computer to get something done. Even as an educated physiotherapist I have no idea what exactly happens in my own arm when I move it and still I am able to use it very successfully. Just like my car, smartphone and computer. In the same way everybody works with gravity and electricity every day again, without being able to explain the energetic process behind it.
So, working with energy is a part of everybody’s life and all but airy fairy. Outside of energy being what sets things in motion, lets things happen or keeps things in place, more and more scientists get convinced that energy even is the essence of everything call matter.
Energy and modern science
The effects of energy are often measurable for science. Gravity is a good example of that. The energy itself isn’t (yet?), even for science. That is why our regular science is almost completely focused on matter. This is what is perceivable with the senses and is more or less solid. When modern science tries to establish what the solid basis of matter though, it cannot really be found. Because of that matter seems to be less concrete than we might think.
Two and a half thousand years ago the term atom was invented by the Greeks. Atom means ‘undividable’ and until not so long ago atoms were seen as the smallest possible part of matter. The atom as the building block of matter has determined the scientific view on what we perceive for a very long time. With the invention of the microscope (just as with the telescope by the Dutch in the 15th century) and it’s more powerful successors, it became possible to really observe the essence of the atom. But instead of being able to zoom in even more on the solid essence of matter, it turned out to be mainly empty space.
You will probably recognise the pictures of an atom from your physics books in school. There is a core that consists neutrons and protrons and around that circle the electrons. Between the core and electrons is a lot of empty space. If the core of a water-atom would have the size of a basketball, the distance to the electrons would be more than three kilometres. So an atoms consist for more than 99,9999999999% of non-matter and if we would take only the ‘solid matter’ of all people on our planet, it would fit into a cube of sugar. When we observe it closely, there is just very few solid matter in the building block of what we perceive as so concrete and solid.
When scientists were able to investigate the core the atom when the microscopes became even stronger, they found what was named quarks. Here again they saw few bits of what seemed to be solid matter and was a lot of empty space around that. Through a microscope, even the strongest available, you more or less see the same thing that you see when you stare into the universe through a telescope: a lot of empty space with in that every now and then something that looks like solid matter. Scientists, like at CERN in Switzerland, are still looking for the building block that can explain matter, but time after time find empty space.
The solid essence of matter, either of a table, a wall or your body, seems not to be findable, even when you really zoom in to it. Because of this, the belief that matter is solid seems hard to maintain. On the other side it is undeniable that something collides with something when you stand in front of a train, run into a wall or hit yourself at your finger with a hammer. How can it be that if more than 99,9% of empty space is confronted with 99.9% of empty space, it doesn’t just pass through eachother? Maybe the thing we perceive as empty space, isn’t as empty after all.
The space we perceive as empty has a certain force. It holds the parts of matter together and makes that things collide when they come near to other ‘collections of emptiness’. The power the space possesses, can be seen when you split the core of an atom. This is the principle behind the atomic bomb and the amount of force that comes free then is enormous. The space probably isn’t empty, it is energy. Also energy isn’t visibly perceivable, but has a clear effect. Like that it holds an atom or quark together, just like the planets in our solar system. At the same time that it keep things at a certain distance when they get closer together. It is the same energy that you can perceive with magnets. When you bring two different poles towards eachother there is a pull towards eachother, where two similar poles of the magnet push eachother away. Both without that you are able to see the force itself, in the space between them there is nothing concrete you can grasp.
Probably the empty space has an essence and maybe even is the essence. Just like with a vase or room the essence isn’t the material surroundings of where the vase or walls are made of that gives it its functionality. It comes from the empty space that exists because of it.
Energy as essence
Because we cannot perceive energy with our five senses and it isn’t where science fills our school books with, it is very explainable that we don’t perceive it as the essential (or even the essence) of what we work with in daily life. That’s also a reason why we trust so much on our five senses and not on our intuition. We are not focused on what we perceive outside if them and didn’t learn to trust on it.
