If you get overwhelmed or scattered when making changes in your life or setting more powerful intentions– then maybe you’re leaking.
Or, if you’ve read books like The Secret, and even though you’re thinking better thoughts, things keep falling apart, and you’ve said, “This stuff doesn’t work,” then you might be leaking.
Or, if you have absolutely zero idea what your ideal life would look like because every time you turn around some new clump of organic matter has hit the fan, and you’re just trying to get through it, then you could be leaking.
What are you leaking?
Your own precious energy or life force.
What does that mean?
It means this: Part of creating an authentic, powerful, serene, present-moment life is actually practical. It has to do with your energy and your focus. You want your energy and focus to be in the present moment. The present moment is where you create. It’s where you visualize. It’s where you shift your thoughts. And it’s where you find gratitude. If you’re continually losing your focus and getting scattered, your energy might be shooting outward to other places and thoughts and things.
So, what exactly is a leak?
Your energy and focus get zapped out of the present moment by many things. Some of these things are easily fixable. Some of them will take more time to clear up. This post is about those things that are fixable. The leaks.
In the world of life coaching, these leaks are called Energy Drains. A leak or an energy drain is any incomplete task, to-do, idea, or memory that drains your energy – even a little bit – when you think of it, or when you see it. It might be the thank you note that you keep forgetting to write to someone because you don’t have the right note cards. It might be the pants in a heap on your closet floor because they need to be hemmed. It might be the phone call(s) you need to return to potential clients. It might be a honkin’ full email box. It might be something scary, like a health situation you’ve been ignoring while hoping it will go away. It might be a conversation you need to have with a coworker. It might even be something you keep telling yourself you’ll do, like research a beginning yoga class.
These things seem harmless. But think about it. If you have lots of incompletes in your life, then your energy, your self is still connected to those things. You are still giving to them – even if it’s just by remembering they are still undone – until you choose to cut off that connection, until you choose to get complete. You really can take care of them and get yourself in the present moment.
And even though some of these items may seem small, you will probably notice a huge difference in your life when you start completing them. When they are fixed or completed, you will notice a higher energy level and deeper sense of your own power. More opportunities will show up, and you’ll have more clarity and peace.
How do I begin fixing leaks?
Here’s a step-by-step process that I used when I first started working with the leaks. I still do this, especially if I’ve just gone through a lot of travel and I come home to a whole lot of incompletes and things I’ve had to set aside. I’ve learned to complete them quickly because I know the impact that these can have on my state of mind and on my creativity.
1 – Get a partner who will cheer you on. Or meet with several people and plan to check-in with each other once a week for two months as you start to get complete.
2 – Get a blank piece of paper and pen. Start a list of any items that come up that feel undone, incomplete, and leak-y. You’ll probably have several items that come to mind right away.
When you feel like you can’t think of any more, then stop for now. But carry that piece of paper around with you for two days. Any time something nags at you, or drains your energy, put it on the list. Here are sample areas to ponder: Car, Home, Office, Pets, Partner, Kids, Friendships, Work Relationships, Finances, Clients, Computer (updates, emails, back-ups, systems for backing up, etc.) And don’t forget the things you keep telling yourself you’ll do, like: plan a vacation, have an adventure day, start a gratitude journal, or create a vision board. You don’t have to do anything yet, just write everything down in one unorganized list.
3 – When you feel that the list is complete for now, then re-write it so it looks nice. If you want, you can put items in order from easiest and quickest to more challenging.
4 – Start with the easiest things to do. Take the pants to the alterations place. Then cross that item off your list. Get the oil changed. Cross that off your list. Answer all the emails. Cross that off. Call or email your partner(s) any time you complete something. Remember about that one thing we always forget to do!
5 – As you go through the list, some things will start to feel harder, especially if you’ve included unresolved issues in your relationships or health. The momentum you’ve gained will help you get through these in surprising ways. And some things might take a much longer time, especially with resentment or engaging in gossip or needing to forgive. (Remember: intent is a great place to start with these kinds of things.)
6 – Once you get clearer and more energetic as you complete items over a period of time, you’ll have less tolerance for things that take that kind of energy: old friendships that feed on negativity, certain clients that drain you and no longer align with your values, rooms in your house that no longer please you. This is what happened with me. The entire process took on a bigger and bolder meaning, and I began to get even clearer about the parts of my life that were no longer serving me. If this starts to happen to you, this is good! It’s an indicator that you’re growing and shifting.
7 – At some point you’ll start crossing things off your list before they ever make it on your list. I will close with an example of this kind of clarity. At my retreats, we spend several hours going through this idea of energy drains, and each woman has a chance to get clear about her own leaks. After the last retreat, the women formed a Yahoo Group so that they could stay in touch and cheer each other on in their quests to live more authentically. On the Monday morning after the retreat, one of the women wrote in the following humorous and victorious email:
My “Service Engine Soon” light went on last night.
First Thought: “CRAP!”
Second Thought: If I keep ignoring it, the light is just draining energy from me.
This morning I scheduled an appt and I’m dropping the car off at 2!
(Normally I’d drive around trying not to look at the light and praying I wouldn’t get stuck in the middle of the road!) Small victories….!