Zings & Zaps
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
There was a period in my life when I was so edgy and wary it felt like I was having a million tiny little heart attacks every day as I tried to suppress all the zings of feeling I didn’t like and didn’t want to allow. It helped when I started thinking of all the zaps as just jolts of energy, but the real benefit came when I began to let the energy have its space in my head, where I could watch it, observe its nature, and become familiar with its patterns. It wasn’t easy but if I could hold onto myself as a solid vessel, as the intact container of this energy event -- albeit an unpleasant one -- then I would eventually witness the energy transform into something else more to my liking or at least comfort.
This was all many years ago. Of course, there are still plenty of unpleasant “energy events” happening in the (hopefully) solid vessel of my head because that’s what being alive is like, and so I’m just as interested now as I was then in techniques for managing emotional energy. On the plus side, over the years there have been advancements to my original technique.* What was then just allowing and watching has now expanded to include influencing. As my daily farm share of feelings presents at my door, I let them in, notice what they feel like and then visualize them rising up and out through the top of my head
. I let them be light enough to float up and out. Often that’s all there is to it. I let them in and then let them out, a kind of active house pet.
This idea of emotion as energy isn’t something I came up with; it was an analogy I came across that spoke to me given the charged nature of my own. I didn’t know it was actually literal. But relating to emotion as the literal energy that it is provides far greater power to harness and work with the voltage which is the focus of Dr. Julia DiGangi’s research on the neuroscience of energy and emotion. In Energy Rising: The Neuroscience of Leading with Emotional Power,
Dr. DiGangi explains the wiring and energetic patterns that predict our experience and provides codes for working most effectively with our energy, using emotional pain as the transformative power that it can be. This is a highly pragmatic and specific guide which I just plowed through the week before and am now experimenting with. If you’re interested in getting a flavor of this dynamic firecracker of a scientist, you can listen to this interview
. I’ve also attached a collection of some of my favorite quotes that provide a high-level glimpse of the underpinnings of her work. I’ll close with this simple one:
“No situation has meaning until it’s electrified by your emotions.”
Isn’t it strange to think that events just sit there being meaningless until we bring a feeling to them? In many ways that means the power is all ours.
Today is Wednesday, the 15th
day of November. Light it up out there. (In a powerfully transformed way, that is…)
Which in no way means I’m the master of my emotions. Not even close. I’m just a lot better at it than I have been.