We have all been with a person or to a place where we had a wonderful experience. “It was really fun with great energy. I just loved their vibe.” Most of us think about vibe as a rather random thing that occurs. That vibe just happens. Is vibe a skill that is developed? In my mental health career, I met a few folks that had the vibe. Those folks knew they had the vibe and could recognize another person who also processed the vibe. Most of these folks had significant experience, were humble and avoided drawing attention to themselves. However, when situations called for using the vibe, they made things happen effortlessly and invisibly. In every profession, there are people who are gifted, talented and just make things work. Many people have experience, confidence and expert knowledge. But folks who have the vibe can make things happen in an efficient, subtle and graceful manner.
Let’s take the vibe thing apart. Vibe is energy tuned to a frequency that resonates or influences. There are people and situations that influence how you feel. The result can be positive or negative. An experience can feel elated, energized and joyful. Or down, drained and exhausting. The frequency of the energy is supporting or diminishing your existence. This is straightforward and we’ve all experienced this. Folks that can work the vibe; know it’s about an interaction or exchange at an ineffable/invisible level. It is being able to resonate with another person. Some note this as being empath or an old soul.
Consider the possibility of changing the vibe. Surely there are many techniques and skills to accomplish changing the vibe. For instance, some concerts are just flat, disappointing and some uplift; and this can be from the same artist, band or orchestra. Sometimes there are just off nights and other times, everything magically comes together beyond any expectations. Is it the alignment of the stars, the fung shui of the venue, the artist or the audience? Whatever it is, when it all comes together you can feel the buzz. Everything seems heightened, energized and in-tune.
When doing crisis counseling and crisis mental health evaluations. Like everything in life, if we are feeling rested, well and positive; things just go better. That’s not always the case. It becomes a matter of managing your energy and space so that you can have positive influences and interactions with others. Wellness
First is the knowledge, experience and belief that you can influence the vibe. Second is energy and space management of oneself. A person that has a dynamic wellness routine. It is easier to create a space that is open and accepting of whatever the experience and its flow. It helps to suspend one’s biases, judgments and opinions, i.e., maintain a flow state of equanimity. Equanimity
Most of the time before walking into the emergency room or between cases, I would find a quiet place and just take a few moments to clear my head, emotions and create a sacred/quiet space. Taking some deep breaths and create a sacred space or bubble for both myself and to be open to client and their crisis. With a bit of practice and experience, it becomes easy to intend and envision this bubble. I would mentally review and hypothesize what was occurring for this person (clinical profile and formulation of why). But then would let the profile and formulation go, so as not to focus, color or bias the evaluation. Next was to be actively open to gathering information. This was reading reports, labs, listening to family members, medical staff, law enforcement etc. Subsequently I would take a few deep breaths. And then walk into the room with and advise the person of their civil rights and interview them.
The first question was simply “what’s up?” And then to remain quiet and listened carefully to whatever they shared. Often for 15 or 20 minutes, the client shared their experience and what was going on. At times, the person was acutely disorganized and not able to process consensual reality. But usually what they shared made sense. I would ask a few questions to clarify my understanding their basic premise of their existence/experience. At times, it could be 15 or 20 minutes of the person yelling, screaming, moaning, crying, suicidal and/or being acutely agitated and upset. Their presentation was often because of one or more of the following reasons. They were intoxicated or under-the-influence of some substance, had a medical or physical condition, e.g., urinary track infection, septic, delirious, demented, had thyroid issues, medication interaction, etc. Or it was the presentation of a mental illness/disorder that was not being attended to/or well managed. But frequently, it resulted from an acute life stressor that had overwhelmed their ability to cope or severely disrupted their sense of reality. It was events such as divorce, rape, domestic violence, bankruptcy, loss of job, death of a spouse or family member, loss of housing, birth of a child, moving to a new community without having a support system, a deterioration of their routine functioning because of a medical condition, etc.
