• Nourish Your Soul With These 3 Types Of Energy

    nourish your soul
     

    “Energy” seems to be a catch-all term for all sorts of things.
     

    These days, you’ll probably think of fuel first – prices of oil and gas have been skyrocketing and are a hot topic. There’s also the much harder to define personal energy. People may say they lack energy to work out or do what they love. Overall, this second type of energy seems mostly physical and is related to tiredness and sleep cycles as well.
     

    A third kind of energy comes from us and the people around us. This energy can either drain us – when we’re around people who are unsupportive or toxic, or even just on a different wavelength – or nourish us. When we’re in the presence of a good friend, we instantly relax and feel well. In contrast, some people’s energy sets our teeth on edge as soon as they enter a room.
     

    It’s this third type of energy I’m writing about today. It comes in different shapes and forms, and in order for us to thrive, we need 3 types of energy on a regular basis.
     
     

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    Nourish your soul

     

    Before I detail the types of energy though, I’d like to talk about the beautiful-sounding concept of nourishing your soul. It’s a frequently used term but also a kind of catch-all, which makes it hard to grasp and define. Allow me to try.
     

    Physical nourishment is easy to define. Mostly people talk about food when they’re talking about physical nourishment. Exercise does fall into this category as well. Of course, our bodies, souls, minds, and spirits aren’t really separate but all part of, well, us, and so nourishing your body will also nourish your soul to an extent.
     

    However, it’s worth keeping in mind that it works both ways. When the soul is nourished, the body benefits too (just as afflictions of the psyche can at times manifest in physical illness).
     

    Nourishment for the soul is anything that makes you feel good, cosy, safe, understood, seen, heard, cared for, and comfortable. Looking at this list, you probably realise that there’s more than one way of soul nourishing, and that you probably need different kinds in order to cover all your needs. I’ve identified three of them.
     
     

    3 types of soul-nourishing energy

     

    Why 3 different kinds, though? Why do I insist on these different types of energy so much? You’d be forgiven for thinking that any kind of soul nourishment is good, but there’s a danger in that.
     

    Our society feeds us many narratives, and some of them are highly toxic. One example is the belief that all we need for our happiness is the love of one romantic partner. It has given rise to narcissistic abuse going unchecked (because people find it romantic when someone wants their partner all to themselves, isolating them) and all sorts of unhealthy patterns developing.
     

    So, no, having the nourishment of one other person doesn’t cut it. Neither does being on your own all the time and only relying on your solo energy. Are we clear on that? Good. Because I honestly can’t emphasise it enough.
     

    nourish your soul
     

    Nourish your soul #1: Solo energy

     

    No, not Han Solo – I’m talking about your own, undiluted energy. This is the energy you feel when you’re on your own, either at home or out in nature.
     

    Why is “undiluted” so important? It’s important because there are things in your life which require your authentic self. Much as another’s input can be valuable at times, this same input is misplaced when it comes to things like:
     

    • Resting
    • The ability to tune into your intuition
    • Creative work
    • Pursuing passions (at least, some of them)
    • Learning/studying

     
     

    Nourish your soul #2: Group energy

     

    If you’re an introvert or a highly sensitive extrovert (such as myself), you’ll probably wince now. Hear me out. A group setting doesn’t have to be a mass event or a class with 200 participants. It can be an evening with three or four good friends or a small crafting group.
     

    It will probably still require you to recharge afterwards, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Humans are, as we’re fond of saying, social animals. There’s something about the merged energy of a group that can be incredibly nourishing.
     

    Synergy means that the combined energy of the group is more than its individual parts added up. There’s something new that happens only when a group comes together. This could take the form of inspiration, new ideas, or simply learning from each other. It’s an energy that takes you out of your own head, and that’s incredibly healthy.
     

    The important part is that you pick two things well: the kind of group and the amount of exposure. Look after your needs and don’t overdo it, and when you’re with your group of choice, gently lean into the energy.
     

    group energy
     

    Nourish your soul #3: 1-on-1 energy

     

    Group synergy is incredible for generating new ideas and inspiration and taking you out of yourself. In contrast, being with one other person can deepen your understanding of yourself and get your further than you’d ever manage to go on your own.
     

    The other person could be a close friend or a partner, a teammate or indeed a coach. The important part is that you trust this person. If you do, then their energy can touch yours in ways that no group setting could ever accomplish.
     

    When I work with my coach, I feel doors opening that I never would have even found on my own. The same happens when I work with my clients. There is a depth in 1-on-1 settings that is quite unmatched by anything else.
     

    Sadly, this has led to a culture where 1-on-1 is valued over almost everything else, and as I mentioned above, this can be highly toxic. Be certain to vary the types of human energy in your life, and make sure you get enough of all three kinds to create a balanced life and a great basis for happiness, pursuing your passion, and any goals you’ve set yourself.
     

  • Do You Really Long For A Simple Life?


     

    Abstract:
     

    When I was stuck in a meaningless city job, commuting, working all hours and never seeing the sun during the week in winter, I remember longing for a simple life. A cottage in nature, books, peace and quiet. Wholesome food.
     

    Many people seem to relate to this ideal, and it does sound beautiful. But is it truly for you? What exactly is its appeal?
     

    Your mission today is to find out how and to what extent you should simplify your life.
     
     

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    Task 1: A minimalist fairytale?

     

    Like most fairytales, it isn’t quite as ideal as it sounds. Some people who have taken the leap, speak of loneliness, having no internet, getting older with nobody to look after them.
     

    Exactly how simple should your life be, then? I believe it helps to write down what exactly appeals to you about the simple countryside life. Here are some examples that may or may not apply:

    • more quiet
    • more nature
    • fewer people and more meaningful connections
    • fewer expectations
    • less stress and pressure

    Also write down – and be very honest here – what you don’t want to miss from your current life. For me, that would be:

    • decent internet
    • culture (exhibitions, concerts…)
    • medical care

    a simple life
    Photo by Mike Erskine on unsplash.com

     

    Task 2: Create your own simple life

     

    Now you have a few clues as to what you want. A lot of them are achievable without moving to the middle of nowhere. I still think I’ll do it some day, but in the meantime, I’ve implemented steps that have simplified my life right here and now.
     

    You could:

    • declutter and become a minimalist
    • significantly reduce your online time and engagement
    • make a point of connecting with people you love
    • regularly spend time in nature.

    Think of concrete steps to implement these things, and plan them for this week, and then take it from there.

  • Learn The Fine Art Of Being Happy


     

    Abstract:
     

    A lot of people glaze over when I tell them that my business is basically about creating joy and happiness (by means of prioritising passions and fulfilling one’s purpose). You know how to be happy, right? It’s not that hard!
     

    In fact, it turns out that it is. Hard, I mean. Ask yourself how you feel right now. Then think over today, and yesterday, and the day before. How much of the time did you feel genuinely happy?
     

    Your mission today is to learn how to be happy.
     
     

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    Task 1: Habit versus happiness

     

    It’s not a sign of failure when we realise we aren’t as happy as we think we should be. In fact, this is as it should be. It’s evolutionary.
     

    Historically, it was paramount for our survival that we detected threat and danger fast. We’re wired to focus on bad things, it’s not just our attitude. This means that in order to be happier, we need to consciously re-train ourselves and change our habits. It requires effort and persistence.
     

    In other words, being happy is hard because we need to learn it. It’s against our very nature!
     

    being happy
    Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on unsplash.com

     

    Task 2: Being happy bootcamp

     

    Here are some ways for you to train yourself to more happiness.

    • Gratitude. Once a day, write down or think of three things you’re grateful for. Really feel your gratitude.
    • Do something that lights you up every single day. Your passions deserve the effort!
    • Connect to another human every single day. If you’re home alone, have a conversation by phone or send them a heartfelt message.
    • Check in with yourself once a day. If you’re feeling less than happy, remind yourself of what went well in the past 24 hours.
    • Get in the habit of saying: “Thank you, life” (or God, or whatever you prefer) whenever something good happens to you.
  • Break Your Stress Addiction In 5 Steps


     

    Abstract:
     

    When I gave up my daytime job and moved to the sunny mediterranean to work full-time on my two businesses, I was looking forward to a simpler, slower life. Several months in, I realised that I was still as stressed and busy as before.
     

    I’ve spoken about our constant need to be busy before. Turns out it’s not just a habit, but an actual addiction. I’m not all zen just yet but have found ways to slowly break free and wean myself off, and I’ll share them with you in the following.
     

    Your mission today is to lean how to break your addiction to stress.
     
     

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    Task 1: Recognise whether you’re addicted

     

    Stress is not just a concept, it manifests in physical reactions of the body that serve to ensure our survival. Adrenalin pumps through us, our pulse rate increases. We sweat more, sleep less, and are on the alert.
     

    All very useful when you’re facing an imminent danger. As a permanent state, it’s absolutely catastrophic. We can even get addicted to the adrenalin, and as a society, we are. Some of the signs include:

    • Finding it hard to “switch off”
    • Thinking of work when you’re supposed to be resting
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Compensating by overeating, over-exercising or similar methods
    • Endlessly watching mindless TV or scrolling through social media
    • Constantly thinking that you’ll “soon” slow down

    stress addiction
    Photo by Katie Treadway on unsplash.com

     

    Task 2: Break your stress addiction

     

    First of all: This will take time. I’m finding that just like with any other addiction, I must wean myself off my “drug”. Here are some steps I’ve found useful.

    1. A cut-off time for all media in the evening (TV, radio, internet, phone)
    2. Generous blocks of time for my passions
    3. Plenty of sleep
    4. Meeting another human face-to-face at least once a week
    5. Time spent in nature at least once a week
  • The “Do Nothing For 10 Minutes” Challenge


     

    Abstract:
     

    I feel the need to raise the alarm: We as a society are losing the ability to be idle.
     

    I’ve spoken about the ideal of being busy before, but what I mean here is not actual work, but rather being occupied (or preoccupied). It’s about listening to news or staring at our phones whenever we have a minute. Our minds, constantly bombarded with stimuli, can’t cope, and it makes us stressed, tense, and ultimately, sick.
     

    Your challenge today is to spend 10 minutes doing nothing.
     
     

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    Task 1: Identify your distraction points

     

    For me, it’s being at home. I sit in front of the computer most of the day, and I find myself still at the computer when I’ve nothing to do, scrolling through social media. It’s terrible!
     

    Others have to have the TV on or the radio blaring in the background. Waiting rooms, bus stops, cafes, public transport – they listen to music and/or stare a their phones or tablets.
     

    Find out when you’re most in danger to use “fillers” such as your phone or the TV, or even a good old-fashioned magazine. Make a note of them.
     

    do nothing
     

    Task 2: Do nothing for 10 minutes

     

    This isn’t a once-off – the challenge is to do nothing for 10 minutes every day for at least one week. Are you up for it?
     

    Here’s what defines “doing nothing”:

    • no music/TV/videos/podcasts on
    • not doing anything with your hands (such as knitting)
    • no meditating or napping
    • no reading

    Sit in a quiet place. Imagine the old farmer on the bench outside his house or a romantic image of a girl in a window seat. Set a timer for 10 minutes and do absolutely nothing. Notice how you feel.
     

    As a bonus, try and extend this newly learned ability to public spaces. Resist your phone at the aforementioned bus stop or if you’re in a cafe on your own. Look around, do some people watching instead. Your mind and your mood will benefit.