Do you feel like your batteries are running low? Would you like to have more energy?
We think we get our energy from just our food. However have you noticed how much more energised you feel when you have been walking in nature? It feels good, doesn't it?
The Chinese say that we receive our energy through the following routes:
Lets look at each one of these for a few minutes....
When I talk about enjoying nature, I mean really enjoying it. It is no good walking through a park and thinking about your grocery list - you are not really there. It works when you really participate with and enjoy the nature around you, like a good walk on the beach with a sea breeze and waves crashing on the shore.
Did you know that you can increase your energy levels by eating your food slowly? Paul McKenna says in his book "I Can Make you Thin" place the food in your mouth, put your knife and fork down, taste the food, chew it 20 times, swallow and then take the next piece of food. You will find that a) you eat less food and b) you will have more energy. Try it and find out for yourself.
Breathing... stop a moment and notice how you are breathing. Are you breathing in your upper chest, or do you breathe deep breaths right down to your belly? Oxygen gives us energy. Take a few minutes to breathe deeply and notice the difference in your energy levels - you will feel more relaxed too.
Opening your energy system through chi kung. Wikepedia gives this definition of chi kung: "Qigong, qi gong, chi kung, or chi gung is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used in the belief that it promotes health, spirituality, and martial arts training". Tai chi is a form of chi kung and so are the martial arts - you remember the Karate Kid movie? There are many forms and schools of chi kung, so you can choose from something very easy, to a full on exercise programme (although its much more than that!).
You can recharge your batteries without a hard workout and learn about your unique energy system.
Its natural to eat when we are hungry and stop when we feel satisfied. And its not rocket science to know that if we take in more calories than we need each day, we will gain weight. However, we still go against our body's natural signals in the following ways….
1. Many of us have been trained to eat everything on our plates – even if we are full
2. We eat in a hurry so we can get back to work
3. Our internal thermostat, which lets us know we are full, is overridden and eventually gets de-sensitised
4. We stand at the kitchen sink and eat
5. We multi-task when we eat and when we have distractions (tv, internet) we don't notice what we eat, or how much we are eating
6. We have forgotten what “full” feels like.
Being full means “I am satisfied – that’s enough food for now”.
Our stomach can tell us when we are full and we can respond to its signals. The way to do this is to remove all distractions, clear the table, sit down, slow down and focus on eating our meal. When we are full there is a gentle, clear, satisfied sensation in the solar plexus area. It tells us to stop eating now!
You will notice that once you are full, each subsequent bite is a little less enjoyable than the one before. Pay attention and it becomes obvious. This is why conscious slow eating is so important. Slow down.
Your solar plexus area gets more and more uncomfortable once you are full - put your food to one side and wait 15-30 minutes. If still you feel hungry then, eat again.
Here’s the food scale:
1 I couldn’t fit another thing in
5 Comfortable and contented
7 Slightly hungry
9 The hoover
10 I am going to pass out
If we listen, the body can tell us what to eat and how much - its natural after all! By paying attention, we can easily recognise when we are full and stop eating.
Do you ever get a feeling of being “empty”? It’s an uncomfortable feeling, like being bored, restless, or aimless wondering around.
I liken it to the feeling I experience when I am hungry and looking for something to fill me up - I go to the fridge and finding nothing to satisfy my appetite.
I call this feeling the void.
The void turns up when:
It’s a BIG EMPTY SPACE…. Often accompanied with the words “What now?”
Here are some things that you should know about the void:
Fortunately we can use the void to actually assist us in the change of direction. Here’s how:
To create the future, we have to take stock and know who we are now. A little constructive life review can be helpful. Some people might do this through the vehicle of The Hero’s Journey, others through astrology, numerology, or personality testing. Life review helps us to know that we are always moving forward, even when it seems we are not.
The next step is to wait for the empty “void” feeling to come. Then gather up all the emotions around it. The longing, the frustration, the ache, wondering what’s next, and feel it as intensely as I can. This energises the void space, like an oven cooks a cake.
Then I start to become aware of my current energy which is made up of all my life experiences, who I am now, who I want to become, all my curiosity about the future and what it could possibility bring for me. I make it full of potential and as positive as I can then I gather all this feeling up and put it inside of the void. That’s right, in the middle of the oven where all the emotions are.
