Learning. I am a sponge. I learn from books, and listening intently to perspectives from other individuals. I stare. I become fascinated with the nuances of why people say the things they do, and act the way they act. Often we do not realize how we are perceived, and whether people are nurtured and inspired by our presence, or if they are repelled and drained by us. At times the story we tell, and how we express ourselves greatly dictate other’s perceptions of us.
Each of us have such a unique past and specific experiences that mold us into who we are and how we embark on our day. We constantly absorb the moments, attitudes, mood, and energy of those around us. As we consume those around us, we decide moment by moment how we are going to respond and react, or maybe do nothing at all. Some of us have a harder time letting go of any bad energy that exudes from those around us. Others make it their mission to get rid of any toxic energy that comes into their experience.
As a sponge, it can sometimes be hard to react quickly, because the absorption process happens so quickly. In that way, we have to protect ourselves from others, and sometimes ourselves. For those of us who are sponges, we have to be aware and take care of ourselves. Keeping tabs on the energy around you, and what drains you can be a step in determining if you are breathing in toxic energy. Learning how to be less absorbent in those moments is a protection in sanity, and what you want to breathe into your world.
Soak it all up, just watch what you let touch you.
I have written often over the past year about energy. What energy do you bring into a room, a group of people, a home, your place of work? I constantly go back to the idea of energy and how we always have control over our own and how we allow it to ooze, and cover whatever we touch. Some days the sun is shining brightly and it brings a smile to your face and that energy is spread to everyone else. Those are the good days and that is the energy that is contagious. Other days we step in gum, cannot find a parking spot, and feel our energy is just off, and sometimes that bummer day is spread to everyone else.
I love this quote about energy from a Daily Om “A Question of Balance.” While it talks about intimate relationships, it actually really applies to any relationship:
“One of the most beautiful qualities of an intimate relationship is the give and take of energy that occurs between two people.”
Whether the relationship is with a co-worker, a close friend, a sibling, or significant other, the energy you share with them matters. Think about how it feels when you walk into a room and you feel completely welcome. There is a warm and happy glow. Do you ever think about the energy you give, or what you bring to each interaction? How does your energy level, your positive (or negative) emotions bring others up or down? Do you come into situations with the intent to help elevate others, or do you intend to bring them down?
At times I feel like a sponge, absorbing the energy around me. What takes the most energy and effort is to walk into a room of negativity, and gloom and keep yourself above it while also attempting to elevate or raise the energy and emotion of others. It tends to be easier to join a negative environment then it is to raise the bar from negative to positive. A happy and positive environment is always easy to join, as I said before, it is contagious.
Bring on a positive, slap happy, environment full of laughter. I will be there with you any day.
It is a good thing. Yes, when you can crawl into bed at the end of your day, and know that you have truly sucked every moment out of your day. You have been present.
I like to think of it as absorbing every molecule of life. The good, the beautiful, the ugly, the stinky. Absorb. What an interesting word. It makes me think of a sponge and how when it attracts water to it, it expands and becomes absorbent. When it does not have liquid, it contracts and dries up. A sponge is such a great analogy to sucking the life out of your day. If you do not fill your day with items of interest and engagement you start to wither and dry up.
Think about all the things in your day that you are passionate about, the things that inspire and give you energy. Did you come up with what that is for you? Is it helping people, pushing them to see life differently? Or is it designing the best new innovative product? What energizes you? Whatever it is, when you feel that passion and energy, that means your sponge is filled. It has absorbed the energy, and there is an urgency within you.
Urgency. Now that is another topic of interest. When you feel passion for what you are doing, when you are engaged, you feel a sense of urgency. You want to make things happen. You want to move people to look at their life differently. You want to launch that new technology that will change lives. You absorb and suck the life out of your day. You live and breathe all that you stand for, and you make things happen.
Are you a sponge? Do you feed off of the energy of those around you? I love this Daily Om from a few weeks ago called: “Centered and Safe.” It resonates with me because I find that when I am not balanced or listening to my inner voice, I can easily become a sponge to other’s moods, complaints, or joy. The good part is when I am a sponge for joy. The not fun part is when it is the opposite. You know when you are grumpy and someone else’s happiness kicks your mood’s butt? Those are the good perks of being a sponge. What is bad is when you can be in a great place, and someone’s poopy attitude sways you to become grumpy and frustrated.
I have worked hard over the past few months to be clear on when my moods are affected by those I am surrounded by on a daily basis. Do I feel frazzled and stressed out because those around me do? Can I leave the mood of others behind by finding the good in a bad or not fun situation? Another way to think about it is what the Daily Om calls being sensitive. I think “being sensitive” gets a bad rap. Many times the word “sensitive” has a negative connotation of being weak or easily influenced. I do not think of the word sensitive in that way. Dictionary.com lists “sensitive” as:
#3 is what resonates with me. So, the better balanced an individual is with their own selves, the easier it is to accommodate their own sensitive nature. In a good way. So if you are a sponge, you have a choice of how much of another’s moods you let into your experience. Are you aware of what you are absorbing?
You might also find Tuesday’s Daily Om resonates with you. It is called: “Let it Roll Off Our Back.” It is a good reminder to let things go and not get too caught up in someone else’s negative energy.
I am going to be on watch for when I need to squeeze out the junk from my sponge and when I need to keep absorbing the good!