09 Oct Not All Energy is Created Equal (The 3 stages you need to know)
One of the biggest factors I come up against in my work and research time and time again is the idea that to “feel energised” you must literally be bouncing around like a kangaroo.
On a pogo stick.
All. The. Time.
It’s a hilariously common misconception, and one I understand, because in some ways, we WANT to feel like that! It’s addictive, that feeling! When you DO experience it, you feel UNTOUCHABLE, ELATED, and totally IN THE FLOW!
But at the same time, WHAT a high bar to set ourselves! It’s no wonder we often feel like we’re not up to scratch!
And of course, we AREN’T – we’re typically not even using 1% of our incredible capacity (even though it may FEEL the opposite), but even so. Way to start out your amazing journey on a low note!
It’s almost as if we’re saying, “There’s no way I can ever reach that, so I won’t even bother trying”.
And yet, when you are cuddling your loved one, lying in the sunshine and feeling incredibly grateful, relaxed and abundant – don’t you feel energised? Not in a ‘pumped’ kind of way, but full of LIFE, full of peaceful vitality?
And when you are enjoying a project so much you actually lose yourself for half a day or a week, as you work steadily away at it until you’ve completed a particular part, all the time feeling ‘in the flow’ but not in a manic way – don’t you feel energised then?
The fact is, having ENERGY can look pretty different in different moments, and of course, with different people.
Your energy ain’t the same as mine! And I know that mine is vastly different from an extrovert’s.
But what we share is this: energy operates on 3 MAIN LEVELS.
In yoga, we call these 3 levels Rajas, Tamas and Sattwa, and they are each present in all matter – even those things we consider inert, like a stone or a thought. YES! Thoughts (and stones!) have energy too…
- RAJAS is what most of us aspire to – that kind of crazy, manic energy that feels flighty, all-consuming and yet addictive… It’s a violent sort of energy, harsh and abrupt. It knows no loyalty and will leave you as suddenly as it found you, which is why chasing this as your long term energy strategy is pretty pointless!
- TAMAS sits at the opposite end of the scale from Rajas, and denotes a state of darkness, ignorance and lethargy. This is where we get stuck when something sucks all the joy and meaning from our lives, and we often wonder how we got there. Often, it is Rajas which has taken us for a mind-blowing ride through weeks of craziness and unceremoniously dumps us right in the middle of Tamas. If we are not careful, it’s easy to get stuck here almost permanently.
- Right in the middle of these two states is SATTWA, a place of harmony, balance and joy. By eating sattwic foods and employing tools and techniques to reduce the effects of Rajas and/or tamas, it is possible to stay within the boundaries of Sattwa most of the time. This is the yogic ideal, because it is SUSTAINABLE – no extreme highs and lows or mania followed by burn out. Instead, you can enjoy a steadier and more permanent state of high energy, which includes clarity, positivity, wellbeing and high-level-functioning on all levels.
It’s important to add that the mind and ego will get distracted easily, and where those go, the rest will follow. So if you allow yourself to dwell on the negative and disempowering, then that is the energy you bring into your entire being – regardless of what food you eat! This is why it’s SO vital to master your thoughts and to learn to steer your ego away from the bad habits it’s become used to.
Ultimately, we want to transcend ALL 3 states of energy so we are not dependent upon or reactive to any of them. However, knowing and understanding these 3 levels is the first major step in mastering them, and from there we can begin to feel our way towards transcendence
What energy state are you most addicted to? Where do you find yourself “stuck” much of the time, yet unable (or unwilling) to move out of? Let me know below!
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