|Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on September 9, 2011 at 9:40 AM|
Something odd has been happening to me lately. Over the past few weeks, friends and family keep saying to me, "You look great." It doesn't matter if they see me in a picture or in person, the response is the same. At first, this was very puzzling. I haven't changed anything about the way I look - no new haircut, clothing, weight change or plastic surgery. It's summer here in Canada and I spend a lot of time on the beach, so I'm sure that having a nice tan doesn't hurt, but for the life of me I couldn't seem to make sense of why people kept commenting on my looks.
Then it hit me.
I don't look different. The energy that I'm giving off is different.
In other words, people aren't noticing anything new about my body or my hair or my smile - they're picking up on the subtle energy that I'm giving off. Their logical mind then assumes that the "feel good" sensation that they get when they're around me must have something to do with my appearance.
So what's so special about my energy lately?
Now don't get me wrong, it's not like I spend my days skipping around in perpetual fields of bliss. I get stressed, frustrated and angry. I cry. I fight with my husband. I have self-doubt and an inner critic that likes to play games in my head. But by and large, I feel pretty darn good. I have an abundance of blessings in my life: good health, lots of food and clothing, a great house, a terrific spouse, many friends and family and a job that I love. I'm not saying this to brag - I'm bringing these things up because I want people to know that it wasn't always this way.
I recently came across one of my old journals from around 8 years ago. Reading some of the entries brought me back to a very dark place - a time when I was going through a difficult break up while also trying to get off antidepressants and finish my Master's degree. I was stressed, exhausted, and at my wits end. The anxiety, depression and self-loathing that I felt at that time were almost unbearable. At around the same time, I started getting into yoga and other aspects of personal development.
Taking a look at my old journal reminded me of how far I've come over the past 8 years. I no longer have an incessant voice in my head telling me I'm not good enough, smart enough or beautiful enough. Mind you, this voice does make an appearance every once in awhile, but far less often than in the past. Nowadays, when I experience stress or sadness, I have a huge toolkit of resources that I can draw upon to manage it. Things like yoga, meditation, breathing exercises and spending time in nature. It took years of therapy, persistence and sheer determination for me to begin integrating these practices into my daily life, but I can now see that all of my hard work is starting to pay off.
The changes that I've experienced over the past 8 years have shown me that as we shift our internal energy, we create positive change in our external world as well. It's the classic idea behind the Law of Attraction and movies like The Secret - what you appreciate, appreciates. By focusing on making myself a better person, I attracted into my life many of the things that I wanted.
The end result is that I'm finally starting to feel comfortable in my own skin. And people are picking up on it. My energy has shifted from being depleted, anxious and weary to confident, joyous and abundant. It's like I'm vibrating at a whole new level. (For a list of what I'm up to these days to shift my energy, check out my blog on Returning Home to Your True Self: A How-To Guide).
Since quitting my corporate job almost a year and a half ago, I've spent a fair bit of money on all sorts of personal development workshops, seminars and coaching programs. But I don't regret it one bit. I've finally realized that investing in myself is the most important decision that I'll ever make. In the end, it doesn't matter how much money I have in the bank or how I look on the outside. What matters most is how I'm showing up in this world. And as my friends have noticed, I seem to be showing up pretty good
Every day, we're faced with a choice. We can choose to bring ourselves and others down, or we can choose to raise our energy, vibration and consciousness in a way that impacts not only our own lives but also energizes others.
What do you choose?