Dealing with Energies & Toxic Contracts
You know how sometimes you meet someone for the first time, but you immediately connect with them? You probably may not have spent hours talking to them or telling them about your likes and dislikes, but somehow something about them is very attractive. This person may not be the best looking person in the room or even the most intellectual or articulate, but there is something very special about them. That special quality is just their simple, clean and pure energy, which they are emanating from being completely authentic.
Energy is without a doubt is the most contagious thing. Hindus may call it prana (life energy), Buddhists may call it qi / chi, and some may label it aura or presence. You may have noticed how walking into some rooms, some venues or some homes may create a sudden shift in your energy field. This may be positive or negative. You may either feel more at peace and comfortable, or you may feel completely out of place and uncomfortable.
Babies and pets too are very susceptible to these energies. They can immediately sense the energy the other is bringing to the table and accordingly choose to be friendly or hostile. Unlike grown-ups, they are more in sync with their energy field and their tolerance levels for corrupt energies are very low. We on the other hand, learn to pretend, go along to get along, or wear masks in various scenarios to create a certain facade.
With so many layers of conditioning and protective measures, we have tucked away our clean, pure energy deep inside. The good news is that, at any point this limitless energy of creativity, love, passion and happiness can be tapped into. The source of that energy too lies right inside you. This energy has very little to do with the physical energy levels that we normally refer to. Though once you are in tune with your natural life energy, your physical energy will also always be free flowing for you to do everything you want to do with enthusiasm.
With the help of this energy, all our bodily functions can take place effortlessly – digestion, hunger, physical energy and vitality, concentration, balance, movement, rest, etc. It frees up the unnecessary burden will all carry in the form of invalidations, rejections, disappointments and failures.
However, you can get access to this energy only if you are willing to give up things, which act as energy blockers and suckers. Yes, those lie inside you too. It’s like making space in your closet for new items by cleaning with cobwebs and outdated stuff. You are no longer going to wear them, then why let them occupy so much space? Imagine having a pair of pretty little ballet shoes, which fit you perfectly when you were eight. You are 34 now and you are still holding on to them; they are occupying the space of your brand new black pumps, which are in style and perfect for your current foot size. But since you are so obsessed with the ballet shoes, you display them right in the front and tuck away the pumps somewhere in the back. Now, when you need the black pumps, it just seems like a lot of effort to dig them from the bag, so you forget about it.
Your fresh, vibrant, healing and limitless energy is like that pair of black pumps. You have it, you need it, but you have tucked it away somewhere in the background, while holding on to things, which you can no longer use in your current life.
Let’s look at three main reasons behind not having enough energy:
Dealing with Unhappiness / Negativity
Just like smoking, overeating and binge drinking, unhappiness, over thinking and negativity are also addictions. In fact, they are far worse than any possible physical addiction you may have. Since they seem part of who you are beyond a point, they don’t appear as problems. And before you know it, you defend your mental addictions as – this is just my nature, this is just who I am! In fact, most if not all physical addictions, stem from mental addictions of being unhappy and living in a negative existence. And our most natural states of love, peace, harmony and joy seem unnatural to us.
As Anthony Robbins brings it up time and again in his teachings, all human beings do everything by keeping in mind the pleasure and pain principles. We either do things to get pleasure or we do things to avoid pain. In fact, sometimes we may punish ourselves and wound ourselves psychologically to such a great extent, all in the guise of thinking that we are actually avoiding pain.
One of the biggest reasons for unhappiness and negativity stems from not wanting to be where you are. This could be because of your money situation, your marital status, your career, your body, your health, your family or your friends. You just want everything to be perfect on the outside before you feel happy and positive on the inside. Someday when you have the dream job, the perfect figure, awesome friends, the man of your dreams, you will be fully content. Till then what? And what if you have managed to snag few of the things from the above mentioned list, will you still continue to be partially miserable, because you have not checked everything else off?
