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Worry causes heavy energy. Avoid it,” Q’ero Humberto Sonqo Quispé tells us. Yet who can avoid worry when the world is turning over and how we live is turning upside down?
Probably no one. But there is a really useful tool for releasing the worry, once it’s started up. I want to tell you about it.
Imagine moving and releasing the heavy, disharmonious, disordered energy you feel burdened with. Imagine making space in yourself for light, laughter, joyousness, or the peace of feeling connected.
In many indigenous worldviews, and in the Andes where I have studied for so long, our energy is perceived as part of the continual flow of living energy in the whole universe. There is no positive or negative energy, only heavy energy and more refined, or lighter energy.
It all moves, ebbs, and flows from one state to another. We feel great one day, sad another. Waves crash, and recede. Stars are born, flowers die. I repeat: energy itself has no positive or negative to it.
Think of your energy on continuum, from heavy, disordered energy to more refined, lighter energy. Your energy is part of the constant flow of living energy. It is changing continually:
The beauty of moving energy is that you don’t have to identify or name what you are releasing: It is just energy! It’s like tossing a banana peel. You no longer need it, so you put it in the compost, gifting it back to the earth. Similarly, you can release your heavy energy with no judgment, without rejecting it or clinging to it.
The practice of moving heavy energy aligns with both Buddhist and Jungian practices of relating to the shadow rather than cutting it off. Mindfulness —focusing your awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations—is key.
As Thich Nhat Hanh says, “If we don’t practice mindfulness, there is no way to transform garbage back into a flower.”
In the Andean way of moving energy, you treat all the heaviness and density in your body, heart, and mind—headaches, despair, defensiveness, fear, resentments, whatever is arising—as energetic compost. Like the physical compost from kitchen and garden waste, your energetic compost can metaphorically feed the earth. It becomes a source of energy for what is becoming.
Then you draw in other, lighter energy to reconnect and lighten up.
Think about it: it takes at least as much of your energy to suppress a displeasing, disordered, or heavy feeling as it does to release it and take in something new!
This pattern—of releasing and filling, in reciprocity—is central to learning to move your energy. In the Andes, this is called eating hucha—eating heavy energy—and filling with sami. [link other blog] Imagine an opening from your belly, just below your belly button, with a channel feeding into the earth.Think of the channel as an energetic stomach.
Intend to let the heaviness flow out from you through this channel. Intend to feed the earth with your wonderful compost, joyfully letting go of what does not serve you.
Don’t worry about naming the heaviness or identifying it. Simply intend, and intend some more, until the moment when you feel a shift: it’s gone!
Then draw up lighter energy from the rich, nurturing earth, filling your cells. In this way, exchanging energy with the earth, you can explore the alchemical process of moving and shifting your own energy.
Imagine the soil, the earthworms, the water and pebbles, the seeds unfurling as you send down and draw up from the earth. In making these connections, you will be drawn out of your small self into a larger awareness, a greater integration with the world around you.
Many people worry about giving heavy energy to the earth when they first learn about this practice. I remind them, and you, that it is just energy: the earth does not distinguish between coffee grounds, banana peels, and sadness. (Toxins and pesticides are a different story, since they affect many living beings.) Energy flows constantly throughout the universe. Whether it is heavy or light from a human perspective, it is really just energy.
Here are some of the body sensations and feelings that alert you to a need to release: Fear. Anger. Grief. Depression. Shame. Overwhelm. Self-doubt. Weighed down.
And here are some behaviors: Perfectionism. Procrastination. Needing attention. Acting small. Being controlling. Acting self-effacing. Withdrawing.
When you notice any of these, and are ready for a shift, change, or breakthrough, you can just breathe it out into the earth. Or you can try naming one thing you want to let go of so you can move forward.
All of us pull in energetically like turtles when we are nervous, afraid, or sad. Inside our shells, we cannot take in or receive anything—love, compliments, appreciation, or happiness. When someone tries to give us some good energy, we may deflect it, not hear it, or dive deeper into our isolation.
If you are already a turtle in your shell, what is the worst that could happen? What do you have to lose in trying, and what might you gain?
Letting go of what keeps you separate makes an opening so you can shift, reconnect, and receive. This takes much less energy than hiding behind your shell or resisting good energy!
*For how to release community heaviness, see https://megbeeler.com/clearing-the-field-around-you-eating-the-heavy-energy-of-others. For more on drawing in lighter energy, see https://megbeeler.com/sami-five-ways-to-harmony.
Meg Beeler—Author, Shamanic Guide, and Spiritual Mentor—is a lifelong explorer of shamanic, animist, and meditative consciousness who practices Earth-centered, nature-based, ancient wisdom ways, and studied Andean mysticism extensively with the Q’ero in Peru. Meg’s next book is Seeds for Our Future: How to Find Heart, Cultivate Your Radiance, and Create Our World Anew. Author of Weave the Heart of the Universe into Your Life: Aligning with Cosmic Energy, she is a contributing author and photographer to Where the World Begins: Sonoma Mountain Story and Image, and creator and host of the dialogues in “Seeds for Our Future.” Meg is the creator of Energy Alchemy™ and founder of Earth Caretakers Wisdom School. She writes for Elephant Journal, Healers, and Shaman Portal Quarterly. She chairs the non-profit organization Sonoma Mountain Preservation and lives on Sonoma Mountain in the North San Francisco Bay Area. megbeeler.com
Shamanism, Meditation, Energy Alchemy, ChangingtheDream, Healing, energy field, sami, intent
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