Archive for October, 2011

Releasing Emotions

As humans we have the ability to reflect and be self aware.  This is considered an evolutionary step up but it has its downside.

Someone tried to break in to my friend’s house.  He scared off the intruder, but was nervous and twitchy for weeks afterward.   He found it difficult to sleep.

His cat, on the other hand, frequently scares intruders out of the yard; screaming and spitting with every hair bristling.  Within minutes of driving off an intruder, the cat is napping, his eyes rolled back in his head; comatose.

Most of us non felines find it difficult to stay in the moment because of thoughts and feelings which have nothing to do with current experience.  This can help us plan and prepare or make us nervous and upset.  We can be perfectly safe and unperturbed but wrapped up in last week’s intruder or yesterday’s insult or the argument we might have tomorrow.

When negative feelings crop up, we phone a friend or turn on the TV and tuck these thoughts away in the back of the mind.  But feelings are not meant to be ignored, so when something new happens, it activates all that stuff in the back of the mind and touches off a cascade of related reactions to similar things that happened or might happen.

We could all take a lesson from preschoolers and golden retrievers, whose sadness can be released at the sight of a treat.  Feeling the most negative horrific emotion is not as painful as avoiding it.

And once you feel it an emotion, a strange thing happens:  it goes away; pretty quickly;
and it tends not to come back.   You actually can react to problems more constructively and enjoy the good times more fully when  your are feeling your emotions.  You really can let things roll off your back.  Most of us need to learn how.

Join me and Francine Marie Shepperd on Blogtalk Radio on November 10, as we talk about releasing emotions.  You can follow this link:  and you can call in with questions and comments.

You are also invited to join me for an online workshop on Emotions and Boundaries, to learn how to get positive results from negative emotions.  The workshop will be held on Saturday, November 12 at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT).  You can sign up at

The Scary Notion of Being Fearless

We have nothing to fear but fear itself?  Well, um, what about oncoming Mack trucks and  downed power lines? Without healthy fear the human lifespan would be about 15 months.

Healthy fear is something we don’t give much thought to.  Healthy fear is the alert watchfulness you feel when you drive down the highway, ready to respond to reckless drivers and other obstacles.  Healthy fear is being careful not to put your sleeve in the campfire or obeying your intuition to avoid that dark alley.  If you think about it, you’re probably grateful for healthy fear.

Most of us have our struggles with unhealthy fear.  But why is that?  Why do our fears get unhealthy?  We lie awake worrying about things we cannot control and eventualities that are annoying but not really life threatening.  We scan the horizon for predators…oh wait, that’s the television screen!  Those predators aren’t real…but they might be.

We worry about aliens and spirits and flesh-eating viruses even though most of us have never seen any of these things.  We worry about accidents and yet talk on the mobile while we drive and talk about the worrisome economy.  The fact is our worried mental chatter keeps us from listening to our real fears and getting their life-preserving messages.

If you are a student of metaphysics, you may have been taught that fear is the absence of love.  Ultimately, it is.  If you trust the benevolence of the universe, you will be fearless.  But in day to day life, you need to also trust the God-given feeling in your body that says, “Get the —- out of the street!”

I have recently learned that the quickest way to deal with fear – healthy or unhealthy – is to pay attention to it.  What is its message for me?  Often, just getting the message stops the fear.  Recently, I awoke every morning with intense panic and fear.  It woke me up with the birds before daylight.  I kept ordering it to go away. It got stronger.  I turned away to focus on love, but the fear got more insistent still.

One day simply I sat and felt the fear and asked what I was afraid of.  It took a couple of days before I got an intelligent notion of what my fear was telling me.  It was telling me I was ignoring some tasks that needed my attention.  These tasks were critical for me to succeed in my work, but somehow I had ignored them.  I tackled these tasks in earnest and within a few weeks I was getting much better results in my work.

Magic!  The fear was gone and I could sleep right through my alarm clock.

Being the Stalker Instead of Being Stalked

Those who are in relationship with critics or controllers can develop the habit of reacting to events but avoiding positive action.  Being reactive will save your skin when you under attack of any kind, but being reactive is not so useful for getting whatyou want out of life, and it narrows your horizons until your goal is simply to get by.