STOP WHINING! You know that annoying friend who is always being a Debbie Downer? One who never appreciates anything and always complains about everything under the sun? How do you feel in the company of such a person? Instead of being a friend to you, having fun when you guys are together and enjoying life, this person is always trying to dump on you, complain about everything under the sun or make you feel bad about yourself, so that you can be as miserable as her. Now, think about it – this person is living in your head! Yes, this person is you. That is the kind of friend you are being to yourself when you are addicted to unhappiness. You pick on yourself, to complain to yourself, you are mean to yourself and you bully yourself. Every time you prioritize complaining and negativity, you are being that friend to yourself – the one you really want to run far, far away from.
When you are fully present to whatever it is that you are doing, you are befriending the present moment. When you are driving, you are focussing on the road and on driving, instead of talking to yourself about something that was not right. When you are showering or brushing your teeth or sending out an email, you are completely focused on that action, instead of yapping away inside about something completely off tangent. Even in a social scenario, you are paying attention to what the other person is saying, instead of just thinking about what you are going to say next.
Being completely present means giving your full attention, energy and focus to the task at hand – then eating a meal is a pleasurable experience of looking at the food colours, chewing the food, smelling the wonderful aroma and being present instead of stuffing your belly while watching sitcom reruns and also sending snapchats. Over a period of time, you will realize that the world around you will move in slow motion. Things will stop seeming so cluttered and chaotic and you will actually have the time to do whatever you want to do, instead of doing hundred half baked things. And whatever area of your life you want to change, you can focus on with complete energy and enthusiasm instead of incessantly bickering about it.
Happiness stems from taking each little thing that forms your day in your stride and giving it your best. Don’t participate in actions as a means to an end – like dragging through the week, just to get to Friday evening. Make every day as joyous as Friday evening.
Dealing with Toxic Contracts
If you have made it this far in this program, then you know that at some point we become our biggest energy vampires. We think that nothing is a matter of choice and we are stuck no matter what. So we continue to live in toxic environments and volunteer ourselves in toxic situations and then continue whining. But, by now we also know that being a superstar in your own life means not giving away your power in the form of blame, criticism and hypocrisy by not creating any change. To soar high, you have to let go of everything that is weighing you down physically, emotionally, socially, professionally and spiritually.
Sometimes on the journey of self discovery and change, it is normal to get a lot of resistance from those around us. They like us to be exactly where we are and they have formed a contract with our old self. All relationships are based on unwritten rules, agreements and contracts. These are developed over time and dynamics are formed with mutual consent. What is ok, what is not ok, what is below the belt, etc?
You know that niggling feeling you encounter when you are trying to create a major change in your life? That is your inner resistance (old paradigm). It’s that initial discomfort you feel when you start working out after a long gap or when you go on a juice cleanse for a few days. Similarly, when you start exploring new things on a new journey, the people in your current life may feel extremely uncomfortable. They are accustomed to dealing with the old you. What I have noticed is that people who are worth it, you want to see you get more out of life and succeed, may show resistance at first, but will eventually get used to the new you. Their prerogative is to maintain a healthy and authentic relationship with you, and if that means accepting the new you, then they will stick around with your version 2.0.
But here are super toxic agreements, you should be wither willing to burn and rewrite or completely move on from in order to move ahead:
After meeting and spending time with these people, you often feel drained – both physically and mentally! You are a different person around them and you agree to do things, put up with things and say things, you would otherwise not want to do or say. These contracts are usually ones which were formed during a confusing phase of your life. Now it has been too long and these people are very used to you being a certain way. If you try to stand up for what you feel and believe, it will be conceived as an attitude problem or arrogance, especially if your original terms entailed you always going along to get along. You may also have formed a bond based on getting validation, approval and thumbs up from these people. And now, if you get into a relationship, which they don’t approve of, want to move to a new place, which they don’t feel is right or give yourself a makeover, without seeking their permission, they may resort to derogatory ways to get that energy from you.
