Working with energy

For me, working with energy is not some kind of esoteric or magical practice. It is a daily concern about how to manage my energy levels so that I can do as much as possible. It’s not a wholly practical issue either. Energy is a basic necessity of life, so treating it as a more supernatural issue seems really bizarre to me. But then, much of my take on magic has far more to do with life as experienced, than that which cannot be pointed at.

I’ve learned some simple, practical issues around how much sleep I need (a lot in the winter, less in the summer) and what kind of diet actually sustains me. Getting that right has helped me a lot. I’ve looked at how I pace myself, moving between different kinds of work in order to stay mentally fresh. I’ve found I may be more of a morning person than makes emotional sense to me, but working late into the night burns me out far faster than starting early does. There are no one-size-fits-all answers here, it is a case of exploring and finding what works.

I’ve spent the last ten years and more trying to run flat out, writing, working, parenting, keeping a home, volunteering… I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve misjudged and burned out. The last few years I’ve been trying not to do that. Exhaustion is my single biggest trigger for depression and anxiety, and I’ve got to a point where body and mind simply cannot endure much more of that. It is essential for me not to spend too much time in that state. I get really ill. And so managing my own energy and learning to work within its limits, only pushing those edges gently and some of the time, has become vital for my viability.

It is clear to me that there is only so much I can do by getting the physical underpinnings right. Sleep, diet and exercise are important, and if I get those wrong I suffer. However, they will not do the whole job, and sleep especially is affected by my emotional state. If I am demoralised, if I feel unvalued, if the people around me give me a hard time and feed feelings of uselessness, then nothing works. Equally, if I have the right kind of engagement with people, my energy levels rise dramatically. What I need are intense, emotionally honest, heartfelt interactions with people. Preferably enough people to feel a bit like a tribe. Soul friendship, sharing of life and self, people who are being authentic… this makes worlds of difference.

Thus far 2014 has really brought into focus for me which relationships in my life give me this. I’ve been able to step away further from connections that make me feel tired and low, investing more in those heartfelt interactions that feed my soul. I am seeing the effects on my output. I’ve written nearly a novel’s worth of short story material in the last month, I’m writing non-fic at a pace, I’m doing arty crafty things, and it’s all flowing. My morale, which is rooted in my relationships, is what makes this possible.

There is an incredible magic in connecting open-heartedly with people. New thoughts and feelings, new experiences, are possible. It’s not your wand waving magic of spells and determined change, but a more organic and unpredictable magic, no less life-changing. Energy work… it’s not all auras and acupuncture language.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

2 responses to “Working with energy

  • Christopher Blackwell


    In a sense I am surprised that you have any doubts about yourself.

    Certainly you and the rest of us all have our down periods and periods when we don’t get much or anything done. I go through that with each issue of ACTION I put out. This can last a week or two weeks at the worse. Yes I do get concerned, but at some point I get my first set of interview questions out and then things start to move. In the las thirteen years I have only had two issues that were a day or two late. This has included computers crashing and having to be replaced, to eye operations, seven in a little over a year. What I learn is that I am not going to put a regular amount of work out each day, but will go through dead periods to times when everything cooks.

    In this post of yours,, it sounds similar. You have learned a lot about burn out. So have I. When I cannot get something done, the important thing is to get anything done even if it is no more than vacuuming my shop, or getting my bills paid off, or even get back to reading my latest book. Yes sometimes goofing off is the right thing to, a break may be needed.

    As for people that don’t make you feel valued, limit your time with such vampires that suck out your self esteem. I have even cut out family members for years until they understood that are certain things that I don’t allow. Ironically now I have a pretty good relationship with family members and staunch support from very ones that were once undermining me. No is magical word of power we never use enough, while trying to be nice and polite.

    Look back over the things that you ave accomplished, including this blog which I as a Wiccan, now read daily. The value of the information you put out is not limited to any one community. Even the expressing of you doubts is valuable because all of us face them from time to time. It just makes you very human that you admit them rather than having an ego that requires to hide any imperfections. We have dealt with plenty of big name Pagans that have those egos, but we know that we never ail see that from you.

    So yes you ail still have days when you doubt, or do not get anything done, but over all you are really rather dependable over all and you know how rare that can be in our Pagan community and the lazy ones working on Pagan standard time.

    So always be aware of what you have accomplished and during a down time know that it will pass and you will go into another period where things get done. Ignore anyone that suggests otherwise. Sometimes if is better to just depend on what we know about ourselves and ignore others for awhile.

    Meanwhile we will all be out here for the next thing that you try. That you can depend on.

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