I’m the sort of person that if you invite me to dinner I will always ask what I can bring. I firmly believe that doing things together makes just about anything more easy and fun for everyone involved. But this morning I received a great reminder while being taken on my two-mile walk by my dog Kloe. As usual, I was listening to an inspiring talk by Abraham-Hicks and she clearly reminded me that everywhere we go and with everything we do—we take our energy (or as Abraham-Hicks calls it, we take our vibration) with us. Whether invited to a party, talking on the phone, or putting posts on Facebook, we are all sharing our energy and vibration with everyone we encounter. So, are we bringing our Wholeness, wisdom, and clarity—or are we bringing our worry, fear, and pain? For those of us who believe we want to be a positive force in the world, maybe it’s time to claim full responsibility for everything we bring to the table.
One of the best examples of this idea was offered a couple of years ago when author and brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor was interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey Show. As you might remember, Taylor had a massive stroke at the age of 37 and then wrote a book about the experience. A Harvard-trained scientist, Taylor couldn’t speak or even remember her own mother. The only thing she could do was to feel the energy of every person that came into her hospital room. In her book, Taylor writes, “I really need people to take responsibility for the kind of energy they bring to me.”
Oprah became so enamored with that awareness that she put a sign in her dressing room that said, “Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.” As Oprah said after her interview with Taylor, “Nobody but you is responsible for your life. It doesn’t matter what your mama did; it doesn’t matter what your daddy didn’t do. You are responsible for your life. … You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others.”
I can almost see all of us nodding our head in agreement. We KNOW this. But if you’re anything like me, chances are good that you forget now and then. Anytime we find ourselves fussed, fearful or upset about anything, we are allowing our energy to become toxic and spreading it out to everyone we come in contact with, either in person, on the phone or on the internet. Is that the kind of person we want to be?
Of course, it is fairly easy for us to spot this in other people. As the saying goes, some people brighten the whole room when they enter—others do it when they leave. We all have that friend or relative that sucks the energy out of every person at gatherings and even when we know better, we often can’t escape fast enough to not feel drained in their presence. We are also aware that watching the television news or violent programming can depress and deplete us—yet without thinking about it, we continue to turn it on and watch. Unfortunately, if we aren’t careful, we not only absorb the toxicity but then we turn around and spread it to others.
I realize that most of us aren’t trained to stop the behavior. Like most of you, I was raised to be a good girl and hide my feelings in order to appear pleasing to others. We get so used to being out of touch with our emotions and even some of our more unacceptable thoughts that we forget that wherever we go, there we are. On top of that, we see examples around us that teach us that other people and circumstances are to blame when we are unhappy or upset. Once we adopt that kind of mindset, we begin to believe that other people and events are the reason for our unhappiness or problems. In fact, some of us are so good at finding blame, we blame ourselves if we get sick or encounter challenges—and then we blame others for making us feel guilty about it!
I get that it isn’t easy to change our programming. As I mentioned above, not only have most of us been raised to think this is acceptable behavior since childhood—our culture reinforces it daily. Whenever we are confronted with something that appears confusing or overwhelming the default mindset is to discover who is to blame. The problem with playing the “blame game” is that it blocks us from taking any possible constructive action. By deflecting responsibility for things, we get to feel righteous about our fear, anger, and pain rather than making any effort to see if we can change all or part of the situation. Anytime we believe that anything originates outside of ourselves, then we are abdicating responsibility for how we think and how we act. Don’t believe me? Ask Viktor Frankl.
As you may recall, Viktor Frankl was an Eastern European Jewish psychiatrist who was held in a German Concentration Camp during World War II. There he suffered every sort of indignity and agony, including the loss of his wife and parents. Yet, later in his books and speaking appearances, he claimed that although the Nazi’s could impose every pain and torture imaginable upon him, only he could decide how he would act, react and behave. Never does Frankl believe we should deny suffering and pain, but he does point the way to living above extremely difficult circumstances.
Clearly, Frankl, Bolte-Taylor and even Oprah all agree that bad things do happen to good people. Yet they all continue to say over and over that until we take responsibility for the energy (or vibration) that we offer, everywhere we go and with every choice we make or don’t make, we stay stuck. And in many cases, we actually add to the problem rather than help to heal it. A real key is acknowledging that we do have a choice, no matter what is happening in our world.
Can you just imagine what might happen in the world if we all paused for a moment before we ever spoke to another person, and thought about the energy we were offering? Can you conceive of how the world might slowly and subtly be changed if every post we put on our blogs, Facebook or Twitter came from a vibration of wisdom and Wholeness? What if instead of worrying about what to take to another person’s house in terms of food or beverage we practiced bringing our very best Self to every encounter? If that happened we might be, like Gandhi said, “The change we wish to see in the world.”
One thing I have always attempted to do here on SMART Living 365 is to share my very best thoughts with anyone who reads them. Sure I experience challenges in my life just like all of you. And I’m also not immune to the pain and suffering we all witness in the world on a regular basis. But for me, this blog is a sanctuary of positive energy, hope, and Wholeness that I not only want to share with others but that I want and need to dwell in myself. Perhaps the SMART thing to do would be to bring that same energy to every single thing we do.