"Your level of energy (consciousness) creates your world each moment." - Bruce D. Schneider
As winter prepares to give way to spring and I prepare to close a cycle in my life’s journey and to begin another, I’ve been reflecting on levels of energy. I’m reviewing my personal energy, where it’s been this year and what I may want to shift as I embark on a new one. I’m curious about what my observations of the world tell me about the energy ‘out there’ and how I want to dance in it? This is taking me back to a variety of resources, and, as a result, this week’s post is a bit of a shift.
For all the years (20+ now) I’ve coached, I’ve had some level of understanding about our personal energy. In the early days of my coaching when most of my clients were old enough to know what a switchboard is, I’d often guide them to unplug from unproductive energy and plug into another, higher level of energy. In my personal development, I use a number of experiments and practices to shift and maintain my energy at levels that are expansive, constructive, healing.
In the system he developed called Energy Leadership, Dr. Bruce Schneider calls these levels ‘anabolic’, energy that is positive, productive, expansive, and fuels us to move forward. He contrasts these with ‘catabolic’ energy levels, energy that is draining, contracting, and stressful. Anabolic energy levels allow us to see more possibilities for innovation and problem solving. Catabolic levels, limit our vision.
At each level of energy (Schneider identifies seven) there is a defining core thought, a core feeling and, corresponding action or result. Victim is the core thought of the lowest level of energy, with apathy as its core feeling and lethargy as its result. My awareness of this correlation (victim to apathy and lethargy), helped me identify the source of what at the time I considered as ‘being lazy’. I was able to identify a couple key behaviors and the beliefs under them that had me visiting the victim level of energy. With that awareness (and some work!), I was able to shift to a higher level of energy.
At the top of the energy levels is non-judgment with the corresponding feeling of absolute passion and the action or result, creation. It’s the level of the master of life who has the ability to tap into the other levels as needed. I aspire to master my energy at this level. Between these two polarities are remaining five levels: conflict (the second of two catabolic levels), and four anabolic levels: responsibility, concern, reconciliation, and synthesis.
Whether I’m using a contemporary system like Energy Leadership or tapping into wisdom of the ancients from esoteric writings, one thing is clear to me: Mastering my energy is mastering my life.
Experiment for the Week: Observe the levels of energy that you plug into several times each day. Where among the levels do you find you?