Caught your attention there, didn’t I? So many sources and sites all calling for us to vibrate higher these days. There are 30 different versions of this hashtag in Instagram, with #vibratehigher accumulating over 1.2million posts. I understand the basic idea, positive energy begets positive energy. But I would argue that the blanket call for vibrating higher can often do more harm that good. Simply raising your vibration without a firm foundation of knowledge and understanding about how and why you choose to do so can lead to trouble. Our energy is finite, as Einstein explains “energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.” To recklessly attempt to consistently vibrate higher without rest or reason is exhausting and potentially harmful. For example, when explaining the colors as energy it is clarified that “Beyond the visible spectrum, ultra-violet is even shorter wave and higher frequency and energy, in fact its energy is so high it can burn our skin very quickly and kill bacteria.” Logically it follows that attempting to vibrate high for long periods of time without specific results in mind would be harmful to our own cells. Putting out the call for everyone to “vibrate higher” with a simple 8 step plan is potentially damaging. “So many opinions about how to up your mojo and sanctify your psyche. … The self-help space has become another form of entertainment and, in too many cases, the loudest voices are the ones being listened to. So many consumers are mistaking volume for wisdom” the indomitable Danielle LaPorte points out in White Hot Truth. Our culture trains us from a very young age to do everything quickly, rush rush rush to achieve as much as possible, then fall asleep in exhaustion. A wonderful way to keep a population somewhat docile. Attempting to vibrate higher is a dangerous subset of this, if not done in a mindful and holistic manner. BUT this “loud cheerleading isn’t entirely a bad thing. Even if it’s shallow, it’s an expression of encouragement, and it can bring Light to a lot of wanderers. It’s a step toward looking for more meaning,” sanctions LaPorte. I agree. As long as we’re not confusing vibrating higher with moving faster, rushing to accomplish more, crossing off ever growing to-do lists and the accompanying exhaustion as evidence of vibrational success.
My point is not that we should not vibrate higher, however, but that we should not vibrate higher indiscriminately. We should not recover from trauma with urgency. We should not plow through the waning light of deep winter in haste. We should not prize swiftness over accuracy, putting on a false face of high vibration when struggling with depression or illness or despair. “Of all the featherless beasts, only man, chained by his self-imposed slavery to the clock, denies the elemental fire and proceeds as best he can about his business, suffering quietly, martyr to his madness,” laments Edward Abbey in Desert Solitaire. In our efforts to vibrate higher let us not come unbound from the elemental fire. Let us relax into it, understanding that our vibration is an ebb and flow like the ocean tides. As often as there are times to vibrate higher, there are times to lower the frequency. To calm the waters, looking upon the reflection. Does this mean I am asking you not to instigate “10 Practical Ways To Raise Your Positive Vibrations" by Taraleigh Weathers on mindbodygreen.com:
1. Become conscious of your thoughts.
2. Make mediation a regular practice in your life.
3. Become conscious of the foods you eat.
4. Reduce your drug and alcohol use or cut it out of your life completely.
5. Become conscious of what your music is telling you.
6. Be aware of your home environment.
7. Reduce the amount of low-vibrational television you watch.
8. Become aware of the vibrational levels of your acquaintances, friends, and extended family.
9. Practice random acts of kindness and expect nothing in return.
10. Practice compassion and forgiveness.
Of course not! I’m just suggesting that we be highly aware of why we’re doing this. That sometimes it is necessary to sit in the pain to heal. That aggressively trying to vibrate higher when you are healing is counterproductive. Or that spacing out or turning off can sometimes be a necessary component to maintaining mental health. Learning how to intentionally, in good faith and with good will vibrate on a higher frequency requires practice and skill.
Do not work on vibrating higher my soul-seeking comrades, merely so you can hashtag it or brag about it or use that energy as the driving force for boasting about accomplishing more in our ever-competitive culture. Do not equate vibrating higher with living in a constant state of forward momentum. Vibrate higher so you can raise the vibration of the existence of all. Vibrate higher in your practice, your devotion, your existence by honestly stating “I now give my virtuous qualities whole-heartedly to this day, this moment, and this life. Without hindrance, may I be of enormous benefit to all beings” as Sarah Avant Stover so eloquently writes. Vibrate higher as a form of self-love, so that all beings can benefit from self-love. And, as the beloved naturalist and philosopher John Muir explains, use nature as your guide for vibrating higher in a way that adds to the collective vibration of our existence:
“The sun shines not on us but in us.
The rivers flow not past, but through us.
Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies,
making them glide and sing.
The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls,
and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song
of the rocks in the heart of the mountains
is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”