If you are a student of popular new age metaphysics, this reactivity is reinforced by the notions of using the power of thought and being open to receive.  These ideas can be powerful, but not without the magic of inspired action!

When the subconscious mind is full of limitations and receiving is limited to the next criticism or argument, action becomes reactive instead of inspired.  Getting away from trouble will probably not lead toward fulfilled desires.

If this becomes habitual, you are the stalked, not the stalker. Here are a few exercises you can try to get into stalking mode and actively or proactively seeking rather than reacting.

When religious evangelists come to the door, asking if you ever think about the afterlife, tell them you definitely do!  Greet them enthusiastically and invite them to your church.  Keep a church bulletin handy to press into their hands and tell them you hope to see them this Sunday.  Of course, most of these groups are not allowed to take material from other churches.

Is there someone in your family who frequently asks you for money or loans or favors?  Pick up the phone now, dial them and ask them for $50 until payday or see if they will commit to helping you clean the gutters.  Of course, unlike you, they’ll probably have plenty of excuses handy for why they can’t help you out.

Next time you see a panhandler in front of the post office, approach him or her and ask for a quarter for your parking meter so you won’t get a ticket.  Of course, they won’t have any spare change, though they were hoping you did.

Who knows?  If you try these activities, you could get some money or help or have new guests at church.  My guess is you’ll simply discover that even the panhandler has better boundaries than people who live with critics or controllers.

The more important gift will be to have some practice at pursuing instead of avoiding.  You may even find yourself going after more important desires… or telling your critic to stuff it.

You are now the stalker.

Vampire Protection that Doesn’t Stink

Psychic Vampire Repellant that Doesn't Stink

You might not use the word “vampire,” but you have surely met one or two people whose company drains you of your life force. Far from joining the ranks of the immortal, you will come out of these encounters depleted and depressed. If you don’t have really great boundaries (and many of us don’t,) then you have probably met quite a few people who drain your energy.
People who drain your energy appear to do so in a variety of ways. They may complain a lot, or perhaps they subtly put you down, or report the unflattering things other people said about you (but don’t believe them.) They may goad you; reminding you of something unpleasant, or perhaps they flaunt what they have but you lack. The long and short of it is, they upset you and this upset is how they drain your energy. Why do they do this? Because they can – and it works! It energizes them.
Those who perceive energy know how this drain is accomplished. Those who measure energy are learning that intuitive people are perceiving this accurately. When you get a shock or a trauma, or a sudden let down, the energy circulating in or around your body will pause or stop or even reverse its flow.
A pause in the energy flow is useful for playing dead to fool a looming predator but it can make you vulnerable to the psychic predator. All of our interactions with others involve exchanges of energy, and when the vampire has upset your energy flow, he or she is able to tip the balance of the exchange and tap your energy. This can leave you feeling drained and an energy vampire feeling uplifted.
Often you don’t notice this until after it happens. The upsets can be subtle and unconscious and leave you wondering why you suddenly feel low or thinking you are coming down with some virus.
The bright side of this kind of robbery is that it is relatively safe for you to simply refuse to give up the goods. By being present and aware, you can deny the vampire access to your energy. You may even be the one to benefit from their upset energy which will discourage them from future predations.
Simply being present around difficult people is simple. It isn’t always easy because most of us are in the habit of being dissociated so our consciousness is off somewhere in the next county. The trick is to be mindful of difficult people and when your mood suddenly changes, become aware of your body.
It takes only seconds to become aware of your body. Feel your hands and feet. Be aware of looking out of your eyes. Put a hand over your center and be here, now. Imagine the life force that flows through your core around your spine. Feel rooted on the earth and sense a light or warmth that flows in the top of your spine and fills you up.
Practice this feeling so you can summon it at will. If you live with an energy vampire, I recommend some martial arts training to learn to operate in a present and centered way.
If you are present, the vampire’s put downs will be recognized for what they are. You will not internalize them. You will not be so upset by them. You maintain your state. When this happens, the energy vampire may become upset. In this case, the energy exchange will work in your favor and you will leave the encounter feeling better.
You will have also encouraged an emotionally draining person to interact with you in more open and honest ways.

