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Monday, November 14, 2016

Energy and mood cycles (1)

Part 1: Too much of a good thing

High, down, blessed with that fingertip feeling [fingerspitzen gefuehl] or humming your heart song while you are working hard. These feelings don't come by by chance. They are linked to how well you live up to your potentials.
It took me many myofascial headaches, nerve compression and a burn out to realize these feelings and energetic states don't belong to one but to three separate cycles. And I'm the one to decide which I'm entering.

The actual eye opener was an unpleasant physical response. First to resting several times per day, part of a therapy to reduce the tension in my muscles, and some time later to a meditation exercise.
Resting did not make me feel relaxed, it caused me to feel overexcited and during the night I had palpitations and strong pulsations in my muscles, making me toss and turn for hours each night. In a few days the resting schedule had worn me out. I preferred my regular level of tension and wondered if the palpitations and pulsations in my muscles were symptoms of withdrawal. From stress, adrenaline.

So I exchanged resting, while letting thoughts bubble up freely, for lying down and reading. Triggered by the idea of withdrawal symptoms I chose a book of Jan Geurtz: “Addicted to Thinking” [Verslaafd aan denken] . It's interspersed with exercises, called contemplations, that consist of observing an object and if possible, yourself while you are observing the object. Any thought that comes up should not be suppressed or judged, nor should you let yourself be distracted by the thought. Just let it happen, let it go.
I got a real kick out of it. The idea of how I full I am of experiences of tea cups that it makes it hard for me to 'see' it without relying on memories... knowing how smooth it is, how strong, heavy, hollow... these are qualities I could not see, these are characteristics I've learned about through use, in the past. Yet I apply them to each new cup I see... My personal life interfering with my observations. It triggered all kinds of associations, with Jung's psychology and the energy one gets from practicing non-directive, non-judgmental, play techniques like improv and Son Rise.Even how judging and labeling take away our energy and bar us from what we actually feel and want.
My fingers were aching to write all this down, but I had to stick to the rules of the exercise and decided to treat the creative thoughts like pain: accepting them, without repressing them or using them. New thoughts began to succeeding other at an exponentially increasing rate until I felt I was in a storm of creative ideas. A brain storm, literally.
My body became agitated and I could no longer lie down. I felt restless and high, like I could turn every thought into a brilliant project. Not unlike a manic episode in which one embarks on too wild or too many good plans. And also like the physical agitation I had felt due to my resting schedule.

This feeling of being high, being on the end of a string that someone is swirling around over his head, came back under different circumstances. My son was surfing Internet for universities and studies, while discussing the options with me. I loved some of his choices , wishing I had had the chance to explore studies like that. He just went on searching more options and I drank in each idea... becoming intoxicated, agitated and finally ... we began to quarrel. The second time we started another brainstorm about studies, I recognized the symptoms and backed out in time, before happy became high. Yet the mutual brainstorm, with my son making the decisions on his own, proved my theory was far from crazy.... letting ideas pop up without acting upon any of them, gives me an unhealthy explosion of energy, which has no way to go except to disturb me physically.

If I want to pursue a creative career, it had better not be about generating ideas for others, without working any of them out by myself.

Next post will be about the red cycle, repressing your ideas.

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