Last Reflection we looked at the Tao of Relationships.
Relating, like everything else in life, is an art. It is a creative process, which is in constant change and constant movement.
We talked about Wu Wei – Can you nurture your own spirit whilst holding the unity of Oneness?
Wu Wei literally translates as ‘without exertion’. It is a Taoist term used to describe being in the flow state.
From Wikipedia the definition is
Describing a state of unconflicting personal harmony, free-flowing spontaneity and savoir faire, it generally also more properly denotes a state of spirit or mind, and in Confucianism accords with conventional morality. Sinologist Jean François Billeter describes it as a “state of perfect knowledge of the reality of the situation, perfect efficaciousness and the realization of a perfect economy of energy”
Today we will go deeper into this fascinating topic and ask: When is time to hold on, and when is it time to let go and how do we know the difference?
Relating with another is a constant flow from our inner selves to our outer selves.
First we connect inwardly with our own soul, we listen to our own feelings and converse with our intuition, and then we reach out to another and continue our flow and connection with them.
How do we know what is ours and what is theirs?
How do we distinguish ‘our stuff’ from their stuff?
How do we know when we are projecting (making out that the other person is the source of a problem which is actually ours) and when we are not?
How do we know that we have strong and clear boundaries, and how do we know when we don’t?
What are we really speaking about when we talk about these things? Essentially, we can’t actually see boundaries, flow or connection but we can definitely feel them. We may need to fine tuning to be able to feel them more clearly though as they are all energetic states that we need to tune into our emotional bodies to experience.
We need to tune into our inner selves and ask ourselves the question: what is my experience of my own energy right now and how is it interacting with the energy of the other?
- Am I in my truth right now with this person energetically?
- Am I being authentic?
- Am I presenting one way and feeling another?
- Do I feel energetically aligned inside and out?
- Do I feel met and supported by the other or do I feel drained by them?
When we are in energetic flow with someone, everything seems to just flow. We feel light and happy around someone, we feel accepted, we feel seen and heard and we feel open. We are able to express easily what it is that we feel with them without filtering ourselves too much.
When we are not in the flow, we feel heavier, and more stuck. We feel an inner resistance to ourselves or the other.
When we have clear boundaries, we are not overly concerned with others and what they think of us. We stay within our own energy field and we don’t leave that to connect with another. We stay centred and from our centre we reach out and connect.
When we are lacking in boundaries, we are easily sucked in to someone else’s energy field. This can actually feel like a pull that you don’t have control over. You get pulled off your centre and you feel like you are merging with the other person’s energy rather than meeting their energy with yours.
Energy or ‘Prana’ in yogic terminology, is what we are made of. There is a philosophy that says our bodies are energetic manifestations of our souls. So we become on the outside what we feel on the inside. If we feel strong we become physically strong. If we feel soft we connect with our softness. If we feel light, we become physically light. If we feel powerful we are able to harness our power in our physical body.
If we are deeply grounded in our own energy body, we are able to connect energetically to another. And if we are both grounded and connected to ourselves as well as energetically open, we can enjoy sensing another’s energy body and we can feel where we end and they begin.
PROTECTING YOUR ENERGY BODY
But what about those beings who like to feed off another’s energy, consciously or unconsciously? There are those who, unable to recharge their own energy bodies, will plug into the energy bodies of others and charge themselves. If your boundaries are not strong, you may get drained by these people without knowing it. Suddenly you are feeling very tired around them. This is a sign that you need to enforce where your space ends and sever the energetic connection to the other person.
NURTURING YOUR SPIRIT IN CONNECTION WITH ANOTHER
So, in asking the question: when do we hold on in relationship and when do we let go, we can ask ourselves the question from the Tao Te Ching – Can you nurture your own spirit while holding the unity of oneness?
If you are able to nurture your own spirit in relationship, and hold the unity of oneness in relationship with another at the same time, what would that feel like energetically?
What does healthy and uplifting relating feel like for you in your body?
If you are not able to nurture your own spirit and hold the unity of oneness at the same time, what does that feel like?
What do unhealthy and heavy relationships feel like in your body?
HOW TO ENERGETICALLY CUT CORDS
If you find yourself in unhealthy and life-sucking relationships, you can try a few different techniques to cut the cords with that person.
You can actually make your hands like scissors and imagine a thread between you and them, around the height of your belly, and you can say: ‘I now cut all energetic cords with ….’ as you cut those energetic cords with your virtual scissors. This doesn’t mean you have to completely stop seeing them, though this may be the right choice for you. But if you do this cutting and keep seeing them, you will feel the energy change as your boundaries become stronger and clearer.
During an interaction with them if you feel you are being dragged down, you can also try a clear and voiced: ‘NO’, thus creating an energetic boundary, or you can just excuse yourself and leave.
AFFIRMATIONS FOR HEALTHY RELATING
An affirmation to create and build healthier relationships is: “All of the people in my life uplift and support me and want the best for me.”
Another: “I feel happy and fulfilled in all my relationships”.
Yoga is also a great way to work over the long term with your energy body. A regular yoga practice will help you to be more embodied, and to slowly learn to understand and feel your subtle energy flow. As you strengthen your core and your limbs in the postures (Asanas), you feel your inner body more, and this combined with breath work (Pranayama) helps you to open up your energy channels and start to be able to direct your own energetic flow. Here at Happy Buddha, we can help you with that!
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Michelle is a writer, musician, meditation and yoga teacher based in Melbourne. She teaches mindfulness courses and leads yoga retreats. She runs her own business called Inner Alchemy and is available as a coach and mentor.