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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Positive Energy Week 1: Awaken Intuition and Rejuvenate Yourself

The first week of this 10 week program! If you are like "What the heck? what program?" then take a look at my  previous post about my current project I am working on.

This week is about awakening my intuition and getting ready to take on all the amazing things this book has to offer. I have broken this prescription down into 5 parts, and I am going to be honest... this post (and others to come) are going to be long!... this book has a TON to offer and my experiences with it have been amazing already so I am eager to get them all out. Each chapter has writings, exercises, and an interview so I will be touching on all of those things throughout. :)

The 5 parts of this post are:

1. Intuition and Empathy
2. Pacing
3. The Now
4. Now Suckers
5. Quincy Jones Interview

So let's get started!

1. Intuition and Empathy: 

By awakening your intuition you can access your full energy. (Pg. 19)

Intuition is a truth detector. When you deviate even a nanofraction from your inner voice, your energy will wane, whether a subtle seepage or radical bottoming out. (Pg 21)

For me intuition has never even been a question. I think I was raised in a way that my parents trusted and used their intuition on a regular basis and encouraged my brother and myself to use ours as well. I have mentioned a million and one times in this blog alone that I trust my intuition more than any other resource. Not to say that I discredit other resources or science but in my experience the most reliable of all is my own intuition.

In the positive energy program you'll get in the habit of intuitively tracking your energy response.

Intuition also involves picking up vibes. People and situations can give off welcoming positive energy that invigorates, or oppressive negative energy that repels.  (Pg 22)

First exercise: Body Scanning (at home) 

This exercise encourages readers to get with a partner and take turns laying down and reading each others energy fields through the palms of their hands. I used to do this for fun as a kid with my brother whenever he would ask me for a back rub or to scratch his back. I find it so interesting the vibes people give off and their energy forces.

Second Exercise: Body Scanning (in the world) 

This just takes it up a notch and challenges readers to recognize energy fields in other people without having to be intimately close to them.

Not many people know this about me but since I was very young I have been able to see auras. I have never been embarrassed by it I just learned at a young age that it is not typically acceptable in our culture to talk about so I just kinda keep it to myself. It was so nice, when reading this book, to realize how real my feelings and experiences are. Validation really feels incredible. Like I said I am not ashamed of the abilities I have had, and been able to tune into... I am just grateful to know that I am not weird for it. Also, I am glad to know that ANYONE can do this, meaning I am not just some special evolved human being ... we all are!

The energetic quality of all our connections matter. (Pg 27)

Every moment we spend in this life is effected by the energy of others around us including "non living" things. We must keep that in mind, absorbing only the good energies. :)

To take charge of your energetic health, you must know if you're an intuitive empath... Like it or not, empaths process all stress in their bodies, are more prone to take in a personal or global trauma's energetic residue. Vulnerable to negativity; whether minuscule or horrendous, many empaths have chronically low energy, a common complaint that baffles traditional physicians. The symptoms of intuitive overload include depression, psychosomatic complaints, and overeating.Negative energy arises from people,... places, and situations. (Pg 28)

On Page 29 there is a quiz to see if these symptoms might be some you are feeling... ask yourself:

Am I an intuitive empath?:

Have I been labeled as overly sensitive? (yes!)
If a friend is distraught or in physical pain do I start feeling it too? (Yes)
Am I drained in crowds, going out of my way to avoid them? (Yes)
Do I get anxious in packed elevators, airplanes, or subways? (yes)
Am I hypersensitive to noise, scents or excessive talking? (YES!)
When I see gruesome newscasts, does my energy plummet? (yes)
Do I get burned out by groups, require lots of time alone to revive? (Yes)

... Maybe you are an intuitive empath too? I know I am... This is blatantly obvious. I have said for years that my senses are more sensitive than most... and when they are cut off I feel lost. My 6th sense included...

Discovering you are an empath can be a revelation. Putting a name to a very real intuitive experience legitimizes your perceptions. (Pg 29)

AMEN! I feel so much better knowing these things. Honestly I knew I was an intuitive empath already, and all of the questions were not surprising to me. However, what did relieve me of some feelings of anxiety and or confusion were the symptoms I might have due to being an intuitive empath. I really feel so relieved to know that working on my energy can help with these things.

Third Exercise: Center yourself and build positive energy

Basically-now you know--what are you gonna do with it? Learning how to channel positive energy through peaceful meditation.

