I’ve been thinking about energy leaks a lot in the last two weeks. I’ve had a lot of time to do so, as I am recovering from hernia surgery. The surgery went great, and I found out that I had two hernias of two types (indirect and direct inguinal) which the Doc and crew fixed up for me.
I’ve been restricted for about a year and a half by these hernia(s). Couldn’t lift much weight, as one would expect, but in time I realized that having this ‘gap’ in my core actually made it very hard to gather & hold physical energy/power and distribute it. This is what I mean by ‘energy leak’, but on the physical rather than magical side of things.
In Six Ways I talk about containment, vessels, and the like as being best viewed as a type of sorcerous steam engine, where we build pressures whose energies we can then direct towards our goals, be that magical protection or moving in a positive, forward direction in our life, relationships, or other projects. When we have energy leaks, that pressure dissipates before we can apply it, and these leaks structurally weaken us like my damaged tissues weakened my body.
With my hernia, I was able to find a surgeon who would strengthen the wall of my abdominal cavity to properly contain again what it needed to contain. Magically, we can do the same type of work for ourselves. This requires that we become aware that we are leaking power, which is less obvious on this level than when you have part of your guts pushing themselves towards the outside world! We most likely have a/some leaks if we are metaphorically paddling upstream and getting nowhere while finding ourselves increasingly tired or exhausted.
Energy leaks can be something that we just aren’t managing, like relationships that take excess energy to maintain (they all take energy to maintain, but some are more like black holes!), a job that is both soul-crushing and non-lucrative, but are more often internal. These internal leaks are most commonly mind issues. A mind issue, in this case, is something that actively screws with your ability to think and work effectively. As an example, I have a tendency to first see the potential problems in a situation rather than see the potential positives. This can be helpful, in that I can troubleshoot structural issues very quickly. I can also troubleshoot myself in the metaphorical foot if I don’t keep a firm grip on this tendency. It’s easy to defend this behavior by telling myself 'I am just being pragmatic'. However, there is a cost/benefit ratio to ‘pragmatism’ in magic! The question is not ‘is this true and accurate?’ but instead, ‘is this helpful?’.
In Six Ways I talk about how clearing out hindrances is often the most important aspect of getting what we actually desire. Sometimes the only thing in the way of our very best relationships or desires is the five, ten, or twenty others that really don’t have much to offer us but instead serve as somewhat comforting distractions. These distractions, be they people or half-assed desires, are energy leaks that siphon off available magical energy as well as willpower. They are like holes in the boiler of the steam engine, which constantly deplete pressure and require us to feed the system with more and more energy to perform the same amount of work or in the worst cases, even less.
These power-and-life sucking distractions are at their peak right now in the world, and in part this is the negative effect of the information flood we are swimming in today. But we can look at things like the early Buddhist texts to see that they have been human issues since long before smart phones and social media.
I don’t have a perfect solution for this (at all!), but I do have some starting suggestions for those looking to get a better handle on their minds and reduce the power loss that these leaks cause.
◆ Meditation and breath work. Seriously, the value for time investment is so great that this is always answer #1. Need a guide that is straightforward and no bullshit? Try this, from Navy Seal Mark Divine: Meditation and Box Breathing
◆ Mitigate and minimize, and clear out second-rate desires. Ask yourself: What do I really want? Why do I really want it? Do I really want this thing, or do I want what this thing would allow me to do or be? Then take that information and ask of the distractions that call for our time: Is this hindering or helping my ability to get or be the thing I really want? If hindering, do whatever you can to mitigate (damages) and minimize (energy expenditures).
◆ Don’t fall for easy. Many hard things are totally worthwhile. Much discomfort is worth living through. Not everything requires pain and suffering, but we all need to be able to ride out times in the suffering booth if we really wish to get where we truly desire to go.
◆ Bring magic to bear on all of this. Enchant for your desires, and banish your distractions, time sucks, and energy leaks.
◆ Bring mundane tools to bear on all of this. I lock myself out of social media for most of the day every day using the Focus app. I am a total media addict if I don't use tools to manage it. Do you have things you know you shouldn’t eat in your kitchen? Why do you treat yourself like that? Junk them. It's remarkably easy to eat well if the only food you have access to is good for you. I am a known extremist on this issue but the model works at whatever level you choose to work it!
◆ Willpower is a finite resource. Use it to focus on what you WILL do rather than what you won’t do. Let the focus on what you will do control the other side, there is no reason to fight that shit head on. Changing habits is 99% this, in my experience. This one fucked me up for decades.
This is basic stuff that I forget all the fucking time, so this post is mainly for myself. But I share it in the hope that it also serves others as we roll into the holiday weirdness full bore.