However, by creating a space to immerse or soak in their experience does several things. The other person experiences a level of acceptance despite what they think feel or behave like. Often, this disarms their defensive or persecutory reactions. It also releases or relieves some of the pent-up intense energy of anger, frustration, loss, etc. On another level, it allows the person to lower their defenses, feel safe and creates space for an honest interaction. This is because you abide in a space of confidence and equanimity. Which enables you to handle whatever they may feel and/or present. In short, you’ve merely created a safe and sacred bubble/space in which to be with them and to be a witness of their experience. You allowed them to vibe at their own frequency of experience. However, it is important to recognize that their frequency need not consume or overly influence you nor do you need to be afraid/fearful. All that you are doing is to maintain a state of equanimity, i.e., non-judgmental, non-attached, and abide in confident firmness of just witnessing the flow of their energy and frequency. This is much like being a calm, confident and understanding parent watching their toddler or teenager having a fit. Mindfulness, Wrathful and Peaceful, I Am
After abiding and being a witness to their experience. The person often opens. They open up or regain their internal sense of themselves, their resources, wits, etc. They regain, glimpse or reorient to their dreams, meaning and purpose. To encourage and support this turning, simply ask, “what is your passion or what do you love to do?” And after they share this passion, joy, dream; you merely nod approvingly or note “wow, awesome, cool, etc.” And now you become a witness to their dreams and hopes because you continued to listen and abide in this sacred space with them. But now you have acknowledged their dream, passion, joy, etc.
The last question is “what do you want to do about this?” This question is somewhat rhetorical. The purpose is to get them to think, feel and move toward making changes. Often their response is “I don’t know” which translates into “I don’t know what or how.” But more importantly, now they are aware of an opportunity to make a choice. To choose what they will do next. That they can choose to move toward another reality or experience. You have helped them move from a reactive/victim’s position to a position of empowerment, strategy and action.
The “I don’t know what or how” is an invitation for you to present the “gardening” metaphor or whatever you feel is appropriate and needed. And then merely offer, “here is how I think about or conceptualize the process of change…it’s like gardening…” In short, by being a witness to their crisis, you have leveraged the crisis into an opportunity to make a choice to change. And have given them a path/map/metaphor to move from being a victim to regain their agency. Folks know that you can’t do things for them or live their life. And you wouldn’t want to and they wouldn’t like that; it would be a hot codependent mess. But what you give them is hope, faith and belief… along with a map/metaphor. Purpose of LoveChangeGrow
Here are a couple of subtle but practical resonance skills to help you manage a situation. The first one is to use your breath. If the person is agitated or out of control. Notice their breath, what is their rate, rhythm, shallow/deep and where they are breathing, i.e., upper chest, belly, etc. And then simply match that breathing pattern and become in sync with their breathing. So that both of you are breathing the same. Spend a few moments to become in sync. Then start to subtly and gradually change your breathing pattern toward where you want the other person to end up. Do this slowly and in perceptively. You notice that the other’s breathing will follow yours. Breathe
The other thing to be aware of is your posture and position relative to the client. This is basic nonverbal communication skills. Simply be aware of your body position relative to theirs and your posture. Many confrontations are where a person is standing directly opposing and, in a controlling/menacing/confrontational position. The posture is upright/rigid/and authoritative. Change your position and your posture. Become relaxed, soft and yielding; bend into it. Then move into a supportive 90° off to the side, instead of being right in front of them (oppositional). Hopefully, at some point the other person will perceive you as being less confrontational and more supportive. When they are calmer, opened up and willing to talk/converse with you (not to you); move into a supportive position along to their side. And now both of you are facing or looking at a perceived issue or situation problem together.
When you get to where you and the client are both working together and side by side. At some point, the question then becomes “what do you want to do about this situation?” By this time, their behaviors, plans and goals are more reality-based and doable. Then the next question is, how are you going to make that happen? What this question does, is to get them to think and access their own internal and external resources and to develop an actionable step-by-step plan. And they have regained their sense of sovereign agency.
The last piece is to connect or anchor them to their agency. Anchoring is the feeling, experience and belief that they have accomplished, moving from the feeling of being overwhelmed and in crisis to an experience and belief that they now have an actionable plan or strategy to address or remedy their situation. Anchoring involves re-positioning yourself into either the 45° supportive position or even face-to-face. But now it is a position of acknowledgement and honoring them. Look directly into their eyes and state, “great job. I knew you could make things happen for yourself!” Also consider doing a physical anchor, e.g., a handshake, a touch on the arm or shoulder or a brief hug (if appropriate). This anchoring/connecting piece is based both on communication/interaction skills, neuro linguistic programming (NLP) concepts. It helps to anchor/program a positive memory/experience (not the usual thought of trauma; its the reverse of physical therapy for trauma body work). It is anchoring a positive/healing experience which can be more easily remembered and provide access/connection to information, feelings and belief that they can choose to move forward in the change/gardening of their passions, loves and dreams.
