Vibes. Vibes. Vibes.
Vibe: it stands for 'vibration'.
Every particle of matter or energy in the air, the earth, the water, the planets in our solar system and the cells of your body, down to the atomic level, is vibrating. Everything as you know it is in motion. Atoms of more solid things, like rocks and buildings and grains of sand, still vibrate even though we perceive them as still. 'Vibe' is an all-encompassing term used by stoners and hippies and secularists, but its origin is the same: when we talk about the 'vibe' of something, we're referring to the way something literally vibrates in relation to its surroundings. (*Additional Reading: The Science of "Vibes" Shows How Everything is Connected).
Because everything is constantly in motion, vibes are endlessly changing: growing, folding in on themselves, meshing with other vibes and creating something new. So when we verbalize that process in order to pinpoint a single 'vibe' of a single being... we're overlooking the spectrum of vibes leading up to our single impression at a single point in time. Using that single moment to define an entire person across all moments in time... well that's just not that helpful. (Examples: "I get a lonely vibe from them," "We just don't vibe," etc.)
We hold a lot of different vibrations at the same time.
I'm going to use the pretty much impossible task of describing my own vibe to illustrate this for you. Right now, I'm holding a vibe of appreciation for my brother, who just texted me about a kitten video posted in a shared thread... an epic kitten video with maybe the world's cutest audio of all time. Because of this, I'm holding a deep love of kittens, and every complex facet of kitten experience that comes with it (memories of my childhood cat, mixed emotions about being allergic and taking care of something so oddly independent and precious at the same time, etc.). I'm holding the vibration of every Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok post that resonated with me today: hard but necessary information and art about racial injustice and the long journey of awareness ahead of all of us, milestones and challenges of the people I know, gentle awakenings from spirit-centered accounts, and, of course, viral videos of baby llamas (*now you optionally get to click the links of the things you want in your vibration right now. Isn't it nice when you get to decide?).
I'm holding house love, roommate love, and cosmic, ineffable Bae-love. I'm holding the vibration of the outfit I chose to wear, the superfood-laden oats made with love by Shane and savored an hour or so ago. I'm holding massive global vibrations of fear, and change, and an overall desire for improvement. I'm holding delicate biases based on my upbringing and ongoing teachings, as well as my observations of those biases from this moment in time.
...That's right: I'm holding the vibration of the pain I felt in a past misunderstanding simultaneously with the vibration of calm, forgiving observance of that past moment by my present self. (Cool!)
Q: Which of those two vibrations has more of an effect on me?
A: Whichever one I designate as more important. In this particular case, it's easy for me to place the importance on my current observation of the past and not the feelings I had in the past... but that's not always easy to do when past grievances overwhelm us because we haven't accepted the pain and consequences of them enough to observe them from a more loving and forgiving place.
*Vibes above range from playful and zen to powerful and accepting.
Here's a 4-Step Exercise for you now, and perhaps any time:
1. What vibrations are you currently holding? There's a good chance you could think of at least 10, big and small. Write them down so you can see them, but don't judge or analyze them too much.
2. Look through your list. Which of your named vibrations seem easy, fun, or helpful to you? Label them as such and bank them for future use. Baby llama vibes are dependable to most of us for a reason, and there's no shame in turning to them when you need a laugh, a little extra optimism, and a little more strength to keep you going.
3. Of your more difficult vibrations, which ones seem the scariest or the most impossible to face? Don't judge the answer. Just because your tiny rift with a family member doesn't seem like a big deal to some, it can be a big deal to you. Just go with your gut and don't analyze the 'why'. There are no wrong answers. Now, take a deep breath. These scarier vibrations require help to process and work past. The types and lengths and scopes of that help are personalized, individual requirements that only you can know. Some of my difficult vibrations (fear of unworthiness, introvert burnout, bossiness, and hyper-overanalysis, to name a few) are best helped with quiet rejuvenation; some with talk therapy; some with plain old friendship; some with the release of expectations and acknowledgement of the present moment; some with physical movement (dance/fitness/yoga) and some with a painful, lengthy, emotional release (think sobbing in the bathroom for longer than anyone would be comfortable with). I don't always know what is most helpful, so I try to just be open and nonjudgmental so the answer can float to the surface of my conscious mind. I don't force anything, I never resort to intentionally harming someone or something, and I try to just let it all go at the end of the day. The biggest solution to the vibrations I am terrified to face, so far in my life, has been: just relax. You can't fix everything at once, especially in such a worked up state. Relax, and take care of yourself.
With all this in mind: circle your named vibrations that scare you, acknowledge that they will require ongoing help to shift out of, and take note of what types of help you're most open to.
4. Let go of the need to 'solve' anything or everything today, as you have proven to yourself that you hold an untold amount of vibrations (perhaps infinite!) at one time, and your best transition from one moment to the next is choosing a vibration of less resistance. Baby llamas? So be it. Brother appreciation? Excellent. Excitement about your next meal? Now you're getting the hang of it. Doing something nice for someone else just because? It never gets old. Celebrating the world's tiniest victories for yourself? (Another blog! Another day of health and friendship! Another moment of vast potential for love that I didn't fully block with all my pent up worry!) Always worth it.
All of this being said, try not to judge the 'vibe' of the people in front of you or the social media posts you don't agree with. They are such a small facet of an infinitely complex system. They are one vibration in an interplay of hundreds in that moment. When you start to understand this concept readily, you realize you get to decide which vibrations to focus on in other people and which ones don't deserve your attention, and then you're making your day a lot easier for yourself while helping others see their own higher vibrations.
Vibes. Vibes. Vibes. Vibes.