Do you focus more on what you want, or what you don’t? What you like, or hate? What you judge good, or bad?
Often we look for the solution by studying the problem. While we need to have a clear understanding of the problem, we then need to shift our attention to the solution. It’s looking at what will be rather than what is, or was. It’s focusing on what’s working, what’s right, and what’s the answer.
The reason for this lies in the underlying energy. Focusing on the problem creates catabolic (destructive) energy, while focusing on the solution generates anabolic (constructive) energy.
Just think about the feelings you have when you are looking at a problem. Let’s say you are in an animal shelter and you see a puppy in a cage that will be euthanized if it isn’t adopted. For most people, that can generate some pretty negative (catabolic) emotions, such as fear, distress, and even anger. Let’s say you see a family walk in the door and adopt that puppy. That probably changes how you’re feeling and generates positive (anabolic) emotions, such as satisfaction, peace, and even joy.
When we’re in a catabolic emotional state, our body is generating harmful chemicals and hormones and other physical reactions, which actually impacts our minds making it harder to think creatively, generate ideas, or even recognize solutions.
We literally need to release the problem and shift our focus to the solution, like turning a coin from heads to tails. The problem, however, is often so compelling and distressing, that we get stuck in it. It’s almost as if we’re afraid to take our eyes off of it because it might get worse, or it somehow means we aren’t compassionate or concerned, or it just upsets us so much.
If you think about it in the context of the principle Energy Attracts Like Energy (also known as the Law of Attraction), you can see that focusing exclusively on the problem generates more problem energy. By shifting our focus to the solution, we then begin attracting solution-energy.
For a while now, I’ve been paying attention to where I focus more on the problem then the solution, and trying to shift my energy on those topics. What I find interesting is how subtle those thoughts can be. It’s like I’m so used to thinking those thoughts and feeling those catabolic emotions that they’re almost invisible to me.
When we ignore catabolic emotions over a long time, our bodies begin to register the destructive internal processes as illness. Headaches, back pains, and other physical problems often begin to appear. We may associate these with stress, which is basically just an umbrella-term for all the catabolic physical processes generated by a variety of negative thoughts and emotions. When these thoughts and emotions continue to be left unchecked, those catabolic physical reactions can escalate to bigger problems, such as heart attacks.
Of course things like diet and exercise play a role, but there is scientific research that associates heart attacks and strokes with episodes of extreme anger, and other stress.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about my female problems and where chronic catabolic thoughts and emotions have played a role. It’s definitely a bit of a Gordian knot that probably started at my absolute shock and horror when I started my period at age 11. I truly thought I was dying. And I never came to peace with that particular aspect of being female.
But it’s even shown up in my resistance to surgery. Doctor’s had been telling me I would need to have a hysterectomy for about six years and I was pretty determined to avoid it. I definitely had some catabolic thoughts and emotions about surgery.
When the doctor told me in August that it was truly time, my first fear-based reaction was total panic. I came home and meditated on it and during that hour I somehow was able to accept it and come to peace with it.
As soon as I did, the solutions began to fall into place. I had one day—December 14—that I could do the surgery where it would have the least impact on my busy schedule. When the nurse called to schedule the operation, she said the doctor wanted to do it December 14. Incredible solutions also appeared in my work schedule and in our finances.
When we release catabolic energy and shift to a more anabolic state, we truly allow All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source, Higher power—whatever works for you) to provide the solutions we could never create on our own—and often couldn’t even imagine.
Where is your focus stuck in the problem? What can you do to accept it, and shift your focus to the solution? What difference does that make in your life?
Together we can do it!
I was spared a hysterectomy almost ten years ago by the invention of the Mirena Coil. I was only 27 and had already been sterilised early in the hopes of relieving the issue that my hormones were causing me, but to no avail. When the Mirena actually worked I couldn’t contain my joy, as I not only get to keep my reproductive bits, but will be allowed to retain the Mirena until I am safely through Menopause!
Due to my health this year I have been quite catabolic – especially through the summer, when an epilepsy medication I was taking made me anorexic and I lost all my strength and energy. I still have bad days, but I’m learning to concentrate on the good days – such as the last four where I’ve been near bursting with energy and have been pickling and preserving anything that isn’t nailed down!
