How does one not get affected or reactive to other people's energies? For the last couple of weeks, I have been surrounded by some pretty anxious and angry individuals in my work environment, and it has been very tempting to fall into that trap of anxiety, to fall into that trap of reactiveness. I work in an agency where everything is dominated by fear - people react to things and everything becomes a drama and as a result their behaviors, their actions, their words are based on fear and anger.
As much as I try to keep my distance, I have found that it takes an awful lot of internal energy within me to keep me grounded and not fall into that energy and not to take it personally. Yet can one realistically become that energy if that is the surrounding environment that you are in. The image of a lotus comes to me - pure, stainfree, beautiful, full of fragrance yet, it is surrounded by muddy water. And that is what I keep reminding myself that I have to strive to be - like a lotus -remain unaffected by the surrounding and keep focusing on my goal and my duty. How do i not take someone's negative energy towards me not personal?
Different people respond to these situations differently. For so many exercise and having an outlet to let out that excess energy is an option. And it works wonders for those. For me, it is writing, but writing in a structured format that allows me to look at the situation from a hawks' eye view, not free writing. There is something that Kathleen Adams (The Therapeutic Writing Institute) refers to as "Springboards." They are simple statements or questions that help you focus and clarify an issue. Some examples of Spring Boards are:
"What is the most important thing to do?"
"What I really want."
"If I could pinpoint one thing."
"The Thing that speaks to me"
"What do I fear most now?"
"I intend on doing...."
Make a list of Statements that you can use when you are on the go and just need that clarity. You can either time yourself for five minutes or you can either write for a couple of sentences. It does wonders to you.
The other thing that has sustained me is my 15-20 minutes of silence during the morning. It gives me the focus for the day, the stamina to face the day regardless of what comes up, and the energy to keep going so that I can be there for myself and for those that need me. If i don't have that time in the morning, I find myself unbalanced and a "hot mess." So it gets me to thinking - what is it about those minutes of silence that gives me the energy and what is it about those minutes that makes me grounded. Going within there is a power house in you. I find a strength that is beyond description. A strength that can help you look fear, anxiety, doubt in the face and smile. It can face all the demons and say - You are here, I know you are here, but you are just an image, you are not me - you are my thoughts. And when you begin the practice of observing the thoughts, of observing your feelings - it gets you to be more grounded and more focused on your task at hand. It puts things for you in perspective- so rather than being "in it", we can look at the issue from afar.
And that is how journaling and silence can be used together. The silence helps you go within and find that powerhouse, but it also helps you make friends with your greatest enemy -which is your mind. It silences your judgment, it provides loving compassion, it gives you thoughts/ideas to spark your creativity. And by writing, you bring your ideas into fruition. Writing helps you keep track of your thought process, it helps you become more focused and aware of your issues, and allows you to stay grounded.
As my zen card said to me this morning: "Tranquility is achieved when you are in harmony with all beings and all situations, knowing that everything is precisely the way it is meant to be." So people will always be people - their ways may be crazy, their ways may be manic, mean, abusive at times - but you have to stay yourself in all situations - and not allow them to change you. By allowing them to change you, you are giving into their madness, and their craziness and your role is to understand how this particular experience will shape or break you.