"Understand Your Energy Habits

"For each of us, our life force manifests in four kinds of energy: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. And they are not separate — each profoundly affects the others. Each also is associated with a particular element. Your physical energy is earth energy. Emotional energy is associated with water — tears, overflowing feelings. Mental energy corresponds to the air, the energy of consciousness, while fire — passion, commitment — is associated with spiritual energy.

"Each of us has a particular energy habit, a way of relying on certain of these energies when we face obstacles or challenges in our lives. Some of us are very 'fiery,' responding passionately to almost everything. Others use air strategies, becoming very mental or analytic. Others overflow with feelings (water); still others get very stubborn and unmoving (earth). What is your primary energy habit? Do you use them all? Do you over-rely on one? In what situations do you use which? The more we become conscious about these energies, the more choice we have to use one or another, where appropriate."

"Run From Energy Vampires

"You know who we're talking about — those folks that seem to sap your energy just being in their presence. They do it through their negativity about everything — how much they've been victimized, how you aren't okay, how nothing will ever work out and you shouldn't even try. Pretty soon you're down in the dumps with them, too tired to even put up a fight.

"To preserve your energy, you can distance yourself from these people as much as possible. If for some reason that's not possible — it's a relative you see often, for instance — you can tell them you choose to look at things differently because looking on the gloomy side isn't energizing. Or you can disarm them with kindness and positivism: 'Thanks for sharing. I'm holding out the hope that you'll feel better soon,' for instance.

"What if the energy vampire is you? First you need to become aware of your negativity. Then you need to see that you have a choice — to continue to bring yourself and everyone in your vicinity down by gossiping, judgmental thinking, and pessimism, or begin to choose to focus on what's good and possible in your life. "