If they are not willing to accept the new, independent, empowered you, chances of your relationship surviving may be really bleak. If maintaining the relationship with these people is highly crucial to you, then you need to have an honest conversation and set some ground rules. If that too will be construed as something ridiculous or frivolous, then your best bet is to walk away, at least for now.
You will never be good enough contracts
Everyone has to combat the feelings of not being good enough from time to time. As hard as it is to deal with these inner feelings, the last thing we need is someone else dumping these feelings on us. Usually, these are the people who cannot handle these feelings of feeling less than and prefer to take it out on other people. While, it may be a good idea to excuse such behaviour occasionally, when you know that the person on the other side has had a bad day or is going through a rough time, if it has become the basis of your relationship agreement, then it is time to re-evaluate things. It is totally a form of bullying. And if they have made you believe that they are doing this to keep you on top of things, they are simply joking or they are saying things for your own good, then realize that you are getting manipulated.
When you are aware and present, it is very difficult to not gauge someone else’s corrupt energy. When something is coming from a space of care and concern, you will know it, and when something is coming as a form of manipulation of dumping, you will know it too. This is the time to trust your intuition and only include people with the right energy. Not the ones you have to either impress all the time; also re-evaluate relationships where you have to deprecate your self-esteem and morale to carry on with the relationship.
One way conditional contracts
You know how walking uphill is so much more tiring than coming down? One way conditional contracts are very similar to always walking uphill. These are people who like to enhance their sense of self via their interaction with you. They love everything about you as long as you do things on their terms. But if you grow a spine somewhere along the way, they may have a problem. In such contracts, everything you do or have is up for judgement – your relationships, your work, your appearance, and your choices – but they are strictly off limits. These people probably don’t want friends; they want fans. And if you are not willing to be one anymore – then wake up.
In all relationships, you should be positive and the cheerleader when the other person needs it. And it goes without saying, in real relationships; the other person will do the same for you. But if the agreement has become where they never have to be the wind beneath your wings, and you always have to be the minion, then something is obviously not right. Do they get to tell it like it is, decide things for you and you get to beam like the sun, as if they are the best thing that has happened to you, then you are selling yourself short.
Sometimes we all need that person in our life that jolts us back to reality when we are doing something really stupid, or going down an absolutely wrong path. Again, it is imperative if you sense the space the other person is coming from. Are they genuinely concerned? Are they willing to help you get on the right track and truly heal? Or are they just saying things to get the upper hand? You are now smart enough to tell the difference.
It goes without saying that even after eliminating toxicity from your life in the form of toxic contracts, if you don’t make the contract and agreement you have with yourself, 100% authentic and BS-free, then you will continue to make newer forms of the same old agreements with other people as well.
Noise pollution is definitely one of the biggest forms of distractions we face today. Now I am not talking about that irritating, honking car when you are stuck in a traffic jam! I am talking about a thousand modes of distractions, which have turned us into people with attention spans of moths! Without a doubt, the biggest noise pollution today is the media. The TV ads, promotions, hoardings, et al are constantly telling us what we are missing out on. They are also telling us that we are not fair enough, rich enough, tall enough, pretty enough, confident enough, young enough and endless other things. Our whole identity is so deeply entrenched in fitting the bills created by the media. While buying things we love to buy and use is a great thing – be it a car, a phone, makeup, clothes, or anything else. But if the lack of any of these things is making you feel like you are less than, then you are never going to be happy simply by accumulating things.
We should be fit, have acne free skin, minty fresh breath, erect posture, good clothes and pretty shoes because they enhance how we already feel on the inside. The idea is not to miss the internal work altogether and just focus on buying another pair of shoes or a leather jacket. There is always going to be something externally missing, but you will realize that this chase alone will never fill you up in the true sense.
While real world success, being good on paper and having a career are the most awesome things ever – you also have to focus on the value you are creating both in your life and in the grander scheme of things. Don’t give into all forms of noise pollution and accumulate things you don’t need just to impress a bunch of people. Focus on being a better version of yourself. Enjoy the finer things in life but don’t let them define who you are as a person, more importantly as a soul.
