Rethinking Energy Work
Energy. It powers our bodies, forms thoughts in our heads, helps our vehicles move, and affects every aspect of our lives in some way. Most forms we use come from the resulting reactions between two or more things, such as between sparks and gasoline in a car, though this is overly simplistic. In much the same way, the Shiva and Shakti energies of Kundalini operate in Kundalini exercises: the Shakti-energy that travels up the energy centers unites with the Shiva-energy, producing an altered state of consciousness.
What happens when this process of energy is stalled or blocked? A car eventually burns its engine out when you don’t change the oil, and similarly, people get “burnt out.” Energy work, or at least the healthy communication of energy within, is like an oil change. I recommend you maintain an energy flow and perform unblocking exercises every so often, or you could burn out. But does energy work have to be Reiki, a Kundalini awakening, or another esoteric practice? No, not necessarily. It can be something as simple as talking to someone and sharing an aspect of yourself with them, even your latest obsession or general interest.
Energy communication happens with and within all things, but it is the active engagement of the world around us, as I see it, that makes the difference in how our energies balance. It is one thing to give your car minimum maintenance; it is a whole other thing to take your car in for engine work. For us, having to be rung up at your corner store is like the minimum maintenance, whereas allowing ourselves to become more in tune with or closer to others is the engine work. Communicating with other people allows transference between our energy systems, just as does sharing a meal, having sex, or giving a hug.
There’s always the possibility that your problems are superficial, maybe the result of too much stress or old conditioning needing correction. In my view, humans are a continuous work in progress. That progress can’t be made if we ignore the whole self, and only concentrate on the subtle energies, or on the physical world. Many of us simply ignore our “lower needs” in lieu of “higher things,” whether its denial of sex for purity, denial of food for an impossible body image, while overindulging in another area to fill a hole inside.
I ignored my lower needs for a while, and in the process of doing that, found myself enjoying life less when I thought I should have been enjoying it more. Denying yourself is still denying your Self. I denied myself food and so, had less energy for the things I wanted to do. I tried to fill this hole by drinking energy drinks. I denied myself connection with others, and felt isolated from the world. I tried to fill this hole with work. For every energy I denied myself, I looked for a way to replace it. I found my problems solved when I learned to moderate how much food I ate, by giving myself private time, and time with people I cared for much more equally. By letting others share their energy with me and vice versa, I found a better balance in my life.
Let me blunt and upfront: energy work, energy healing, Kundalini release, and so on will not fix your issues overnight, and will not pay your bills for you. There is, as with any mystical or magical undertaking, a practical aspect that you must initiate. However, I do not feel this means that our subtle energies do not affect us; on the contrary, I think they can be of great effect.
I have had my own experience with energy healings done for me. In general, what I see they do is work within the natural order of how your body is supposed to function. If I am sick and someone does an energy healing for me, it is to help power up my body, mind and/or spirit, as much as it is to help wipe out the virus, sickness, bad habit, etc. Sometimes the greatest thing a healing can do is give you the kick in the ass you need to get over something on your own.
You might ask, “Wait, what about attaining enlightenment or talking to your Holy Guardian Angel or whatever?” Sure, energy work can help you get there, but if you can’t even let go of the world around you, or work within it, what enlightenment would you receive, and what good would come of it? Energy work can help us align with the ideas of enlightenment, whatever yours happen to be. I stress the practicality of energy work not because enlightenment is not important, but because I feel that people should align their lives to better allow that communication. I also stress it because far too many people I know go in search of enlightenment through asceticism and energy work without taking care of the physically real work that needs to be done to allow such a thing into their lives.
In order to host a party for new guests, one needs a clean home, stocked with food and drinks, and have enough space for the guests. Allowing Deity, enlightenment, or what have you into our lives is no different; we should have prepared for it in some fashion, even if every time we go for it we are not at our peak. Not every party goes as planned, or is planned for that matter. Life would be pretty bland without the spark of chaos in it.
For instance, this writing has not gone how I had planned it. I had planned to extol the virtues of working deep within yourself, on how meditation could unwind your mind and let your energies flow more freely. I had planned on writing about how good it can feel to do energy work and healing. It would be partial bullshit, because there’s a balance.
Energy work and healing isn’t always a good thing. Too much and a person runs to it to solve all his problems. Sometimes energy healings touch places with deep, harsh wounds that take a while to resolve, or bring out memories, feelings, anxieties, pains, and traumas that seemed better left alone. And sometimes, healing simply doesn’t work, disheartening the practitioner and recipient alike. Energy healings can take so much out of those involved that they may cause issues to develop, or a co-dependency to form between them. There are just as many pitfalls as there are benefits, more if you go in with rosy-colored glasses about the whole affair.
Despite all the potential problems, work can change perspective, heal us from within, help us move beyond our issues, maybe even enlighten. Just recently, I had an energy healing done. I had been keeping back a lot of anxiety from my loved ones, holding back the stress of losing a job and of not being able to find another. I held to my old conditioning, and didn’t talk about or let it out. On top of this, I had trust issues rearing their heads in my relationships, especially with my girlfriend. My sex drive was all but dead, and much of my enthusiasm for life was gone. My root and sacral chakra were spinning, but the energy wasn’t going anywhere. I had blocks.
I wasn’t thinking about that when my girlfriend asked me to let her do a healing ritual for me. I thought it was the standard “recharge the batteries” work that would get my juices flowing a little. It was a simple ritual, with bells rung about each of my chakra centers to help clear the energetic space there. The effect was dramatic and immediate. I could feel arousal, I could feel that indescribable zest for life, that feeling of “life is good and going to be okay” that I had not felt in months. Was it just a psychosomatic reaction? Was it because of the healing? I’m not a doctor, a researcher or scientist, but whatever it was, it worked. It had a practical end result that pushed me to open up, not just sexually but as a person, and to listen to my intuition. Things have been improving in our relationship and in my relationships with friends and family. I’ve reconnected with people who I otherwise would not have, and have found my “ground” again in life.
This brings with it many challenges that I have and will continue to face: past conditioning, self-image issues, the lack of listening to my instincts, helping old relationships get back on their feet, and maintaining current ones instead of shutting down when things get rough. For you, the work you do with subtle energies may be more or less significantly less challenging, or more, or less utilitarian. It may challenge your views, your long-held habits, maybe even beliefs about yours or the world. I think that is one of the real joys of working with subtle energy: like everyday life, it is unique to us and our experiences.
©2009 by Sarenth
Edited by Sheta Kaey