Moving, Sending, and Settling Energy: Family Exercises
Moving, Sending, and Settling Family Energy
Have you ever noticed that some individuals are grumpy and some are joyful? Is it mood or energy? Energy is ever-present, all around us, but the question is: how do we direct it? That’s what matters most. Pouring our attention into positive thoughts and actions creates powerfully important increases in energy and lifts many people around us. Charismatic people are enthusiastic and energetic. Enthusiasm is contagious and powerful, plus it heals! Our words and actions impact one another. What we do and what we say is where our control and magic lie.
That’s not to say we all have to be perfect, but rather to raise our awareness and pour our attention into positive thoughts and actions. None of my suggestions in this column are meant to replace medicine, therapy, or basic science. Energy medicine is a complementary method intended to enhance other approaches. My personal goal is to show all people the value of their hearts, and raise their awareness about what they already have to offer of themselves in the form energy, touch, compassion, and positivity.
Each time I tutor a new student, it takes 3 or 4 lessons until they open up and reveal more aspects of their personality. Some kids open up immediately, but most take time before they ‘let their guard down.’ I believe love energy is the antidote to anxiety and guardedness. The more I genuinely care, listen, and ask questions, the more my students share their true selves. We live in a time where we keep our guards up, the outside world moves fast, and our minds get distracted. To gain positive energy, we need short, effective ways to open up, rejuvenate our attitudes, and diminish our stressors. Energy medicine offers unique ways to accomplish those points.
I’d like to share a few family methods that help with two specific types of energy shifts: daily practice and locking horns. These techniques are made for families of all sizes and kids of all ages. They can be modified to work for your family.
A daily practice is a ritual to help regularly release energy and open and flow outward. I prefer it in the mornings, or after dinner, but you decide what time of day works best for your family. Each step should take 5 or 10 minutes; you may add more minutes to the steps as you get better at them. Discuss how you feel before and after the activities, or give a rank number for your stress level; from 0 being stress-free to 10 being totally stressed out.
- Sounding and Pounding – First, form a circle or face each other if there are only 2 of you. This technique of standing up and sounding will move the energy. The point to ‘sounding’ is to inhale deeply, then exhale, with force, a tone or sound for as long as you can get air out of your lungs, then do it again. Sounding is commonly lower-pitch tones such as vowel sound like Ooo’s or Ah’s or Uuu’s. The pounding refers to lifting your legs and marching in place or stomping. The rules are: don’t touch anyone and stay in one area and don’t say words and don’t scream in a high-pitch. Usually, I do this activity for at least 5 minutes. It feels long, but it helps release pent-up energy stuck in your body from the past.
- Loving and Sending – This next step is to settle down from the sounding for 5 or more minutes. Oxytocin levels increase with 6-second hugs (read about it here). Hug someone or have a group hug for at least 6 seconds in this activity. If this is too difficult or intimate, then modify by just holding hands, or face away from the other person and take turns putting your arms on the other person shoulders for 6 or more seconds. Touch is essential and healing, and it lowers stress levels. The intention here is to visualize outside energy entering your body from your head and feet, then to send that energy through your hands or heart towards others. This is a loving act we call ‘sending.’ In your thoughts, it helps tremendously to say to yourself, “I wish you well.” Or “I send you love and positive energy.”
- Grounding and Meditation – This step is for deeper settling down into your energy. Now that you moved the energy and then sent loving energy, it is now time to calm and soothe by connecting to earth and yourself. This discipline requires a straight spine. Begin with easy breaths, close your eyes, then visualize colors or mist coming into your body and wrapping around your heart, then exhaling or blowing out that same color or mist. Imagine the color is healing and soothing inside your body. Then imagine roots and vines coming from your legs, feet, ankles, and hips going deep into the earth and stabilizing you. You are held on the earth or floor or rug with solid confidence. Meditating can be as simple as visualizing a cloud or your favorite tree for several minutes. Simply see it and watch it in your imagination. Try to keep your mind quiet by listening and breathing. As other thoughts and feelings come up, name them. For example, if you start thinking about lunch, say “thought.” If you start thinking about your itchy nose, say “thought.” As you practice, you can stay fixed on the cloud or tree for longer. You are learning how your thoughts move around inside your mind; meditation helps you to focus.
Another typical situation often needed in families is “unlocking horns.” Our minds try too hard to communicate in arguments or disagreements. Emotions run high, and energy can be intense and scary when we lock horns. Rather than yelling and trying to be heard, here are some better options. The first technique is for the most intense, out of control argument, then progress down to less intense. Both parents and kids benefit most if they discuss these techniques before engaged in an argument.
- Stop and Go – This first technique is for an intense argument that has gotten loud and feels out of control. In your mind or out loud, yell STOP then turn around and GO run to your room. This stops the argument in its tracks and you can always resolve the issue after you both calm down. Allow your emotions to release in your room, whether it’s crying or pouting or feeling your emotions. All parties have to honor this escape in order for trust to build.
- Talk Later – If you know you are really getting too emotional, then it’s a good statement to say, “I’m angry! Let’s talk later, when I’m calmer.” Or for short, “Talk later!” Name your feeling and ask for some time to cool down.
- Hand on Heart – If you are beginning to feel your temperature getting hot and your emotions rising up, then put your hand on your heart and say, “I’m OK” or something that calms you. All these statements help you soothe or comfort.
- Signals – Think of a signal for your parent or your child to share when you don’t want to talk and your emotions are getting too intense to communicate effectively. The signal can be as simple as a peace sign, to symbolize that you need a minute or 5 before this conversation moves forward. If you give the signal or see the signal, both of you have to disengage and separate for best results. Anger energy can prevent communication, so calm is the best situation for conversations or disagreements.
- 6-Second Hug – First announce you are going to hug, then embrace each other and hold for 6 seconds or longer. Both people should consent. This works well when the parent initiates by saying, “I need a hug”. It stops arguments fast.
- For little ones, who can’t communicate yet, I encourage just putting a hand on their backs or their hearts if they are having a tantrum. They mostly need a heart to heart hug and lots of love to learn how to soothe their emotions bubbling up inside. Every situation and every child is different, but the best thing any parent can do is practice quieting their own energy and modeling loving techniques.
If you’re looking for guidance and support in raising your little ones, Alison would like to help! Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alison was born and raised deep in the woods of Pennsylvania, where her childhood imagination ran wild and free. As a scabby-kneed tomboy she seemed fearless, yet as she grew older, her fears and anxieties clearly got worse. She attained her Master’s Degree in Sport Psychology. As a clinical researcher and biostatistician at a university medical center for 18 years, Alison co-authored many medical articles and observed first-hand the short-comings of conventional medicine. She left clinical academia to become a Reiki Master Teacher and author. Her goal is to forge energy medicine into conventional medicine and share more intriguing stories and workshops. She has an 8-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter, and is still learning every hour of every day how to parent.