07/10/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Hey buddy, can you spare some jing?

My jing is out of bling. And no amount of Doritos and NoDoz can revive it .

I thought I'd unblocked the energies of the divine when a fen shui consultant helped me clear out the clutter that was choking my chi. But just when I thought I was doing great in the "woo-woo" department, I discovered that my jing was gone.

Jing, defined in Chinese medicine as "the substance that underlies all organic life" is thought of as an invisible supportive life essence that nourishes, fuels and cools the body.

And mine isn't just blocked - it's gone! As in zapped, nada, never to return to me in this lifetime.

According to ancient Chinese wisdom, one is born with a finite amount of jing. We draw on it during our lives as an energy reserve, but once it's gone, it never comes back.

So while I was out there giving seminars for sales people who couldn't care less and staying up late ruminating about my in-laws, I was burning through my jing so fast I'm surprised my aura wasn't giving off smoke.

Even worse, once you've use up your lifetime allotment, your body is totally dependent on food, sleep, exercise and, uggh, meditation for energy. However the everyday jing, produced by a healthy lifestyle, doesn't have the same staying power as the blessed birthright dose you squandered worrying about which wallpaper would work best in the master bath.

While you may be able to power through a day on Almond Joys and Diet Coke, if you're jing-less like me, the next day you'll find yourself laid out flat without enough energy to even watch the soaps.

My verdict was this: All your reserves are gone; you're just going to have to start taking care of yourself if you want to have enough energy to stand erect, make toast or apply lip gloss. This distressing diagnosis was confirmed by a tarot card reader, so it's not like I'm just making this stuff up.

When I think of all the ways I wasted my precious jing, I'd cry, but I don't have the energy to well up tears.

Bad boyfriends probably sucked away a good 25 percent. Idiot bosses siphoned off another 30. And a decade spent selling people stuff they didn't need probably robbed me of another 15. Maybe I should start sending out jing invoices to everybody I squandered my mojo on.

But in the end, the ultimate decider of how I spent my time was me. And as much I'd hate to see a pie chart breakout of all the times I tapped into my inner reserves for something that didn't matter, I was the one who emptied my allotment.

What with all the late nights I powered through presentation prep, the endless Saturdays spent hawking raffle tickets and the red eye flights I took for meetings that didn't matter, I bet I only spent about 10 percent of my jing on anything important - listening to my grandmother repeat the deviled-egg story, comforting a friend through a nasty divorce or holding the barf bucket for my kids when they had the flu.

A minister friend of mine once said, "It's a lot easier to live each day like it's your last when you know it actually is."

If I'd known that my energy was limited to a finite quantity, perhaps I would have spent it more wisely. As it is, I'm learning to be more discerning with my time. And I've started to consider little things like sleep, healthy food and an occasional pedicure now and again part of my jing-replenishing regime.

So if you've still have some jing, don't waste it on longing for perfect jewelry, fighting over the toilet paper roll or worrying about work. And if you're tapped out, like me, I'll see you in line for the wheatgrass smoothies.

Lisa Earle McLeod is a syndicated columnist, speaker and author -