How Do You Know If You Need Help With Your Energy?
Before the world shut down, I was a chronic over-doer. I worked ridiculous hours on projects I loved, had a full social calendar, and had rich relationships with several communities in which I served. I felt meaningful, successful, and what I thought was fulfilled.
I was also tired. A single mom with two kids, three jobs, two community projects, and a women's group that met weekly.
Because I could do all of these things with relative grace, I thought that meant I was "well." I meditated twice daily to keep my energy up. I regularly went on weekend trips with friends (my version of self-care). I was available for any friend or colleague to talk to when needed, even if that meant I didn't get enough sleep. I kept myself too busy to notice how tired I was.
I pushed myself a lot. I thought this made me strong and capable. I constantly worked, which made me feel valuable because I always focused on helping people. I spent time with friends, hung out with my kids, and made art. All beautiful things, but when the world stopped, and I could no longer DO SO MANY THINGS, I had to get still. I got slow, quiet, and curious about all these ideas I had about what wellness was and wasn't.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, you may be experiencing Energy Dysregulation, which is common for empaths and highly sensitive people (HSP) it sure was for me.
Taking some time and space allowed me to evaluate how I was living and why.
Once the world opened up again, I realized I needed more time. Something had begun to unravel, and I knew I couldn't return. My life was good, perhaps even enviable, but there was an inner call. I had an unshakable feeling that something needed to leave and something else needed to replace it, but I didn't know what.
I took several months off of work, I spent three months on Maui then a few months later, three months in Bali. This gave me time to do some serious soul-searching. I dug and probed and looked at my beliefs and behaviors from new angles. As old ideas fell away, new ones emerged. I saw some things that surprised me, something that catalyzed change.
I know I am a naturally giving person, but right next to that, maybe on top of it, was a deep sense of inadequacy and a feeling that I needed to prove myself.
This inadequacy made me work harder, strive deeper, and go faster. In many ways, it was a form of motivation. When I was running from it, I felt inspired and effective. I could do so much with that drive!
But, of course, there was a downside. I wouldn't say I liked the feeling of inadequacy, so I would avoid it like the plague. I would fill myself with other stuff like my work, kids, clients, and friends.
From my new vantage point, I saw that it wasn't just inadequacy but avoiding and missing some critical parts of myself. My focus so was acutely directed outward. I hardly knew what I wanted to eat when I was alone.
This got me curious. I was doing some good things that I wanted to continue, but my motivation was off. Some avoidance was running me, and I wanted to move from a place of fullness and love, not fear. I wanted to know myself in a new way.
I already had lots of tools. I'd been in therapy and studying healing arts practices for many years but needed more. How does one shift a whole framework for living? Well, like everything else, one small step at a time, but I found something that makes it much more manageable.
When the student was ready, the teacher arrived, and my teacher came in the form of Energy Healing. This modality helped me connect the dots to make sense of what was happening with me.
I discovered my story was not unique. This pattern of over-giving, disconnecting from one's own needs, and prioritizing others regardless of the cost to yourself is a symptom of energy dysregulation. This kind of dysregulation happens for several reasons: feeling unstable as a child, early shocking experiences, or even unintentional emotional neglect. It can be extreme or subtle, but environments with conflict can create a backdrop where children develop empathic senses for survival. It's not a bad thing; it just is.
I have always been an empathic person. For as long as I can remember, I could feel other people's pain and would even take it on myself. I didn't think much about it and definitely didn't think it had any downsides. This trait is one of the primary things Empaths and Highly Sensitive People have in common. I had spent years in therapy with gifted practitioners. Still, no one ever mentioned this about me or implied I needed to manage it.
This way of connecting has some pitfalls. When you feel other people's emotions, you let that information take up valuable real estate within you. There is an inflated sense of responsibility that can happen. It's easy to assume it's your job to "fix" or prioritize the other person. When our directional awareness moves away from us, it very difficult to connect with our needs. Embodiment becomes challenging, and knowing who you are without anyone else becomes near impossible. Conversely, being around too many people can feel overwhelming. Having a solid sense of self becomes elusive.
For years I taught people about embodiment. It is the cornerstone of all the work I do. Being able to tell what your body feels like is a start. Still, there is also a form of emotional embodiment that needs to be talked about. It's noticing your personal boundaries and emotional needs before making decisions or prioritizing others. Energy dysregulation can show up a handful of ways.
Does any of this feel like you?
You ever feel like you do so much for the people you love but for some reason, it's not reciprocated in the same way.
You give ceaselessly, but people don't seem to return the favor with the same skill or enthusiasm.
You know what your loved ones need to feel good but struggle to answer when asked what YOU want or need.
You think you don't have any needs and feel best when you go along with what other people want.
• You're surrounded by people who love you but still feel alone.
Then you would benefit from energy regulation.
If you'd like to learn how to evolve old behaviors and make lasting changes in your life, please visit www.victorialeilani.com to schedule a free discovery call.