For an energetic, busy person as I consider and know myself to be, having no energy is highly frustrating. The lack of energy has been bothering me, on my mind, taking all my attention to try and work out what it is.
As I was driving to Manchester yesterday, I got to chapter 6 of the ‘Untethered Soul’ by Michael A. Singer which focused on energy. (Thank you Universe.)
“You have a wellspring of beautiful energy inside of you. When you are open you feel it; when you are closed you don’t. This flow of energy comes from the depth of your being. It’s been called by many names. In ancient Chinese medicine, it is called Chi. In yoga, it is called Shakti. In the West, it is called Spirit. Call it anything you want. All the great spiritual traditions talk about your spiritual energy; they just give it different names. That spiritual energy is what you’re experiencing when love rushes up into your heart. That is what you’re experiencing when you’re enthused by something and all this high energy comes up inside of you…..”
“do not let this energy build up inside you, but instead allow each moment of the day to pass through you”
My ears pricked up. And I started to pay more attention, especially when he talked about a ‘lack of energy’ if there was no immediate obvious and medical reason for it.
Energy – he said – is always inside you. For example, you could believe that having had no food or sleep could cause you to have a lack of energy. And yet, on some of our highly productive days, we may have had little or no sleep or food and yet had bags of energy. True. When I did my triathlon, I had had 4 hours sleep and barely any food as I was too hyper and yet I completed the triathlon and did far better than I ever expected. The theory rang true…. Even conversely, now that I am eating (not throwing up or feeling nauseous at the sight or smell of food), I still have no energy.
As I was driving along a tree lined M60, he used the same analogy to explain what may happen if you are feeling low on energy. As you drive along, you are noticing all the trees, the lines on the road, the cars, the sky but the thoughts and recognitions flow through you freely. Your brain takes the time to recognize them, compute it but not store it.
Using the same example, he said if you were driving along, but a car caught your eye that looked like the car of your loved one and that in that moment you also saw who you thought was your partner in a car with someone else and not where or with who you thought they would be with, your attention and energy flows to that imprint of the image emblazoned on your heart. Then your mind focuses on trying to solve the puzzle – who was it? Was it them? Who were they with? Why? Is it sinister or innocent? Why? Who? And around and around your mind goes as you continue along the highway… no longer noticing the trees, the road and the life passing you by. Your energy and focus is stuck in the past, in a flash back of a memory.
“No solution can possibly exist while you’re lost in the energy of a problem.”
Revolutionary. For me anyway.
And then a further blow or lightbulb moment…
“You actually feel that because you’ve minimized the pain of the problem, you’ve solved the problem. But it is not solved. All you did was devote your life to avoiding it.”
The timing of the death of Mumbo happened in the midst of a tornado that had been spinning already… adding to the mix of the Big Man working away in London, his unhappiness and stress, Tom’s tricky start to a new school, a bruised ego and a broken leg… Willy’s emotional outbursts from lack of attention. Multiple imprints on my heart that took my focus and energy.
With the return of the Big Man to Yorkshire, 4 months on, it finally feels like the dust of that tornado is settling, we have re-found ourselves and my trust in him has returned. The images of upset, anguish, heart ache, frustration have blurred into a haze and I can see the road ahead.
With the end of the school year approaching, my lovely Tom Tom has settled, is happier and Willy counts down the days of the weekend until he can go to school again, skipping along the path and into the class room. The imprint of their individual broken little voices on my heart forever, but right now they are happy and they are excited for their paths ahead, so I am too.
So that just leaves me. And with the other problems solved, I have been avoiding probably the biggest heartache, the tragedy of the effects on my Mum of being in a mental hospital, the rapid decline caused by drugs and the unexpected shocking news that she was giving up and the long drawn out process of watching her die. The imprints on my heart of her clawing at the window of the hospital, her birdlike hands, lifeless eyes, her toothless face and the last image of my Mumbo, her little feet the last part of her to be covered in a shroud.
The avoidance of the recognizing the pain: A new job. A triathlon. Running around like ‘superwomen’ as someone described me yesterday.
Having worked in a very male dominated environment for the majority of my career, I don’t cry. It is a sign of weakness. Especially in public.
Today, I am turning to face the pain. And as Michael points out – it is going to hurt! Anything stored with pain will release with pain. The answer is to not push it back down again and bury it along with any other stored pains which just cause blockages of the flow of life.
I wasn’t sure how to unblock it or release the imprints.. but his advice is to ‘let it flow’ and to do that you need to relax and ‘open your heart’. I am interpreting that as allowing myself the time to take each of the painful memories and images and look at them, feel the pain, cry and then let them go. I also appreciate that could take some time and I am going to have to prioritise doing that as much as I prioritise keeping my boys fed, watered, clean and in school.
I loved my Mum and I have avoided crying or I have time-boxed the time it will take to grieve. ‘I will be fine by May and then I can get a ‘proper job’. And by doing so closed down my heart to my Mum and she doesn’t deserve that.
So I am opening or re-opening my heart to the pain. I loved my mum for 40 years, so maybe it will take it 40 years to grieve her. Who knows? I no longer care how much I cry or who sees me, or what they think of me or if they think I should be ‘over it’ because it was good or a relief that she is out of her Alzheimer’s misery.
My superwoman cape has been removed and put on the top shelf for another day. I am hugely grateful for close friends around me for helping me see that this is necessary. I am hugely grateful for journalling and this blog for helping me clarify all the thoughts in my head so that I can see clearly what is needed.
“We are constantly trying to hold it all together. If you really want to see why you do things, then don’t do them and see what happens.”