Over the past two weeks, we’ve examined The Concept of Fair Exchange, and looked at how your end of that equation works. As a reminder:
If you GIVE more than you TAKE, you feel RESENTFUL.
If you TAKE more than you GIVE, you feel GUILTY.
It’s a great concept and pivotal to the clean and successful operation of every single human exchange we have on a daily basis. Last week we talked about how each exchange we have is essentially an exchange of energy and that managing our end of that deal is crucial. A number of you responded quite passionately to the fact that we often give our energy away without realising it and end up sapped and unable to fulfil our own responsibilities or meet our own needs. Here are three ways to guard your energy from leaks:
1. Discard or Carry
Often, there are things that others do that engage our energy in a negative way. They hook us in. Your child asks you for something they’ve forgotten AS you’re walking out the door for work. The drive to work is peppered with people who seem to have won their driver’s licence in a lucky dip. You arrive at work to find the wifi is down, and the person who was supposed to have documents on your desk by 8am hasn’t finished them yet. If we’re not careful, we’re exhausted by 0900 and haven’t done anything WE actually needed to do yet.
The next time you feel your energy get snagged up by something, ask yourself whether you need to “Discard or Carry”. Do you really need to let it own you for the rest of the day or can you let it wash over you – water off a duck’s back? Do you need to carry it with you, or can you discard it? Does that commuter omnibus driver really deserve all the energy you’ve attached to him? If you feel what’s snagging your energy is a relevant concern, then deal with it. Address why the person hasn’t produced the docs and move to Plan B. Whatever it takes to allow you to unhook and flow through. Don’t get snagged up – guard your energy.
2. Change your perspective
Allowing something to wash over you rather than hooking you in can be as simple as changing your perspective. Perhaps you really ARE the only person on the planet who can help your child with what they’ve forgotten (what a blessing!), or perhaps the true value here is in them learning the consequences because it really is too late to deal with it now. Perhaps riding to work in your airconditioned car instead of a combi really isn’t the worst thing in the world. Even fuel queues can be a welcomes time out from the world where you can catch up on a thousand things or with yourself. Change your perspective, change your energy.
3. My stuff, Your stuff
Many of us are really good at taking on other people’s “stuff”. It seems like everyone needs us, and we feel mean if we don’t help. People LOVE to hand us their stuff. Be it emotional or physical, if someone’s willing to take it on, there’s always someone willing to hand it over. When you feel your energy leaking, ask yourself whether what you’re dealing with is your stuff or someone else’s. And if it’s someone else’s, hand it back. Better yet, practise identifying other people’s stuff as they try and hand it to you, and gently refuse to take it on in the first place. Often, all we’re doing when we take on other people’s stuff is robbing them of the opportunity to engage their own gifts and to grow. So the next time someone comes to you with a “massive” problem, listen compassionately and then say “Wow! That’s hectic! What are you going to do about that?” – and wait whilst they figure out how to engage their own strengths…
For us to be successful at what we set out to do this week, we need to harness our energy, protect it from leaks, refuse to give it away and direct it towards what we need to accomplish. And we need to allow and guide others to do the same.
by Christen Killick
November 26th, 2018