My dad is always one call away and always ready to help. Whether it’s to analyze the last Green Bay Packers’ game play-by-play or to figure out how to hang curtain rods when the package didn’t contain directions, I know who to call: Dad. One skill he instilled in me was the ability to locate a problem and efficiently correct it.
Among his analogies, one of my favorites is his ‘leak in the levee’ scenario. Basically, if you don’t patch the minor leaks in the levee of life as they emerge, the levee eventually breaks and the water overcomes you. If we teach ourselves how to efficiently locate and patch our minor energy leaks before they become major ones, we won’t have to suffer the pain of drowning by letting things get out of hand.
Unless you happen to be a music buff and avid Don McLean “American Pie” fan, a levee visual probably won’t be very relatable. So let’s shift our scenario to a leak in a pipe. Before taking necessary steps to fix the pipe, one must first locate the leak’s whereabouts. A leak like one bursting from under your kitchen sink is easy to spot and fix immediately. But when there’s a leak hidden in the depths of your basement or behind a wall, you may not notice it until the damage has already been done.
Those gradual leaks are the kind we are going to focus on today — the ones we don’t notice until we wake up one morning and realize we’re still tired or that we’ve lost our passion or vigor for life or even our loved ones. These energy leaks are ones we don’t notice until the damage has already been done.
An energy leak is really just as it sounds — you’re giving energy to something unnecessary, and that energy is going to waste. A common energy leak would be judging others. Spending time getting angry over what someone said on social media or getting mad at me for saying meditation can heal problems is a great way to bust a leak in your energy. The time and energy you gave to that could be used toward being kind to yourself and others, toward your favorite hobby or even to your career. Instead, it’s leaving you tired, lifeless and bitter.
LOCATING AN ENERGY LEAK
Just like a pipe in your home, similar steps to locating a potential energy leak apply, so let’s keep this analogy moving.
1. STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING
If I called my dad and said I thought a pipe was leaking, he would tell me to shut off my water. Shutting off your faucets is similar to stopping what you’re doing to find seclusion and create a safe space for yourself. It sounds simple, but most of us can’t find time in the day to go to the bathroom, let alone to be alone and at peace. This means accepting your energy as a precious gift.
2. LET GO OF USELESS THOUGHTS
In our leak analogy, you’d move as much furniture out of the way as possible. In life, when you become still and make a conscious effort to let go of useless thoughts, the proverbial Gatsby’s green light has a way of blinking in your mind’s eye. Give yourself a chance to feel all of the things you’ve been shoving down and not dealing with, then clear out what you know isn’t causing the leak, and your mind will guide you to the breakdown.
3. GET READY TO WORK
If the leak was fixed, you’d notice the improvement in your water meter. If only we had a simple way to read our own energy meter! This is the hardest, yet simplest, step: Be still and patient. You may need to repeat steps one and two a few times before the leak reveals itself. Once it does, the work begins. It’s time to take responsibility for repairing the leak.
The whole goal of learning to locate an energy leak is to be proactive about your wellness. If you learn the warning signs of your energy leaks, you won’t have to wait until the levee breaks. Take control of your energy and stop letting your gift become your curse.