Arles is a city in the south of France.
And I love the scent of Arles. Belle d’Arles by Fragonard is my power parfum.
But now, here is a question. Nicole, one of my readers, just asked:
Ha! I'd be interested to know how you can keep your energy neutral during interaction with people. Would you like to elaborate on this?
So how do you not lose energy when interacting with other people? Especially introverts seem to face this again and again.
Let’s agree that in a neutral inner state we are starting to feel free-from.
Free from our urgencies, our agenda and our (unmet) needs.
Not interested in conflict, competition or guilt.
We feel aligned, bold and connected.
Open and released from the positionalities of the ego.
Now let’s add to this a picture in your mind.
Imagine a horizontal line.
Above the line is where neutrality is located. This is also the space for learning, creativity, trust and purpose. Fear is acknowledged, integrated and transformed. Vulnerability is seen as a strength. Meaningful “free-from” conversations happen here. Oxytocin is released.
Below the line is where all the drama occurs and energy gets dragged down. It feels draining and competitive. There may be an urge of defending who is right. They run a blame game or gossip. People might engage with others to seek relief from their own suffering. Some are looking for short term adrenalin kick. Seeking pleasure and avoiding pain trumps authentic, wholehearted connection.
To answer Nicole’s question:
With the emphasis on neutrality, we will find that it’s not about what happens when we interact with people, but how we respond just-in-time to what happens that defines our emotional competence and therefore our well-being.
Here are some really simple suggestions. Practical actions for people, who feel that their energy lowers in interaction with others:
Plan ahead: Timeboxing and setting boundaries is key! Schedule time to meet people, but also schedule time for yourself to raise your energy before, during and after the meeting!
Prime yourself: Is there any inner conflict that causes you unease when you anticipate the meeting? Remember: it’s energy-saving if you accept things as they are and arise. You do not need to agree with people.
Prepare before you leave the house: 3 deep breaths. Out of the centre of your heart visualize a bubble expanding around yourself. Permeable, and yet protective against unfavourable, conversational and emotional (~ energetic) attacks. Fill this bubble with all the good stuff. For example trust, courage, meaningfulness, alignment, wonder, empathy, robust vulnerability and connectedness to nature. Intend to Listen to Connect. Respond rather than react and practise holding your neutral state.
During the interaction/conversation: Pause consciously. Make use of the alarm clock on your phone! Go to the bathroom, 3 deep breaths, flush what is on your mind. Wash your hands to clear all the bad stuff including what just happened below the line. Double-check your bubble. Is it healthy? Run a repair routine. Indulge yourself in your power parfum :-)
After: It’s cleanup time. Take 15 to 20 minutes! Shake it all off. Journal. Get your body moving, dancing, stomping, tapping. Bring out the trash. Water your plants. Drink water too! Work out or do yoga to re-center. Get still. Light a candle and look into the flame and burn the residuals. The lavender scent is also a powerful clearing agent. End your cleanup time with a moment of gratitude!
So what you can see here is, that in order to hold the energy in a neutral state some conscious work is supportive. Whatever works best for you to clear, center and ground yourself! What’s important is that you work on multi-level connectedness: physical, emotional and mental, which are the visible aspects. But also beginn working with the invisible. That is spiritual and energetic.
When you open a book and look at a page you’ll see lots of black letters, and you also can see the white page!
Apart from these very effective actions (and there are many more, just keep experimenting!), your energy level will also benefit from:
Practise: Where am I? Above or below the line? Tune in to your neutral state every day. Prep yourself to live above the line - no matter what! If you are feeling below the line: take an inventory. Which of your reactions drain you? Which emotions are you blocking? Practise the Letting Go technique.
Empathy: How is healthy empathy practised? Empathy is being with somebody’s experience without losing yourself in it. How do I not lose myself?
Leadership Presence: I am here and I am availabe?! We are living in a myth of connectivity. Is it enough to just be there with the others? In which ways can I bring value to the interaction / conversation? Learning to navigate various leadership dimensions and perspectives with agility.
Embodiment: What’s your way of working with the body and the physical dimension? If you are going to gym, most of what you see is people doing stuff to their body. That is not the same as being embodied. Embodiment is about deeply sensing and noticing our moment-to-moment experience on multiple levels.
The Human Energy System: For example learning about energetic projection and absorption and how to prevent it. Releasing the positionalities of the ego. Becoming empowered to stop bad habits and shift out of low-energy states.
Conversational Intelligence: How to engage in healthy ways and create a free-from drama environment for meaningful conversations that boost your energy and the energy of others.
Thank you, Nicole, for this beautiful question 🤍
And thank you all for reading my work! 🙏🏻
I am realizing that there is a so much more to explore, to experiment with and reflect upon.