The human energy field
So far, I’ve mentioned energy work is that which works on the human energy field (HEF). The aura is an aspect of the HEF, often depicted as rings around a person, as in the center image above. Each ring relates to a different aspect of the human experience and is identified differently in name and number, depending on the system of energy work referenced. It would be easy to think the rings around a person are the field, like layers of an onion (see left image above); however, the layers are not separate; they do not sit atop one another. They diffuse down into one another.
The subtle bodies
I suggest you think of the human energy field as consciousness in different states, the aura like water. We recognize “water” when we see ice, a river or fog; while we also recognize that water in each of these states will act differently. Similarly, the ‘layers’ of the human energy field are not separate entities from one another, but rather different states of the same element: The human experience. These layers are often referred to as the subtle bodies.
The subtle bodies comprise the entirety of human experience – from how we experience ourself in the world as a separate ‘self’ in physical form to the possibility of what we are beyond a perceived ‘self.’ I suggest you think of this range of experience as the difference between ice and steam respectively. It’s important to remember that while ice holds its form and appears solid/fixed, it has the potential to be shaped into anything at all, under the right circumstances. As we create and recreate our sense of self, the layers of our human energy field, or subtle bodies, communicate down and affect changes in the form of our expression– spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. The neat thing is, they can also communicate up.
The easiest starting place when it comes to practicing energy work is starting with the most common elements of human experience: form, emotion, and thought. You can think of our physical form is more like ice in its fixed-ness, and our thoughts more like steam. If we concentrate our thoughts on something, as if trapping steam in a pot by using a lid, eventually it condenses back to liquid (and back to ice if we chill it). This would be like the use of mental affirmations. By repeating the same thoughts over and over again, they eventually start condensing down into our emotions and our actions. Likewise, someone with low self-esteem and a lacking sense of autonomy could benefit from doing crunches and plank poses–physically strengthening the physical form to send the message up to the emotions and to the thoughts, “I am strong! I am resilient! I am healthy!”
Your practice this week
Reflect on what you might be telling yourself on a habitual basis that no longer serves your highest good in your life. Do you feel ready to let this thought go? (Yes, no, and maybe are all important and useful answers to that question!)