Mirror, Mirror…

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it – Edith Wharton

Yesterday I talked about how our energy fields interact and how we can sometimes be pulled into entrainment with someone else’s negative energy field. There are many ways to explore this concept. Today we will look at it through the lens of psychology. We all have certain types of brain cells, called mirror neurons. Mirror neurons fire both when we are performing an action, and when we just observe the action being done. Although there is a big difference between doing something and watching that same thing being done by someone else, mirror neurons do not differentiate this. When these neurons fire we get the neuro-chemicals that go along with the event- whether we have done it, or observed it. A great example of this is when we watch a sad movie. During a heart wrenching scene we feel that deep ache well up in our gut and tears stream down our face. Even though intellectually we know we are only watching a film, our mirror neurons react to the the scene as if we are experiencing it ourselves.

Applying this concept to our topic of energy entrainment,  if we are in the presence of someone holding a negative energy state, our mirror neurons are going to react. This means if our neighbor is in a bad mood, hostile and aggressive, and we go over to ask for a cup of sugar, our mirror neurons will react to this. They will start firing the neuro-chemicals of hostility and aggression into our nervous system. In a very real sense, we have ‘caught’ their hostility.

So how can we protect ourselves from this? We can begin by exploring a phrase that is probably one of the oldest pieces of advice on the planet. A common approach to creating a ‘higher self’ reaction to someone in a negative energy state is to  “turn the other cheek. ”  Although this phrase has biblical origins, when we consider it in a neuro-chemical context, it adds a new layer of depth to its meaning.

Taken literally- to turn the other cheek- is to look in a different direction and therefore see something else. It is not rocket science.  What we are being advised to do is to walk away- emotionally, physically, and energetically. Walk away emotionally by deflecting the hostility with humor, compassion, or indifference. Walk away physically, by finding something beautiful in nature to look at, touch, or smell.  If we observe or interact with something of beauty, our mirror neurons will fire off the chemicals that correspond to beauty.  Walk away energetically-  listen to a piece of music that evokes strong positive memories from the past allowing your mirror neurons to fire to that feel good state.

If we consciously subject our senses to the things that we want reflected into our lives, our mirror neurons will react. Truly, there are endless ways to counteract a negative energy assault- we just need to be able to turn the other cheek to achieve it. Why is that sometimes so hard to do? Mirror neurons are tricky things- they make it hard for us to define what is ours and what is simply a reflection occurring in the outside world. Our reaction to our neighbors hostility can be so instantaneous that their hostility feels like it is ours- just like the sad scene in a movie. Becoming entrained in someone else’s negative energy state happens when we mistake their reflection for our own.  This is where becoming mindful of our own energy field can make all the difference in the world. How can we do this? Things such as prayer, meditation, simple deep breathing and relaxation- all these can help us to heal, recharge, stabilize and recognize both our state of mind, and our individual energy field.  None of what I am saying is new or earth shattering – we all know these things, yet we grow sleepy to the truth of it. The world outside of us is always going to hold up a mirror- it is up to us to figure out if the reflection we are responding to is our own or someone else’s.