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JillianZ

ENERGY!

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Hello!

I am wondering where is the energy!?? Physical get up and go movin' & groovin' energy!  I have been living a moderate to fairly healthy lifestyle for awhile and have recently kicked it up a few notches to pretty darn good!  I am meditating 2xs per day at 30min + I have an active lifestyle which includes daily yoga practices, I am very mindful about what I eat and have recently incorporated additional superfoods and nutrient rich foods in the form of a daily smoothie, I also took a tip from one of the 5 mindful musings and ordered the Triphala supplement, I am getting plenty of rest as well.  So with all of this good stuff going on, I am still not feeling the energy levels I would like.  What I am noticing is my stress level is way down and I am more present, calm, and at ease in general than I have ever been (which is incredible and I am incredibly grateful for!). I am also noticing that I am getting much more sleep than ever before, I used to have trouble sleeping and never felt rested.  Now I am falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer and feeling that deep full body rest, however I am also feeling like I could sleep all day or nap at anytime of the day which is something I could never do before.  Is there some key energy element I am missing or something I am doing wrong?  

Gratefully,

JZ

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Hey Jillian!

Hmm, this is a tough question - and one I can definitely relate to. I eat well, sleep well, get outdoors, and so forth, but still, I often find myself tired and lacking the energy I might hope for. I don't really have an answer for this, but I do have a few thoughts to share:

1) I think that screen time and media exposure can be really draining. This is something I am trying to find greater harmony with. When I wake up in the morning and go straight to my phone, it sets the course for the rest of my day, which is less focused and more tired. When I spend the first hour of my morning meditating, writing, and eating with full presence, I am so much more motivated and energized.

2) This might be a bit 'out there', but since we are talking about energy, I think it fits. Essentially, I have a theory and intuitive feeling that certain environments are energy depleting to those who are sensitive to what they put into their bodies. For me, a busy city feels draining. I live outside of Stockholm and work from home, so I don't need to go into the city too often, but when I do, I find myself so tired upon returning home.

The above two points may or may not be applicable to you, but I thought I'd share them incase something resonates. I do think chronic fatigue is pervasive in our modern cultures, yet I'm not sure what is at the root of it. More being and less doing would probably be of benefit for most of us. I notice for myself that even on 'slow' days when I am not actively 'doing' much, my mind is racing, which depletes the body the same if not more so than physical 'doing'. So I am trying to invite relaxing breathing and body practices into my routine more 🙂

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Thank you Gillian! I appreciate the thoughts you shared, very interesting!  I did recently engage in an online course which is something I have never done before and spending that much time in front of a computer is definitely new to me.  Something I am not a fan of and still getting used to.  I can feel my eyes becoming tired and worn out some days, but did relate that this may be happening to my body as well.   Thank you for bringing this to my attention!  

Your 2nd point is interesting as well.  I don't believe it applies to my current situation, but I can definitely see how certain environments can be energy drainers!

All good thinks to be mindful of!  I also feel my ego may have something to do with it (because what doesn't he try to get into). This new feeling of ease and calm that I am feeling, as wonderful as it is, also has me feeling guilty or like I should be doing more, that just resting in being and being present isn't enough.  Im sure this is from many false beliefs drilled into me by society's view that you have to work harder longer faster just  to make it, and do more and be more, and no pain no gain.  

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Hi Jillian!

I completely agree with you that there is much pressure (from society and from our inner critic) to do more - that what we are already engaged in is not enough. Again it comes back to our collective preoccupation with doing rather than being. It is a difficult belief and habit to unravel, but it is great that you have brought mindfulness to this energy in you. I can definitely relate to it!

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Hi Jillian,

You might consider that this isn’t the season for peak “physical get up and go movin' & groovin' energy!”.  In modern society people are relentlessly conditioned to crave peak energy all year round, which isn’t how the human animal evolved to survive. If we pay close and consistent attention to the body / mind, we begin to notice that the cycling of the annual seasons influences the degree and type of physical, mental and emotional energy that we experience during each season. 

Modern people, pathologically alienated from the body/mind and from the metaenvironments they exist innately embedded in (earth and sky) have forgotten that they are bioelectrical organisms that are driven by seasonal celestial mechanics. We don't exist as separate, solid, will-driven entities as we've come to hallucinate ourselves as. Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience, and Leon Kreitzman, a science writer, report that “moods, performance, sleep patterns, thermoregulation capability, thyroid function, cortisol levels and almost everything else one cares to mention show some seasonal variation”. By season variation, they are referring to fluctuating seasonal degrees of solar particle exposure and interplanetary gravitational forces that affect the bioelectrical systems of terrestrial lifeforms, driving physical processes (including levels of energy), perception, cognition, and emotion.

In Spring both physical and mental energy are peak. As Summer rises, Spring energy declines - it is the season to rest and relax and sing and be lazy and love. In Autumn there is another peak (during which animals industriously prepare for winter survival). In Winter another deep decline. And repeat. 

We are dependent driven biological elements of the metaenvironments we exist in. We literally are these metaenvironments to the depth of each cell of our being. As Eihei Dōgen (1200-1253 CE) sharply observed:

”I came to realize clearly that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide Earth, the sun and the moon and the stars.”

... as is the body. These dynamic environmental patterns and processes are literally our organic patterns and processes, if we pay attention to what we actually are, where we actually are, how where we actually are actually works, and what is actually happening, internally and externally which are one space. 

Maybe just chill for the remainder of Summer. Craving peak Spring energy all year round leads to endless dissatisfaction and an early death (a very sturdy and reasonable case can even be made that this conditioned addiction to Spring energy, pandemic in modern society, is what has brought our rickety civilization to the edge of a very unforgiving cliff in this age of uncertainty). Let the body / mind rest for the season as it evolved to and depends on for health and sanity. Then notice as Autumn energy organically rises internally and externally toward the end of Summer and take full advantage of it.

We can align with the dynamic influences of the seasons throughout the year for health and wellbeing but first we have to sense their movement within, trust them, sink into them, and let them move us.

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5 hours ago, Jeff Miller said:

In Spring both physical and mental energy are peak. As Summer rises, Spring energy declines - it is the season to rest and relax and sing and be lazy and love. In Autumn there is another peak (during which animals industriously prepare for winter survival). In Winter another deep decline. And repeat. 

Wow - I love how you've brought the seasons into this discussion Jeff. This is a really powerful reminder - that there is a cycle for all things. Thank you.

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Thank you Jeff!  That was incredible and very helpful information!  I have been trying to go with the flow more and surrendering to the universe.  It is what I truly want, but as  you noted, unfortunately we are conditioned otherwise.  Understanding that everything has its season and that everything is unfolding for me just as it should, on the timeline of the universe, not that of my mind or my ego has helped me accept things as they are and not try to force or rush anything.  But again, in this day and age can be difficult to remember.  Thank you for pointing this out in such a universal way. 

Gratefully,

JZ

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