Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Telling the truth Tuesday: Energy Pie

Energy Pie
Ingredients: Spiritual, Emotional, Physical, Psychic Energy
Everything we think, feel, and do takes energy. Most of our day is taken up with things we are responsible for: our job, where if we don’t do what we’ve been hired to do, we will get fired; our children, where if we don’t feed and clothe and bathe and teach, they will turn into juvenile delinquents and worse; our spouses, where if we don’t love, care and nurture, we will end up divorced; our friends, where if we don’t love, nurture and spend time, we will end up friendless.
When any of the above-mentioned things are out of balance, our inner well being is affected. The question, it seems to me, is, how am I going to spend my energy in any given moment, given there isn’t an unlimited amount of it available. Let’s imagine a pie with 100% energy. We take a big slice of physical energy because we know we need to exercise in order to be healthy. Say it’s 15% of our pie. That leaves us 85%. Our best friend calls in crisis. We talk on the phone for an hour. That’s a 15% slice of emotional energy. Our youngest child is taking an exam today that will determine their eligibility for college. That’s a 10% slice of psychic energy. We’ve already used up 40% of our energy pie.
We know we have work to do. Work that will require physical, emotional and psychic energy. There goes 50% of our energy pie, leaving us 10%. And we’ve done nothing spiritual. We haven’t done our household chores like cooking,cleaning, shopping, making sure the kids do homework, etc. We definitely use up more than our remaining 10% doing all these chores.
Looking at this, I realize I need to change my energy pie recipe. Without the spiritual, I feel drained and depleted and don’t bring my full self to any of the other activities. I want to take a 20% slice of spirituality daily, leaving 80% to divvy up between work, household, hubby, kiddos an friends. Each day a different slice of energy will go to each of those things. Some days hubby will get 20% and kiddos 30. Some days that will be reversed. Some days kiddos will get 50% and hubs 0%. But what should remain unchanged is the 20% spirituality slice. 
How about you? How is your energy pie being distributed?


Siv Maria said...

What an interesting thought to ponder on. Great post, thank you.

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

That's a good analogy, Karen. As much as all these things external to us need our energy, we need to give ourselves a consistent and significant amount of that energy too.

Dafeenah said...

Some days I think I forget to even make the pie. Although lately I have been trying to make sure I do, it's still something I must make a concious effort with or else I tend to forget myself.

Anonymous said...

Well said. I have expressed this same idea alittle differently. There are only 24 hours in each day. We all have only 24. How you spend that time is up to you.

I used to be always asking for more time in my life to get things done. I came to realize that more time wasn't the answer. There would never be enough time to complete everything I needed to do or desire because I would always make the list bigger. The real test is to use each hour well, and discard those things that aren't really imortant to you.

My pie is made up of 24 pieces. Right now many many pieces are gifted over to caring for my mom in her elder years. I can't begin to imagine just how many of her hours over her life time were gifted to me, so the fact my life right now is alittle out of balance is OK.

And when this period of my life is over, I will have no regrets about the pieces of my pie I gave to her.

Retired Knitter

PS I don't usually add my blog address, but no matter what I do, the commenting feature ids me at annonomys. I seem to be having a problem on my end with comments.

Joanne said...

The experts say that when you get a paycheck, to pay yourself first and bank a percentage of it. I think with our spiritual pie, the same holds true. We need to take our slice first to pad our spiritual account, let interest build, every day, our slice first, eventually paying great spiritual dividends :)

sue said...

I try to weave the spiritual into everything else so it's incorporated within them not as a separate thing. It seems to work better than thinking of it as a stand alone thing and somehow makes the pie expand.Sue

Jules said...

I think the spiritual must be sliced first but hey... it is suppose to be a pie? No wonder mine doesn't look like yours. I made quiche. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Karen Walker said...

Siv, thanks
Paul, yes, yes, we do
Dafeenah, I found the same thing - I have to remain conscious and give it conscious attention
Elaine, I've been there with caring for an aging parent - you are so right. Just make sure you take care of you as well!
Joanne, I like the idea of building spiritual interest
Sue, that's a lovely way to look at it - because you are right - it's not separate from everything else.

Anonymous said...

Well said and a timely reminder. *I'm having the same problem as Retired Knitter. I seem to only able to post comments as anonymous) This is actually Better is Possible. Anybody know how to fix this?

L.G.Smith said...

I gotta find a way of getting more than a hundred percent in my pie, cuz everyone wants fifty percent of my energy right now. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Your "energy" made me think of my "happiness" pie. I have a close relative who has suffered from depression most of his life. I told him once that I wished happiness were a pie, because I could give him a slice of mine and never miss it. Sadly, it doesn't work that way.

Our "energy" pie, too, as you pointed out so well, is only partially under our own control. I like the idea of saving out 20% when we can. It's like a starter batter for a good loaf of sourdough -- got to keep the energy going! :)

Suze said...

Karen, I love the way your mind works. Also, I have a theory about energy. There is a limitless resource to which we don't have access in our current incarnation but this step is a necessary one in our progress toward it.

As for my energy pie, I have the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom, writer and small business owner. So I tend to ignore the clock as much as possible and just work from the moment I get up to the moment I blissfully lay my head on the pillow. Schedules and such have always managed to suck more of my 'energy' than anything. So I just work, and sometimes play (and often both at once,) for as long as my eyes have light.