Then I relax and let go – this gives me a feeling of expansion. I acknowledge that some part of me does know exactly what is really going on and all I have to do is let it unfold. Efforting at this point just blocks the flow, so take a break.
I then say to myself “I know, even though I think I don’t know”. Deep inside of me all the answers are there, even if they have not arrived in my mind yet but I know they are coming. The new path for me could be anything – maybe even something I have never thought of before. For example, I used to work in Law. When I had that job I never dreamed I would be a massage therapist now. It was through a chain of events that led me to where I am now, and that began with a nagging ache that something needed to change but I had no idea what (the void).
Nowadays I am more aware of this feeling and I can consciously use this void to help me move forward. Every time I feel that uncomfortable feeling of the void, I now gather my energy and ask for something new to turn up. I use my mantra: “I know even though I think I don’t know”. I imagine a new wiring happening from my deepest knowing (which appears to be hidden from me) direct to my mind, so that I am aware of inspiration, sign posts for the new direction, and a sense of “go here” or ‘try that” which pushes me forward where my inner being wants me to go.
We can gather our attention to a new direction through creating a ceremony for ourselves.
If you are a woman, dealing with moods are part of your life.
Our hormonal cycle, health of our organs, stress levels, past experiences and
state of mind all have an impact upon our moods. Being able to experience the highs and lows of life can be quite a ride. Emotions are part of being human and make up the tapestry of life. There are times when it is appropriate to be angry, it moves us towards making positive change in our lives. Other times its okay to be sad - grief is a natural process of letting go. But sometimes we get stuck, and this "stuckness" can stay with us for years. Unresolved issues of the past
takes away our enjoyment of the present moment.
Prolonged moods, such as depression, anxiety, fear or anger can affect the chemistry of our body. Once our chemistry is out of balance it then feeds into accentuating our moods. Likewise, if our chemistry is out of balance through poor diet, alcohol and drug use, then our emotions will be affected.
What helps our moods:-
Firstly we need to balance the chemistry in our bodies. A healthy diet (avoid alcohol), along with herbs which calm our emotions, tone the organs and balance the hormones. Very often if we experience prolonged stress our adrenal glands become exhausted. Licorice tea acts as an adrenal gland tonic (not to be used with high blood pressure).Calm the mind. This could be through meditating, using visualisations, deep breathing practice, or doing an ascetic activity that requires your concentration i.e. gardening, painting, sewing or dancing.
Deal with the issues. If you have problems or work, suffer from long term grief or anxiety, feel constant fear - get help. Sometimes all we need is a trained listening ear to unravel how we feel and some new skills for dealing with feelings when they
Learn Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). We are always going to have issues and feelings coming up. So why not learn a tool which you can use whenever you want to deal with them? This is a marvellous skill which can shift negative feelings very quickly.
Love yourself. Often our health and well-being is out of balance just because we beat ourselves up with our words and thoughts! Imagine if you were an employee doing the best job you could and your employer said you were no good. How would you feel? Crushed...Deflated....Discouraged. Now imagine if that employer said you were "awesome". Would you feel Excited...Enthusiastic...Keen....Proud? In chi kung we use a practice called The Inner Smile where we send loving thoughts to our inner self and develop self love. Its simple and easy to do.
Learn how to breathe. Put a hand on your chest and one on your tummy and take a breath. How do you breathe? In the upper chest or tummy? Do you breathe shallow or deep? Rapid shallow upper chest breathing causes anxiety. Slow deep tummy breathing causes relaxation. Our breath is related to our nervous system.
Transform your emotions. There is an ancient practice I use called the Six Healing Sounds. It uses movement, sound and colour to transform negative emotions into positive ones. Let us say our body is like a garden in which plants grow. The
weeds are like negative emotions and the vegetables are like the positive ones (virtues). Like weeds, negative emotions contain energy and nutrients, and if we compost them in the garden, then the energy and nutrients from the weeds can be used to enable the vegetables to grow. Likewise when we use the Six Healing Sounds, a composting of emotions happens and good feelings/virtues are able to develop.
Elayne Lane is an instructor of the Universal Healing Tao. She has been teaching and doing bodywork in excess of 25 years and hypnosis over the past 5 years.