Inpower Institute Insights

The Energy You Give Is What You Receive (An Excerpt From Dancing With Dementia)

Written By: April Warren-Grice, PhD and Teresa Warren-Gardner  |  July 1, 2019

As of late, I’ve noticed that my mom likes to keep her right arm at a 90 degree angle, whether it’s when we’re taking a walk or while I’m helping her bathe. At times, I tell her to relax and straighten her arm so that it can just hang by her side. She does not fully understand this and I usually try to pull it down. This pull, while not hurtful, is often met with resistance and just doesn’t work. Even when I do manage to get her arm straight, she pulls it right back up.

One day, I tried a different method. I placed my right hand on her wrist and my left hand on the upper part of her arm and I relaxed. Miraculously, I could feel the tension leave her body and she slowly began to let her arm hang in a more natural position.  This experience was eye opening for me.  It revealed much about the dynamics of life. 

The resistance I felt when trying to pull my mom’s arm down was a reflection of the energy I was giving off. When I showed up with a warm, relaxing energy, she was able to do the same. This was much easier than trying to pull her arm down to get her to relax! In hindsight, my pulling must have felt so jarring for her. It’s wild how easy it is to forget that how we show up is exactly what we will get in return. When I am relaxed, she is relaxed.
How are you showing up on a daily basis for yourself and others?