Vampire Romance? Eeuuww!

Most people who hear the term “Energy Vampire,” have an  immediate sense of what it means because most everyone has encountered an energy vampire or two.  When so many people suffer from the effects of energy vampires, I find the thought of vampire romance to be repugnant – Yeah!  Just the opposite of sexy.  Eeuuww!

Would you go out with a person whose M.O. is to drain you of  your life force and make you feel awful so he (or she) can feel great?  Unfortunately, the answer for many of us is:  “Of course I would! …and I have…but not knowingly!”

Before he (or she)  has gotten his fangs into you, a vampire’s mystery and overt interest in you and what you have to offer can seem sexy and attractive.  Strong, sinister, silent types, such as vampires, make a wonderful blank slate for romance stories, because we can project our desires onto.

The fact is that a lot of the unappreciated qualities we attribute to an energy vampire are actually our own projections.   Most of us have unappreciated qualities and would really like them to be recognized.  It is just that psychological signature which attracts energy vampires in the first place.

If you have pretty good boundaries, you are unlikely to attract these unfortunate but dangerous creatures.  Most of us have been taught to have poor boundaries by parents who did their best (and some who didn’t) so we are used to unhealthy energy exchanges.  I could tell you how this looks to an intuitive or feels like to an energy practitioner, but really, who cares?  (If you want this detail, check out Joe Slate’s Psychic Vampires here:  <a title=”Psychic Vampires” href=”http://“>Joe

What you really need to know is how to avoid these people before they get their fangs into you.

I recently spent the day with a group of women and came home feeling like I was coming down with flu. When the flu didn’t materialize, I looked more closely at the company I kept.  One of the women, subtly but continually, put down, questioned or dismissed the others. She asked me a couple times if I was sick, saying that I looked ill.  One of my companions was having a lot of fun and was told, “Oh, you’re so childish… I mean, childlike!”  She repeatedly forgot the first name of one member of our group – despite having met her many times before.

None of these things is bad in itself.  It was the intent to upset that made the excursion unpleasant.  The power of your upset emotions energizes the vampire, and sure enough this woman became more and more chirpy and smiley as everyone else’s faces fell.  I now avoid her like the plague, but I have that luxury because she is a passing acquaintance.

If the energy vampire is a close relative, or Heaven forbid, your partner, that’s a whole ‘nother blog post, but you can learn to hang onto your energy with this person if you have good boundaries.  Once you recognize this person you can even benefit energetically from their shenanigans.
(But that’s another blog post too – watch for it.)

The trouble is most of these people get their teeth into us before we know what they’re like or they are careful to appear quite positive as they get their digs in.  They often plant seeds of doubt or fear in our minds that keep us upset and mentally connected to the vampire long after we have left their company.

Psychic attacks are like viruses and germs.  A healthy immune system is more effective than anti-bacterial wipes.  Any practice or therapy that clears your mind and builds healthy boundaries will benefit you.  But you can recognize and avoid these people pretty easily if you pay attention to your feelings.

The first thing to notice is when you feel tired, depleted and depressed in reaction to your interactions with others.  If a particular person’s conversation, Facebook postings or emails repeatedly make you feel sad, angry, tired or disturbed, start watching these interactions more closely.

Watch also for the Yuck factor.  If in-person interactions make you feel slimed, disturbed, exhausted or queasy, on a consistent basis, look for the vampire in the mix.

Especially notice if the person who makes you feel disturbed shows signs of being energized by your discomfort.

If you notice any of these things, head for the hills or at least a different room.

Psychic vampires are not romantic at all, so do not expect the culprit to look sinister.  He or she probably seems quite unassuming, maybe quite cheerful and self effacing.

As sinister as the term “vampire” is, the energy vampire is quite pathetic, really.  Anyone who does not know how to access their own resources and feels they must drain yours is pretty sad.  The practice leaves them in a very unhealthy state after a while.  You are doing them a favor by not making your energy available to them.

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