We’ve been duped!
Years ago, I taught a course, along with a Doctor friend of mine, on cancer prevention, which of course included education about eating to live healthy. I didn’t want anyone with cancer to feel bad due to their food choices because the truth is, we have been duped. In the 1940’s the era of industrialized food began. Canned food, frozen dinners, boxed food became the accepted way of living.
As a society, we have experienced a metaphorphosis of cultures. Around the turn of the twentieth century, as Susan Cain writes in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, “Americans shifted from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality…in the Culture of Character, the ideal self was serious, disciplined, and honored…The word personality didn’t exist in English until the eighteenth century…but when they embraced the Culture of Personality, Americans started to focus on how other people perceived them” and the age of ‘personality is power’ was born.
As far as I’m concerned when the industrialization of America began, everything went to hell in a handbasket – you, me, all of us were duped! We were led to believe that industrialized food was good for us and to be a ‘good’ person, you best be outgoing, powerful and dare I say – busy! Who you were as an individual didn’t matter. What mattered was to emulate those with ‘personality’ – the movers, the shakers, the doers!
I would like to believe that a new day is dawning. That we have entered a culture of ‘waking up’. That we no longer need to be a certain way, to be accepted by society. That we can once again find honor in being who we really are.
When I sold my nutrition store, and a few months later embarked on my ‘Year of No’ sabbatical, I struggled. Without the energy boost from caffeine (doctor’s orders to stop) and the buzz of winding myself up, I was lost. After decades of being on the go from the moment I woke up, until my head hit the pillow, I had no idea what my natural rhythm or ‘real’ energy was.
I am lucky. My life has led me exactly to where I need to be. Had I continued at the pace I was living, my health would have been in more serious jeopardy than it already was. What I learned is I am not high energy. What I learned is down-time is as important as oxygen. What I learned is I re-fuel with quiet time. What I learned is I am not a Type A personality, but I wanted to be, because my perception was that high energy people were liked, accepted and successful.
I was Curious what was being written about energy, so I googled ‘How to determine your natural energy levels’.
Here are the top search results:
*9 Tips to Boost Your Energy Naturally – Harvard
*Exhausted? 10 Ways to Sky Rocket Your Energy Levels – Dr. Axe
*Top Ten Ways to Boost Your Energy – WebMD
*11 Ways to Boost Your Energy Level, Instantly – Shape Magazine
Not one single article that says, “hey, maybe all that energy output, isn’t who you are”. Sigh…
Here are 10 questions to begin your research into discovering your natural energy level:
- How can I see this (my desire for more energy) differently?
- Do I wake up rearing to go (without caffeine that is)?
- Am I a morning person, an afternoon person or a night person?
- Do I enjoy steady work, or am I at my best when diving in and then taking down-time?
- Does time with friends or co-workers after work, help me wind down and re-fuel (without alcohol that is ?) or do I need time alone?
- Do I push through those low energy dips, or take a 5minute breather?
- Do I breathe? Seriously…I don’t think I took a deep breath for decades. Over-busy people forget to deep breathe.
- What drains me?
- When do I feel most energized? What am I doing; who am I with, what time of day is it?
- Do I have firm boundaries in place so I can honor my natural energy levels?
And if you haven’t already, please read “Feeling Tired? 8 Reason Why and What You Can do?”
In my household, we have three different energy types:
- Smooth and steady: 9-5 Monday-Friday work. Routine. Structured. Evenly paced.
- High Energy: Although down-time is essential to their well-being, this person (okay, it’s my husband) can go at a pace that would exhaust me. I was convinced that my go-go husband, who has a high-stress job and gets projects done like no other, had adrenals that had shriveled to nothing. I was wrong. His adrenal test came back glowing, while I had full-on adrenal fatigue.
- Burst & Rest: Dig in to a project/work – rest and rest often. This is me. This is not how I operated for decades. I wanted to be like my husband.
Not anymore. I want to be like ‘me’.
One last idea to consider…once you have identified your energy type, have a conversation with those in your household or in your work-space. Understanding that my husband refuels by talking and I refuel by being quiet and making agreements (boundaries) that supports our individual well-being, supports our collective well-being as well!
What do you think your energy type is? Comment Below.