I’ve been recognising a pattern in myself lately, that I teased out in a kinesiology session with my miracle-worker Sarah from Ignite Kinesiology (note: I do acknowledge that our sessions are actually a collaboration 😊) .
I’ve been a people pleaser, I’m an introvert (some would scoff, but it’s truth!), and I often experience (mild) social anxiety. The truth is, on some level, I’m kinda scared of people (or more accurately, the power I give others to determine my self worth is scary). I’ve recognised lately that the combined energy of these traits has me modulate the way I interact with people, in an attempt to accomodate their energy, and therefore avoid being negatively judged.
A simple example is when I’m taking my morning walk. A while back, I decided to be brave and to greet passers by, something that felt like an uncomfortable stretch. The friendliness/volume/energy of my “hello” to passers-by will depend on how I assess their energy – Do they look friendly? Are they likely to reply? Will they think I’m a weirdo? … I’ll offer a hearty greeting to the person with a big smile and a jaunty step, I’ll be brave enough to mumble a “Morning” to the quiet-looking person minding their own business, and I’ll keep my mouth shut if someone looks grumpy or judgemental.
I acknowledge the importance of situational energy assessment and behaviour modulation in relating with others. But I think there’s a line to be drawn between appropriately managing/negotiating an interaction, and dimming your light.
It’s so easy to shine your brightest when you feel confident in being well received. When another person is on the same page, likes you, supports you, and openly demonstrates all this, you feel held and encouraged to be your best.
It’s not so easy to bring your best self to a situation if your ego feels threatened or vulnerable. If someone doesn’t like you, is focused on their own problems, or holds strong opinions in opposition to your own, there’s a good chance that your ego will take a battering if you share yourself in all of your fullness.
But what has become more apparent to me recently, is that when I allow my egoic protection mechanisms to modulate how brightly I shine my light, a beautiful opportunity is missed.
What if, I took a chance, recognising that an ego slam isn’t death, and opened my heart, despite the fear?
I could be laughed at.
I could be ignored.
I could have to engage in an uncomfortable conversation.
Unpleasant experiences perhaps, but not the end of the world.
I could brighten someone’s day.
I could remind someone to smile.
I could make someone feel good.
I could re-ignite the light in another.
I’ve been avoiding these opportunities, allowing my ego to dictate my actions. Survival mechanisms are hard-wired, and it takes a willingness and conscious effort to move beyond them.
But as I clarify my desired energy, experiences, interactions and impact in this lifetime, I can recognise that letting my ego steer the ship doesn’t support any of that. Engaging with others from a higher perspective – a soul perspective – is what will. As Sarah helped me to realise, when I’m embodying my desired energy, people receive my light, and this is the driver of my possibility.
So I’ll start with my morning walk. And I’ll continue experimenting.
How about you? Do you modulate your light?