Several years ago, I had a life between lives hypnotherapy session. (It is a super cool experience - I would highly recommend doing it with a qualified hypnotherapist). For people who don't know what LBL is, it's a hypnosis protocol developed by Dr. Michael Newton in which a hypnotherapist induces a deep level trance and then guides you through your death in a recent lifetime and into the space between incarnations when you exist as the purest form of yourself. In this space, you are able to learn things about yourself, such as why you may have chosen a certain lifetime, who the people are who have incarnated with you for thousands of lifetimes, and more. It's an intense experience.
Thousands of people who have had these sessions report common experiences, which has allowed Newton and other therapists working with the protocols to develop a model of what our existence might look like when we're not embodied. It's fascinating reading, and I highly recommend Newton's works Destiny of Souls, Journey of Souls, and Memories of the Afterlife. It's life-affirming stuff that can help you gain a broader perspective on what it means to be an embodied soul.
Anyway, in my LBL session, one of the questions my hypnotherapist asked was, "How much of your life force did you bring to this incarnation?" Now normally, as far as I can tell, people bring quite a bit - 50 percent or more (the rest remains with the "soul,"which goes on doing it's soul work). So naturally I was surprised when my answer was 15 percent. However, on reflection it made sense. In this lifetime, one of my major life challenges has always been having enough life force energy, which has manifested physically. I've struggled with anemia since I was a kid. I currently partner with a few autoimmune conditions that continue to leave me severely anemic, lowering my energy. (For example, normal hematocrit numbers for a healthy adult female are about 12 to 16 g/dL. Mine have dipped as low as 7 before, requiring an immediate blood transfusion).
In energy medicine, blood represents life force energy. So after my LBL, suddenly it made sense why I've always struggled with maintaining sufficient levels of blood, but I never understood why I chose to challenge myself physically in such a way in this lifetime.
This past year, which has been a challenging one for me on many levels, I noticed that the more emotional challenges I faced (and I experienced them in virtually every aspect of my life), the more I also struggled with maintaining even the minimally healthy level of hematocrit. In other words, there is a correlation between my physical ability to maintain my life force energy and the energy I expend emotionally and give away to others. As an empath, my emotional boundaries also tend to be fluid because I am so likely to experience other people's emotions as my own.
So as I've struggled recently with life force energy, I've focused on why I might have chosen that in this lifetime and what growth opportunities it provides me, since I truly believe every challenge our souls offer us during an incarnation exists for our benefit and growth. It's up to us to parlay those challenges into new strengths.
One of the things I've come to realize is that my low life force energy forces me to lower my physical activity levels, quiet my mind, and tune inward. If I didn't have these periods of low physical energy, I would just go and go until I dropped; it has always been one of my tendencies to pack my life as fully as humanly possible, running until I'm depleted. Low life force energy has tempered this substantially for me, and it is during these down periods I often experience my most significant spiritual growth.
Another thing I've come to understand is that because I have given myself a limited supply of life force energy in this lifetime, it means I need to find ways to conserve it. This is important as I am someone who gives large amounts of energy away to others. However, I've realized that instead of freely giving it away, I need to focus my life force energy on things that truly matter. So I've created a "sniff test." Now, whenever I start to give any of my energy to something or someone, I ask myself, "Is this worth giving my life force energy to?" In some cases, such as in my writing and teaching, the answer is yes, it is worth the energy. However, the answer is often no.
This has made me more mindful of the myriad of unimportant things I've worried about and focused my energy on over the years. It's helping me to redefine my priorities and focus on the things that are truly important to me: my relationships with the people I love, my teaching and work, spiritual practices, music, joy, and, of course, writing. Because of my limited life force energy, I'm learning to cultivate those things that bring me joy and hopefully make the world a better place instead of getting lost in the minutiae of daily life. It's helping me to stop dedicating emotional energy to things that ultimately don't matter, such as what others think of me. It's also helping me to define my boundaries and find kind and compassionate ways to set and enforce them.
While this is my path, there's a takeaway for others if they choose to discover it: dedicate your life force energy to those things that truly matter. Let the rest go. Only you can decide what matters to you, but the universe provides you with endless opportunities to discover and refine these things. Start by noticing where you put your energy. Listen to the thoughts that run through your mind and ask yourself this: Is it worth it to dedicate any time or energy to this? If I do dedicate time and energy to this, will it help me grow, improve my life, meet my goals, or make the world a better place? Is spending time and energy on this a true reflection of who I am?
Everyone experiences challenges in life. Our souls have offered these challenges as gifts, and it's up to us to sift through the rubble to find the diamond hiding within each challenge. It's okay to spend some time hating the challenge. It's okay to spend some time hurt, aching, angry, or whatever other initial emotion the challenge evokes. However, after we've allowed ourselves to have the full experience of whatever emotions arise with each challenge, it's also up to us to decide what we do with that experience. Do we attach emotional energy to it and dwell on it for the rest of our lives with hurt, anger, and bitterness, or do we use it to propel us to new self-awareness, compassion, and understanding?
In each lifetime, we get to decide how we interpret our experiences, how we react to them over the long-term, and where we place our life force energy. Thus, it never hurts to do a gut check and ask ourselves whether it's worth giving away something as precious as our energy to something that doesn't serve who we choose to be.
Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay