As I reflect on all of the personal development workshops I’ve attended, the coaches and healers I’ve worked with, the graduate degree I obtained in spiritual psychology, and multitude of books I’ve read over the years, I realize I’d been learning about energy and exchange just through different philosophies and jargon.
At its core, exchange simply means there is an even balance over time of giving and receiving. Just like need to inhale as must as we exhale, all things work within this even change of opening and closing, releasing and receiving, sunshine and rain, daylight and nighttime. If you look to nature, it organically finds exchange, a web of checks and balances, expansion and recalibration.
Just like nature, exchange happens in all of my affairs. I exchange with my sobriety, my spirituality, my consciousness, health and body, clients and work, relationships and love, creativity and creation, and finances. It happens energetically through presence and mindfulness, time and money, compassion and forgiveness.
Simply put...when my exchange is on, I feel alive, inspired, and energized. When the exchange is off, I feel drained, tired, and resentful.
If I have a challenging relationship in my life it’s usually because the exchange is off. I noticed this in my marriage, in friendships, and business collaborations. I’m either giving too much or taking too much. Exchange is more of a fluid and constant recalibration versus a perfect balance. After a few times of being off, I quickly learned by looking at what was off, and either doing the opposite or finding middle ground.
Being an empath and highly sensitive person, I used to feel drained because I could feel everything. I also felt exhausted because I gave more than I received. For instance in my marriage, there were times when each of us gave more than we received, or more than we were making sure we filled back up from our own resources.
This left both of us feeling unappreciated, misunderstood, and exhausted because we were unconsciously attempting to give even more to remedy the situation. The real healing happened when I got honest with myself about what we had been exchanging or lack of exchanging and creating new choices, habits, patterns.
In the past I would try to enforce boundaries from a mental control guised as being healthy, and emotional reaction because I felt uncomfortable. Now I’m learning how to invite boundaries from a place of love which melts away exhaustion and energizes.
How can you set these boundaries for yourself?
Be patient, gentle and kind with yourself.as you go through the discomfort of becoming aware practicing, and fine tuning new boundaries.
Attune to your relationships. List them out and go through these questions for each one. Does it feel nourishing? Does it feel heavy?
Are you usually the one making the initiative? Are you relying on another person to help you or lead you?
What are you seeking from the relationship? What does it give you? What do you give it to it? Is it serving you and your energy?
What are some of the small ways you can start to shift that energy?
Start simply with the awareness of what could shift before you take action. Often times by bringing your awareness to it is more than enough to create a change. Awareness is action.
With love, Gwen