Spirit, energy, qi, vibes, essence, life force — whatever you call it, you can’t deny human contact circulates something intangible.

Let’s imagine it as a nutrient. Something we can never have too much of, because whatever we don’t need overflows, enriching our surroundings and gratifying everyone.

We can, however, have a deficiency — and most of us do.

Must of us don’t live day-to-day with a strong vital charge, feeling amply fueled for reverence, compassion, and joy. Most of us sense our energetic tanks are lower than the miles we’re asked to drive. Our bodies turn on the warning light with ticks, bad moods, and illness. Their message: something we’re doing is not worth the energy it’s costing. We have a negative net energy flow.

It’s rare that we’re taught about energetic gas tanks, much less how to patch leaks and refuel. Which is why our relationships so often fail to be a mutual overflowing and instead become a mutual syphoning. Instead of being each other’s angels, we’re each other’s vampires. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

First, become aware of your appetite.

You have a legitimate need for this nourishment, no matter what you’ve heard about your worthiness. It is every human’s birthright, as vital as air.

So it’s important to recognize signs of deficiency as such, not just mute the alarms. If you have depression, chronic irritability, back pain or insomnia, take care not to “fix” these issues with pills alone. Suppressing them without considering their cause is like shredding the high priority report your body is trying to file for the mind’s review.

You aren’t weak or needy for feeling something is missing — it is. But you are responsible for learning where it’s leaking and how to patch those holes.

Some holes are inherited. Some were made so early, we don’t realize they aren’t supposed to be there. Some we drill ourselves by projecting fear and insecurity through our emotional boundary onto the world.

Realize that a) No one is perfect; everyone has these holes, b) It only makes things worse to hate ourselves for it, and c) We need other people to help us spot and reach them.

The proper role of human relationships isn’t to make others the source of our vital energy — this puts an untenable pressure on loved ones and keeps us dependent and insecure — but to lovingly help each other discover and deal with the ways we’re hemorrhaging.

It may not be comfortable to let a lover show you something about yourself you consider a flaw, but in fact this is how everyday angels make their proclamations. This is how you become your own miracle worker.

Sustainable Sources.

Relationships consist of giving and receiving this energy, but it’s not fair (or effective) to make anyone else your only source. What happens when their levels get low?

We can’t count on money, drugs, food, or attention. We’ve seen all these and more fail to satiate the vampire.

What we need is to connect with a true source, an inexhaustible life force. Something that always has plenty of this energy to spare because it is made of it, and ever growing.

What we need is a relationship with the Earth itself.

Earth and Air, the mother and father of life as we know it, are literally the source of vitality. We can’t benefit from their constant overflow, however, unless we open up to them.

This can be achieved habitually by spending time with nature in a receptive state. Pay attention to the directions of the breeze. Feel the texture of the grass change beneath your feet. Listen to birds by day and cicadas at night. Open your heart to the enduring wisdom, patience, and mystery of land and sky.

When we make our habitat the source of our vital energy, we gain a sacred confidence knowing we can never be without it. Anywhere we go, we are in love. The Earth will never cheat on us. It will never get bored by us and leave. Every ray of sun and drop of rain will whisper, You deserve to be here.

Unfortunately, the opposite isn’t true. People tend not return perfect love to the Earth, in fact we can be downright abusive. But the more we allow nature to fuel our tanks, the more motivated we’ll be to care for it.

Best of all, when our tanks are filled by an infinite source, we can be the lovers, the friends, the parents, the artists, the angels we long to be for each other. Which is probably what the Earth wants for us as well — what mother doesn’t love to see her children happy?

A version of this article appears in the October 2016 issue of Austin All Natural Magazine.

Zaeli is a relationship coach here to help bring consciousness and intention to your emotional life. Learn more at

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