Changing your energy can happen in many ways. Sonia Hsieh, LCSW, shares different questions and techniques to become more aware of our energy and to practice shifting our energetic selves through a variety of techniques.
Perhaps you have had a couple or several journeys and have started to notice your body and your surroundings in a new and expanded way.
Eastern practices have always had a pulse on these felt sensations of the body, and they have categorized and systematized them through thousands of years of study. Some of these systems include the chakras, meridians, auras, doshas, organ systems, and the five elements, to name a few.
Western philosophy is rooted in materialism, meaning we believe only what we can see and measure. Yet psychedelics are ushering in some much needed balance and attention to the human ‘energy’ or ‘subtle’ body. Indeed, use of the words energy and vibes has already entered the cultural zeitgeist and is becoming a more normalized way of describing one’s mood or intuition.
Investigate Your Energy
As you keep expanding into deeper states of awareness and sensitivity, one way to keep capitalizing on, and gaining momentum from, your journeys is to begin to explore and investigate your energy.
- How do you feel when you wake up?
- How do you feel after you have ingested certain foods?
- How do you feel after you have been around certain people and places?
Asking yourself questions such as these can help shine the lantern of awareness into more and more pockets of your day, with the hope of helping you bring more lightness and joy into your life by discovering what kinds of situations put a damper on that light.
Some vocabulary to help describe your energy are words like heavy, blurred out, foggy or light, expansive,and clear. With time, the aim is to start feeling lighter and clearer for more and more parts of each day, without judgment or attachment to the natural cycles we each go through throughout the day.
Changing Your Energy
We can change our energy in one of three ways:
1. Clearing or taking energy away
2. Adding or pouring energy in
3. Holding or maintaining energy (finding homeostasis)
These three principles are what distinguish Ayurvedic, Chinese and shamanic healing from Western medicine. Each of these principles can be explored individually, especially with the use of psychedelics and the ways in which they open up our sensitivity.
What follows are methods for how you can begin to explore your sensitivity and the energetics of your body, mind and spirit.
Naturally Aligning Your Energy
1. Acknowledge natural cycles, including change of seasons, movement of the planets, and for women, your moon or menstrual cycles.
While astrology may not be for everyone, it can be worth a dabble. If the Moon can dictate our ocean tides, it may have some power in affecting our physical state as well. You might begin by noting when there is a full or new moon or noticing the change of the seasons with the summer and winter solstices.
Like nature, we change and have different seasons of life. Feeling into what season, cycle, or chapter of life you are in can provide helpful bookends to life’s challenges. For example, for women, attempting to do a very strenuous workout while you are menstruating may not be the most helpful.
Like a surfer riding a wave, you can use what nature is trying to give you, and you might find how you can accomplish more by doing less. We don’t all have to act like salmon swimming upstream. Like sheep and cows, frolicking in the valley has its time and place, too.
Enlightening Your Energy
2. Explore esoteric wisdom.
Investigate your Qi and Prana through studies such as Qigong, Tai Chi, and Kundalini Yoga and/or healing practices such as Ayurveda, Herbalism, Reiki, crystal healing and/or Traditional Chinese Medicine to name a few. There are lots of ways to get fun and witchy/wizardy. These practices are based on the flow of energy throughout the body or as Qigong Master Mingtong Gu says, ‘Where the mind goes, energy flows .
Follow what speaks to you and see what bears fruit. There is a large body of knowledge contained within these traditions, especially around the cultivation and movement of that which gives us life – precious life force energy. Remember those delicious feelings you felt on your last journey?
That feeling is what these practices are all about studying and harnessing – something you will not find spoken about at your next doctor’s appointment. This feeling is quite sacred in other parts of the world, and understanding this opens a large doorway for your own healing and evolutionary process.
In addition to this, a large part of learning what works for us is discovering what does not, with hopefully as much humor and humility as possible. Gong or crystal sound baths sound too wu-wu for you? Don’t knock it ‘til you try it!
Nourish Your Energy
3. Learn how your energy is affected by the physical world, such as smell, different environments, food, water, and sunshine.
Essential oils, incense, palo santo, barefooting, sunbathing and taking a dip in a body of water are simple ways to learn about your energy and investigate how you feel before and after. Take note. You are your own n of 1, or in other words, in the study of your own life, you are the most important subject because there is only one of you.
Investigate your unique nature by becoming your own science experiment. Do you enjoy sinking your feet into the earth? Getting as much sunshine on your skin as possible? Drinking alkaline or structured water? Do certain smells perk you up or calm you down? Do you now notice how certain foods make you feel good and/or heavy and congested? Do you prefer busy, kinetic, and social places or more low-key, quiet environments?
What works for someone else may not work for you and vice versa. It can be very empowering to discover for yourself what environments help you thrive. Inner knowing is true wisdom.
Hack Your Energy
4. Biohacking (cold plunges, breathwork, nootropics and fasting)
Lastly, there is the new trend of biohacking. If you are here, you have likely heard of Wim Hof, holotropic breathwork, nootropics, microdosing and/or some sort of fasting, such as water, dry, or intermittent fasting. These tactics can be a bit more extreme and, due to this, can leave you feeling quite elevated, which is why they have become so popular.
Personally, I would recommend trying these slowly as going too fast can be too much of a shock to your system. I have also noticed how biohacking seems to be used more by men looking to enhance physical, mental or athletic ‘peak’ performance. If this is you, go for it! If you are someone who is looking for a more improved sense of well-being overall , I would say stick with steps 1 through 3 above first before trying this category.
Accepting Your Energy
Psychedelics shortcut the way to elevated and euphoric states of consciousness by getting us out of the mind and into the present moment. They show us what it is possible to feel in the human body. With these insights, we can then learn how to hold these energetic states throughout the day by exploring daily, small energy hacks.
It is also worth noting that sometimes you may find yourself too dysregulated or worked up to do any of these things, and that is okay, too!
Loving and accepting yourself completely in this process of self-discovery is the actual aim of the game, because love, gratitude, compassion and forgiveness are the highest energetic states of being you can achieve.