Deal With Stress

Is a Trickster Causing Stress in Your Life?

Kick MeI have always resisted the idea that there is only one path to truth. And I find it curious how well ancient and distant civilizations recognized essential qualities about the human psyche, long before Freud. When we are dealing with stress, and can’t seem to get out of our own way, it can be helpful to look at ourselves from a different cultural perspective.

Take Norse mythology. Within its pantheon each god is identified with parts of ourselves, and things we need in our lives. Odin, the father god, sacrificed an eye to attain wisdom. Thor and his hammer exemplify the action we must take before anything happens. But out on the fringe, eternally causing mischief was Loki, called “the trickster.” Not a personification of evil, but not to be trusted either.

Do we have a trickster in our lives today? Yes, our ego. Now Webster’s defines ego first as “the self,” and secondly as “the organized conscious mediator between the person and reality.” But how can the ego be both the self, and something that exists between the person, who we think of as the self, and reality? That would mean 1) the ego is not a person, and 2) the ego is not real.

We can tell from our own experience that there appear to be two parts to our nature. Even in our conscious mind, we can feel a calm and loving part, and a loud, whiny part that blames us and scolds us when it doesn’t get what it wants. It keeps us awake at night, it tells us we are a failure, or we’ll never measure up. Its tantrums raise our blood pressure and speed up our heart. It taunts us, and it lies.
Dr. Wayne Dyer has written extensively about the ego, and how it tries to deceive us into believing it is all we are. But, he explains, it is not. There is also what Dyer calls “the silent witness,” who watches from within us, and does not judge. It is this silent witness who can calm our minds, and heal our stress and depression.

The ego has its uses. It is part of our mind’s toolkit for our survival; the part that says run from tigers and don’t put your hand in the fire. But it is just a tool, not an identity.
When we become aware of the ego as only a portion of our mind, and not our truest self, we can shut it off. When we recognize the tricks it plays, and the stress it causes us, we can take away its power.

This awareness will help us progress in our meditation, because we understand the ego is something we can control, instead of letting it control us. When we recognize our truest self resting in the silence, we can simply be that self. Then the ego’s tricks can evaporate, like a puff of smoke in the breeze.


Dyer, Wayne W. (1998), Manifest Your Destiny: The Nine Spiritual Principles for Getting Everything You Want, William Morris, New York.

Deal With Stress

How to Clear Your Energy Blocks: A Down to Earth Approach

how to clear your energy blocksHave you ever heard talk about how to clear your energy blocks and wondered what it meant? What’s an energy block anyway? Well, you might have one knotted up between your shoulder blades right now, from hunching over a desk. Or if you’ve ever crossed your legs too long and had your foot go to sleep, you know the experience.

Physicists tell us that everything in the universe is actually composed of energy. All matter, they say, is only as hard or soft as the vibrations of the atoms that form it. We may feel our feet on solid ground, but the ground we stand on is not solid at all.

Once you consider everything as energy, the idea of keeping its pathway’s clear is easier to tackle. Terms like writer’s block, blocked legislation, a blocked up river, or blocking pass in football, all show how things get interrupted or thrown off course. Our individual energy blocks take the form of tension in our bodies, fear and worry, inability to focus, or the total shut down of depression. Severe blockages can even threaten our lives.

And sometimes, asking how to clear your energy blocks means wondering how to get out of your own way.

Go with the Flow. A good first step to clearing energy blocks is to stop giving them so much attention. Instead, picture your unblocked energy, sometimes called “the flow.” You know your energy is uninterrupted when you experience what athletes call “being in the zone,” when everything just seems to work.

Many athletes rehearse this flow in their minds, seeing their winning actions in advance. You can rehearse your own energy flow by imagining your life force surging through your body, with whatever images you choose.

How to unblock your energy where it gets stuck the most.

1. Clear the energy blocks in your body. A basic tenet of Chinese medicine maintains that good health requires a proper flow of “life energy,” called Ch’i. Practicing Tai Chi exercise moves you gently to get that energy flowing again, as it should. It also improves balance, tones your upper body and is one heck of a thigh workout.

The systems of our bodies all involve some sort of energy flow. As our circulatory system conveys our blood and all the oxygen and nutrients we need, the lymphatic system, our muscles, and even our bones share in the process.

To clear energy blocks in your body, it is also crucial not to eat foods that do the opposite. Trans fats, aka hydrogenated oils, have thankfully been criticized for blocking our arteries. And there is evidence that sodas block the absorption of calcium for your bones. Time spent now to learn about better nutrition beats time spent later with a cardiologist.

2. Clear your mental energy blocks. If you are old enough to remember AM radio, you might remember turning a dial and hearing several fuzzy stations, all trying to break through the static and be heard. Does this sound like your brain?

Get up, move around, and take a mini-meditation break. You have a better chance of ignoring the noise if you stop fighting it, and instead focus all your attention on something 180˚ away from where you are. Go powder your nose, brush your teeth. Your bathroom sink can be factory of ideas.

3. Clear your emotional energy blocks. Releasing meditations are excellent for removing harmful energy blocks. You may carry a lifetime of negative emotions, fears, resentments. And thinking about your bad feelings just makes them grow.

Instead, find some time to meditate specifically on letting go. Imagine some dark color floating out of you and replaced with light and weightlessness. Throughout your day consciously forgive and let go of negative emotions whenever you can. As St. Paul said, “whatever is good…think on these things.”

No energy exists in isolation. Any steps you take to clear your energy blocks impact all the areas of your life. So applaud yourself for every block you dismantle. Relish every surge of positive energy, and enjoy the flow.

Want to start an energy flow conversation? Comment below or share on your favorite social media. We’d love to hear from you.