The further down the yogic path I venture, the more I come to understand that everything is energy, and that energy and vibration are very real.
I didn’t always believe this.
It’s simple really. Everything we see and interact with is made up of energetic particles, and these particles all carry their own vibration, just like our emotions.
For example, an inanimate object is comprised of subatomic particles which, held together by strong nuclear force, give the object its form. We learn this in physics, but it’s not something we often think about in daily life like, “Oh, this table is a mass of protons, electrons and neutrons whirring away to make a table…” Regardless of whether we notice it or not, it’s there.
The same goes for us living beings. Everything in the world is made of different types of energy, including things we can’t see—like electricity, sound and emotion—and all of these vibrate at varying frequencies. Electricity, as we know it, is the most obvious form of energy. Through all these, vibration is the common thread, and the strongest.
For example, water has one vibration—but when it freezes to ice, its vibration changes. When it turns to vapor, the vibration changes again. The same principle applies to us, as we vibrate at various frequencies directly related to what we think and do, as well as how we act and speak.
Most of our thoughts turn into spoken words or internal chatter. Our words, both thought and spoken, define our actions—and actions, when repeated again and again, form our habits. And our habits define us; they make us who we are on any given day, and they play a massive role in our emotions. Think about your habits for a moment. How does each make you feel?
Just consider for a second the fact that a hug, smile, laughter or a kind gesture brings up good feelings inside. When we cross paths with someone—or witness violence, hate or cruelty—it brings up uncomfortable feelings inside. We often never stop to consider how or why this is. However, the answer seems simple to me now: vibration.
This is because higher vibration emotions feel better in our body and do less harm. This is not to say we should avoid our lower vibration emotions; we just have to be careful that we aren’t clinging to them, because that’s when they can do damage.
Dr. David Hawkins discovered that on an energetic scale there is a critical point where emotions such as greed, guilt or anger—that “calibrate below a frequency of 200”—affect the body, while emotions like love, joy or happiness—which calibrate above 200—have a different effect. He also found that vibrating at a “frequency above 500 is one of pure unconditional love, and it is in this state that we are in complete harmony with our body and our environment.”
As a whole, I believe the world is carrying a low vibration right now. How else did we end up with a President Trump? Fear, greed, terror, anger, hatred, bitterness, anxiety and jealousy all run rampant. These are the lowest vibration emotions. They’re dense and heavy, and they don’t feel good. I look around and see these energies flying everywhere.
However, we need to do our own work if we are ever going to transcend this mess. And what we can do, on a personal level, is focus on these habits that raise our vibration rather than the habits that lower it.
1. Gratitude. Nothing raises us up higher than gratitude, except perhaps love. When we are present in the moment, and we appreciate what we have, we are at the opposite end of the spectrum from feelings like jealousy, regret and entitlement.
Being in a state of gratitude increases the flow of energy and higher vibrational emotions within. My favorite thing about gratitude is that it’s simple. It’s not complicated at all, yet it’s so easy for us in the Western world to bemoan our lives because we don’t have high end material possessions or millions in the bank. But the bottom line is this: If we’re breathing, and we have food to eat and a roof over our head, there’s plenty to be grateful for.
Every morning, I have a five-minute window where I sit with my coffee or tea, and I practice breathwork. In that moment, I am so present that all I can feel is appreciation for the delicious warm beverage I am blessed enough to enjoy. In gratitude, we take nothing for granted—and that is exactly how we can raise our vibration.
2. Love. Love is divine, and it is free. We give it freely, with no expectation of anything in return—and if we are expecting something in return, it is not love. Love is compassion and nurturing. It is free from judgement and free from ego. In love there is a beautiful free space to make mistakes or to fall short, as well as to grow, flower and blossom. Like a garden, if we nurture it, it grows; if we strangle it, it dies.
Love is really just a reflection of our true soul nature, and when we are in touch with that divine place, we reflect love outwardly, thus attracting it back. When we trust this within ourselves, we then trust it in everyone else, and we vibrate higher. Love is always inside us, it just gets blocked up and clouded by worldly desires, ego, selfishness, pride, anger and all of our low vibrational human stuff.
Love opens us up, like flowers blossoming in the warm, spring sunlight. It softens us and allows us to understand others. Opposing love are hate and fear, which are very closely connected. We hate and fear what we don’t understand. When we approach what we would usually hate from a space of love, we often find understanding where we previously lacked it. And this can transform an entire person, situation or interaction by bringing it up to a higher vibration.
3. Generosity. Attachment to anything is fear-based. We hoard our possessions, money and time when we are in fear. When we are giving of our time, money and possessions, we find that, much like gratitude, it makes us feel quite good. When we attach our identities to things outside of ourselves, we unconsciously lower our vibration, because by forming this attachment, we are cultivating an underlying fear that without said thing (be it money, possessions or time) we may lose our identity.
If we consider that all things (especially objects and money) are simply a form of energy (which they are), think about what clinging to that energy will do. It will weigh us down and block the flow of energy to and from us. So like a plant that is being choked by the surrounding weeds, we fade into a ghost of who we could be when we attach and cling to anything. The remedy for this is generosity! Pema Chödrön taught me that the best thing I can do in the face of this is to give away exactly what it is I fear not having.
4. Forgiveness. This goes for ourselves and others. In Buddhism, we believe that forgiveness is one of the best practices of a spiritual life because forgiveness allows us to come from a place that is free from ego. When we forgive, we are allowing ourselves and others to be imperfect. When we cannot forgive, and we hold on to anger and resentment, we weigh ourselves down in a toxic swamp of dense energy that blinds us to the true nature of reality.
When we practice forgiveness, we free ourselves from this swamp. It allows us to see that we don’t know everything, and that perhaps our perceptions of others are skewed. It’s not always the easiest thing in the world to practice, but I can promise you it’s worth it. And it feels a thousand times better than bitter anger and resentment.
5. Meditation and Breathwork. One of the fastest ways to raise our vibration is by being present in the moment. And the best way to live in the moment is by having a meditation and breathwork practice. In the present moment, we are often overcome with awe, joy, serenity and appreciation for things exactly as they are.
In order to feel these, we need to be free from the whispers of the past and the worries of the future. Our attention must be where our body is, rather than anywhere else, because this is the only place we have any power. And the only way to be here is to silence the monkey mind, which we do in meditation and breathwork—and which, in turn, spreads into moments of the day outside of our practice.
I’ll leave you with this experiment. Close your eyes, and take five cycles of breath—slow, deep inhales through the nose down into your lower lungs. Fill up your lungs and then your belly. Pause for a brief moment at the top of the inhale. Exhale slowly through the nose, expelling all the air from your lungs. Pause at the bottom of the exhale. Repeat five times.
How do you feel right now? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Author: Lindsay Carricarte
Image: Flickr/Eddi van W.
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina