This week in the Great Big Dreams e-seminar we are discussing energy and those things that drain our energy. I refer to them as “energy sucks.” They are like little energy vampires that slowly drain you.
We all experience this at some time or another and sometimes several times a day. These are the incidents, the crap, the people, the stuff, that bring us down when we’re feeling up. Or perhaps it happens before you even roll out of bed and, in a nutshell, it makes your whole day suck.
And you know when it happens. You feel agitated or depressed or angry or whatever.
Here are some of my energy vampires:
Complaining & Negativity: You’re with friends or family and someone starts complaining about the wart on her big toe. Then someone else needs to one up that complaint and regales you with details of some minor surgery and how the doctor apparently screwed up. Add to it a third person who has to be the winning complainer and well, you get the picture. You’re sitting there amongst all this complaining and negativity feeling like maybe you should make up something just to join in the “fun” because well, you really don’t have anything to add to the conversation.
Instead you get out of your chair and walk out of the room and maybe someone asks “Was it something I said?”
This is also a big one at shows, especially when attendance is down and/or people aren’t buying (or at least not buying your work.) At my last show I visualized that my booth was filled with and surrounded by positive energy. Only one person with a negative attitude broke through that barrier and it wasn’t an artist. I had to go outside of my booth to hear artist’s complaining.
It is so easy to feed into negativity and once you jump on that wagon you just bring yourself down. You feel it happen as soon as the words come out of your mouth. When I find myself in these situations, I might say something “whitty” or nod my head and give a noncommital “mm-hmm.” Most times I stay quiet and insulate myself from the negative vibe.
Comparisons: Do you recognize this one?
I wish I could be like________.
I wish my art was as good as ______________.
I wish I could sell my work like ____________.
Well, while you’re doing all that wishing it means that you’re not BEING and DOING. Comparing ourselves to others is a cruel human habit. We’re too busy looking outside ourselves for what we want instead of getting quiet and looking inside ourselves. And I know that isn’t easy because you don’t always know what you’ll find. Yet if we don’t start with ourselves, our wants and desires and intentions, we’ll never be happy inside.
Fear: Yep, the big F-word. The one thing that keeps us from making decisions in life. The one thing that we hope will go away so we can get on with our lives and make those decisions. The one thing that keeps us from progressing.
Inner critics (or gremlins ). You know this one. It is the voice that promotes the fear; the voice that states those comparisons; the voice that makes negative statements. A while back I decided to name my inner critic Esther. Her voice is like that of a stroke patient I worked with years ago; a former smoker with a heart of gold and a stubborn attitude to boot. Inner voice Esther wants to exert her independence and protect me from being hurt or embarassed or from taking a chance. Esther has been relatively quiet for a few months though recently she is speaking up again. I think we need to have a talk.
I’m sure there are more, many more energy vampires out there. These are the biggies on my list at the moment that I will be confronting. Perhaps I will drive a symbolic stake through their “hearts.”
What are your energy vampires?
Note: You can also read Christine Kane’s post on energy leaks here