The Energy of Relationships
Harness your body’s energies for your best life.
Posted December 15, 2015 | Reviewed by Jessica Schrader
"You are energy, your world is energy and everything in your world is energy. What allows you to experience others and for them to experience you is energy.”
Have you ever hit the figurative physical, emotional, or mental wall? What about having a worn-down feeling at the same time every day? We always tell ourselves to power through, mind over matter, you can do it! But what if that strategy isn’t working for you? And what if at the end of the day (or the beginning or anywhere in between), you are landing yourself and your relationship(s) in a more stressful place?
Body intelligence teaches you how to use the body to balance the mind and create a synergistic loop of energy that helps shape your life.
One of the hallmark concepts of body intelligence as I explore it in my new book, Body Intelligence-Harness Your Body’s Energies for Your Best Life, is learning to harness your body’s full spectrum of available energies. The body is an incredibly intelligent “machine” and you can use it to tap its energetic sweet spots and match the right energy with specific daily tasks. When you operate from here you can more easily flow into your peak physical and mental performance. You can fully engage in whatever you are doing, happily, without really thinking about it—just feeling good and performing at the top of your game. You can also learn to transfer this level of performance into other things you do—including your intimate relationships so that they too become mutually fulfilling, flowing, and meaningful experiences. Transfer is important to keep the good vibes flowing. So how you roll out your day will make a difference in how it (and you) evolves.
Before moving ahead too much, I want to stop for a second to say that putting time into self-awareness, before and throughout your relationship(s) and mindfulness of the other person’s architecture of self is a must. This allows you to discover that energies that enhance and balance you and each other as well as those that drain and spark dysfunction. So making mindfulness a priority is essential and will prove to be well worth your efforts.
I want everyone to have great energy days with all the energy you need to wake up happy and stay happy until you see your partner and experience nice relaxed and energizing moments together -- get up again the next day and do it all again. I’d love to take you through a complete energy overhaul but space prohibits that here. For the purpose of this post, I can’t go into what’s available to you in terms of your complete energy spectrum or the mechanisms that you can use to tap these. Although simple and fun, there is a lot more to it. If you’d like more discussion, you might like to check out a full exploration of body intelligence as presented in my book. But what I can do is get you started with a few tips toward smoother, happier, higher voltage relationships.
1. When you wake up tomorrow morning, make yourself aware of how you are feeling—generally speaking. Consider whether you feel good, stressed, no energy, depressed, overwhelmed, and so on. Then just keep doing what you naturally do. But be mindful of what you are doing between that moment and when you “head out” into your morning routine. Pay attention to how each of the things that you are doing shifts you into a better place or energetically drives you further from where you need to be physically and mentally. Consider specifics: “I need to feel calmer, but instead what I just said to my partner is spiking my stress.”Look at the immediate effects and longer range effects into the day:“Surfing the Net during breakfast made me anxious—even extended into later in the day so it was hard to organize afternoon plans.”
Someone I know—a single mom with three children—can’t even think of getting her kids ready and out the door to catch the school bus before she has had two cups of strong coffee. She can’t even start. So she has her cups of coffee, goes through preparing the kids for takeoff, and then has a third cup before heading out the door to drive to work. She listens to fast-paced music with edgy lyrics that she would think would blast her awake but leaves her feeling drained even more. To activate her mind, she puts on news but the negativity of the details leaves her more irritated than where she wants to be: feeling good. She says that by the time she gets herself through the hectic morning traffic and to her office, she is already burnt out. The rest of her day is usually uphill and steadily fatiguing. She has told me that all this makes her feel older than her actual age. These days I know several people with a similar mantra which is why practicing body-energy skills is so important. During the really difficult moments, she relies on more caffeine from energy drinks or the like to push her to the finish line, but not without her feeling exhausted in the end—memory fatigue, shifting dispositions, scattered focus and feelings of disorganization all come along with the turf. She acknowledges that she gets the job done, but doesn’t feel good about her performance or herself. In this world where demands on us to show up with results is increasing (and so is the stress it spikes) it is easy to show up at home with this kind of energy to infuse in our relationships—making an uphill battle out of them as well.
Mindfulness helps. In the situation above, these kinds of realizations help the individual identify what energy influencers are boosting the energy she needs for the demands of her morning routine and which ones are draining her. What she realizes is that much of what she does before she even gets to work is, in fact, trapping her into feeling drained throughout the day. So mindfulness is a good first step to energy recovery and makeover.
Tomorrow morning I want you to take a little time to note which of your activities and behaviors increase your energy and which consume it.
2. Now let’s plug the drains. So if you are doing something like the person in the previous example such as drinking more than one cup of coffee, let’s try to cut it down to one. If you notice the morning news is increasing your frustration let’s cut it out completely. The more specifically you can identify your traps the better.
3. Now let’s try to substitute some techniques that you already feel will increase the energy you think you need. First consider what kind of energy that is. For some, this is to increase your alertness. For others, it is to calm or to organize. There are hundreds of things you can do and I write about these. The good news is that they can be so simple. For now, let’s try just two. First let’s use sound. If you have to go “up” like the mom I know trying to attend to three children, find a piece of music that will have an alerting effect on you and play it for seven to ten minutes. Hit the repeat button if necessary. Smile when the tune comes on and breathe your happiness in, letting its magnificence spread throughout your body. If your morning is stressed from the get-go, let’s calm you down with some slower-paced music or natural sound (such as water sounds). Let’s put the musical piece on your alarm or on your cell phone. Again smile and take it all in with a few deep breaths. The idea is to do this every day until you start hearing the tune in your head as soon as you wake up even without playing it. Your body and mind will start to adjust and go to that “sweet spot” before you even wake. For me, I have used Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons—Spring” to do the trick. But you can use anything to alter and train your perception and get your body and mind to cultivate the energy you need. As I said, after a while you won’t even need the music to get there and your body-mind will go there in advance to the activity.
4. For those of you who have a little more time, let’s get outdoors. You can add in your favorite exercise—jogging, walking, tai chi, yoga, and chi kung are some of my family’s favs. Any exercise will work.
5. Eat a light nutritious breakfast. Notice how different food choices make you feel immediately after and also a few hours after so you can better match them to the day’s tasks you.
6. Try listening to an uplifting audiobook with a positive message that you know will deliver the energy and information that you will find useful in your immediate and longer-range life-plans—e.g., I recommend any book by Thích Nhất Hạnh or any title appropriate to your tastes. Some of his CDs add in music that sends the right rhythms and verbal messages that you need to hear to spark the right energy you need. This amps up the effect.
7. When you get to the office, use a photo of a loved one to spark more positivity. Carry it in your wallet so you have it right there. When you look at it smile and absorb the good feelings.
So what we have been doing is removing energy drains and replacing them with simple little “things” you can do to cultivate the energy you need to roll out your day—happy, relaxed, yet simultaneously energized so that the energy you share with others, particularly your intimate other, is peak quality.
The next steps in body intelligence is learning how to amplify these available energies, sustaining them longer, and learning how to summon them at will for the important things you do—and ultimately training your body and mind to go there naturally all on their own in advance to situationally specific moments. Live well. Enjoy!
Note: For an in-depth look at how, you may wish to check out my newest book, Body Intelligence – Harness Your Body’s Energies for Your Best Life.