The first time I ever heard that word was from the lips of a very caring naturopath who at the time was reading some of my test results. I had been very sick and having trouble keeping weight on, to the puzzlement of every doctor I visited. “Do you know what catabolism is?” the good doctor inquired of me. “No” I replied, slightly afraid of what she might tell me next.
Honestly, the word sounded a little scary. Catabolism, she explained, is when the body begins to cannibalize its own muscle tissue to fulfill its requirements for protein. My body was tearing itself down. So much for being a successful vegetarian, but that’s another story for another day. Thanks to some dietary changes I am once again enjoying health, and muscles.
Years later I heard the word again—in an entirely different context—the context of energy, (thanks to Bruce D. Schneider’s book Energy Leadership.) In this context the author explains catabolic energy as negative, destructive energy that tears down as opposed to anabolic energy which is constructive energy that heals and builds up.
We’ve all experienced emotions and actions that could be labeled catabolic. Road rage comes to mind, or the over-tired store clerk who is less than friendly, or maybe a boss who has let his or her deadline ratchet up the stress level until everyone in the office is feeling frustrated, overworked and under-appreciated.
In all of these instances it’s so easy to reciprocate with more catabolic energy. Catabolic energy feeds on itself and can be contagious. Often this is shown immediately by way of judgments, which then create labels (“What an idiot!”).
Judgments and labels nearly always create even more catabolic energy.
Judgments, labels, complaining, whining, blaming, ALL symptoms of catabolic energy.
Another response could be curiosity. Yep, just be a little curious. Instead of judging and labeling (many times the default reaction for humans in our culture), try asking a powerful question.
Just be curious. “What is good about this situation?”, “How can I look at this from a different perspective?”, “What could be some possible reasons for this?” “How can I be part of the solution?”
Immediately the energy can shift to a much more positive experience when we become a little curious and forego the judgments and labels.
Albert Einstein said of himself, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Just think of his experience of energy!
Try it today, be a little curious, maybe even passionately curious. Ah, Passion! But that’s another story, for another day.
Love & Magic,