Suds and bubbles fill my hands as I reach for another dish to scrub clean. Particles of food drift in the sink, bringing different aromas to my nose. I am aware of the tension between my shoulder blades as I moved my hands from the soap, to the water, to the dishes. As soon as I am aware of that tension, I smile, and I am thankful for this opportunity to wash things away.
When I wash dishes, I don’t just physically clean the dishes. I use the suds and bubbles as a metaphor for cleaning the mental and emotional wisdom bodies. I do a lot of talks about the four main wisdom bodies, but it’s really a principle that a lot of people tend to grasp with ease. When I scrub a dish clean, I set the intention that I’m doing the same thing to my energetic body. As I clean, I’m also sifting through my thoughts and emotions with awareness.
As a contemporary person, I come up against a lot of judgments and critiques. It’s a drawback of being human, and, like you, I’m subject to them. However, this is the reason why I like the suds. They don’t judge; they don’t critique. I’ve noticed that when I start to talk about energy work to a new person, they do one of three things:
Their eyes light up because they know what I’m talking about, and are eager to discuss it with a like-minded person.
They’re unsure of what I’m talking about, but what I said really piqued their interest so they keeping an open mind.
Or, their heart shuts down due to fear and they are triggered by what I say. They immediately jump to preconceived notions of the Salem Witch Trials and assume that what I do is hocus pocus, and all other arguments thereafter are considered irrelevant.
These three categories are the majority of what I face, and most of the time it’s a mixture of them. I always make sure to feel out which category people are in before I divulge more and begin talking freely.
This evening when washing the dishes while Little Bear was in bed, it struck me that the ones in category 3 just have no exposure to the simple joys of energy work. There are too many people out there making things way more complex than they need to be. Even though the majority of people who come to me as clients just want to be better humans, sometimes we forget how to be human and forget to fall back to the basics. It’s human nature to add layers of complexity to things, especially given the fact that, as contemporary Western people, we are a mentally overstimulated society.
But nothing is as simple and pleasurable to me as washing dishes. In this simple act, I don’t have any music playing, don’t have any TV on – it’s just me and the dishes. This allows me to sit with my thoughts and to be able to think about what I’d been doing this past day, or this past week. It’s a chance for me to be good company with myself, and to accept the choices that I’ve made. In this very act of accepting, I am able to let go of what I “should have” done, what I “didn’t get to do,” or the things I “did wrong.”
I feel the tension between my shoulders begin to slip away.
This is where I begin complimenting myself on the things that I did right, and acknowledge where I can make some improvements in life. In this simple act of awareness and gratitude, I shift from my “little thinking” to thinking about the bigger picture and everything as a balanced whole. Too often we get fixated on what’s not working, and in doing so, it sucks us into a negative thought form pattern, where we can run into thought form possession. By shifting our awareness to a gratitude mentality, we can “zoom out” with grace and ease, and quietly sit with our thoughts in a reflective way.
Thoughts are stored in the mental body, and repressed feelings are stored in the emotional body. When we don’t properly express or acknowledge them, they spill over into the physical body. Thoughts/feelings carry energetic weight, and with simple cleansing and restoring techniques anyone can get that “weight off of their shoulders”.
The dishes are finished, and with that last clink of the plate on the counter, I stretch and feel the lightness in my chest. The tension in my shoulder is less. This simple act of doing something without distraction from myself helps me cope and just be at peace with myself. This is the core of my energy work, and how I maintain a healthy energetic body.
What do you do for yours? Interested in starting your own practice? Find out about the energetic bucket and how to begin working simply with a metaphor as a reflection of your own inner workings.
The four main wisdom bodies are a simple way for me to describe the four planes of energetic/physical reality. It means different things to different people, but in the context of this website/blog I’ll provide a short definition so you can understand my colloquialism.
The four main wisdom bodies are:
The Physical Body
The Mental Body
The Emotional Body
The Spiritual Body
The physical body is what we use to access our physical reality, while the mental, emotional and spiritual bodies I tend to lump together into the “energetic body”. The senses we experience in the physical body are tied to the energetic body. The process of getting more in touch with our energetic body allows us to have conscious connection to
Sacred sight: clairvoyance – the ability to consciously dream or have visions
Sacred hearing: clairaudience – hearing the voices of spirit, or hearing the thoughts between the words
Inner knowing: claircognisance – that unexplained experience of “knowing” something as it drops into your awareness
Sacred touch: clairkinesthetic – where we feel things happening to our body as if in physical reality
Sacred smell: clairolfactory – sometimes smells can be associated with certain experiences or spirits. For example smelling fear in someone, or thinking of old aunt Maybelle and smelling her perfume
Sacred taste: clairgustance – this is less common, but it happens in some spiritual experience where we can “have a bad taste in our mouth”
Here are some links to some other blog posts which talk about energetic basics to get a more well rounded understanding of how they play into a whole system.
For many of those that meet me in person, you will notice that I openly talk about the “woo woo” or “spooky” things, in order to add lightness to the stigma that gets impressed upon people when venturing down avenues of esoteric descent. Energy work tends to be a hot topic due to its various interpretations of what defines “Energy Work”. My personal interpretation is that “Energy work” is pretty much just a blanket term for those who manipulate the other three main wisdom bodies, which will be expanded on later.
There is no “right way” to practice energy work, there is simply the act of doing it. What I write here is my perspective, not the truth. What I try to do is open your mind to the possibilities that are in front of you, not condense them to think there is only one way to “Ground and Center”. Take the classes that you feel drawn to and learn as much as you can, from as many different sources you can. My goal is to get you to question how you think, because your thoughts power your action in the world. As we grow over time, our energetic body grows with us. It is ever changing moment to moment and fluctuates with our feelings/environments. As a teacher, I present my perspective to give you a base to jump off of, and to introduce you to how I think. The quest after reading this is to apply these concepts within your own life in a way that works for you.
