Peruse the first few sentences of my website and you'll see mention of "effervescent wellness". What even does that mean?
It's pretty clear I'm not a typical 'therapist'... that I have alternative approaches to my practice: science woven with sacred.. and alongside discussing hardcore facts like SSRI's and limbic imprinting, I spend a lot of time dancing in the spaces of chakras, frequency, and vibration. They're two sides of the same coin I've carried in my pocket for years now.. but for some of my clients it's all pretty new (and sometimes tough to digest). Today, I decided to try and break it down.
en·er·gy ˈenərjē/ noun 1. the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity. "changes in the levels of vitamins can affect energy and well-being" 2. power derived from the utilization of physical/chemical resources, especially to provide light/heat or work machines So, energy is strength? like, muscular strength? that's not energy then, that's muscular strength.
Vitality.. hmm. what's vitality?
vi·tal·i·ty vīˈtalədē/ noun 1. the state of being strong and active; energy. "changes that will give renewed vitality to our democracy" synonyms: liveliness, life, energy, spirit, vivacity, exuberance, buoyancy, bounce, elan, verve, vim, pep, brio, zest, sparkle, dynamism, passion, fire, vigor, drive, punch; get-up-and-go "the bright weather has revived my vitality"
the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things.
That's pretty straightforward: we need energy to live.
A quick "energy" search on Pinterest supports this: a plethora of nutrition-related items fill my feed: raw vegan power balls, peanut butter banana smoothies, and high-protein lunches. The predominant buzz around biological 'energy' is that it's the fuel our bodies need to survive. .... then what's electrical energy? And why does it matter?
My partner worked for a decade in corporate finance for an electrical utilities company. He should know, right? I asked him.
"You mean, the stuff that powers televisions and things?"
- but I didn't asked him what electrical energy does... I asked him what it is.
I went to Wikipedia...
Electrical energy is the energy newly derived from electric potential energy or kinetic energy. When loosely used to describe energy absorbed or delivered by an electrical circuit (for example, one provided by an electric power utility) "electrical energy" talks about energy which has been converted from electric potential energy.
- but I didn't asked where electrical energy came from.... I want to know what it is.
Should this actually be so difficult to answer? Am I just not looking right?
Back to the original definition of energy: liveliness, life.
Energy is the state of being alive? and the more alive you are then theoretically the more energy you have?
Further down into the definition of energy and in its synonyms... pep, zest, sparkle.... what does that even mean? Spirit. Now there's an interesting one.
Can things we consume, digest, excrete (which is what Pinterest seems to be fixated on as 'energy') be even remotely related to our degree of spiritedness or... dare I use... effervescence? I mean... "Effervescent Wellness" is the cornerstone of my therapy practice... clearly it's something I believe we can control. So how does energy come in?
Either I'm searching in all the wrong places or there's a really weak handle on what energy actually is... I seem to only be able to find 1. where it comes from and 2. what it does. Interesting.
Dropping into a search bar: "spirit" + "energy" together.
Gone are the vegan balls and casseroles, replaced instead with bluish/purple/pinky psychedelic looking backgrounds adorned with hamsas, chakras, and crystals. There's a quote from Nikola Tesla.
Tesla, hey? Wasn't he the guy with the electrical current discovery? So I'm back to the great unknown that's electrical energy.
Tesla.... the genius inventor/physicist engineer futurist thinker to whom we accredit so much of what we know to be true in modern day living. As far as this quote is concerned he must be talking about about electrical energy? maybe? Like, the highly scientific, highly measurable, replicable electrical energy? - the 'we plug our phones into the wall and it charges' or 'we stick our finger into a socket and get shocked' kind?
But what's actually charging our damn phone??
This mysterious thing called energy is coming from electric potential, interacting with the electronics in our phone, charging the battery - and BAM, TikTok for days.
Still doesn't answer my question.
Okay. Still trying to understand what energy is ... maybe we dissect Tesla's quote (like, the guy obviously knows a thing or two about the stuff).
fre·quen·cy ˈfrēkwənsē/ noun
the rate at which a vibration occurs that constitutes a wave, either in a material (as in sound waves), or in an electromagnetic field (as in radio waves and light), usually measured per second.
Noted. Energy can happen in larger amounts (higher frequencies = more vibration = more energy) or smaller amounts (lower frequencies = less vibration = less energy).
What's a vibration, then?
PHYSICS an oscillation of the parts of a fluid or an elastic solid whose equilibrium has been disturbed, or of an electromagnetic wave.
informal a person's emotional state, the atmosphere of a place, or the associations of an object, as communicated to and felt by others.
Okay.. so vibration is movement.... of... something.... understood.
"Vibration" also refers to a our emotional state? atmosphere of a place? associations of an object as communicated to and felt by others? What does THAT mean? And wouldn't those vibrations be HIGHLY subjective? Like, in terms of the atmosphere of a place.... isn't that up for interpretation by the person in said place? So what's being interpreted?
Energy. You elusive minx.
In sum so far: definition for what energy is (not where it comes from, not what it does) is pretty tricky to figure out.
It's just a thing.... ? and we don't deny its existence when it comes to Tesla's genius contributions: plug stuff in, they turn on.
And we can deduce that we eat stuff and derive nutrients and nutrients make us be able to lift stuff...
Is mental energy different than that? Oh! Brain things! I'm pretty good at those.
Food breaks down to glucose which breaks down to feed our neurotransmitters... sodium and potassium and ion channels activate to trigger action potential in other nearby neurotransmitters and this gives rise to basically everything we experience about life.... but what causes those quantum biomechanics to function?
And we're right back to the mysterious conundrum of electrical energy again.
Okay.. so our entire biological existence is controlled by our brains telling our body what to do - using electrical signals.... yet it's still so tricky to nail down what energy is?
I keep scrolling through my energy results and here's the next little nugget: Consciousness.
Everything in the physical world is made of atoms. Atoms are made of energy. Energy is made of consciousness.
Do we actually believe we were put on this earth just to exist for a while, suffer a bit, and then die?? Nothing like a neuro-nerd falling down this rabbit hole.
the state of being awake and aware of one's surroundings.
the awareness or perception of something by a person.
the fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world.
Awakening. Mmm. Now it's getting juicy. Scroll down my main site page and you'll see it's a word that hits particularly close to home for me...
an act of waking from sleep.
an act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something.
coming into existence or awareness.
Energy. Vitality. Frequency. Vibration. Consciousness. Awakening. This chart here speaks so loudly to me:
The more energy we have, the higher our frequency, the more life force we bring into our existence, the higher our levels of conscious awareness and awakening.
This means it would literally be unethical of me to claim to work with complex trauma and the healing of deeply rooted emotional wounds without considering the role of non-physiological factors.
Mental wellbeing is not just chemistry waiting to be fixed... it is the result of the frequency at which the entire organism operates. The more pleasure, liveliness, exuberance, sparkle you add into your life the less and less possible it becomes to function at a low frequency. Even the neuroscientist in me knows these processes are chemically mutually exclusive: where there is pleasure there cannot be stress. The problem comes from imbalance. Our own inner vitality, our life energy, is not something we can address once a year with a two-week island getaway. I mean.. we charge our phones multiple times a day. Why are we not indulging in unapologetic pleasure the same way? Humans may be complex creatures, but in some ways we're not much more evolved than the smart device you're reading this on.
YOU NEED TO BE RE-CHARGED.
Paint. Dance. Make love slowly under the moon.
The quality of literally your whole damn life depends on it.