We are not aware of how transparent we really are. We seem to think that if we sugar coat a message or just tell it like it is, others won’t notice the dagger in our hand, or that they just had all their energy sucked out of their being in the midst of a rough conversation.
Heated discussions are not draining by nature, and conflict does not guarantee that you will be zapped of your juice, but lack of awareness of how we and others handle these situations energetically can show us this:
We are much better at draining each other than lifting each other.
Many of us have been taught to distance ourselves from behaviors we don’t like. Avoid those people, or openly be critical, because they may rub off on you. Yet, if someone is in drain mode, resisting and fighting them puts you in defense, which will drain yourself.
LETS LOOK AT DRAIN MODE
How our energy flows through the body is consistent from person to person, regardless of age, sex, background, or upbringing. The top of the head is called the crown, and this is how energy enters the body. When we are open, it flows down and out through our eyes, hands, and our chest cavity called the heart center. In fact, the heart center is the loud speaker of the body. When open, the heart can radiate energy to those around you. You can learn to radiate it a very large distance, across the room or across the planet.
When we are in drain mode, we have shut off the inflow of this energy before it reaches the crown, or before it reaches the heart. If you can picture a valve above your head that can allow life energy to flood in when open, or blocked to nill when closed, you’ll get a sense of what we do on a moment-to moment-basis. Most of us are selective; we close off the valve around the people and things we don’t like.
DRAIN MODE is shutting this valve and then realizing you don’t have enough. You get irritated and impatient, or aggravated with stuff that usually doesn’t bother you. These are signals that you’re valve is closed. In drain mode, we go and snatch energy from others. We actually take it, usually in conversations. Think of the times you have started a discussion with someone feeling energized, only to walk away and feeling absolutely zapped? That’s drain mode. They’ve taken your energy. We all know how to do it, and sadly, in teams, we get good at doing it on a regular basis.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU HAVE VAMPIRES IN YOUR MIDST?
Vampires in our midst—oh no, what do we do?
Notice any extra fangs in those around you these days? When the pressure is up, and more is expected, and we don’t have the discipline built to learn as we go, taking energy from others is common. When we get habitually patterned to shut down our own valve, and then take energy from others full force, we could be operating as a vampire. Vampires suck this energy from those around them, and over time, they’re often unconscious of the pattern. You know vampires around you: they begin to talk and you want to escape, they get around you and you feel drained or the need to protect yourself for some reason, or you feel they “owe” you and you don’t know why. They are skilled at taking and you haven’t learn to not let them do so.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS?
What are the costs to your team for draining? We often don’t recognize the costs initially, and usually give others a pass, saying it’s the way things are at this organization. The costs can be covert: less passion, less idea generation, and less overall participation.
Then there are marked overt costs to a team as well: lower productivity, wars that go unresolved, redundancy, lack of effective communication, and an overall feeling of inability to stay current with the demands of the day. These costs can be deadly. They usually render you unable to change, when change is upon you.
Here’s a thought – learn to lift instead of drain!
LEARNING TO LIFT VS. DRAIN
It takes character and discipline to lift others. We all drain sometimes, even if we do it subtly or with a smile on our face. A dynamic team is one that knows that all must stay on duty, and that when one is having a bad day, others are their providing a lift to assist them out of drain mode.
If you keep your life energy valve open, you can lift all around you. You can walk down the hall radiating energy to anyone who could use some extra. They don’t take from you, you give it generously because that’s what happens when you are open—your energy flows out your eyes, hands and heart, available for others to reconnect and open themselves.
Here are a few ways to open yourself back up,as well as assist others around you (including the vampires).
1) USE THE BLACK BULL
Picture your heart center taking up your entire chest cavity. Picture a solid, powerful black bull in your heart. See its long horns, put a ring through it’s nose and see it pawing the ground. It’s solid, symbolizing strength, determination and courage.
The black bull is the symbol of I CAN. “I can change, I can adapt, I can deal with these issues, I can rebound, I can figure this out, I can ask for assistance….” For people who don’t visualize well, you can also speak “I CAN” into your heart.
Use the BULL or the “I CAN” when you are desiring more strength, determination, courage or backbone. Use it when you want to be strong and focused. Use it often, repeatedly, so that it becomes a tool to grasp when the going gets tough.
2) USE THE GOLDEN DOLLAR SIGN $
You’ve seen that bling hanging from the chain of rap stars or fashion changers? Picture a large, radiantly shiny golden dollar sign in your heart center. The Golden $ is a symbol of your own worth and value, showcasing your inner gold mine. This is a way to consistently find your inner strength and power.
We often step away from the gold when chaos, pressure and change are upon us, or we are combating others. Put the golden dollar sign in your heart in preparation for tough meetings, conflicting interactions, or around people who tend to be critical and condescending in nature.
This symbols speaks to your being as “ALL IS WELL.” Say those words across your heart, or use the GOLDEN DOLLAR SIGN to bring you to the place within where all is well, even when things are crazy all around you. You can be the calm in the storm.
My recommendation: take one of these tools and repeat it often throughout the day. Use it when you don’t need it so that it will speak to you when you do. Repeat it daily. Be disciplined and consistent and soon it will become yours. When a new learning or tool is integrated, it will come to your aid under pressure when you need it most. For example, for your inner voice to tell you “Use the black bull” when you are in midst of pressure or conflict, you have to have used it often enough already (somewhere between 30- 60 times.)
Have fun learning!