I have been taught that there are four main wisdom bodies. There’s the Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, and the Physical. If you notice, there are three bodies that cannot be seen by the naked eye. I have come to term these as the “energetic body” or the “subtle body”. You can call them what you will, but by terms of definition, that is my definition of them so we can provide some clarity for the rest of this article (and also in case you happen to read some other blog articles of mine).
Where a lot of people tend to go awry, is the fact that we know how to care for our physical body. There is physical body hygiene, such as taking showers when we get all smelly and stinky.
But who talks about Energetic hygiene?
This is a relatively new concept that I would like to push people to think about and consider. Even if you know about it, I believe that now is the time to start applying these basic foundations and term them, so that it gets brought out into mainstream culture. I, myself, have had to dance around this subject to people that aren’t as open to these concepts, but I’ve always been “out of the broom closet” and do not hide what I do. People have always marked me as weird, and I’m completely okay with that – but my point is that energetic health applies to us all and we shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about it. We shouldn’t be marked as “weird” when bringing up these topics. We should all know about grounding, centering, and empathy – these are basic skills every human should have, and caring about our energetic body should matter just as much as caring for our physical.
How many times have we let our best friend cry on our shoulder, and we cry with them. They feel better by the end of the conversation, but we end up feeling drained. How many of us have had a toxic relationship where we have fought with that person and have had no energy left? How many times have you watched that ASPCA commercial late at night feeling like you could adopt one more animal? How many times have you seen some political move upset you so much that you have to dump on your facebook how upset you are?
All of these are examples of not tending to our energetic body. Some people might not feel this way, they may lack empathy, while others might identify with the above paragraph. I tend to be under the school of thought that believes everyone has the ability to have empathy, we just need to tend our energetic body better.
Now… how do we do that?
Here is where we get introduced to the energy bucket metaphor. If we compare ourselves to a bucket, there are three main things that we must look at. The bucket itself, what’s inside the bucket, and the bucket’s stability. Lets pretend our energy body is a container and follow along with this metaphor.
The energy bucket itself is a container. This can be representative of our boundaries. It takes daily “energy cultivation” to be able to discern what shape our bucket is in. Do we have a leaky bucket? Do we have a steel bucket that’s dented but can otherwise still hold energy? Is the bucket made of porcelain and easily breakable? Sometimes we get caught in this cycle where some trauma happens and we can’t seem to catch up because we have “leaky bucket syndrome”. If our bucket has a hole in it, no matter what we do to replenish the energy in the bucket (take a walk in the park, color, take a bubble bath) we still “run out of energy” faster than what we normally think we would.
What’s inside the bucket matters, because this is the equivalent of our energy level. Is our energy clean, or dirty? Is it stagnant, or flowing? Is the energy in that bucket ours or are we carrying a mix of someone else’s energy because we overidentified with their struggles? Or are we simply out of energy and our bucket is empty? Sometimes when we reach the “empty” part, and we feel like we have nothing left to give, we feel drained. If we continue to push even though we know we don’t have any energy left, the energy has got to come from somewhere – and we will begin to take energy from the bucket itself. This can leave us feeling even more exhausted, and we sometimes take days, possibly even weeks to recover.
Last basic thing that matters in this metaphor, is what type of environment is the bucket on. This can be a great comparison to our emotional or mental stability in the current moment. Is the bucket on steady ground? Is your bucket in a hole in the ground and unable to move? Are you placing the bucket right in front someone who you know is going to kick your bucket around? Sometimes with certain situations, we can lose track of where we have our bucket. Which leads us to situations where we can easily “tip over” and spill the contents of said bucket. There is a wisdom in recognizing when the bucket becomes unstable, and when to come back to center to make sure it doesn’t tip over and spill out the contents.
If you happen to journey, then asking your helping spirits what state your bucket is in can be very enlightening so we can actively work with our energetic health. It’s perfect for pinpointing if you have any holes in your energy bucket, and asking how to help fill those holes. At the bottom of this page I have posted guided meditations for people that either don’t know about journeying or have trouble journeying at home, so that they can follow along at their own pace at home.
The metaphor of the energy bucket can help us with our energetic health and hygiene. Our energy can sometimes be very much like working with a puppy. A lot of us don’t have any knowledge in this realm, and that’s not our fault because we weren’t taught. Some people have really obedient dogs, while others have dogs that jump up on you and don’t listen well to commands. The energetic body is the same way, if you don’t control and maintain it, we fall into bad habits like dumping on our friends when we’ve had a bad day, or project our anger onto the next bystander because they remind us of the real person/situation that made us angry. If you work with and train your energy body, it can become obedient so then next time when the ground becomes shaky and our bucket is in danger of falling over, we can simply move the bucket to more stable ground. There are going to be moments where our bucket just get’s kicked, and that’s out of our control – because life happens. But a majority of the time, we do have the ability to control our responses to a degree.
It’s good to somehow integrate this metaphor and do a check-in whenever we feel it’s necessary. Feeling low on energy? Check to see the status of your energy bucket before saying yes to going out after work. Torn between a girls/guys night out and a bubble bath/reading a book? Check on how low your energy in your bucket is, and if you need to do something to refill your bucket or empty it. Notice that new boss at work and how sometimes you are quicker to anger when they are around? Check the stability of your bucket and ask yourself why it has become unstable. By tending to our thoughts, emotions, and spiritual fulfillment – we are able to clean ourselves on a mental, emotional, and spiritual aspect. This is how we start energy body cultivation.
If you happen to be an auditory learner, and you would like to expand more on this concept, feel free to listen to this podcast on Why Shamanism Now hosted by Christina Pratt. Stay tuned, for videos and mp3s are to come.