It’s no great stretch of the imagination that energy is apparent in natural elements like electricity, fire, water, etc. As humans, we harness that energy to power our lives with light, heat, plumbing, phones… Elemental energy is obviously a life of its own, sometimes guided by human hand, sometimes chaotically destroying whole towns. Likewise, it’s easy to see that anything ‘living’, like plants and animals, is, has, conducts, and transforms energy in order to grow and reproduce. According to Einstein’s theories, all matter is energy even when it appears to be stable and unchanging; which is just energy in one state that we do not easily perceive as moving or changing. But change is the one true constant in our universe. We know that eventually that tree branch will break down into soil, eaten up by a variety of small creatures and other types of plant life subsisting on its nourishment, processed into another form of nourishment that will then be taken up by another tree, and the cycle continues…
During a deep meditation about connections, I suddenly found myself in an English-royalty-style garden with the very precise, straight walkways and squared hedges. Having never actually stood in this style garden, I was fascinated for a moment to see one from this perspective rather than an aerial or wide-angle view. The feeling quickly dissipated when I realised my view was somehow obstructed or veiled. A few bright points of light were visible, yet all over seemed colored in the same light. I immediately recognized the bright lights were coming from the living plant life, but I had focus in on it to filter out the rest of what I was seeing. After another moment, I finally realised what was “in the way” was actually the ability to see the air! “Well, this is new,” I thought and began moving forward. Forward actually took me down a few shallow stone steps, and in looking back I saw my own footprints linger as sort of a lighter color than the surrounding stone, the furthest away already beginning to fade. I approached the nearest hedge, reached out my hand toward the slowly pulsating light within the plant, and saw my own hand emitting this same light. Before I could touch the shrub, the bright light seemed to jump out between my hand and the light of the plant. The more I focused on it, the brighter and wider this connection became. In awe, I moved my attention to the other plants in the area and suddenly felt the same connection with all of them. Their lights became brighter, sensation of life became overwhelming, and the air between glowed until the vision ultimately became a complete white-out.
I took from this experience a much more profound understanding of our connection with all things through energy. The visible air was my human mind trying to help my understanding by visualizing the concept of unseen energy. It glowed along with the other life forces in the area when I concentrated in their direction because I my concentration ‘energized’ that connection. All is energy, all is connected, and more energy in the form of concentration and thought we put toward something, the stronger that connection becomes – it literally reaches to meet us.
I think the concept of life-force energy is relatively easy to understand, but what of other, more ephemeral, forms of energy? Energy we can’t see or touch, like words and thoughts. Words have the ability to cut as a sword or heal as a balm, especially when spoken by one who knows us well. Is this not a form of energy? We know our own thoughts can easily bring us down or raise us up. Is this not energy? Here are a few things to consider…
Positive energy people: Know one of those people who seems to be friends with everyone and everyone gravitates toward them? They are rarely in a bad mood and don’t take it out on others when they are. These people light up a room when they arrive, we feel that and want to be a part of it. We want to be that positive energy.
Negative energy people: Ever arrive somewhere in a good mood only to encounter someone who is not in such a great mood and it ruins yours? Know someone you just feel an irritating need to avoid? Some people seem to carry a cloud of misery or anger with them wherever they go. As the old saying goes, misery loves company so of course they want to share it with anyone they can. Maybe they have a sob story, maybe they have legitimate issues to gripe about, but if that’s all you ever hear from them, eventually you find yourself wanting to avoid all that negativity. Really, why would anyone want to always be around that? Sure we all have bad days, crappy things happen, and we want to have a sympathetic ear – partly to legitimize our feelings on it, partly to assure us it’s only temporary state of affairs. We know this but sometimes it still feels good to hear it from someone else. Some people can’t seem to offer anything positive about any situation, yours, theirs, or the world at large… naysayer-types, prevalent pessimism, and the like. Negativity is no fun to be around no matter where it originates. It makes us all feel rotten.
Ambiguous energy people: Know someone who is so annoying cheerful you sometimes find yourself considering physical harm just to wipe the fake smile off their face? On some level we recognize the cheerfulness these people emit is not genuine so it grates on the nerves and we want to avoid it. This is the opposite of the intended effect, I’m sure. I find that usually these people are either trying for positive to raise their own spirits, or trying to duplicate the attractive positive some people project in an effort to get others to like them. Either way, it doesn’t seem to work very well because the conflicting energies just feel wrong to the rest of us.
We all have experiences with people like those described above. Most of us probably write it off as an instinctual response to voice, words or visual cues that lead us to react to some people in these ways. However, I believe it’s energy.
Residual energy: Have you ever been used car shopping and a vehicle that seems to be exactly what you’re looking for just doesn’t feel right when you get in? Or walked into a house that seemed sort of ho-hum on the outside but inside it somehow felt perfect? Ever gone to a Craftman’s show, flea market or Goodwill and had an item that seemed ordinary, maybe nothing like what you were looking to find, but somehow you find your attention drawn to it? Or the opposite: I’ve seen items that were so stunning they caught my attention but upon touching it, I really did not want to touch it again. This too is energy. Energy likely left behind by the previous owner who handled it often or the crafter who created it.
As a crafter myself, there have been many times I’ve returned to a work-in-progress only to be bombarded by scenes of a TV show I half-watched or thoughts of whatever emotional drama affected me when last I worked on it, and I know of other crafters that have had similar experiences. I once had the pleasure of briefly holding a baby blanket woven for a friend’s child. The love that radiated off that blanket was such that it literally took my breath away! Then it took some serious determination to give the blanket back instead of curling up in it myself. Energy is woven, molded, painted, carved or drawn into our works; they are imbued with our thoughts and emotions, just waiting to be tapped again – and shared.
The researchers at the Institute of HeartMath (www.heartmath.org) are continually conducting experiments to evaluate and prove the effects of energy shared between people as well as within ourselves – meaning what you think has a direct effect on your physical body, whether the thoughts are directed toward yourself or not. The basic idea here is simple enough: when you berate yourself for doing something you didn’t intend, it’s much harder to get out of the funk feelings of failure; whereas when you praise yourself over a good decision, the positive feelings often last much longer than a simple instance might warrant.
When you indulge in anger, for example, the anger seems to feed on itself, you become more and more angry so that letting go of it becomes a difficult prospect. When you indulge in love, for example, the whole world seems more beautiful, life more precious. Unfortunately, many of us have been taught to berate ourselves for the slightest mistake and brush off praise as though whatever was done well was simply “expected” or “of little consequence.” We are performing a disservice to ourselves by thinking this way. At the very least, we owe it to ourselves to recognize when we have done a good job and simply accept mistakes as a part of the experience of learning. Remember failure is just success in progress, so don’t beat yourself down and don’t give up, least of all on yourself.