What if you are depriving yourself from your full quota of abundant energy without even knowing it??
As I mentioned in my previous post two ways an individual can contribute to fatigue is through cutting the self off from personal power (equating with energy) and not allowing the self to receive. Very often these go hand in hand.
I have noticed that in many cases those who battle the most with depletion and burnout are those who try to control and hold everything as a result of feeling from a young age that this was necessary to do to ensure survival (because they could not trust anyone else to do it). These are the do-ers and the perfectionists and they get tired from all the perfect doing and isolated, self-reliance. Very often people who battle with depletion and burnout are those who perceived neglect or threat to their survival in the first five or so years of life. This could be caused by overt abuse and neglect but also in the event of caregivers being mentally and physically ill and therefore unable to be emotionally or physically present. This perception can also be created where caregivers were physically or emotionally absent for any reason, such as unpredictable life circumstances and traumas experienced by the whole family.
Judith Anodea refers to this tendency to close down in order to survive in her book, Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self, with the following quote:
"When a young infant faces danger or neglect, it forces him to fall back on himself— an independence which is developmentally impossible. Instead the child falls into an intolerable pit of fear and helplessness— the experience of having no ground. When this happens, the downward current of energy is blocked. Instead, the life force moves toward the upper chakras, which feel safer. The upward movement then becomes habitual, depleting the lower chakras and sending the system out of balance."
Basically, when a child has perceived that his/her needs will not be met an unconscious habit of survival is to stop depending on the outside environment to provide the necessary holding and support. Instead the child will become self-reliant and try to control everything him/herself in the false belief that he/she is actually able to do so. Not being able to trust the world and other people means not being able to rely on help and support and the child then becomes an over-functioning child and ultimately an over-functioning adult. Not only does the child block off access to help and support (which makes life exhausting) but also to life force/energy that is in abundance around us all. This vital energy is always feeding us through the breath, through connection to the earth and through our (healthy) relationships with others. When we block ourselves from receiving anything outside of the self we block our ability to receive this vital energy.
Generally, people who battle with chronic energy depletion and fatigue, such as in the case of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, have an imbalanced base chakra (a balanced base chakra equates with feeling grounded, secure and having the ability to manifest abundance/receive). There is also often a parallel imbalance in the crown chakra (a balanced crown chakra equates with feeling connected spiritually to a bigger picture and having a sense of energetic interbeing with all those around us - versus a sense of isolation and separation).
So where does this leave anyone who has unknowingly cut themselves off in such a manner? When I work with people around these issues we look at the following ways to open the self up to being able to receive (energy, help, support and abundance):
- Practice chakra opening exercises such as meditations or visualisation exercises (look online at the many options available or try this meditation I created)
- If chakras seem scary to you then simply ground yourself daily. This involves standing or sitting with bare feet on wood, concrete or grass (all natural materials with no insulation between the materials and the earth). Imagine that you are open and connected to the ground and allow yourself to receive the support and holding of Mother Earth. You can also sit against a tree on the ground for a similar and powerful effect.
- Dance or practice yoga (particularly Kundalini yoga). This enables you to be more present in your body and not your head. The more we are present in our pelvis, hips and legs the more we get in touch with being supported and grounded. Any physical activity done with consciousness will assist you to open up the base chakra more.
- Work with your inner child. The little child part, that at some point felt so threatened, is not easily going to just trust that all is now well. However, it is vital for that part to realise that the circumstances have changed and while it may have seemed there was no one to help him/her as a child there is support now. Firstly, if you are reading this I assume there is a part of you that wants to nurture yourself. Allow that part to acknowledge that frightened and shut-down child part, have compassion for that part and just be there through an awareness of that part. Visualisation, letter writing and meditation can be wonderful ways to be in touch with your child self again. Secondly, ask others for help and allow yourself to receive support through friends, mentors, therapists etc.
- Receive any kind of body or energy work such as massage or reiki to help you to become more present and physically IN your body (versus your head)
- Explore spirituality. This does not need to be religion but rather finding a concept or meaning to relate to regarding how we fit into the world. For me this is the conceptualisation of a universal consciousness that holds a bigger picture in which I fit and flow and through which I am supported. When I can be in this place it is amazing how many things simply flow my way – opportunities, money, guidance. It all happens so perfectly. However, as soon as I step into fear and try to control everything then I experience life as so difficult and I feel very alone.
Remember to be compassionate and patient with the child part of you. It can be very difficult to be any different. This survival mechanism became a default from such an early age that it can be very difficult to trust enough to let it go. I can vouch for how up and down this process can be. One day it can be possible to be so present and trust that all is well and that you are being held in all that is happening and the next day something difficult can happen and tip you into a need to control and shut down. It’s all an exercise in trust and trust takes time. I hope to share more with you about this process along my own journey. It’s really important to have someone who gets it that you can talk to and I hope that my words and experience can be part of that for you.
This is me, on a journey of opening up to my power, energy and support every day, and I wish the same for you!