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.
Let’s start from the beginning:
What is an energetic body?
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.
If you’re ready, listen to the guided meditations to take the next step in energy body cultivation. There is also a journey beat that is recorded so you can go back whenever you need to.
Mastered the energy body and want more? Feel free to see the article on change and transformation or to learn about the crucible of transformation within our own hearts. We have the ability to have these changes in our life stick. Are you ready for it?
Take care, everyone. Blessings to you on your journey!