Thursday, July 8, 2010

Energy-Zappers: finding a creative approach

Are you surrounded by energy-zappers in your life? People who have constant drama and chaos in their lives and have little time to hear your story? People who monopolize the conversation with their tales of drama and never ask what is happening in your life? What does this have to do with creativity you might ask? I'm asking myself that question too. Lets see how the two can come together...

First, lets define what an energy-zapper is:

  • Someone who has constant chaos in their lives

  • Someone who thrives on chaos in their lives

  • Someone who has the ability to pull you into their chaos

  • Someone who during the conversation does not ask about your life

  • Someone who leaves you wondering, what just happened?
If you recognize any of these situations happening in your relationships, you are most likely experiencing the art of the energy-zapper's ability to drain your energy

Now what?

Here is what I'm learning to do:

  • Distance myself from energy-zappers and limit my phone conversations and personal contact with them.
  • I've identified who the energy-zappers are in my life.

  • I choose when to talk to them and when not.

  • I create clear boundaries with them, such as..."I need to go now."
How can I turn this into a creative exercise?

1. Create a collage that represents energy-zappers: choose images that correspond to how you feel when you have a conversation with an energy-zapper and recognize the impact they have on your well-being. See collage at the top of this post.

2. To regain a sense of calm after having an energy-zapping conversation, create a calm and relaxing mandala that reflects a release of anxiety.

After creating your calming mandala, spend some time with it. Maybe ask it a question such as, How can I regain the energy I just lost by listening to an energy-zapper? What is it that I need right now? How can I take care of myself the next time I encounter an energy-zapper? Questions like these can help you get back on track, so you do not spend the rest of the day feeling drained or resentful.

Another suggestion is, before engaging in an energy-zapper conversation, let the person know you only have so much time to speak with them before you have to go. You also might decide, that this is a time in your life when you do not have any space for energy-zappers and that is OK too. Limit conversations or let others know you are exhausted and need time to yourself.

REMEMBER---you can always turn to your journal to write or draw about the feelings you are experiencing. This is your safe place.