Give yourself a metaphorical lobotomy:
I was watching Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s interview with Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday the other day. This woman suffered a massive stroke and was fully aware of what was going on at the time. She has penned a book My Stroke of Insight narrating her entire journey – the stroke, the recovery, the change in perspective, etc. During the Super Soul Sunday episode, she mentions how your story of “I am”, “Ego”, “Identity” and brain’s capacity of storytelling is a result of a bunch of cells on the left side of the brain. These are the same cells that have gives us the benefit of language. Language is such a beautiful expression – you can be kind, loving, healing, warm, caring, creative and encouraging with language. You can also be mean, derogatory, condescending, discouraging, critical, rude and obnoxious with language.
Anyway, why I am telling you this is to help you understand, how a small bunch of cells on the left side of the brain sometimes control your life, interaction and experiences in a negative way. This storytelling gibberish instigates you, makes you angry, makes you overreact and sucks your energy. There are billions of neurons in the brain that govern and control the rest of the body, but somehow we have given so much importance to the storytelling neurons that they seem to be dictating our life.
Well, when I say give yourself a metaphorical lobotomy, I mean delete the chapters from the story that are toxic, painful, irritating, energy sucking and disempowering. Yeah, just shove them in a “chuck away” carton and ship them away to neverland on a one way ticket. This is not the same as pushing the feelings deep down and not dealing with them. It is quite the opposite in fact. It is letting what is no longer needed go from your brain. Again, the ballerina and pumps analogy makes sense here. Get rid of what is not needed to make space for new experiences to come into your life. Empty the suitcase, so that you can fill it up with new, awesome, fresh things.
Instead of a bunch of negative thoughts doing a trance dance in your head, be alert, aware and awake and choose your thoughts like you would choose the best food at an a la carte restaurant, instead of attacking everything in sight at a buffet. And in case your order is messed up, be a grown up and DON’T EAT IT! Don’t get sucked into your mental story where you are the victim, the bystander or the aggressor. This is a form of mental illness that you can cure only by taking charge of your thoughts. If a thought doesn’t feel good, change it. And if you are totally aware, you will be able to tell a good thought from a bad one. The way it feels in your head and even in your body will give you the right signal!
Quit Being a Baby
The relationship with parents will always be the most long lasting, most complex and most confusing relationship in our life. In fact, all our other relationships are more or less by-products of our primary relationship – the one we share with our parents. Depending on the early environment at home, we form a lot of patterns and belief systems – our attitude towards money, our spending habits, our eating habits, the way we treat ourselves and those around us, the amount of importance we place on career and family is all largely dependent on what we have witnessed during the early years.
If the messages were positive, we will have a positive attitude about those subjects, and if the messages were negative, we will have negative views on the subject. Also, at times, if the messages are too negative, we may go out of our way to change our attitude on those subjects. For example, there may be a struggling musician in a home filled with people who have PHDs and Doctorates. Or there may be self-made multi-millionaire, who was born in extreme poverty. Or a swimsuit model, born in a highly conservative house.
The theory is pretty simple actually. If the early messages gave us pleasure, we will continue to implement them in our adult life. If they gave us pain, we will either try to dramatically change them or use twisted forms of those messages, without even realizing it.
5+4 =9, 8+1 =9 and 3+6 also =9. What do I mean? When it comes to being a part of a family, raising kids or being a parent, there is no one formula – no one way of doing it and doing it absolutely right. Whether this is the case with planned kids or unplanned kids! The thing is there is no degree or diploma required to get married and have kids. Anyone can do it – no qualifications needed. Hence, everyone does the best they can do, with the understanding, exposure and means they have. The problem is that most people stick to the views, methods and messages they received early on and limit their point of view. A part of us may really crave for the change, but somewhere our desires may clash with our messages and cancel them out, or hold us back.
