Plug In/Plug Out/Re-Plug

They vilified him.

Wilhelm Reich, psychiatry-enfant-terrible of the mid-20th century, based his entire framework for understanding human behavior on the notion of blocked energy. Reich believed that folks who experienced significant challenges in life did so because their energy “got stuck” sometime during the early stages of life. Getting well meant getting rid of body armor and getting the energy moving again!

Reich was ahead of his time.


Think of a work day when nothing seems to flow as you would like. A specific project frustrates the heck out of you. A certain personality drives you bonkers. Ugggh.

Circumstances can easily conspire to make our bodies feel tight, very tight. Yep, stuck. Chances are, what is actually stuck that day is our energy…

Good news. No early-childhood-trauma-work required here.

Instead, consider doing a simple plug check. Ask yourself: Do I need to plug in? Plug out? Re-plug?

Plugs are a marvelous metaphor for conducting an energy switch. After all, we plug into a wall socket to beckon light. We unplug to make light disappear. We re-plug to shine light somewhere else. Yeah, you got the idea …

So here are our 3 plug check basics:

Plug In: You’re bored at a meeting. Choose to plug in. Commit, even if you’re not interested. You’re distracted in a conversation, not quite engaged. Choose to plug in. Commit to that conversation, in that moment, with that person. Commit fully.

Plug Out: You’re hitting the mental wall because you’ve stared at the computer screen for too long. Choose to plug out. Stop. Take a break. Look at the window. Get out of your seat. Move. Get a snack. Have a drink (the non-alcoholic kind). Stop.

Re-plug: You’re getting irritable because a colleague is droning on and on about the same old crap. Choose to re-plug. Switch your focus. Instead of fixating on the whiny voice or the repetitiveness of the argument, focus on something else. The smile of another colleague. The sun that’s peering through the trees outside the office window. The picture of your daughter that sits on your desk. Shift consciously. Re-focus.

Again, here’s how the plug check goes: When you notice that your energy is “off,” ask yourself: Do I need to plug in? Plug out? Re-plug?

Pick one. Execute. Notice the change.

This week, whenever you feel stuck in a meeting, a conversation, a project, do a plug check. Ask yourself this simple question: Do I need to plug in? Plug out? Re-plug?