What’s Your Sustainable Model of Personal Energy?

personal energy flowsWe used to have a low-producing well for the water supply at our house. If we had a drought, and I needed to water the garden, there was insufficient water. I would set a hose and let it run for an hour or two, and the well would run dry. Then we would need to wait for the natural water table to replenish the supply in the well, so that we would have sufficient water to service the house.

This clearly wasn’t a sustainable model of water supply.

However, this was also my model of personal energy for many years.

I’d work really hard until I depleted all of my energy reserves, and then I’d collapse and need to rest until my energy supply filled back up again.

I wasn’t very good at sensing the leading indicators, either, so I often wasn’t aware that I was running on fumes until it was too late to turn it around.

This obviously isn’t a sustainable (or intelligent!) model of personal energy, but with the high level of commitments that so many of us have these days, it isn’t uncommon, either.

We eventually drilled a new well at the house, and we haven’t run out of water since. This well taps into a deep source of ground water that sustains the supply at a healthy level at all times.

It suddenly occurred to me that this metaphor could be useful for those of us who are searching for a sustainable model of personal energy.

What if we each knew the sources of spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical energies that keep us supplied, at a healthy level, at all times? And then, of course, we need to allow those sources to keep us sustained.

Here are some examples of my best sources. I think they will be different for every person:

  • Spiritual energy: meditation is my best source, by far
  • Mental energy: having a challenging creative project
  • Emotional energy: for most people, this may be the emotional support they receive from close friends. While this is true for me, too, I’m very introverted, and my best source of emotional energy is my connection with nature. Nature just makes me feel good.
  • Physical energy: lifting weights, and adequate sleep

What are your best sources? What would the impact be, in your life, if you allowed those sources to keep your energy well-supplied and sustained?

 

Are You a Dipper or a Jumper?

More than one client has said to me: “Why can’t I spend just 15 minutes per day checking in with my inner guidance? I know it would make a big difference in my life. Why don’t I just do it?

I ask a different question: What would make it easy for you to do?

Changing habits reminds me of swimming.

Some people like to get into the water gradually, acclimating to the water a bit at a time, until they are all the way in. Those are “Dippers.”

Others prefer to jump in. I call them “Jumpers.”

Think about the times when you have been successful changing a habit or making a new one. Did you do it a little bit at a time, until it was fully implemented? Or, did you “just do it,” full blown, right out of the starting gate?

When it comes to changing or making habits, are you a Dipper or a Jumper?

Both of them work really effectively, and when I think of habits that I have changed or made in the past, I’ve actually used both strategies. But I think I am more naturally a Dipper.

Tip for Dippers: Commit to a very small amount every day, something that is possible, rather than what you think you “should” be doing. It doesn’t matter if you connect with your inner guidance for only 5 minutes per day. Consistency is what you are going for, and that is your measure of success. It will build it’s own momentum as you do it consistently, and then you can increase the time.

Tip for Jumpers: Ask yourself: “If I say ‘Yes’ to connecting with my inner guidance for 15 minutes a day, what am I saying ‘No’ to?” And then make sure that your new habit is important and meaningful enough to “trump” the thing that you are saying No to. It helps to be consciously aware of what we are saying No to, rather than just adding one more thing to our plates.

Whether you are a Dipper or a Jumper, I’m wishing you many blessings on your journey of implementing habits that will be nourishing, exciting, and meaningful for you.

 

A Long Way from a Tea Ceremony; Women Breadwinner Strategies for Pausing

I’ve often fantasized about taking a real break from my work, mid-afternoon. I would have a nice cup of tea and actually savor it, sans multi-tasking.

But I never did it.

Then I fell in love.

With Harney & Sons Pomegranate Oolong Tea.

Yesterday, I paused my work and actually savored a “cuppa” this fragrant, wonderful tea.

I have to admit that it felt like one of those brief stops at a filling station, where you just stop to fill up and then get going again.

It’s a long way from a relaxing tea ceremony, but it’s a step in the right direction.

 

Busting the Blahs

It’s a grey day.

It took me a couple of hours to realize why I was feeling so sluggish this morning. It’s a grey day.

This always happens to me after a string of sunny days.

I tend to attribute it to a character flaw, like laziness, until I finally make the connection: I’m letting the grey skies get to me.

 

What are your strategies when you find your energy lagging?

I’ve been trying to remember to b*r*e*a*t*h*e, a long, conscious, breath. And I make myself get up and either walk around or stretch.

Today, I was thinking about how easy it is to just plow through our work, whatever our energy level.

And yet (file this under “so obvious, it’s pathetic”) there are some simple things we can do that both change our state and take care of ourselves. And they don’t have to take more than a minute or two.

What are yours?

Somebody needs to do a study to find out why we don’t do them more often. 🙂

 

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