Ellen S. Wright, July 26, 2002 Copyright 2022 The Plateau period and Slingshot Effect
I’ve been feeling inordinately stuck and exhausted lately. How about you?
Nothing is “wrong” per se because everything is going very well overall. I feel so appreciative for every part of my life. Yet, admittedly, I’ve been in a malaise. Definition: “Malaise is a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or fatigue that has no clearly identifiable cause.” Now, one could argue that I’ve been feeling like this because of the state of the world right now…the lack of sleep I have been getting due to my son waking at odd times in the night…by the fact that I’ve been going through an exceptionally challenging work transition…and on multiple fronts have been emotionally and physically exhausted. Yet, I know me and felt that something was deeper and more unclear for me about this feeling. So, I set about trying to understand more and gain clarity.
Being in a malaise is particularly hard for me because my drive for activity, service and creative expression require energy. My chosen identity in this earth experience is to be a guide. As a guide, I usually walk trails and trials in order to learn more about the emotional and cognitive terrain of our physical reality and offer guidance when asked. My nature is to be in motion. When I am in a malaise space, I feel devoid of or very protective of my energy. I also feel less aligned (always connected) to my higher self. Versus when I am in full alignment, I feel connected to everything and everyone. I feel in flow with my spirit and my egoic personality aligns in the best ways. Synchronicities, clear guidance, and signs are all popping, it feels like a love that is both calm and deep. And I feel much like a swimmer who has caught the right current while learning to perfect her stroke. What’s not to love?
When I am not in alignment, I think and feel like I’m disconnected from the flow of infinite wisdom and divine alignment. Yet, I KNOW I am never apart from the river. And it feels far less comfortable, so I have been trying to find the words/images to describe what it feels like and the closest I was able to come up with was a slingshot and a Plateau. So, here it goes, my Plateau period exploration.
Our physical lives follow natural cycles. We go through periods of of creative energy, destructive/death energy, periods of growth, reflection and plateaus. We are all energetic beings, and our energetic profiles are diverse. We are using our mental, physical and emotional energy every day and very few talk in terms of energy. So, here goes I’ll demonstrate by discussing my energetic profile.
(Two sidenotes: a. We are entering an age where I can safely say this as a mental health professional and not being written off as a pesky metaphysician or gasp, a “far out hippie.” b. Look for more about this in discussion on auras and energy in future posts.)
- My energetic profile is more fit to being at home in periods of creativity, growth, destruction and reflection, as they are all active. My energy is fast, focused and intense, so being in a space of slowed energy is uncomfortable for me. Being fast moving is comfortable but often not sustainable or reliable for me. I’ve never been able to sustain my energy level so I’d often describe myself as “biting off more than I can chew,” overcommitting or not following through. The majority of this is because of a lack of practice discipline on my part. I admit that if I the energy and cultivate the practice of certain things, then do not lose a lot of energy quickly. Ultimately by knowing these things about myself, it allows me to make more powerful conscious decision on my behavior. IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep in mind your energy does flux depending on the environment/people surrounding you, so think of when you feel safe/calm at rest, then ask yourself these questions.
Questions to ask about your energy:
- How would I describe my energy (non-judgmentally- just with adjectives) Fast/slow, diffuse/focused, outward/inward, big/medium/small, stable/unstable, do you tend to feel like your thoughts/emotions idle high or are more relaxed? Use any words, colors, images to describe your energy.
- What do I feel most comfortable spending my energy on?
- Where do I gain energy? What activities give me energy or feed my energy?
- Where do I lose energy?
- Objectively, do I accept my energetic level?
Once, I realized my energetic profile, it has become easier to understand what I want and need for myself based on my natural deposition. I have also become more mindful of when my energy fits a situation or when it does not.
When I applied the information about my energetic profile I started to understand further why this Plateau period has been challenging for me. Words that I have been more frequently saying in regard to how I feel, “anxious” “stagnant” or “weightless.” These feelings all feel remarkably like groundlessness for me and carry a lower energetic frequency than I normally prefer. Note: I do not judge the various frequencies but they all feel different and carry with them different abilities to align to higher consciousness. Feeling groundless, for me, is also both exciting but also terrifying. These periods are filled with an inherent mental tension of desire and fear.
When low energy is present, it is easier to ruminate or to feel the tension between wanting to rest and wanting to act! Or feeling the tension between both experienced at the same time which feels stagnant or stuck because two opposing forces are occurring simultaneously.
