When I talk about “managing energy,” people tend to expect that since I’m a spiritual healer I’m going to talk about visualizing bubbles of light, cutting cords, etc.
Those strategies are useful and important, but I was born a Taurus so that I could help people bring spiritual concepts into practical, everyday matters.
For instance, yes – “energy management” has a lot to do with keeping our energy fields from enmeshing with others’, but it also has to do with how we live our everyday lives to manifest our needs and wants.
A past business coach often said, “If you want to know what’s really important to a person, look at his calendar and his checkbook.”
This statement could use some updating (checkbook? really? plus how often do we spend time doing things that weren’t originally on our calendar? and let’s be gender neutral in 2022?), but the main point still stands: It doesn’t matter what you say you value – the truth is evidenced by what you spend your time and/or your money on.
Right now let’s focus on the time part: If your calendar was updated to accurately reflect how you spend your time, what would it show?
Would it be a testimony to your abundant self-worth?
Or would it show that you give priority to everyone and everything but yourself?
Our ability to manage our energy during interactions with others is weakened when our needs aren’t being met – not only because the proverbial well is empty, but also because we might fall back into unconsciously expecting others to meet those unfulfilled needs, which puts unhealthy pressure on any kind of relationship.
What keeps a person from having their needs met?
- Feeling unworthy. When it comes to having our needs met, there is so much childhood and social conditioning around waiting for someone else to validate that our specific needs are acceptable.
- Feeling unlovable. On an unconscious level, letting someone else do fulfill their needs feels like a form of being loved. (This is a basis for co-dependency.) But at the same time, if that person’s Core Wound is “I am Unlovable,” they’ll unconsciously push away the love being offered.
- Blocks to receiving. You can only receive from others as well as you receive from yourself, so giving to yourself is an important part of becoming more open to receive from others.
For all these reasons, an important part of managing your energy (and self-mastery overall) is stepping into your own power to see that your needs are met. The more that you take charge of your own needs, the less that you’ll project unmet needs onto your relationships and become entangled with other people.
This important shift further into meeting your own needs starts with two crucial steps: 1) identifying what your needs are and 2) actually making time for them to be met.
Step 2 is so often overlooked! But doesn’t it makes sense? If you want to achieve any goal, including taking care of yourself, you can’t just write down the goal and hope it will happen “sometime.” You must make time for the actions needed to achieve that goal.
This is where the 7 questions come in: From my experience working with this concept, I’ve narrowed it down to 7 major categories of self-care that need to be addressed – in other words, 7 questions that we need to ask ourselves about how we’re using our time:
- When do I sleep?
- When I eat?
- When do I move (exercise)?
- When do I work?
- When do I play?
- When do I connect interpersonally?
- When do I connect spiritually?
What you’re doing with these questions is defining a routine or schedule for yourself. There’s an inherent progression to the questions, too, so answer them in the order they’re listed.
For instance, doesn’t it make sense that you have to decide when you’ll be asleep vs. awake before you can divide your waking time into other categories?
It’s so easy to do it backwards and put sleep last, right? “I’ll sleep when I have time – when everything else is taken care of.” But how many energy management issues happen because you’re simply too tired?
The way I learned to use these questions was to create a weekly calendar template and assign time blocks for each category. I do it in Google Calendar with recurring events so that it becomes a visible part of my weekly schedule. It really works – give it a try!
You’ve probably already noticed that these 7 questions don’t include everything you need or want to make time for. For example, it doesn’t include responsibilities to partner or family. That’s intentional, because these questions are all about self-care and making a mindset shift to really put yourself first. I can guarantee that even as you answer these 7 self-care questions, you’ll naturally schedule around external obligations you know you have. For example, a parent of school-age children isn’t going to schedule sleep during school drop-off time.
Even so, the mindset shift of making time for you-only activities first is going to be incredibly positive for you and for your loved ones – remember to see it that way!
This is a process you can revisit at any point in your life. I do it at least once a year, because as I evolve so do my needs and wants. In fact, I’m reworking my schedule right now: It’s been 6 months since I moved from VA to NC, and I recently got a nudge from Spirit to notice that the schedule I’ve been following since the move doesn’t support me in making time for all 7 categories. (I have plenty of time – I just haven’t been using it in a focused way.)
I’ll also share that while some people are great at mapping out a full, perfect schedule, deciding, “This is who I am now!” and instantly living by it, I’ve learned that I simply cannot adapt to that much change all at once.
Instead, I incorporate the categories one at a time. Last week I started with question #1, “When do I sleep?” I had been letting myself sleep till 10 or 11 AM on days when I didn’t have appointments, but that encroached on my time to fulfill my other needs, like being able to eat 5 small, high-protein meals throughout the day.
But right now I’m not worried about the food schedule – I’m resetting my sleep schedule to 12 AM – 8 AM every night, and once I notice that I’m consistently sleeping well during those hours and waking up refreshed, I’ll move on to question #2, “When do I eat?”
(Once we’ve established our time to rest, eating is second priority because it gives us the energy we need to do everything else. Makes sense, right? The most important concepts are never complicated, we’re just conditioned not to live by them.)
Admittedly, the one-category-at-a-time approach feels a bit slow for someone like me whose inner Veruca Salt WANTS IT ALL NOW!! (that’s a Willy Wonka reference, FYI), but I’ve also learned that for anyone like me who has trauma in their history, big radical changes can feel really threatening and are hard to get through alone.
On the other hand, if you know that you can handle big radical changes all at once, go for it!
Right now I’m curious: When you look at the 7 categories, which ones do you already make time for and which ones have fallen off your schedule? Share with me in the comments.
Energy management teachings like this one are an integral part of the Healing Mastery Program, where you’ll become a Certified Core Wound Healer℠ AND master the art of healing by mastering yourself. Enrollment is open now for the session that starts in May 2022, and Early Enrollment Savings on tuition are available through April 5, 2022. Learn more about the Healing Mastery Program >>