Long ago, I began mingling with the people who are part of Ananda and noticed several things: the joy in their eyes, the easy way they spoke of God, and the emphasis they placed on energy.

I had not heard the term “energy” used in so many different ways before, and in relation to so many circumstances. It took me years to understand how energy is central to Yogananda’s teachings, and now it is part of my vocabulary as well.
(I’m ready to admit I may overuse the word. My son has taken to prefacing his questions with, “It probably has to do with energy…”, accompanied by a bit of eye rolling.)

The truth is that everything has to do with energy; science tells us that everything is made of energy. Once I became aware of how energy is flowing in the body, in circumstances, in relationships and through all activities, it is a much better guide than the emotional barometer I usually use for my behavior. I have found this particularly valuable as a parent.

As my daughter works on schoolwork while stroking a guinea pig in her lap, the energy around her is uplifted and expansive. When I get impatient with her and scold, I can feel the energy get small and tight.

When I step through the door after being out, I can feel whether there were problems in my absence. When I kiss the kids goodnight, I can tell if they are relaxed and will sleep well.

Some of that sensitivity is normal Mom intuition, developed over 20 years of child-raising. But I cringe to think of the many times I let my mom agenda to get things done interfere with the happy energy in the house. I would break up a relaxed and happy scene with my directives and the energy would plummet, and then I would be hurt that everyone responded to me so negatively.

Swami Kriyananda says, “Raise your energy, and your awareness will be uplifted also. When your awareness is uplifted, you’ll feel happier.” (from Do It Now!)

I’m learning to think about how to keep energy moving upward and outward, and focus less on feelings, which are often misleading. And it’s much easier to think about how to change an energy flow than how to fix everyone’s feelings.

Last night I listened to the comfortable family laughter in the other room and then made sure my energy matched theirs before I joined in. It was a minor victory, but contributed to a harmonious evening. When I remember to pay attention to the energy, happiness flows through the house, and through my life, more freely.

In divine friendship,