Dealing With Energetic Blocks
By Joe Hawley
Most people have experienced an energetic or creative block at some point in their life. If you’re an entrepreneur, you probably go through seasons where you deal with this frequently.
As I reflect on my writing process, I can recall times that I’ve sat down to get some writing done, committed to putting in the time to get my book out on paper and was so excited and ready for the words to start flowing. But as I sat there, staring at the screen in front of me, I began to get increasingly frustrated. I even began to feel anger, and then doubt, followed by insecurity and unworthiness. I felt a strong visceral energy coursing through my veins. I actually wanted to get up and punch a hole through the wall. I knew this wasn't like me - this wasn't me.
As I sat in the discomfort, trying to think about what to write, the doubt started overtaking my entire system, I wanted to quit. It would be easier to just stop, I thought, but that wasn't the answer.
I thought moving the energy would help so I started getting ready for a run - physical movement is always a good option in my opinion - but as I got ready to go out the door my partner Sarah walked in and asked how I was doing.. "Not so good," I told her. So we sat down to dive deeper into why the energetic block was coming up.
Step 1 - Acknowledge and express what you’re feeling in the moment.
Acknowledging the emotions that arose is the first part of this step. For me, they were frustration, anger, doubt, insecurity and unworthiness. In this situation, I fortunately had someone who was able to talk through the issue with me.
I shared with her how overwhelmed I felt by taking on such a daunting project like writing a book. That was definitely a piece of it but it didn't explain the deeper reason for the energy I was feeling in my body. I couldn’t understand why I was getting so frustrated and angry about something that was flowing out of me just a few days before.
Step 2 - Reflect and connect.
As we dove deeper into the stories that were coming up in my mind, Sarah asked me a simple question, one that I challenge you to ask yourself when you’re experiencing an energetic or creative block, "What were some other times in your life that you've felt like this?"
I paused and started to think back through my life story and said the first thing that came to mind, "When I don't feel heard."
And, in that moment, I had a profound realization - for the first time I was witnessing a deep pattern that I've been living with my entire life. One that has always kept me from speaking up and using my voice. I'm afraid to express myself, my experience, my preferences, or what I need out of fear of hurting others, creating conflict, or even worse, feeling abandoned. This has shown up in one way or another in most, if not all, of my relationships throughout my life: romantic, friendship, and family.
It's been so much easier for me to hold space, hold onto my opinion, not share what I need, or what I'd like to do - especially in my close relationships. This might not seem like that big a deal but I've realized that not sharing what I need or want always leads to resentment and makes me feel small, unheard, and, eventually leads to these deep feelings of shame, doubt and unworthiness. The same feelings that were coming up for me as I sat down to write.
The question is, how do I move it, how do I change this pattern, how do I keep it from showing up in the future?
Step 3 - Practice changing your patterns
I guess that's where the real work is, the only way to move it is by going through it. With PRACTICE.
Here’s what it looks like for me:
Practicing by speaking my truth, sharing my preferences, and speaking my mind.
My practice began in smaller, lower stakes situations at first because that helped me speak my mind and share my opinion more openly and vulnerably. It prepared me to do the same in the bigger situations like speaking on stage or writing a book.
In order to heal the world, we must first heal ourselves.
This is some deep work.. and a part of me wants to curl up in a ball and say, No, it's too much, let's just go live on a mountain or beach somewhere, I don't need to write a book, start a business, or share any of my experiences. Why am I doing any of this work anyway?
The answer: Because it's the work that really matters.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, in order to change the world we must all look deep within ourselves to understand the stories that make us who we are. That includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. So look at them all - even the unhealthy patterns, the unwanted habits, the ugly thought patterns.
This work isn’t easy, and it's not for everyone. But if you are brave and courageous enough to do the work, you will become the change that you so desperately want to see in the world.
With love and gratitude,
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