Apart from families, I think school too is one of the most influencing entities in our life. The way our teachers treated us, whether we were made to feel shameful, embarrassed or loved and respected, all shape us into the adults we become. School is also a place where spend a huge chunk of our awake hours, make our first best friends and learn what we are good at and what we are terrible at. It is also a place where our self-esteem either gets built or shattered, where we realize that we are either achievers or where we get labelled “stupid” and “slow”. It is also the first experience of fitting in or not fitting in. It is a place where we are competing against each other – on the playground, in the cafeteria, in the school auditorium or in the exam halls.
Some people are lucky enough to break the barriers of these early identities when they go somewhere else to study or to work. They realize that they are so much more. While some people will absolutely cherish the experience of swimming in the huge ocean and gathering amazing new experiences, others will totally detest it from day one. They probably have the need to cling to the old identity where they were superstars and poster boys / girls, where everything was familiar and people put them on a pedestal. Kind of like Blair Waldorf not liking her life at NYU because she was no longer the queen bee!
Here are some tips to be more than your childhood story:
Stop living in a snow globe: / Familiarity breeds contempt: Steadiness, security, being grounded and sincere, are all wonderful traits. But if you spend all your life doing familiar things with familiar people in familiar locations, then it can feel like slow death at some point. If your identity is and has always been the neighbourhood / locality you grew up in, the school you went to, the friends you have, the weekends you plan and the work you have been doing for decades, you need to face the fact that you are living in a snow globe.
The trick is to take a breather every now and then and do things you have not done before. Finding out about other cultures, exploring new hobbies, opening your mind up for new experiences – whether it is for work, for travel or for anything else, will ensure that you have not locked yourself up in a tiny box and defined your identity till the end of time. There is nothing more disempowering than being a bore and being stuck in a rut.
It is not always about taking giant leaps of faith. For some people, it may be moving to a brand new country, taking up an unconventional career and completely reinventing themselves. For others, however, it may be going for a trek with a new group of people or taking up a yoga class instead of renewing gym membership at the same health club, for the 6th year in a row. Climbing out of a rut or hamster wheel doesn’t necessarily mean disrupting your whole life and doing something completely radical. It means that every once in a while, you are willing to open yourself up to reach out and make new connections and gather new experiences.
This will not only help you keep your channels open for the universe to whisper into your ears, but it will also keep things fun, fresh and zesty. Think beyond going to a new nightclub or restaurant and let greater things (spiritual and material) make their entry in your life.
Be Independent: There is just so much crap stuffed in all our heads when it comes to money. It brings up emotions, such as pride, pain, scarcity, greed and delusion. Instead of using it as a tool and a commodity, we are all sticking to ideologies, which are highly toxic and scarcity driven.
We all have reasons why we have less money, or why we are always struggling to make ends meet:
- Nobody taught us how to make money work for us instead of always working for money. Somewhere our mode of making a livelihood becomes our life and we stop living!
- We always have so many things we need in our life, but we never have enough money to get them. The luxuries of yesterday are necessities of today. Somehow, we are always living on credit or living beyond our means by depending on others.
- Inflation, cost of living and everything under the sun is making our life highly stressful as we don’t have enough money to be “happy”.
First of all, all of these thoughts, beliefs and sob stories are highly toxic, useless and energy consuming. Money / wealth / abundance are never going to come to you if you keep telling these things to yourself and to those around you. There are individuals who have dedicated their entire life to make your life easier as far as money and wealth are concerned. There are so many books, seminars, programs and other forms of knowledge out there for you to get your ducks in a row. Everything from The Science of Getting Rich to The Automatic Millionaire to The Richest Man in Babylon talks about savings, spending, investment, debt management, et al.
If you think raising a kid is highly expensive, then don’t plan another one. If you think credit card interest rates are highway robbery, then stop using your credit card to buy more junk you don’t need. If you think fine-dining restaurants are too expensive, then don’t dine there so often. You can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results. That’s just silly. And these things don’t work themselves out. Energy flows where attention goes.
You are never too old, too dumb, too stuck up or too late when it comes managing your finances and being independent. Get the help you need in the form of financial advice and planning, respect yourself and your loved ones enough to not create debt and work on leading a dignified, meaningful life.