Being firmly grounded protects you from getting flattened by negativity. (Pg 31)

Not everyone has empathy overload... Define your instinctual style of interacting with the world so you can honor it. (Pg 31)

This part baffles me... I always have empathy overload... but I am glad to hear not everyone does :)

2. Pacing 

I want to mention that as far as this portion of the chapter went... It was obvious when I was going back through it that I was (un)intentionally avoiding it... There was hardly anything highlighted, no notes, nothing. Apparently I struggle with pacing and am in certain denial of it. I will tell you, though, before we get in deeper, that this portion of the chapter helped awaken some things in me I didn't quite know even existed. :) Thanks Judith! :)  

As an energy psychiatrist, I teach [my patients] about pacing: a basic rhythm I train [them] to sense intuitively. (Pg 32)

We rush for many reasons: to dull emotional pain. To flee from anxiety, depression, or feeling we're not enough. To respond to unrealistic expectations of what we can accomplish in a finite period. (Pg 34)

Dr Orloff offers a list of intuitions that will tell you if you are rushing:

Your energy feels scattered
You have little or no awareness of your body
You experience subliminal or overt sense of panic
Your ability to listen is impaired, as is your memory for details.

Well shit... That pretty much describes how I have been feeling to a T as of late especially. With the wedding and everything I have felt incapable of catching up to myself.

Judith also mentions that rushing can be addicting, which I can certainly relate to. I grew up in a world that was spinning by me rapidly, and I took that as a cue on how to behave myself in my life. A common phrase in my family is "We work better under a deadline" and other variations of this same phrase. Obviously this is not entirely our faults. The world around us is moving so quickly that to seem "normal" we must overwork ourselves and keep up. -- Dr Orloff taught me that this is common and can definitely be helped... want help with your rushing... read ahead.

First Dr Orloff asked me to check myself by sensing with my intuition if I am in sync with my pace:

(Pg 35)

When you're in sync: 

Emotional Balance
Physical Stamina

When you're out of sync: 

Ongoing Fatigue
Emotional numbness
Mood swings
Psychosomatic symptoms (IBS, headaches, acid reflux etc)
Decreased libido
Sexual Shutdown

After reading those lists I actually can say yes to about half of each list which means to me that although I am not always rushing currently I am, or I am trying to rush through or past something. I am not 100% certain what that is but, it could generally be life. I have been known to just want this certain time period to get over so I can get to living a part that I look forward to more (This will be visited in the section about living in the Now).

Exercise: Intuit Your Pacing (Pg 36-38)

This is a 2 part exercise.

First readers are asked to take time to tune in. This is something I don't do as regularly as I should and I know that... but when asked to, I have done it and it has proven a great tool to have. This is where you find if you are rushing or moving too slowly through life. I have been known to do both.

Second, to find solutions that might work. There are a few she offers: Realign with an in-sync rhythm, if you're a rusher, If you're on a deadline, If your pace is too slow.

The key to success is to ease into your new right pace. As some of my overzealous patients discovered, making giant leaps too quickly can sabotage this program. 

Please no grand gestures. Just start moving in the right direction. This sends a positive message to your life force. Don't worry if you slip into old habits, we all do. Every minute you've succeeded renews vitality and awe. (Pg 39)

This all leads nicely into:

3. The Now

In the Now you're moving, grooving through the eternal present, physically and emotionally alive. Out of the Now you're cardboard, numb, distracted, imprisoned in your head; the intoxicating fragrance of a rose garden on a summer's night doesn't even register--a sorry state I urge you to rail against.  (pg 40)

Until very recently I had never really experienced the Now. At least not since I was very small. I can't pinpoint the time when I quit believing in living for the present. I had a lot invested in the future and I chose to spend most of my time there. I am a daydreamer by nature. It has always been very hard for me to remain grounded--although I have, for some reason, the ability to split my consciousness and remain present for important things, like learning, while continually daydreaming. I am forever grateful that I barely missed the cusp of the "ADD/ADHD" era where I would have had pills possibly shoved down my throat to dampen this part of who I am (My opinion--not Judith's--this does not reflect her opinion in anyway, as far as I know).

Now, back to the Now... Let's keep reading shall we?

Exercise: Tune in to the Now (Pg 40-43)

Observe masters of the moment:
To viscerally grasp the power of the Now, observe those who're in it. ... Babies, especially, have totally focused energy when they zero in on you. Locking into their gaze will align your energy. ... Similarly, observe creative people for whom the moment is everything. ... Also recognize that during emergencies, you naturally, instantly revert to the Now.

Follow your breath: 
Many westerners, however, are clueless that the breath is sacred until illness takes it away. ... So you won't miss a moment of this miracle, I recommend conscious breathing. It'll ground you in the body and still your thoughts. 

Check your pulse: 
An instant antidote for being out-of-the-Now is to feel your pulse. ... With each beat, intuitively visualize your life force as a golden (for me it's purple) energy rushing through you, a splendid sensation. 

