So how do we show up in the world?
In my previous five posts here this month, I have begun by laying some groundwork for my model on navigating through life transitions. Over the next couple of days, I will be sharing how an awareness and understanding of our energy level impacts our ability to move forward from an ‘old ending’ and successfully achieve a ‘new beginning’ in life.
In his book, Energy Leadership: The 7 Level Framework for Master in Life and Business, Bruce Schneider states “Energy is the very essence of who we are. A person’s energy has everything to do with how they show up in every aspect of their life.” Schneider’s work is the basis for my understanding of how we show up during life’s transitions.
While like the stages of grief, levels of energy are not necessarily experienced in any particular order, but are rather dynamic and may in fact be chosen based on one’s desired outcome. More about choosing a particular level for how you want to show up later.
Each energy level is referred to by a number beginning with Level 1, the lowest level of energy, and moving through Level 7, the highest level of energy. Each level is identified by a core thought, a core emotion, and the action or service of each level.
In the transition component of The Old Ending, the two lowest levels of energy predominate. For today, we will explore Level 1.
At Level 1, we think of ourselves and take on the role of a victim as it relates to the event or situation. As a victim, we think we have been duped, harmed, injured, or tricked by the event or situation. Our emotions or feelings become dulled, we slide into apathy, and even experience a sense of loss or purpose in our lives. Since we think of ourselves as a victim, we become apathetic, having little energy to take any action, and we become lethargic and unable to move forward. Remember, energy affects all parts of us, including our body, mind, spirit, and even the world around us, like our finances, job, relationships with family and friends, and what we do for fun and enjoyment. The good news is we do not have to remain in Level 1.
As an example, here is how my life played out following the loss of my job. Initially I certainly found myself in Level 1. I was stunned, felt hurt and duped, not to mention the shame and embarrassment (victim thinking). I had been working in my field for nearly 30 years. I believed I would not be hired again within my profession. My profession was a big part of my identity and suddenly, I had no purpose or meaning in my life (feelings of apathy). Not knowing what to do next, I began to isolate myself by staying home and lying on the couch and covering my head for a couple of weeks (no action). I used food to comfort me. I slept a lot. I did not engage with family and friends. I worried during waking hours about how to financially survive.
Let me remind us, everything we do is a choice, there is no right or wrong. For some individuals, living in Level1 Energy may have benefits. Later this month, I’ll share more about the benefits of each level and how it can be of service in our lives.
Tomorrow, Level 2 Energy . . . Stay tuned!