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Living Through The Low Point

empty nest
Creative Commons License photo credit: jurvetson

Sometimes our energy is high, we feel excited and everything we do is an enjoyable challenge.  This is the place where we always want to be, because it feels so good.

However, they say that what goes up must come down, and the truth is that as we cycle through high energy phases of life, we also cycle through low energy phases.  This doesn’t feel as good – our motivation is low, we may feel more reflective instead of active, and a sense of dissatisfaction with the way we are doing things enters our minds.

I notice this cycle as I write for this blog.  At times, I have plenty of things to write that I feel excited about.  This is during times when I’ve found a rhythm with my writing, and I play that rhythm out until it no longer suits me.  At other times, the rhythm seems off and I need to find a new rhythm.  But it takes a little while.

So, I’d like you to help me think about these questions:

  1. What’s the best way to handle these “low energy” periods?  What do you find yourself doing during these times?
  2. Should you be more accepting of your own natural energy cycles – both up and down?  Or do you try to just “push through”?

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!  Thanks!

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  1. Great post, Amanda! I think I usually try to push through but I don’t think that’s always the best way. Maybe it’s best to have activities that go best with each mood and then do those things during that time period. For example, at a period of low energy, catch up on reading. At a period of high energy, go out with friends. Of course it won’t always work out perfectly but sometimes you can control what you do and don’t do at certain times.

  2. Hi Amanda – I think it’s all part of the natural rhythm and cycle of life. One of my favorite authors (Robert Johnson) says that one of the keys to life is to live in the paradox of it, up/down, light/dark, sun/moon. That we can’t have one without the other, it goes against nature. And he uses an interesting metaphor – a teeter totter – and says that the goal is being in the fulcrum of the teeter totter, the middle place. That’s hard when we get constant messages to do more, be more, have more. Even in a down cycle I do sometimes sometimes find myself trying to push through but I know better. And I suppose I continually look to the nature and the seasons for guidance. That grounds me and keeps me more conscious of what part of the cycle I’m in. Thanks for the thoughtful post!
    .-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last blog ..Life Lessons Learned from Leo =-.

  3. Hi Amanda — when I think about this, it seems to me that the ideal situation would be one where I didn’t make a problem out of the “low energy” feeling or think of it as something I had to deal with. This gets easier when I let go of the sense that I should be constantly running around or I must be bad or lazy. 🙂

  4. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Dani – I think I have also, in the past, tended to “push through,” but I really like your suggestion of doing certain things during each of the periods. That seems like something I can definitely do in my life. 🙂

    Hi Patty – I really like the teeter-totter analogy. If you try to sit on one end (by yourself ) that will not be a very fun ride! Existing in the middle area is your best bet.

    Hi Chris – Right, and I have definitely made this a problem for myself in the past. I think I have just recently thought that this low energy period might be for the best, and, besides, the high energy always comes back.

  5. Hi Amanda,
    I believe we need to learn how to relax into both highs and lows or in other words be comfortable with both. I do a few different things when low…go within, journal, meditate and rest. I prefer to always be high energy but I’d burn out it that happened. I agree with Peggy and Mr. Johnson, we can’t have one without the other.

  6. Hi Amanda,

    The best part of blogging for me is the simple fact that I only need to publish something when an idea or inspiration strikes. In my other writing life, it is more about deadlines which is where this topic really comes into play. No writer that I know of possesses a constant flow where the words fly onto a page. These are the times to just muddle through and wait for the days where it is easy. As others have stated, it is just the natural flow of things.

    On the “high” days, I may work on five or six projects without intending to finish anything. This allows me to use them as a framework on the days when I can’t staple two thoughts together to save my life. It would be helpful if someone would start a “rent a brain” service for the times when I get stuck.

    Lately I feel like I have a brain I am not using so if anyone needs to borrow it, it’s available. 🙂

    .-= Roger´s last blog ..A hint of winter =-.

  7. Hi Amanda,
    I can relate! I’ve certainly felt those periods where it’s felt like a low in writing. I tried to force ideas on myself, and for me – that just doesn’t work too well. It ends up not feeling “real”. And so for me – these low times are a time to break up routine a bit. Try something new. Or something old that hasn’t been done in while. Or just “be”. All good ways for me to let my focus shift a bit, and bring about new thoughts.
    .-= Lance´s last blog ..Rainbows in the Making =-.

  8. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Tess – I find I’m doing those things you mentioned right now. As Dani said above, different energy levels call for different activities.

    Hi Roger – “Rent-a-Brain” – I really like that. 🙂 Also, I like the idea of using high energy times to prepare for low energy. (And yes, I may just want to borrow your brain. 😉 )

    Hi Lance – Yeah, the general consensus here seems to be – “don’t force it.” And I think you’re right – it usually doesn’t work out very well at all when I try to do that. 🙂

  9. # 1. What’s the best way to handle these “low energy” periods?
    Its best to accept those lo energy thought ans shift your focus to a positive direction. we all times like this, actually I’m feeling a bit low as i type this , but as human we can shift out direction of focus by just changing the thoughts in our minds.

    2.What do you find yourself doing during these times?
    I smile it off. I’m too cool to be pessimistic.

    #3.Should you be more accepting of your own natural energy cycles – both up and down? Or do you try to just “push through”?
    Pushing through can only make it worse because mental effort truly defeats the purpose of thought. Just accept it and think different. Do something like like jumping up and down on your bed, or run around the block non stop. Its will definitely change your emotions big time. You energy will be back up high like a 474 soaring thought the clouds.

    Great question and killer post!
    .-= Positive Gangsta´s last blog ..Never Give Up Unless Your In The Grave =-.

  10. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Jonathan – Your suggestions definitely fit in with most of the comments here. Accept what you feel, don’t push through and realize that life has cycles. But, definitely, being positive through all your energy phases will be beneficial.

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