Creative Forces: Energy

Pay attention to your energy levels right now. What words would you use to describe it? Rating how high it is is a great start but you can go deeper. Are you sleepy? Do you feel hydrated? Are your emotions calm or running on high? Are you physically tired? Mentally drained? Do you feel fulfilled and challenged?

‘Energy’ is a catch-all term to cover many states. Like all emotions and mindsets, many factors contribute to it and you know it when you feel it. If you are sleeping well, eating well and hitting the gym a little, you’ll probably have high energy… unless you are trapped in a job you hate. A lot of things can leave you feeling flat. Conversely, a lot of things can pep you up.

Think about how creative you are when you are in a high-energy state. In fact, try to imagine you being uncreative while pumping with energy. It’s hard. Feel-good moods tend to cluster – for example, if you have a runner’s high, you’ll feel love more deeply. It’s a fact of both neuroscience and common experience great feelings trigger each other. This is why energy is the beating heart of creativity.

Back to you and how you’re feeling. Take a deep breath and draw your focus inward. As you breathe in, feel your focus go deeper. Find that feeling of energy or fatigue deep within you. As you draw closer to it, notice how familiar it all is. Go past your first impression and really feel your current state.

Now, thinking back to the start of the article, notice four things about your energy state right now. Imagine all the factors that build your energy levels and mentally tick them off. Are you hungry or thirsty? Are you worn out? Are you sleepy? Are you fulfilled in life? There are no right or wrong answers, only honest and dishonest ones.

Take note of how energetic you feel. Really take note, beyond just a simple label of high or low. Feel it and remember the feeling. Store the full sensation in your mind as clearly as you can.

Now, think back to how you felt right before your last meal. If it was earlier today that’s good and if it was yesterday then that’s great too. Recall as well as you can how you felt. You probably felt a little hungry, but was this a gentle sensation or was it affecting your energy levels? Were you socially engaged? Mentally stimulated? Basking in the joy of exercise or a relaxing daydream? Think about how all of these created your energetic state. Relive the sensation as best you can.

You can probably guess what comes next. That’s right, I want you to go deeper back in time. Allow yourself to think positive thoughts. As you do, let your mind find a point in the last week that stands out. It doesn’t matter what you were doing, just let your mind do its thing. How was your energy state then? Something about this time imprinted itself on your memory – what was it? How did it make you feel? Did your body tingle with anticipation? Maybe it was more like a warm glow or a gentle softness. How were your energy levels during this time?

In your hands, you hold three energy landscapes from the past week. You’ll notice that there are similarities and differences between them. This is, of course, completely natural. Perhaps take a moment to explore these differences and similarities. How was the intensity of the energy? Where in your body did you feel it? These are questions only you can answer.

As you explore your own energy landscape, I want you to turn your mind to the future. What you are doing is a simple, pleasant exercise, one that you can do throughout the day. Just before each meal or snack, let your mind run through this game. Feel out the deepest roots of your energy. Do this regularly and allow yourself to understand the results. You are more than capable of the few moments of focus needed. Allow your mind to create a deep connection with your own sense of energy.

Do this throughout the day. Observe the rise and fall of your energy levels. Everyone is unique, following their own special rhythms. The outside world and your inside world harmonise to generate this energy landscape. Each is a fingerprint you leave on the world.

As your energy levels rise, it feels amazing. Always allow yourself to notice and enjoy the feeling. If your energy levels drop, that’s okay. Be aware of the feeling. Each bit of information lifts the connection to higher places. The more you notice the rises and falls, the higher your energy levels lift.

Feel free to go about your day soon. But before you go, I want you to appreciate the role that focus has in this. Practicing focus allows you to hold your attention longer and more powerfully, but that’s not the important part. The important part is that by focusing on your energy levels, you are telling your brain that this is important. Which, of course, it is. It trains your mind to notice your energy levels, to draw connections about how what happens in your day changes your energy landscape.

All you need to do is focus on your energy a few times a day. That’s it. Your brain will do the hard work. It will follow your focus and assume that this needs investigating. It will monitor your energy levels throughout the day and analyse patterns in the background. It will even do this while you sleep. Only if you remember to keep telling it that energy matters to you.

Think about some daily events now. Your morning coffee, the bus ride home, brushing your teeth. Let these act as reminders for you to focus on your energy. As you lift your head into the real world, new instincts will form that drive you towards energy-increasing behaviours. And as this starts to happen, you’ll be amazed at how creative you become.

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