I use the term “energy” a lot to convey a concept. The concept is that we all are energy. We get to choose what type of energy we’re carrying around and spreading, for the most part. I notice that when I spend time alone in my own space with no tv, no distractions, just me and my cushion… my energy reverts back to peace. If I start to think about things that cause me stress, my energy becomes not-so-peaceful. In fact, depending on the stress level I am enduring, my body can become tense and stiff with the stress. Then, I begin to feel ill. I’m totally pliable right now, in full peace at 3:16am on a Saturday morning. I’ve just woken to see if my dear friend Kelli has returned from the bar scene with Ryan. She hasn’t.
Kelli came Thursday morning. I was stressed because I had to work and couldn’t pick her up at the airport like I told her I would. I was stressed because my shift at Vanilla Bean that day during lunch really sucked. I could not get a flow going because of constant interruptions. It was frustrating and confusing trying to help others because there were so many people on my end trying to assist. The phone was wringing, the line was long, the kitchen was busy, and I was told to go pick up groceries in the middle of it because the grocery person decided to deliver in the middle of lunch rush. The shop is set in the middle of a campus that you can’t access by car, so I had to drag a cart out over uneven flagstone in the cold while still trying to process the hungry energy of the crowd inside. I can feel the anticipation of a crowd waiting, the energy of the responding kitchen staff swells to meet the demand of hungry people who don’t necessarily want to have to pay or wait to eat their food. The energy in such a place is tumultuous. Like standing right where the waves break on a beach. So, when it was over, I was drained and actually a little pissed that it didn’t go more smoothly. I actually felt that my performance was horrible. Dave had to tell me I’d forgotten to write down one customer’s order to get it done. It was a daily special. It was a gentleman I’d talked to the day before about the awesome book he was reading. I understood that his opinion of me changed because I made him wait an extra 15 minutes for his food because of my confusion during the lunch rush. I felt shame for the error. I brought all that energy back with me to meet Kelli for the first time in years. I had to walk two miles to get to her from work and I’d hoped that the walk would help release the frustration I felt but truly, it only gently eroded it, a little – actually allowed me to breath around it.
She too had experienced overwhelming energy of frustration in getting to Denver. We both were full of this frustrated, overwhelmed energy. She was restless with hers, I wanted to bring mine to the cushion for observation and transformation. She wanted a bottle of tequila. I wanted some restorative yoga and edible indica to help me settle into ease and acceptance. I am aware of how I take on energy from the environment around me. It’s as if I become one with the environment – I’m like a tea bag in the water but instead of adding my tea flavor to the mix, I just pull in the flavor of whatever the content of the environment is, like a tiny tea bag sponge. Kind of like that saying, “When in Rome, do like the Romans.” When in a tank of sharks, frenzy for the food. When in a cage of butterflies, flit and fly. For me, when in the presence of someone else who is frustrated and in the throes of anger, I block what ever I am experiencing to allow the other person to have me on-board to fully experience their experience. I drop me to become other with other. I stayed there for six months with Bryan. I tried to pull Bryan in my direction – towards yoga classes, meditation, listening to dharma, and being present for each other. I was unsuccessful. Our yoga and meditation became less frequent as the level of “our” stress rose. Which, for me, means physically embodying the stress. Yoga is my method of moving the stress OUT of my body. I loved biking with Bryan, and hiking behind him. But those exercises didn’t move stress out of my body. I loved sharing everything with him, but eventually I just became completely drained physically and mentally from not taking the time to properly care for me the way I need to be cared for. It felt like pure toxicity in all of my cells.
The flavor of the tea in his environment was much stronger than the flavor I brought into the mix. As part of a yin-yang couplehood, I found that I was unable to hold my yin space and just caved into his yang. We were overwhelmed by yang energy. Aggressive, fast moving, powerful energy constantly twirling us.
I will continue to notice energy, its patterns, and my ability to be in energy not my own but still contain my energy as my own. In the spectrum of Enneagram personalities, I’d say this is me learning to live with “my 9”. That’s my next thing in life. I keep hearing the word “boundaries” in relationship to it. I don’t know about boundaries. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to recognize and respect boundaries. I often don’t realize I’ve crossed them until I’m way over on the other side. So, more to come on boundaries and how they’re part of my own human survival. I suspect. If you have any good books / articles on boundaries that you’ve found helpful on your journey, please share.
It’s 3:41. Kelli just texted. She’s sleeping at Ryan’s friends house. They’re fine. I’m going to go rest easy in my snugly blankets and pillows and heal. Healing and releasing the painful thoughts wrapped around all the things I can’t control. I can’t make everyone else choose peace. I can only choose it for me. With each in-breath, and with each exhale.
a. I am to sign a 15 month lease in SE Denver at City Square Apartments on November 8th. It’s a 15 month commitment. That means I stay in Denver until February 2018, at least. What the heck with 15 months? I’m going to commit to regular attendance at Shambhala, regular yoga, and caring for me. It’s a vacant apartment. I have nothing to fill it with. I’m going to have SO MUCH space.
b. I’ve changed all my job search filters to scan within 10-20 miles of my new address. I am close to public transportation so as I face the truth of my car becoming an un-affordable mess for me to fix, I know I have a source of mobility near me for practicality. I am 1 mile to the Shambhala Center and 3 miles to Whole Foods) and access to the Highline Trail is right outside my door. Logistics are all set.
c. I have an interview on Wednesday – am driving Kelli to the airport on Tuesday – my obligations to myself are getting in the way of my being able to serve at the coffee shop. I had to let Dave and Brooke know that I can’t stay with them because I see the issues it will cause for them when it’s time for me to go interview. The logistics there just won’t work for me or them, have to let that enjoyment go so I can fish for a job with a benefits package and a salary that will actually enable to pay the exorbitant rent here for the next 15 months.
photo credit: https://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/features/2015/150120-surprising-energy-sources.html