Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.
– Wayne Dyer, Philosopher & Author
I used to feel so frustrated because I constantly felt run down, tired, and low energy.
This low energy would have me crawling through the day relying on ever-increasing servings of caffeine and/or sugar as fuel.
My energy levels were erratic.
I struggled to get out of bed in the morning, and I often battled insomnia until the sun started coming up.
I didn’t know then, but I was frustrated because, despite my best efforts, I couldn’t seem to feel better… at least not in a sustainable and long-term way.
Unbeknownst to me, I was only addressing my energy issues from a surface perspective, which meant I was putting one band-aid after another without really getting to the root of the cause.
Cue in the third cup of coffee in the morning to help rev you up, or the third glass of wine to help you chill out at night.
If you can relate to any of this, then you know what it’s like to walk around with a permanent cloud of fog in your head.
So how can you approach your own energy issues from a deeper perspective so that you can identify the root causes?
Two Simple Yet Powerful Questions for Self-Inquiry:
Manage your energy to feel more awake, energized, and strong by asking yourself these two simple questions:
Don’t let the simplicity of these questions fool you into thinking that they’re pretty obvious.
The power of these questions lies in the subtlety of their answers.
This is a practice and an exercise in learning how to listen to your own inner guidance.
Asking meaningful questions instructs your mind to be productive.
Your Temple, Your Vital Energy Reservoir, & the Block in Your Wellspring:
Your body is your Temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.
– BKS Iyengar, One of the foremost Yoga Teachers in the world, Author of “Light on Yoga”
Before we begin answering and unraveling these two questions let’s first go over a concept to put the term ‘vital energy’ into context.
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, a temple is “a place devoted to a special purpose.”
Your body is the one and only place you have in this lifetime to carry out your purpose and create meaningful, inspiring things with.
You are your own home; you are your own Temple.
You are worthy of honoring and caring for.
Just like Tirta Empul Temple in Bali in the image above, you too possess a wellspring.
Merriam Webster Dictionary calls a wellspring a “source of continual supply.”
Your temple (your body devoted to your purpose) contains a wellspring (source of continual supply) that nourishes your entire being by providing a constant abundant stream of vital energy.
When this wellspring is blocked, it becomes much harder to manage your energy.
If this vital energy flows uninterruptedly through the wellspring, our reserves are full and abundant, and we’re able to face life’s challenges and demands from a more awakened, energized, and stronger place.
This abundant vital (life-giving) energy flow is known as prana in yogic terms and chi or qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) terms.
In the yogic tradition, vital energy reserves are stored in 7 main centers called the chakras:
In TCM, these vital energy reservoirs are called the Dantiens:
When there are blocks in our wellspring our vital energy reservoir becomes low and we’re impacted on a physical, mental, and emotional level:
- We often feel tired, sluggish, run down, and/or fatigued.
- We feel ‘off’ and can’t really pinpoint why.
- We’re more reactive, impulsive, hot-headed, sensitive, irritable, frustrated, overwhelmed, anxious, sad, defeated, etc.
- We often feel out of control as if our body and mind have been hijacked.
- Our immune system is compromised and weakened so it often starts acting up.
- Our body might be internally on fire and undetected chronic inflammation may be present.
- We have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up.
- We may experience chronic aches and pains.
- Our minds may be in overdrive with anxious/helpless thoughts.
- We often cannot stop worrying – even about little things or completely irrational things.
- Brain fog clouds thinking and dampens creativity.
- It’s hard to focus or concentrate.
- It’s increasingly difficult to remember and retain things.
When those blocks are addressed, our wellspring flows and thus our vital energy reservoir become full and abundant.
Then we experience the opposite:
- Our energy levels become more balanced and we feel more alive, lit up, turned on, on point, energized, and invigorated.
- It becomes easier to tap into our innately wise and intuitive selves.
- We feel more on purpose and inspired.
- Our impulsive knee-jerk reactions turn into equilibrated responses.
- We are able to focus and concentrate better, thereby improving our performance.
- We feel increased inner calm, confident, certain, serene, joyful, appreciative, and empathic.
- We connect more deeply with our own bodies, learning to listen to its subtle promptings and feedback.
- Our immunity strengthens and our bodies are able to combat threats and subdue them so we can thrive and radiate vitality.
- We begin to live our lives according to our deepest, truest values.
- Our ability to experience quality rest increases.
- We find that we’re better able to control and manage our thoughts instead of being run by them
- We feel more authentically creative and in our own personal flow state.
Will this add to my vital energy?
Think of your vital energy reservoir as a bucket full of energy marbles.
Energy leaks lower your marble count.
Energy reserves replenish your bucket by adding more marbles to the bucket.
It’s a plus and minus game.
Unless you plug the leaks and seal them there is no use focusing on building reserves because you won’t be able to gain more marbles than you’re losing.
It’s not a very efficient or effective use of your resources.
That’s why these two simple questions are so powerful because they help you gain clarity by uncovering where your leaks are.
Once you gain awareness, you’re able to know where and how to best plug them.
Start to notice what answers come up.
By making it a habit to ask these two questions regularly, you’ll become more attuned to the things that fuel you and the things that drain you.
Your mindfulness and self-awareness will grow.
Does this add to my vital energy?
Or does it take it away from it?
For each thing that adds to your vital energy picture, your energy centers lighting up and getting brighter like a light bulb infused with energy current.
You may feel a sense of warmth or expansion regarding those things.
For each thing that takes away from your vital energy picture your energy centers getting dimmer like a light bulb drained of energy current.
You may feel a sense of cold or contraction regarding those things.
The more you learn about what little or big things drain your energy or add to it, the easier it will be to shift habits and make wiser choices that will lead to a free-flowing wellspring and a full energy reservoir.
Then you won’t need the band-aids as much, if at all.
You will have addressed your energy issues from the deepest source there is.