Energy – the lens through which we filter our thoughts, feelings, and actions, and thus see ourselves, our peers, and the world at large. We now know the concept of energy can be split into two categories:
- Destructive: that which when experienced brings us and our awareness of what’s possible down
- Constructive: that which when experienced raises our awareness and ability to move forward
The coaching certification I completed, iPEC, labels them as catabolic and anabolic respectively. Similar to the hormones of the same name that produce similar effects within the body.
The 7 Lenses
So what if I told you energy can be labeled even more specifically? Categorized into 7 different lenses that help to deepen your understanding and awareness, and further your ability to articulate how they shape your view of yourself and the world?
What follows is my interpretation of iPEC’s teaching and the philosophies set forth by its founder, Bruce Schneider.
|1||I’m stuck. No way out.||Apathy; Indifference||Wallow; No Action|
|2||I must win. There’s conflict.||Anger; Resentment||Defy; Judge; Fight|
|3||It’s Fine. We’re good.||Forgiveness||Take responsibility; Compromise|
|4||I care. There’s concern||Compassion; Kindness||Serve; Help|
|5||There’s opportunity.||Peace; Calm||Accept differences; Believe|
|6||We’re all connected||Joy; Delight; Pure Empathy||Connect; Lead with Intuition|
|7||Complete & full objectivity||Pure passion; Bliss||Create from nothing; Manifest|
Represents the most destructive [catabolic] state we experience. It’s here where impostor syndrome and our loudest inner naysayer thrive and play over the loudspeaker. Fear is abundant in this space. We stay small because we have no confidence and we don’t see any other options. We make very little movement, if at all, toward anything.
Our fight response. When we’re triggered by something or potentially grown tired of our own wallowing, we experience anger and resentment toward someone or the situation. We start to fight to gain control and we judge others to [typically] avoid our own pain.
It’s with lens 1 and 2 that we deflect. We lack (or don’t take) responsibility for what’s happening.
The tipping point into more constructive [anabolic] energy. With this lens, we start to experience more responsibility for what we think, feel, and do. It’s marked by more compromise and cooperation partnered with justification and rationalization to move forward.
This is where love and compassion reside. It’s here that we experience energy focused on support and service aimed at solving problems and fixing what seems to be broken. (*ahem* moms).
The land of opportunity! This is where we experience and often think, “everything happens for a reason”. We’re more open to recognizing when and how circumstances that don’t go the way we intended could actually be a lesson learned and beneficial in the long run. We eliminate judgment and experience peace in this space.
We tap into the visionary side of our existence. We feel connected not only to our highest potential, but to everyone else with pure empathy and understanding for what they think and feel. Knowing full well it doesn’t affect our energy or ability to move forward. This is where intuition kicks in and we feel an empowering sense of joy and purpose.
The most constructive [anabolic] of all. This is where we experience THE absolute highest version of ourselves. The one capable of creating something out of nothing, as well as complete and total objectivity around everyone’s thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Reacting vs. Responding
It’s apparent by now, the higher the level, the more constructive [anabolic] the energy experienced. To best understand and apply each lens, envision them along a continuum. Each one represents a point on that continuum that can be experienced at any given moment. There are a few very important things to note:
- Each lens has its advantages and disadvantages – we’ll dive into that in future posts
- You cannot BE a specific lens. They’re not labels; simply experienced based on what you experience
- You’ve experience all 7 at some point in your life; and potentially in the same day
This last point often surprises clients as we dive deeper into their journey. Now that you’ve learned a little bit about each lens, you can likely pinpoint very specific instances in which you experienced some of them. It’s also likely any instances that brought about lenses 1-3 stand out more than others, which makes total sense! It’s there we experience some of the strongest and lasting thoughts and emotions (guilt, shame, fear, anger, resentment, judgment). However, it’s 100% true that you’ve also experienced 6 & 7, you just didn’t take as much notice. Why?
Well one, as a human, you’ve gotten REALLY good at never giving yourself enough credit for something so enlightening. And two, you don’t experience them as often as you’d like because you’ve created default patterns in what energy you experience. Those default patterns typically run through the lower, more destructive [catabolic] lenses. Meaning, you’ve gotten really good at unconsciously reacting to situations and running default programs to deal with life vs. responding more consciously in a way that represents who you really are at any given moment. It’s the difference between showing up how you “always have” vs. how you want when any stimulus is thrown your way. (Though here’s a hint – you haven’t “always” shown up destructively. It was learned over time, which is totally normal! 7 billion others have done/are doing the same).
Consciously Choosing a Lens
One of my deepest held values is listening, being heard. By now you likely know my loudest inner naysayer convinced me I didn’t have a voice worthy of being heard, so I spent years not living my full truths because I couldn’t say them or if I did, feeling unbelievably unworthy if they weren’t acknowledged or listened to.
When I became a mom, I didn’t have any challenges speaking my truths to my kids. I’ve always been very vocal about my love, adoration, and expectations with them. Well wouldn’t you know, they’re kids. They don’t always listen. Level 2 came in waves the second my boys didn’t listen at all or had to be told 1,587 times to do something. My default pattern was, “Well someone isn’t listening to me. I must fight to be heard!” I’m sure you can imagine what happened next.
It wasn’t until after learning about the energy lenses (and A LOT of deep work into my inner naysayer) that I understood why I reacted the way I did. It was my go-to programming. Not being heard?! Well, fight until you are! With my raised awareness, I now realize their lack of listening has nothing to do with me, and my reaction absolutely does! When situations like this pop up now, I tend to choose lens 5. What’s the opportunity for me here? How can I present this in a way that resonates more with them so that I am heard in a way that works for me?
I can’t say with 100% truth that I’m always able to consciously interrupt my anger pattern when not listened to, but I’m much more effective at choosing a different perspective to avoid a fight.
You’re in the Driver’s Seat
Having the awareness of the energy lenses and how they show up allows you to change yours at any given moment. It gives you more succinct and specific language to acknowledge what you’re thinking and feeling, and to take control so that you work them vs. them working you. You’re in the driver’s seat! From this moment forward, you’re empowered with the notion that no one can make you feel anything you don’t want. Sure their words, actions, or lack thereof can trigger something, but that’s completely up to you!
So what does this matter?
So what does this have to do with transformation and fostering self worth and self acceptance to accomplish your dreams? In a word, everything. Knowing and understanding the concept of energy and how it manifests in your life is at the heart of self acceptance, growth, and ultimately achieving your dreams. It provides the avenue to get out of your own way, to stop playing small; to alleviate any guilt, shame, anger, fear, frustration that you’ve believed is who you are up to this point. It’s not! It’s simply the lens you unconsciously chose to wear. Now you have 7 from which to choose! Which do you want to wear?!
It’s Time to Take Action
There is so much to this concept of energy. So much so, it’s at the epicenter of my coaching strategy. It drives every client relationship. Simply put, I don’t follow your story. I follow the energy around your story. Together we maximize your constructive [anabolic] energy, and actively work through the destructive [catabolic] energy. We acknowledge it, unpack it, and release it so that you’re in the best possible position to propel yourself forward to accomplish your biggest desires.
Any destructive energy you’ve experienced until now does not define you. It’s not who you are. You are capable of experiencing constructive energy at any moment. The first step in the journey is awareness. Now that you know there are other choices, it’s time to take action.
What lens do you want to put on today?
Live your truth. Unabashedly you. You are worthy.