When it comes to money, a lot of people still act like kids and then expect those around them to treat them like responsible adults. When it comes to finances and financial independence, you have to earn people’s respect by showing yourself and them what you are capable of. And, yes everyone has the capacity to change their relationship with money, if they really want to.
Get over failure / rejection: When we step out of our parents’ home to attend school for 6-8 hours a day, we suddenly realize that we have to learn to get along with people, we are not going to have our way and people may not like us. Of course, for some people, the situation at home itself may have caused a lot of despair, if the early childhood experiences consisted of abandonment, lack of security and safety and unhappiness. On the other hand, if a child is raised with the presumption that it is ok to not share, not adjust and have his / her way, in the name of love, then those kids will go to school and either turn into alpha bullies or get a grim reality check about not ruling the outside world.
Whether you were a victim, a bully, an aggressor, a nerd, a last bencher or the most popular person in your school, you may not have been able to dismiss feelings of failure, rejection and not being good enough altogether. Some rejections heal with time, while others sting us even when we are in our 30s or 40s. Everything from not being invited for a birthday party to not being selected on a team when we were in school, can stir up feelings of low self-esteem and rejection in our adult life. Name calling, being teased for your appearance, made fun of for not having fancy things or fake rumours can have detrimental effects on our confidence and self-belief later in life.
While you may have been too young and too naive to protect yourself back then, we are not longer the same people. The people who did those things probably didn’t know any better and were deeply hurting. I am not saying that you condone anyone’s horrid behaviour, but I am definitely saying that you no longer need to carry the burden of hate, anger, shame and embarrassment. You deserve better than that. By dropping these burdens, you will actually give yourself the gifts of love, compassion, self-confidence. Plus, you will feel so light and free. Those stories aren’t you and those people aren’t part of your life anymore. It is ok to forgive!
Do not reject yourself and do not consider yourself a failure, just because someone made you feel that way in the early days.
Let go of external opinions: I think negative opinions and jargons are the biggest waste of time. Whether you are giving them or receiving them – let me tell you one big secret – stop dishing them out or listening to them to be happy. People have this huge misconception that if they are not highly opinionated and verbal about their beliefs, then they will not get any importance and blend away in the background with the furniture. Useless negative and unasked opinions and advice have been the cause of a lot of dreams and plans going down the drain.
Even as adults, sometimes it can be really hard to rise above negative opinions and patronizing behaviour. So we can only imagine what they would have done to our fragile self in childhood. Someone telling us we can’t dance, or run or speak well in public can cause severe doubts in our heads about our capabilities. But, at some point we all have to realize that empowering, confident, caring and encouraging individuals don’t go around squishing other people’s hopes and dreams. So, the ones who told you that had nothing to do with you, but more to do with the invalidations they had accumulated over the years. You basing your current reality on those opinions is the most harmful thing you can do to your spiritual self and your dreams.
On the other hand, don’t make doing something your life’s mission to prove someone else wrong. Focus on what you want to do and the kind of person you want to become instead of worrying about proving someone else wrong. Trying to do something just to prove them wrong, it still valuing their opinions and craving for their validation on some level! The only way to let go of useless opinions and invalidations is being aware and focussing on what needs to be done, instead of worrying about who needs to be told off and proved wrong.
Of course, you want to surround yourself with dreamers, well-wishers, supporters and encouragers, now that you know what you do and do not need in life. Also, to find a way out of this never ending vicious circle of giving and getting opinions, you should keep your opinions, learning and wisdom to yourself. Whether it is on someone’s outfit, weight, business idea or boyfriend! Unless of course you are a fashion designer and a client is asking for your expert opinion or if you are a super fit nutritionist guiding someone to achieve their fitness goal and so on and so forth. If you really want to help people, then dedicate your life to helping them, instead of making random comments, which are totally uncalled for.
Remember you have to walk the walk before talking the talk. So stop giving opinions and start leading your best life.