Adopt a mantra: 
A mantra is a sacred word or phrase that can cue you to return to the Now. ... Whatever mantra appeals, it's a grounding incantation

 I chose to take clips from the book for this exercise because I find it so incredibly important and useful. I know so many people who struggle with staying in the Now. A lot of this is because of "enemies of the Now" or what I choose to call "Now Suckers" (merely because it sounds really funny)... Which will be covered in the very next portion.

What I love about this prescription is that Dr. Orloff offers so many options for the variety of people that exist. I think she, of all people, knows that not everyone fits into the same hole... and that is something I really cherish. As a person who has strove to continue to be myself regardless of pressures around me, I really respect and admire a person who has made such a life of herself as Dr Orloff has, by truly being true to herself and her intuition. She is an inspiration to me, for me to remain true to myself, regardless of outside forces.

**Laughter only happens in the Now, anchors you in a flash.** 

I highlighted this line because, damn it, I LOVE to laugh!! As I mentioned earlier I always struggle for staying in the Now... Since meeting my husband, Ben, that struggle has dampened quite a lot. Part of it is due to my necklace, which I may touch on later. Truly, though, I believe it is because I have my NOW right here with me all the time and it is worth living for. And we laugh... we laugh hard and so darn much. I love laughing, so does Ben, we make it through so much with laughter. I am entirely and eternally grateful for this. 

4. Now Suckers!!! (Teehee)

Twenty-first century America presents us with two unique maladies that obscure the Now: workaholism and technodispair... (Pg 43)

Here we go... this is really digging deep, folks. Be ready to admit/accept that you are voiding yourself of the now which is crucial to your energetic balance... Here we go. 
Workaholism is the Puritan ethic gone haywire, an addiction to doing more, going nonstop until you drop. 

This is what I was talking about earlier, living in a world that encourages overdoing it... trying to take on more and more every day to prove ourselves? To feel alive? at what price? 

We're socially reinforced to go faster, do more. In fact, we're bludgeoning our subtle energy reserves, inviting dis-ease. ... Suddenly everyone is multi-tasking and proud of it. (Pg 44)

Doesn't it start to make you question why you push so much? It did me. I sat down after reading this and thought to myself "Why do I do it? what makes it so worth it? Am I getting anywhere any further or faster than I would if I weren't putting myself in such dis-ease, such discomfort? Maybe I should slow my roll? 

Most of us are starving for quality time. our full attention is a gift we must give ourselves and each other. ... This prescription offers a multi-pronged approach to workaholism that uses both psychological and intuitive strategies. For maximum benefit, combine them.  (Pg 44) 

Exercise 1: Stop Pushing and Break the Workaholism Cycle: (Pg 45-47)
(Here is where I literally had to stop lying to myself and take a chill pill... *Sigh* Self-admitted workaholic)

The causes are: (I asterisked the ones that apply to me)
A need to control*
Loneliness (Formerly)
Self-worth tied to your accomplishments*
Financial pressures*
Greed (this was a tough one to admit*
an "inner slave driver"*
Family conditioning* (I had workaholic parents)
An escape from emotions: loneliness, anxiety, depression (Formerly)
An unsatisfying marriage
No role models for showing Self-compassion.

An intuitive deathbed perspective: 
Dr Orloff suggests we imagine we are on our death beds and figure what we will wish we had done more of? Work? Do we wish we had more money? Do we wish we had experienced more adventure, more love? More excitement? More time with friends? family? Colleagues? Work? What is it, with your final moments of life, will you be wishing for more of?
RIGHT? Did that hit you? it totally hit me... I assume that we each have our own "OMG" moments
 and I respect that... but man o man... this was one of mine.

One [origin of anxiety] is a Now-numbing energy affliction I call technodispair. The clincher is that you experience the mild to intense nervousness, depression, or fatigue after bouts with the complexities of technology. Relief from technodispair comes from limiting contact with machines, or by learning to cope more productively with them. The upside to technology: it makes life easier. The downside: mishaps can grate on your mental health... First, negative emotions, which contaminate your serenity and energy field, can be offset by externals. (The whole, stub your toe--everything is downhill from there idea) ... Secondly, machines give off electromagnetic fields that can jangle or zap energy. (WHOA! Jump back! What?! The energy field of my computer interacts with my energy field and they may impact each other?! ... does this mean what I think it means? ... keep reading...) (Pg 48-49)

Exercise 2: Stop Letting Technology Sap Your Energy (Pg 49-51)

Don't worry, my friends, there is a way to keep this from ruining your zen, your hold on the Now... and here we are at the prescription that may help you to do that! :) 

Avoid information overload:
Take technology fasts... Purposely restrict the volume of incoming information...

