Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fields of Energy

"Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space"

Oprah has this quote posted in her makeup room. I've thought about posting this on my office door. However, how could we send out this message to people when we're not in a physical space, but our own space?

I blogged once about how I'm quite sensitive to the energy around me - if you're motivated and inspired, I will be too. If you're bringing negativity, I will feel it too.

Our personal challenge is how do we deal with the persons that are constantly negative. It's easy to say that we just cut them out of our lives. But, it may not be that simple as you may be into forced situations such as work or social settings.

We recently had an interaction with someone who is extremely negative and teeters on obnoxious (well, sometimes, falls over). We're in a situation with her that we can't extricate ourselves due to social entanglements. Therefore, it's a struggle to maintain our own positive energy while being subjected to pellets of negativity. We could clearly see the effect she has on people around her, and they look beaten down.

I suppose one has to put up a force field. I'm thinking of Violet from The Incredibles who finds this energy inside of her to put around herself and her family when being attacked. Go ahead, hit me with your insecurities, it won't penetrate us!

However, force fields can only be sustained while the superhero is focused on it. If we let down our guard just to breathe for a moment, we could get attacked. It's exhausting to repel the negative energy. And, my force field cannot be there to protect every one at every minute. This is like my previous blog about controlling situations. I can adjust my sails and step away.

An alternative approach would be to spread the positive. However, I've seen that people live via negative channels have put up a wall, not just a force field. They don't have to even focus on it - it's already built and protects them. You could keep sending forth positive messages, but they won't hear them. They may bring down a brick or two if they see that the coast is clear.

The fact that I'm even writing about this proves that I've been affected by this. If I truly repelled them, I wouldn't feel the urge to even write! By the way, I don't think it's necessary to bad-mouth people. I've seen that negative and incompetent people do their own advertising. It's quite obvious to other people, so you might as well save your breath.

There was a situation at work with someone who is notoriously negative and I say his project management methodology is "bullying." There was an incident where he broke me and I was deeply hurt. My colleagues rallied around me. The second time he attacked me, I had put up my force field and just stepped away to look at him. It was 9 a.m. on Monday morning and he was already fired up. He must have some baggage that I'm not aware of that is causing him to be so irrational so quickly. My colleagues were angry at his behavior, but I told them I felt sorry for him. We don't know what burdens everyone is carrying. His anger didn't change the situation, and actually hurt how the team worked with him.

I had read years ago that you should be the type of person you want to attract. If you want to attract depressing and miserable people, just send out the message you're one of them. If you want to attract more spirited and positive people, send out the message you're one of them.

I'm just frustrated that even if I want to be around positive people - and there truly are lots of amazing positive and vibrant people in my life - the Negative and Insecure still manage to weave themselves into the framework. I suppose that's part of life. Keeps us aware of who we are and where we want to be. Actually, I'm going to reach out to some of my positive friends today in order to "cleanse" myself of this negativity.

Adjusting Sails

"You can't control the wind, but you can adjust the sails"

This has been my mantra for the last two weeks. We've started some home renovation projects after doing so much research for months. We had flooring samples from different vendors, did the research online and with consumer ratings. We interviewed friends and designers for their suggestions on paint colors and did sample patches. We found contractors based on personal references, and followed up with others. We were in fortunate and unusual position of having 2 good contractors and needed to make a decision based on schedule, not price or competency.

They ripped apart our carpeting and vinyl to prepare for the hard wood floors. However, once they opened the boxes of wood, they brought to our attention the quality of wood. It was really inconsistent and poor. This led to a frustrating weekend for us, and lots of split decisions as our house was upside down and we had to make sense of it all. In addition to the wood, we had some issues with bathrooms, new appliance and a leaking basement ceiling.

Anyway, I don't want to go into details-- there are plenty of DIY sites out there. I'm focusing on the DIY inside. This was very stressful for us mentally and physically, and for my husband, it became spiritually exhausting feeling the collapse of a year of hard work.

Control Issues

I needed to point out that we controlled every factor that we could - the contractor, the wood selection, special situations that needed to be addressed, coordination of simultaneous installations/delivery of other components. All of that was done impeccably. However, we could not control what happened when those boxes were packed at the factory. Was the machine out of sorts? Were these returns? Did someone not understand how this worked? Did they mix up the boxes and send the wrong ones out?

This is when we need to adjust our sails. We could easily wallow in self-pity and blamed it on "bad luck" or "mercury retrograde" or even the Evil Eye or beat ourselves up for being plain old stupid.  However, all we could do is really clear our minds and work logically through the chaos.

To adjust your sails is to take control, but a different way.

One of my gifts in life is to be the calm in the center of the storm. This is not to say I don't become the eye of the storm every now and then! However, generally, I like Rudyard Kipling's If that begins  "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs.." That's when I usually step up to the plate - ease the energy.
Since I work in IT, this is a skill that used quiet frequently as there are stressful and uncontrollable situations constantly.

Part of being calm and rational is to be able to look at the situation and the options at hand. We had to make some decisions very quickly. You make decisions with the information you have on hand a that moment. You don't know the future so you can only predict based on what you know. At that moment, we had to make decisions based on current conditions. Now we look back and wonder what we could've done differently. But hindsight is 20/20, of course. It's easier to say "we should've done xyz" but at that moment we didn't know that at the time. 

I believe I blogged about this before, but it's not having control over situations that makes us anxious. When you're in the middle of chaos, you have to find some way to control what is in your power.

Deep Breaths
With regard to our house, we've decided to take a break for a bit and have scheduled some help on this. We've let go of the anxiety of deadlines and schedules, and opening up to whatever may be as long as the results are desirable.

I had a friend who said "Never make long term decisions on short term circumstances." Look at the big picture and you see where this fits in.