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    Take Responsibility for Your Energy

    On the last Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah talked about a sign which she kept in her makeup room, upon which was written: “Please take responsibility for the energy that you bring into this space.” The moment I heard this truly profound statement, I recognized its importance to every interaction in life, and I knew I had share it on The Soul Channel.

    Oprah received the sign from one of her guests by the name of Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, who was on the show talking about her book My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey. The Oprah website also provides an excellent excerpt from the book, which demonstrates the exceptional quality, detail and accessibility of Dr. Taylor’s writing.

    I was especially pleased to read what Oprah learned from her discussions with Dr. Taylor, including:

    “Nobody but you is responsible for your life. It doesn’t matter what your mama did; it doesn’t matter what your daddy didn’t do. You are responsible for your life. … You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others.”

    As discussed in other Soul Channel articles, learning does not take place except through change. What changed in Oprah’s life from this experience? She explained:

    “I ask the same thing in my home and at my companies. Thank you, Dr. Taylor, for that simple but powerful lesson. All life is energy and we are transmitting it at every moment. We are all little beaming little signals like radio frequencies, and the world is responding in kind.” How quickly an excellent student of life becomes an exceptional teacher.

    The preceding discussion provides an intriguing background for this article. Yet what I really want to chat about is the infinite depth of the word ‘space’ in the quote, “Please take responsibility for the energy that you bring into this space.” It is easy to imagine that ‘space’ refers to the room or building you just entered. Ever walk into a room where a heated argument has been taking place and you actually feel the angry energy still present? Have you ever experienced the contagious energy of laughter?

    ‘Space’ also refers to any discussion you participate in. For example, the energy you inject into a discussion with a friend or loved one has a definable impact on the temperament, duration and outcome of the discussion, as well as the willingness of the participants to engage in a subsequent discussion. How open is your child or business partner to listening when you bring an angry energy into a discussion? How quickly would they like the conversation to come to an end? How much did they really learn from the experience? And are they willing to participate with you in another similar discussion?

    Imagine a first date in which you never smile, talk poorly about other people, complain about and to the waiter, and communicate with others you meet in a condescending manner — while also being careful to pay plenty of compliments to your date. Short date? Last date? What energy did you bring into that space?

    Now turn the situation around with an entirely different energy. Smiling frequently, positive attitude, smiling again, courteous to everyone, laughing easily, complimenting the waiter and engaging him/her in light conversation, another genuine smile, listening attentively to your date without excessive or undue compliments, and smiling without interrupting. Long date? Fun date? Available for a second date? What energy did you bring into that space?

    My uncle Dick has been a golfer since he was a young man. Although now in his eighties, he still golfs whenever he can. He once advised me of the merits of golfing with potential clients or contractors: Everything you need to know about someone comes out during a game of golf. Do they treat people badly or with openness and kindness? Do they blame others for their errors or accept their mistakes or limited skills with humility? Do they complain about everyone and everything, or do they speak about others positively? Do they shave points off their score when they think you are not looking, or do they give you the benefit of the doubt on a close call? What energy did the client bring into that space? And what energy did you bring into that space?

    Here are some other brief thoughts on ‘space’:

    • A ‘space’ can also be an open area, such as a huge meadow, desert, island, ocean or distant planet. If you take the wrong energy with you and your team while sailing in treacherous seas or spelunking through an underground cavern, you are placing your life and theirs in danger. And will they invite you to go with them again?
    • Does the energy of a participant in a televised political debate radiate to observers who are viewing from another space? Does the energy of the candidate translate into votes?
    • What energy do you take with you to a church, mosque or synagogue?
    • Does the energy of a website translate to its success with readers? Does the energy a Facebook page and personal headshot photo impact your chances of getting a new job? Companies now contract consultants to search social websites and develop personality ratings based on remarks and your headshot photo. What energy do you bring into that space?
    • When a surgeon is having a bad day in the operating space, who suffers? And who takes the blame for any errors?
    • Are you contributing to stress in your workspace, or are you helping others to reduce their stress. One of the best ways to reduce your own stress is by helping someone else to reduce theirs; it is one of the best examples of how helping others helps you.
    • What energies would you recommend that an astronaut cultivate when preparing for a journey of a month or more in space? Would you take such a journey with someone who had not learned to be responsible for the energy they carried into every space?

    Taking responsibility for your energy is a habit everyone could benefit from. Moreover, the energy you bring into a space must be contemplative as well as born of habit. When you plan that first date, plan that challenge with your team, discuss finances with your spouse, discuss politics or spirituality with your friends, discuss that promotion or personal error with your boss, or just play a relaxing game of golf with a potential business partner, remember to take time in advance to decide what energy you will bring into that space. One thing is absolutely certain: unless you are aware of and take responsibility for the energy you bring into that space, the outcome will always fall short of its maximum potential.

    If you would like an artist version of Dr. Bolte’s message, here is the official site for purchasing one on card stock or on canvas, signed or unsigned. Below is the version I made in MS Word using the Marlett font; it is not as attractive as the official version, but it definitely captures attention.

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    3 Responses to Take Responsibility for Your Energy

    1. Bettylou

      “Please take responsibility for the energy that you bring into this space.” This is an excellent quote, and I definitely agree. I often find myself visualizing a white shield of protection over me when there is negative energy in an area. I will also do this when someone refuses to stop talking about an issue which conjures up negativity. I will protect myself from it and speak positive. “Lord, protect me from this and help me to help them.” If they can’t be helped because they choose not to be, I usually end the conversation with; “I hope this works out for you; try to be positive; I love you.” Last part depends on who I am speaking to….LOL….May replace love with care. Depends on comfort I suppose. = )

      • Bettylou

        Of course, I am not perfect. I too get caught up at times and recognize it. When I do, I’ll pull myself out and try to correct or try harder next time. : /

    2. jjpkelly

      Your protection approach when you find yourself in an environment of strong, negative energy is a good idea. Much like wearing a surgical face mask when you are in an unhealthy environment. I should remember to write an article on personal energy protection and post it on The Soul Channel. Thank you, Bettylou.

    “Thank you for participating in The Soul Channel!” — John