So let’s stop describing a positive preferred state of things as ‘high vibration’ and suggesting it’s better than ‘low vibration.’
It’s a common way, in the healing, spiritual, ‘new age’ and ‘conscious’ communities, to describe people, situations and experiences.
Have you noticed this? Perhaps done this yourself? Named more challenging experiences and emotions as low vibe and striven for a ‘high vibration’ as something better than. As in:
- “That person is so negative. She has such a low vibe.”
- “Ooooo, that’s a high vibe gathering, I want in.”
- “We’re going to raise the planet’s vibration together.”
- “I’m working on raising my vibration.”
Naming and calling things high and low vibe, and judging a low vibe as less-than is another version of spiritual bypassing (in which spiritual practices and beliefs are used to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs) and I believe it misses the point, which is that there’s actually no point to striving for a high vibration.
What matters more than achieving a high vibration is that we shift out of personal and cultural dissonance and incongruence, and instead stay grounded and connected to our values, which can happen at any vibration.
If, as growth-oriented healing/spiritually striving people, we focused instead on resonance and congruence, we’d feel and see a lot more integrity and, frankly, kindness in ourselves and our communities.
A story to illustrate this point.
I grew up with cats and dogs in the house. Always at least three pets, usually four – two of each.
One of the things I loved about having cats was their purring. The purrs meant contentment. Appreciation. Love. Relaxation.
If a cat snuggled onto my lap or chest and then started to purr, well, there was nothing else I intended to do but stay put, stroking that cat’s fur, listening in to their pleasure, letting the purr relax me too.
The purr was a consistent vibration, a humming thrum, a rumbling, often low vibration – ie: vibrating at a slower oscillation.
As an adult I haven’t had cats, but four years ago I cat-sat two distressed cats for eight months. One of the cats never warmed up to my daughter and I – she always ran and hid when we entered the same room as her. After about four months however the other cat decided she liked me and started pursuing me, wanting to sit on my lap.
However, she was constantly on edge, nervous, and her purr reflected this. It was always chirpy, high pitched – aka – vibrating at a faster oscillation.
Some definitions of the verb ‘to vibrate’
- to swing or move to and fro – a periodic motion of the particles of an elastic body or medium in alternately opposite directions from the position of equilibrium when that equilibrium has been disturbed (as when a stretched cord produces musical tones or molecules in the air transmit sounds to the ear)
- to respond sympathetically : thrill : vibrate to the opportunity – a characteristic emanation, aura, or spirit that infuses or vitalizes someone or something and that can be instinctively sensed or experienced
- a distinctive usually emotional atmosphere capable of being sensed
Some more stories to illustrate this point:
I lived for four years in a house which was heated by an oil furnace. When the temperature dropped lower than my thermostat was set for, the furnace would kick in. First came a deep clunking sound, then a roar, and then a steady vibrating hum as the furnace did its work of heating the house, and keeping my daughter and I and our friends and family warm.
The furnace was operating on a lower vibration than my cat’s purring. The furnace was not quite as low a vibration as, for example, the vibration emanating from one of BC’s ferries, as they ply the waters between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, back and forth and back and forth, steadily, with a rich, deep, solidly steady low vibration hum. Soothing. The sounds of an engine that is working properly – too slow a vibration, and the engine would fail. Too fast/high a vibration, and the engine would gain too much heat and speed for it to handle.
Sometimes, when I’m feeling off-kilter, and I tune into my body, I can feel two different vibrations humming away in my body. The more distressed/out of sorts I feel, the faster the buzz internally, but also, the more distant in resonance (shared speed of vibration) the internal buzzing is. When I experience this, usually lying in bed before sleep, or upon waking, I can, in that still silent space, draw my attention inwards and ask for the two different buzzy feelings to come together.
It’s like playing two strings on a violin at the same time – the same note, an octave apart, but if you’re the slightest bit out of tune, you won’t hear the one note, you’ll hear two dissonant sounds. By adjusting the fingering on the two strings and bringing the notes into a purity of tone – the point at which the two strings start singing the exact same note – a beautiful resonant hum starts up, and all is good.
It’s the same principle with that awkward internal dissonant buzzing. As I ask for the buzzing to sync up with each other, they start to move closer until, with that same moment of magic as on the viollin, I bring them together and my whole body/heart/soul/mind calms and settles. The vibration settles and my insides resonate.
I have a sweet little healing technique I use with clients that experience distress and anxiety and have difficulty setting into their bodies. I call it the centre-of-gravity technique. What I ask them to do is bring their attention into their torso to identify where that ‘centre of gravity’ is.
We want it to live in the pelvis, but for most people, it’s sitting somewhere around the solar plexus or chest.
When I teach clients how to find and move the that bundle of energy around, they notice (and they can feel it in me, because I demonstrate the effect it has on other people) that the higher they raise their centre of gravity, the more distressed, ungrounded and buzzy they feel, and vice versa, as they lower that bundle of energy towards their pelvis, they calm, they settle, they become more present. The energy is less buzzy; it’s vibrating more slowly. They become grounded.
Consider how calming it is to sit at the edge of the ocean, or a lake when it’s slightly windy. Waves keep coming in, rhythmically, a steady and consistent vibration, a lower vibration. Waves keep coming in.
For all of these reasons, may we all seek groundedness, congruence and kindness at any vibration rather than an idealized high vibe.
If you’re seeking support in healing, grounding and congruence, I can help. I’ve just designed and opened up space in my calendar for one-on-one sessions. Click here to learn more.
If you’d like an immersive group experience, The Art of Personal Mythmaking, my 4 month ecourse and writing circle, really offers you a chance to heal and transform in the container of a beautifully curated learning space, under my guidance. We start the next round August 27th, and I’d love to have you join in. Click here to learn more and sign up.
And, a heads up – I’m offering my free Growing Your Own Spine: cultivating self leadership in an externally oriented society workshop again – more details coming soon. If you already know you’d like in, you can sign up to be notified here.