I recently saw a video on Instagram of someone talking about doing a science experiment of converting negative energy into positive energy.
The video was from the comedian Sarah Silverman and she told a story about an encounter with a man in a parking lot, who started yelling at her and cussing her out after she parked her car because he thought she had hit his truck (she hadn’t).
She immediately apologized and asked how she could make it right and he said that it was fine, to not worry about it.
When she tells the story, she says that she consciously thought to herself, “This is an opportunity for a scientific experiment: Can I convert this scary, negative energy into positive energy?”
She asks the man to show her the scratch and says that she wants to make it right, she wants to pay for it.
“Just forget it,” he says.
“I’m not going to forget it,” she says. “I want to fix this.”
“It doesn’t matter,” he says.
“I’m gonna buy you some pot,” she says and insists on buying him weed (regardless of your feelings about marijuana, it’s legal in California!). While she is in the store, she sees the meter maid coming toward her car and she thinks she’s getting a ticket.
“I know, I got a ticket,” she says to the security guard on her way out.
“You didn’t,” he said, “because your friend out there put a quarter in your meter.”
She walks over to the guy, who minutes earlier was yelling at her in a fit of rage, and says, “I heard that you’re my hero.”
“Oh, no, it’s just a quarter,” he says.
She gives him the weed and they shake hands.
“Look at us,” she says, “we were arch enemies and now we’re best friends!”
He was like a different person, she says.
I’m watching this video and I can’t help but smile. First of all, Sarah Silverman has a huge smile when she talks and it’s contagious, and then imagining this exchange, how can you not smile? Two people just made each other’s day, all because one person decided to see if she could convert the energy.
Right away I thought, what if more people could do this, not just for each other, but for themselves?
What if, when you are being nasty and negative to yourself—telling yourself how much you suck, how you’ll never finish your book (or other creative project), how your writing (art) is no good, how no one will care about your writing (art)—you could catch yourself, stop, and consciously think:
Here’s an opportunity for a scientific experiment: Can I convert this negative energy that I’m directing at myself into positive energy?
And then our own personal equivalent of “I’m gonna buy you some pot!”
Maybe it’s more like:
- I’m gonna give you a nap!
- I’m gonna take you for a walk!
- I’m gonna get you a latte!
- I’m gonna buy you a pedicure!
- I’m gonna buy you some flowers!
I’m gonna give you a break!
They say that energy is neither created nor destroyed. It only exists. You can redirect it or convert it into something else, but it will always exist in some form.
That’s why you have to move energy out of your body, because the negativity can build up and cause pain and disease. That’s why, when you are directing negative energy at yourself, if you experiment and attempt to convert it, you can change your mood, your perspective, and the trajectory of your whole day, or week, or, heck, even your entire life.
I did this for myself just today. It’s my first day back to work after a week of vacation and I have a to-do list a mile long, because so much stuff (both digital and physical) has piled up while I was away. But guess what I added to my to-do list?
Instead of telling myself, you better get all this done today—or else! Or, You’ll NEVER get all this done, you ALWAYS try to take on more than you can handle.
Nope. I didn’t allow any of that.
Instead, I added to my list:
Go easy on myself this week during re-entry from vacay mode.
Yep. I even added the heart for effect. Here’s a picture of the list I shared with my private community recently for proof:
I help people convert their negative energy into positive energy all the time—or at least into more productive energy. The other day I was talking to a writer who had all these stories about why she’d never find a publisher interested in buying her book because of all the legal complications that come with it, and why she could never publicize her book because this one litigious person in her life would find out and come after her with a lawsuit. And these were all the reasons why she was telling me that she couldn’t write her book.
“But none of that has any bearing on whether you write your book today,” I said.
“You’re right,” she said.
And right there, in those two words was a conversion of energy. Now, whether she will convert the energy even further and make progress on her book is up to her, but that perspective shift is a huge first step.