I meant to follow you before, and do so, now. Cheers.

Talli Roland said...

Food for thought, definitely (ha! Like my little joke?). I'm with Dafeenah -- sometimes I even forget to make the pie!

Karen Walker said...

Seems to be a comment problem today in bloggydom. Sigh!
Better is Possible, sorry have no clue what's wrong or how to fix - try Blogger help
L.G. That's when it's toughest - good luck!
Suze, so glad you followed so I could find your blog - it's awesome. I love how you do your day.
Talli, oh dear girl, me, too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We also need someone giving energy to us - that helps to refill our pie.

Odie Langley said...

I definately need to rethink my recipe and hopefully I will come out of this better. Thanks.

K.C. Woolf said...

This is a great post!

I often use the mental image that our lives are made up of different parallel worlds, and we function in all of them all the time, but our attention is usually more focused on 1 or 2 of them.

To give but a few examples: the physical / material world, the world of emotions, the rational world of thoughts, knowledge and logic, and the spiritual world, where we look for meaning, guidance and magic.

Life to me is all about balancing these different worlds and finding out how we relate to them, how they operate and how much attention we need to devote to each of them in order to be content, productive and happy.

Pk Hrezo said...

Good point! Usually when our spiritual life is on track, everything else falls into place. We have to determine what takes first chair in our lives for our well being, or else we tend to resent those other things that pull us in differnt directions.

Liz Fichera said...

Very great way of looking at energy. Never thought of it like that before. The supply is not unlimited, that's for sure. Spiritual is important for me as well.

Angela Felsted said...

I admit that I sometimes neglect the spiritual slice. At the very least, I need to spend more time out doors.

Anonymous said...

I have made a list of 3 priorities and spiritual (taking time with God) is first. But often I let a different piece of pie cut into it causing a jagged, uneven edge. And then I feel divided instead of peaceful and whole. Today you have inspired me to not let anything cut into my spiritual piece (peace).

Karen Walker said...

Elizabeth, I love that you have enough "happiness" to want to give some away.
Alex, that is so true.
Odie, good luck with that.
K.C. Another wonderful way to look at this issue of how to spend our time and energy. Thanks.
Pk, yes, I do tend to resent if I don't pay close attention.

Helen Ginger said...

I've never even thought about figuring out how I slice up my day-pie. It really is something to consider.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Very interesting post. You and I are on the same wavelength, Karen. We are both trying to fit in everything and STILL have time for us. WE need time for us. If not all around us will malfunction.

I'm glad to see you are figuring it out and it's working for you. Never give up your 20 percent.

Karen Walker said...

Liz, no the energy supply is definitely not unlimited.
Angela, yes, being in nature helps
Lynn, that's wonderful - go in peace
Helen, it surprised me when it popped into the brain.

Claudia Moser said...

At the moment not so balanced, but nice food for thought as always!

Tracy Jo said...

Karen...this is something that I work on every day and am also changing my focus right now. I realized all the energy I was giving to things that in the end are not good for me or going to help anybody or get me where I need to be. It is a challenge but so good to realize - it only makes us better for ourselves and everyone else when the pie is sliced right. :-) Thank you as always! Love your posts.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I know I need refueling after a while. Funny, there are some things that the more we give of ourselves, the more we have the capacity to give. We just have to find which things!

Helen Ginger said...

Some things have happened in the last two days that have made me feel I need to become more aware, more present (that's a buzz word that actually fits). That made me think of your post.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Sometimes I wish I had a deep dish pie. Do you think it would last longer?

Karen Walker said...

Claudia, wishing you more balance
Tracy Jo, yes, so true, and thanks
Diane, we all do - and you are so right, some things feed us rather than take away energy - finding more of those things is key
Helen, are you okay?
Holly, deep dish pie - perhaps it would last longer - love that!

Langley said...

I love the thought of 'energy pie.' I need to work on my balance, thanks for this.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Today it feels pretty good. I took some time for me, did a little gardening, talked to a friend, taught a piano student, and had time to read. Thanks for the pie image.

Julie said...

I love this analogy, and this is something to think about. I definitely need to work on my balance. Thanks for the beautiful (as always) post. :)

Anonymous said...

That's a great concept: an "energy pie." What size slice for this, and for this....

I'm getting organized so I don't waste so much time on the Internet. I browse too much. Go in and out of email too much, etc. etc. It doesn't take long to make comments on one's favorite people's blogs. Keeping up friendships is important. I think this falls near the spiritual, which I'm trying to spend more time on, too.

Happy thoughts, and Blessings. Ann
My book's now up on Kindle, and on B&N's Nook! I need to get back with you on the guest post. But it's the holiday weekend coming up. Would you like me to get something together for, say, the middle of next week? Let me know.

Debora Dennis said...

What a terrific post. Love the concept and idea of "energy pie." I am so going to use this to evaluate what's going on my life and how I can adjust my recipe to make it all work a little better!

TA Demings said...

wow! I haven't really thought about things this way before. I'm beginning to realize that I have more control over how I spend my energy.
Right now I spend a lot of energy on my job, and way too much on the internet. I'd like to spend more energy on my writing.