I grew up in Kent. As a teenager in the mid-1990s, the garden of England offered an eccentric range of low-paid, low-rent and downright weird summer jobs! One of the ones my friends and I signed up for was “apple thinning.”
Who knew apples even needed thinning?!
Well apparently, they do.
Apple trees grow lots of apples, but many stay too small to sell, so orchards hire ‘apple thinners’ to pick off the apples which aren’t going to make it! This ‘thinning process’ redirects the resources of the tree towards the apples which are already a good size meaning that they grow and become even more juicy and delicious!
Years later I reflected on this brief training, as it taught me something powerful about energy.
When we are depleted and drained we may feel like our get-up-and-go has completely disappeared. In a state of fear, we panic, and in an attempt to wake up and regain control we reach for things like coffee, sugar, TV (which just exacerbate the situation!) and soon might even look for something (or someone!) to blame: our job, our partner, even our children!
From this place we might be seduced into thinking we simply don’t ‘have’ any energy, however I have actually realised this isn’t the case, we always have the energy, the issue is that it is being directed in directions which don’t serve us.
Yogic wisdom and spiritual practices echo this. I’m sure many of you have experienced an increase in energy post-practice and may have accessed energy resources that you didn’t know you had. How come? Mind/body practices redirect our energy. They shift our minds and bodies away from what isn’t working, to what works well.
So like with apple thinning, it is ALL about how we are directing our energy.
Most of us expend lots of energy unconsciously ‘growing’ lots of small apples (which won’t give us the satisfaction we are looking for) vs directing our energy towards what we really want. Some examples of small apples you might be experiencing:
- expending energy resisting what you don’t want, and being afraid of what is coming your way (fear)
- doubting your worth to have what is already in your life (guilt)
- being irritated with others (resentment)
- and simply just being mean to yourself (shame)
Ouch! Is it any wonder we don’t have any energy left to create the delicious life we actually deserve?!
So what shall we do about all this?
We need to re-direct our energy!
Three simple ways to redirect your energy right now
- Clear the backlog
If you are walking around with the weight of emotional baggage, a ton of clutter and well practised critical dialogues you are directing energy towards the past. Let me or others help you to clear this added weight and feel lighter, brighter and more on track right away!
- Become a master of your time
How are you using your time to create the life you want? Begin to get clear by keeping a “time diary” by writing down activities with paper and pen or download a simple time tracking app. Getting clear about where your time is going will help you to identify the main energy-zappers in your life, and redirect your focus and energy.
Take 5-10 minutes to reflect on simplicity vs complexity in your life right now. Where do things feel muddy, sticky or just plan difficult? Where do things easily flow? Getting simple structures and systems in place will serve not sap you!
As always if you need a hand, I am here!
Text and top image by Rhona Clews.