I am sure that right now Oprah and Tina Fey are having a disproportionate influence in my life than they otherwise would, due to my lack of media consumption these days. But this is the way life works (I guess), and what I have been thinking a lot about lately is another gem from Oprah’s last show regarding taking responsibility for the energy you bring to an environment.
I can think of several great illustrations of this idea, but the one freshest on my mind (because I just came from there) is yoga class. I am not one to sleep on an airplane or at the airport or any public place – too much going on, too much to think about, too many noises. However, I think nothing of relaxing into a nice savasana at the end of a good yoga class. The class can be PACKED with people I don’t know, in a place I’ve never been, but I can achieve total relaxation. I am sure this is because of the energy in the room. I am sure of this because it is not always so – if the teacher does not take the time to guide us into savasana or if my fellow yogis are fidgety or *gasp* trying to leave class early, relaxation does not come so easy for me. But when everyone is on the same page, and the teacher is with us in that moment: so peaceful.
When you give this idea more consideration, it is not really that groundbreaking of a concept. Children playing together ALWAYS feed off each other’s energy and all parents (and people who work with children) know this. Laughter creates more laughter. Screaming causes more screaming. Crying may indeed cause more crying, though sometimes it is just uneasiness in young children. Heck – even a dog will start barking if he hears another dog barking. All beings feel this energy and act on it, whether they realize it or not. And there is the trick: being aware of your energy.
When you enter a room, or a space of any kind, your energy is there. It affects everyone else present. If I am cranky – and acting on that crankiness – you can be darn sure my husband and kids will soon also be cranky, or unsettled in the least. So my job is to *recognize* that I am cranky and deal with it so I don’t ruin everyone else’s day. The self-awareness required in order to do that is nothing to take for granted – think of how many people in your life just make you feel bad or “off” after you talk to them. We all have so many internal issues and conversations happening all the time in our heads we often don’t take the time to notice how these thoughts are affecting how we are perceived. And some folks are making themselves feel bad or uneasy because of their internal conversations, but don’t realize it. So they act on those feelings and try to find outside influences to pacify themselves (eating, shopping, yelling at their children). How many people they interact with then catch this contagious condition?
Oprah is a sage. On that last show, she gave credit to someone for the idea of being responsible for the energy you bring in to a room. And – yes – I could probably Google it or go to my DVR and watch it again, but to whom it is credited is not the point. If more of us would TAKE responsibility for all for the unsettling yuckiness we carry with us and replace that with more positive thoughts and actions, those positive things would feed off of each other. Helping would create helping, listening would lead to more listening, compassion would yield compassion. As I sit here and type and listen to my sweet child cry to express her unhappiness at having to take a nap, and I feel the uneasiness her sadness creates in me, I know this idea of “responsible energy” is true.
I will go pick her up and hug her and love her and give her the positive energy she needs to turn her life around today. Because… I have to start somewhere.