This is a tough one for me because I hate taking a break from everything and everyone. I must admit, however, this book has helped me realize that it isn't everything, and everyone... it will (mostly) all be here when I return, and what is most important is my health and energy. When my phone was smashed (yeah) I had 3 days without it. They were 3 of the most meaningful days I have had in a long time. There was a lot of peace, and self reflection. A lack of reliance on time... it was really liberating. I like to think my *need* for technology has lessened since then, even if only a bit. 

Don't catastrophize technology snafus:
Technology fiascoes incite negative energy by ripping off patience and peace of mind. To not succumb, be prepared. ... practice self-compassion and center in the Now. ... Sometimes a feeling of being out-of-control or helpless may escalate...  For Now, the point is to counteract this setback by tapping into your positive emotional energy.

I am actually quite good at this one. I tend to laugh through mix ups. I am more attached to sentimental things than electronic things. Probably partially because I know all information is either recoverable or not the end of the world. Everything on the Internet that I have came from somewhere else... and at the very least it is still in my mind. One of a kind items such as a gift from my grandmother who as passed on, or a memento from my wedding that is very unique and personal, are much harder for me to disconnect from. 

Counteract the energy drain of machines:
As you sit inches from the screen, your energy field will be encroached on by it, which may compromise your emotional and physical well-being.  Fluctuations in your mood or energy level could be machine related. ... To minimize drain, flush toxic vibes from your system as you would a virus so they won't energetically congeal. Drink lots of water, inhale fresh air etc...

This is fascinating to me. Not the fact that electronics can be draining or have an impact on our energy, that seemed obvious to me... but the fact that we can counteract that through normal detox. Something I had never thought to try. I wonder if this is why I feel more thirsty when I am working at a computer than when I am not... I know several interpreters who avoid the field of VRS due to energy drain... this might help them :) 

Recognize the effect of your emotional energy on machines: 
I'm utterly convinced, far-out as it may sound, that they register our vibes just as we intuitively register theirs. ... Your emotional energy, especially anger and frustration, may also disrupt appliances and technology. If so, pinpointing the link lets you contain potential mayhem. ... Machines react to your energy field; you can't pull a fast one on them. They'll remain kaput until you've resolved your agitation.

HAHA this makes me giggle a bit. I have always teased my mother about this one, and have heard of other people having similar experiences. I know people who can control the energy of light bulbs... they either last longer, or burn out faster, around them. My mom and my thing is batteries. My mom drains batteries... SO FAST. She goes through a watch battery once every 6 months (the more stressed she is the faster this happens)... I, however, can make batteries last FOREVER. I have an electric toothbrush, so does she (the same one), she told me she was getting rid of it because she went through 3 sets of batteries in like 6 months on it, not worth it to her. For me, a set of batteries will last close to a year at almost full strength. I have always thought it was kinda silly, and now it is something I value about myself. I have always been the person who "brightens" or "Energizes" the room I walk into, I take that with great responsibility, because that means that equally if my mood is down I can bring a room down with me just as quickly.

5. Quincy Jones Interview

This interview was very insightful. I am not sure I will ever get used to seeing intuition being used as a tool in everyday life. It is not that I have ever been, nor had to be, ashamed of my intuition. I feel very confident in it as a matter of fact. However, I think it is amazing how many people are impacted by intuitive thinking. I am naturally drawn to analytical (nerdy) people and many of them need science, need proof, and are frustrated by my "go with your gut" responses to life. Especially because my gut has yet to lead me astray. I think it is almost frustrating for those people to live, I feel they might live a life with a lack of happiness, because they refuse their intuition on a daily basis. Something to ponder. 

Quincy Jones is a musician and a producer among other things. He as worked with anyone and everyone you can probably think of and admire and uses his intuition every step of the way. He strongly advocates this, as well as not backing down. When you know something is right, don't stop... fight for it. That is something I can relate to, and live by as well. Thank you, Mr Jones, for your interview in this book. It truly means so much to me to see people like you, and Dr Orloff, in positions you are in, using your intuition and not hiding it, but sharing it and helping others to use theirs as well.  

This is about the end of this chapter... (I know it's been a long post but if you've made it this far hopefully you have enjoyed it and learned something about yourself, and at the very least, about me)

In her final words on the chapter Dr Orloff says:

... be fierce about your inner listening. From that center point, feel your life's rhythm. Synchronize with it and watch your positive energy grow.  ... Intuition isn't a luxury; it's mandatory for a joyous life. Risk trusting it. I guarantee: your energy will flourish.

Treat Yourself: The only "must" is that it feel right deep down in your cells, a sure sign you're in sync with your life's rhythm. 

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about this I am totally up for it. Drop me a comment, an inbox on FB, or an email Thank you so much for reading. Please take care of yourself, your energy, your soul... Love all day long, it is worth it. And Laugh as hard as you can! :)

Love you so much,

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