However, Plateau periods are times of digestion and subconscious integration because we are usually analyzing to some extent as well. When one’s energy is high during this period, the anxious tension for this period to be over can pervade. These times of plateau are more than just reflective, they are still. Much does not happen. It is usually a period of slowed momentum.
In all of this is my energetic type (fast/focused/intense) has a harder time with all aspects of this. I imagine though, for an energetic type that complements mine (slow/diffuse/mellow) this could Plateau period may feel safe and comfortable. Everyone is different, and that is what makes us a might whole. What I find awesome is that the Universe wastes nothing and my discomfort of this because of my nature, lead me to examine it further and accept going further.
It was not until today when I opened myself to understanding how to gain clarity from this Plateau period. For me, I realized, upon self-reflection that I did not want to simply resent this period (already accepting it had some purpose but not quite knowing what it is) or internalize the fearful anxious tension that this period normally represents. Usually, my pattern is for my egoic mind to go into “fixing” or “changing” mode. Yet, that is not the purpose of this period or any of the periods of our expansion. (Sidenote: I say expansion, because growth is a process not a destination and is a component of expansion.)
Well, what is this period for, Ellen? TO Rest, integrate lessons, be still, allow and accept the space. The biggest is theme of this space is acceptance. This ability to be without changing and without shifting is powerful. What I have also found to be true is that the more acceptance occurs, the momentum begins to build again. This is where the slingshot effect comes into play.
The slingshot image came to me when I tried to understand this morning while I felt a simultaneous call to action energetically (note: not ego conditioning driven) and felt the real need to rest/be. The slingshot came to mind as a miraculous device that allows the object within it to be pulled back to greater directions in order to be shot forward in an equal or greater opposite direction. During this period, being still is imperative for the object within the device. The more centered and still it is, the greater the probability that the optimal force will propel it forward when released. In this way, during this period we feel the momentum increase, while integrating and reflecting on things of the past.
(Sidenote: The physics of the slingshot can be found in other natural forms as well, which is how I know it is grounded in natural wisdom.)
When I realized the slingshot naturally feels like momentum building, I understood that to many of us, it may be a time of feeling either expectant/excited, anxious/fearful or a blend of both states which can feel very confusing and disorienting at times, again this being a feeling state of the Plateau period. Our body’s emotional response center will send the same chemicals out to body with any of these perceptions, but how we interpret those feelings in the body and what meaning we give those feelings determines how we feel in the Plateau period. I realized this morning, I was more afraid than expectant, but definitely a blend of both. I knew that the momentum of the energy building is much deeper than ever before and in large ways that feels exciting to my adventurous soul but challenging to my egoic conditioning which is the very thing that will expand.
Usually with an expansion, comes a new level of clarity, peace and acceptance of myself. With that inevitability, something shifts in my physical/everyday life. Being a trauma survivor, change and shifts to routine can feel immediately threatening and unsafe. History has plenty of evidence of how these events have been rather…uncomfortable in the past. My ego goes into “fear and protection mode” encoding meaning to this potentiality as dangerous. On one level of expansion, I learned how to challenge this egoic conditioning and fear. For me, the best way to navigate through is to ask my true self, my higher self (accessible most often for me through meditative writing and speaking) –
Here is an example of that writing, I usually start with a question:
- “Is what is about to happen for my highest good?” The answer was yes.
- Next question- “Do I need to be afraid of losing something?” Answer- You have the choice to be afraid. You have the choice to hold on to what no longer serves you, or you can hold on and you will not move on to the next level of expansion. Either choice is fine, Ellen.
- “What do I need to do during this period?” Answer: There is nothing to do. Only to return to acceptance and being.
So, through this examination, I realized that for me letting go peacefully of what no longer serves me is still challenging but becoming easier and easier. Also, learning to receive the new from a space of openness without the need to resist, self-protect or justify the new in whatever form it takes is another key piece. Finally, reminding myself that just because the next new life experience is unknown it is not necessarily bad. As always, I choose further expansion. Repeatedly, I have greeted myself at this same moment and chosen to expand. And once again, I return to center of all things and of me.
I have found that through mindful examination of the fear and an objective look at each phase in our natural cycle of expansion, I am loving and honor myself with those fearful parts of me. The journey of acceptance and simultaneous expansion is an exciting one.
So, I ask you- Have you experienced the plateau period? If so, what has been your journey with it? What stood out to you in this piece? What resonated with you? What did not resonate?
As always, thank you for reading… would love to hear your thoughts or reflections on this piece about the Plateau period.