Almost every woman I speak with, at one time or another, has expressed a desire for greater energy. Some women who desire more of it may not articulate or distinguish the kind of energy that they wish to reap more of.
For example, there’s creative energy, physical energy, draining energy, work energy, positive energy, feminine energy, soul energy, loving energy, light energy, healing energy, collective energy, sexual energy and on and on.
Energy is life sustaining. And while we may describe energy as the core of our being, we must acknowledge that it is also mysterious, elusive, subjective, contagious, inspiring, motivating and something that connects us as human beings to one another and to the Universe.
For today, let’s simply focus on some concepts of energy that may raise our awareness level as to different sources of energy and how different cultures perceive it.
Juju is part of West African culture. While there seem to be some discrepancies as to its exact meaning, I find the most meaningful for me to be the third definition found in the Urban Dictionary which is: a positive or negative vibe, aura or sensation emanating from a person, place or thing. In short, it’s energy (both good and bad).
The word is also associated with magic and with the positive vibrations that we humans radiate. Our life force is made up of energy, and I like to think that for most of us we have a good supply of positive juju.
Like most humans, there are times when we give off some bad juju. You’ve probably experienced it at some point say when you’re walking down the street and someone scowls at you – they’re giving off some bad juju.
Someone I’m familiar with created juju boxes, filled with small objects to bring them luck on their travels. I like this idea. It’s fun and creative. In fact, I’m creating a healthy juju box to be used for inspiration, motivation, positive intentions and well-being.
Perhaps you might consider making one, too.
Jing means essence. In traditional Chinese medicine, jing is considered to be one of the Three Treasures (qi, which is your life force and shen, which is spiritual energy, being the other two). Jing refers to the fixed amount of energy you were born with and inherited from your parents. It’s believed that life ends when your jing becomes too low. Jing is also a source of reproductive energy.
Jing is said to be stored in your kidneys. And according to an article on Body Ecology, the winter season is connected with kidney health. (One disease associated with kidney health is high blood pressure, which we covered in last week’s blogpost.)
Overworked kidneys can cause fatigue. There may be no real outward signs or symptoms of weakened kidneys besides fatigue except perhaps that lower back pain may also be a sign.
The bottom line is that the amount of jing in your lifetime is related to how well you take care of yourself.
Being highly stressed, for example, is one way of exhausting your supply of jing. Whereas developing your inner power (such as through martial arts or Hatha Yoga) will strengthen it.
You can’t actually feel Jing energy. It’s more difficult to grasp than a positive vibe (juju) type of energy, for instance.
Since jing is a source of reproductive energy, it regulates growth and is therefore the foundation of life itself. So if you have an abundance of jing then you may consider yourself to be healthy and strong.
To strengthen your jing with food, you may want to eat nuts and seeds, particularly sesame seeds and almonds; dark leafy greens and sea vegetables (such as Nori or Spirulina).
If you feel your jing is running low, you can also breathe deeply and rest – important aspects of self-care.
Ki is an ambiguous word. It’s derived from the Chinese word chi or qi and means life force. But ki is Japanese, and the meaning is related to energy and spirit. The Japanese believe that human life comes from the ki of the universe. When you no longer have ki, you die.
And ki in practical terms can mean a lot of things such as vitality, courage and feeling great. So that as you lose ki, you might experience a lessening of the qualities that represent it. Instead of feeling vitality for example, you may become lethargic.
Chakra comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “wheel.” It has roots in the tantric traditions of Indian religions. It is believed that the life force within you is spinning and rotating and that this spinning energy has seven major centers in the body through which it flows. The chakras connect vertically from the crown of your head to the base of your spine. Think of the chakras as a spinning vortex of energy.
The chakras interact with different systems in your body and help to regulate organ function, your immune system and your emotions. When a chakra becomes blocked, misaligned or inactive, it can result in an imbalance that presents itself as a physical illness or some type of emotional, spiritual or behavioral issue or distress.
Some ways to balance your chakras are through a yoga practice, Reiki, acupuncture or Tai Chi.
The loss of energy of which women speak is a large topic and appears to be deeply connected to inner peace. Studies have indicated that physical energy can supply only about 30 percent of one’s total energy, while 70 percent of energy needed must come from emotional energy (described by author, psychotherapist and researcher, Mira Kirshenbaum as being “an aliveness of the mind, a happiness of the heart, and a spirit filled with hope”).
So now, we’d like to hear from you. Have you considered the sources of your energy? Are you familiar with the terms juju, jing, ki or chakra? Can you identify when you need more physical or emotional energy? Please comment below, we’d love to hear from you.