The above is based on my professional experience. It may seem like it is quite the process and takes a bit of time. And it does. But this upfront investment pays-offs down the road. The person may not remember the specifics and details of your interaction, but they will remember the vibe of the experience. And this will give you and them huge dividends further along the path. However, a similar structure and process can be easily done by parents, teachers, human service professionals, mentors and by folks who have influential interactions with others. This is not rocket science but straightforward communication skills that anyone can apply. Perhaps the only question is, what is your intent or agenda? Are you doing this for yourself or with and for another person? Or are you doing this for your relationship? Or perhaps to interrupt destructive behavior.
A brief story about disrupting destructive behavior. On a psych unit in the middle of the night. Suddenly, there was a loud bang. A colleague and I ran into the room of a young woman who had a horrific history of abuse. She was seemingly in a disassociated state (not in reality) and had banged her head on the wall. This dear colleague had a moment of sheer intuitive genius. He grabbed the pillow off the bed and held it up to the wall where this young woman was trying to bang her head… but now into the pillow. Immediately she regained her sense of reality, had a few choice words for us and then calmed without further incident. This was a stroke of genius, because it avoided hands-on physical intervention, which risked further institutional trauma to this young woman. The next day, she thanked us for our kindness and never again attempted any self-destructive behavior while we were on duty/present. The point is, sometimes the vibe just happens. Sometimes it’s a surprise and unexpected; kind of like spraying water on two cats that are in a stand-off or a fight. There is a white cat and a black cat that are posturing to fighting for their territory. You can spray them with the garden hose. Or you might put out 2 small dishes of pate’, chicken or salmon to get their attention off fighting for their territory and to recognize a common/better goal. Want to herd cats? You can chase them around with the water hose… or better yet, try tasty cat treats and fun challenging puzzles.
Zooming out to the big picture, vibes/frequency can incorporate sublime energy/frequency management into interpersonal skills. The point is, when we become aware and therefore have a choice of whether the vibes we encounter influence us. We can choose to be reactive or strategic and change the vibes that we encounter. We can choose to create and radiate our reality. To influence others and their experience when we interact with another. Transformers of Energy
A side tidbit: There is this thing called the merkaba. In metaphysics, the merkaba is the subtle energy field that surrounds and extends about 3meters/8 feet around a person. This energy field is dynamic. Some refer to as a person’s aura, energy field, subtle body, psychic body. In body energy work, it is basically what Reki practitioners are working with. The energy field incorporates a spectrum or range of frequencies from the physical body and extends into the psychic and aetheric frequencies/realms and beyond. Two well aspected souls; teacher/student, lovers, mother/child, partners, etc. know well that there are subtle, exquisite and sublime energies, frequencies and connections that resonate between them.
Perhaps this all seems too woo. However, the trend for the past 50-70 years is that we now know there is a lot more going on than just physical manifestations of the world that we thought 70 years ago. Have we come to the point of stepping beyond the physical/social/conceptual into a sublime energetic experience?
Perhaps this is a parallel post of You Are the Light. Light is a frequency; as is sound and feelings/emotions are also frequency. Feelings have a scale or range of frequency/energy. Homework: Do a search for “Emotional Guidance Scale.”
The intention of this post is to navigate into an energetic experience. There are many wonderful folks offering their perspectives to prepare for this transition. The commonality is that each person chooses. It is a sovereign choice. What is fascinating is; first each person must awaken and believe there is an opportunity to make a choice. Each moment a person has a choice to change their vibe. To tune into a different frequency, to turn on their light or to feel differently. It doesn’t matter if it’s sound, light, feeling, behavior or physical…it’s matter/energy/frequency for you to transform.
In no particular order, are a few fascinating breadcrumbs leading into the rabbit hole: Lynne McTaggart, Lee Carroll/Kryon, Pam Gregory, HeartMath, Bruce H Lipton, Penny Kelly, Giving Voice to the Wisdom of the Ages/YT, Delores Cannon/QHHT and there are many others. Follow your intuition. What resonates/vibes with you? Use your sovereign discernment and choice.
Peace, love and light!