It’s makes total sense that you would struggle emotionally when you are taking a drug that has such an impact physically. Way to go on learning to concentrate on the good days! And recognizing the positive physical energy that generates. Sounds like you are doing an incredible job focusing on the solution!
I think it helps that my husband is so supportive and understanding. He tries to encourage me to eat, without pushing me so hard that it puts me off, and congratulates me every time I manage even just a slice of toast. He reminds me of how well I’ve coped on one day during the week instead of allowing me to dwell on the six days where I had insomnia or fell over or couldn’t eat or had a seizure. (I really should write an “In Praise Of Tribble” post one day!)
I’m no longer taking that particular medication and have only a tiny dose of a long-standing drug that I take as a control. I’m a good weight for my height, have no spare fat and, as I recover my strength, I’m thinking of dusting off my Wii Fit and finally trying out the yoga program – which I became too ill to do this summer.
It’s posts like yours that keep me going in the right direction. Thank you 🙂
Thank you! And yes, Tribble sounds like an awesome husband who is definitely focused in an anabolic direction! What a gift that you have him in your life. I look forward to reading that “In Prasie of” post! I’d also love to hear when you take out the Wii Fit! Sounds like you are definitely making the decisions that are gently and steadily moving you towards wellness. Congratulations!
Tribble will blush and mutter something under his breath about the person I’m writing about not being him (silly man!) but I’ll be writing that post anyway. He certainly deserves a bit of fame 🙂
I’m living proof that catabolic energy can lead to physical illness, as you well know. I’m recognizing catabolic energy throughout my ingrained thought processes and shifting my energy whenever I can. As I was leaving for work this morning feeling a bit stiff and sore I thought to myself that even with pain, life is good. Did that make a difference in how I felt? Absolutely!
Awesome, David! Way to shift your energy! Love you!
Interesting indeed. I’m wondering…In your example about the puppy, how would one shift the catabolic to anabolic there? Are there any books specifically on this subject? Thanks. I really appreciate your posts….VK
Thanks for commenting. I just chose that example because I presumed that most people could identify with the extreme emotions it would cause. I am not aware of any books on that particular topic, but the teacher that has helped me the most in shifting my energy is Esther Hicks, who interprets Abraham. I highly recommend any works by Esther and Jerry Hicks. It is a very individual process to shift catabolic energy, and it not something you can likely jump immediately to when you have a very strong negative reaction to something like the puppy example. Shifting catabolic energy is a process that I often work with clients over a number of months to achieve. You can do it on your own, but it takes persistence and practice, and I would recommend starting with a less emotionally charged issue. You can start by meditating and working on softening your thoughts about a topic. When you have a feeling of relief, you know you have shifted your energy. Hope this helps!
this post is very timely for me, I am glad u tackled about it… thank you for sharing
I enjoyed the analysis! If you cannot change the situation – change your attitude (mind) to the problem. made for interesting reading. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks very much for commenting!
Thank you for writing about it, you have given me some food for thought. I will enjoy working with those words and my even look at purchasing a book by Esther Hicks that you suggested. ♥
Thanks so much! I appreciate your commenting.
I’m glad you’re going to have the surgery! I had a lumpectomy on August 15. Very glad the tumor is GONE!! You’ll be glad!! Best wishes!!
Congratulations on your proactive step to take care of you! I celebrate that your tumor is gone, too! Thanks for your support. I appreciate you, Joyce!
Keep us posted on your progress!
Will do! Thanks, Joyce.
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“Focusing on the problem creates catabolic (destructive) energy, while focusing on the solution generates anabolic (constructive) energy.” So true. Being an optimist, I tend to have plenty of anabolic energy. But it doesn’t mean the other stuff doesn’t come around and spend time with me on occasion! It’s so important to focus on solutions instead of always looking at the problem. Problem is (pun intended) some folks refuse to see it that way and it makes it incredibly difficult to show them that there is always an answer to every problem and that by focusing on the answer, the problem WILL eventually be forgotten. Ah well. Here’s to the power of positive thinking and the impact it can have on others by showing a positive attitude 🙂 Your blog does a wonderful job of this. Keep up the good work.
Thanks so much, Brian! I think your blog does a great job of showing a positive attitude (and living by example), too.
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