That was and is different in many other cultures and civilisations. Buddha mentioned ‘form is emptiness and emptiness is form’ already two and a half thousand years ago and also other wise teachers hinted in this direction. Also the Traditional Chinese Medicine is a nice example of looking beyond what we can perceive with our senses. Here the diagnosis and treatment is not so much based on physical structures like in Western medicine, it is focused on ‘ki ‘, ‘qi’ or ‘chi’, which translates as ‘energy’. You see this in words like reiki, tai chi and qi gong. Here also chakras are often mentioned, energy centres in the centre of your body, and they work with meridians (like in acupuncture), the energy tracks that run through your whole body and through which the energy flows.
Also in our society the attention for energy to explain the phenomena in life has increased in the last decades. This is what quantum physics mainly studies and also Einstein’s famous formula E=Mc² says nothing more than that mass is a form of energy that increases when the energy increases. Nicola Tesla, who had an essential contribution to how we use electricity nowadays, stated that: “If you want to understand the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration”.
Working directly with energy
You don’t have to know exactly how energy works to be able to work with it. Despite all I have learned about it, everything I experienced with it and the results I saw qorking with it, I still don’t know into details how working with energy works. The most important part for me is experiencing that it works. And let’s face it, how deep is your understanding of how electricity, a car or a scooter works? It isn’t necassary to use it effectively. Same goes for your own body. Do you know exaclty how it works when you bring a cup of tea to you mouth with your arm? Even as a physiotherapist, that makes me able to understand how a signal travels from the brain through the nerve to the muscles and know which muscles contract, I don’t know the details. Something that isn’t essential to work with it in daily life it turns out. Same goes for energy.
Everybody can experience the role of energy in their life every day again. Next to already working every day with gravity and electricity, sensing the ambiance and even so with working with everything that has to do with matter, you can also have a direct influence in your energylevel and -balance.
Being conscious of energy is the first step with that. Awareness that energy is everywhere and is in every cell in and around us and is what keeps cells in place or sets them in motion. Also behind all that happens is energy. Although in our upbringing and regular education we don’t really learn about energy, the awareness of it increasing by the developments in mainly quantum physics and that traditional Chinese treatments become more common. Acupuncture and Reiki (which literally means ‘universal energy’ and works with that) are even being covered by the health insurance nowadays. Because treatments as reiki or a ‘healing’ (I prefer the term balancing the energy), don’t work through mechanical input, it often is hard to understand for many people, although they do experience the effects of it. I often compare it with wifi or sending and receiving an app. Here also there isn’t a physical thing in between like a cable or a mailman. It is an invisable and untouchable proces which moves ‘through the air’. And although the proces itself isn’t perceivable, the effect of it is.
Tune in to your energy more often to see how you are doing and if things in life need some adjustment of direction or not. To use your energy level as an indicator how things are, can help you strongly to live a more fluent and healthier life. Like we saw energy is not limited to your physical fitness. It mainly also determines how you feel mentally and in the era where burn-outs, stress and overstimulation became regular phenomena, it probably isn’t a luxury to see beyond what we are taught in school. Discover yourself what a lot of ancient and other civilisations from over the whole planet, from all ages and independent of geography and cultural already knew: energy is and determines our essence and is what drives us. By becoming more aware of energy, you’ll gain insight in the way you live your life and how happy you are.
If you also learn how to work with energy, it gives you more control over how you perceive life and how you feel. The more energy you learn to control energy, the more you are able to achieve the things that that are good for you. Where disturbances in your energy balance stand in the way of getting where you want to be. Also the things we long for most in life are based on energy. Attention, compassion and love are much more than just sensory perceptions. If that was the case it would not matter who gives you a hug or says something nice to you. It is all about the ‘vibe’ that is behind the touch or whispering that makes you experience it as pleasant or uncomfortable.
Being aware of and being able to work with energy helps you to go beyond the things you run into and brings more flow to your life. With that working with energy becomes clearer and more concrete and nothing more mystical or mysterious than working with gravity. Use it to your benefit. And if you like some help with experiencing and working with energy, you are more than welcome for a session!