THE BLOG
01/29/2015 02:32 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Time for an Energy Audit

John Lund via Getty Images

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Time For An Energy Audit

Tennessee Valley is one of the more beautiful, family friendly hiking areas in the Bay Area. It draws a crowd, especially on Christmas Day when the weather is gorgeous and people are looking to get out. It's where I found myself this past Christmas, doing a little solo communing and reflection.

I had other options. My family wanted me to fly to the East Coast for some golf, tennis, and smorgasbords. Friends in any number of directions invited me to visit and break bread and indulge in flowing martinis. But something inside me knew what I needed more than anything was R&R. Not "rest and relaxation," but "recharging and restoration."

It's not that 2014 had been a "long year." In many ways it was a "strong year." Business moved forward. My one-on-one and group clients were happy. But me? My soul was spent. And the deepest voice inside me knew it was time to practice more consciously what I preach. So I laced up my sneakers and made a move for me.

A walk brings certain things to light, especially when you're alone. The world becomes a mirror. It doesn't matter if you're staring into trees, hills or ocean.

The stunning interconnection of everything around you illuminates the fact that as you look out you're actually looking within. In so doing, I couldn't help but examine the places where I was struggling.

I'd spent a ton of energy trying to build width in my life while forsaking depth. My focus on mass depleted meaning, while my quest for security through quantity had deflated quality.

It's a reality many of us are thrust into, a mindset built around the number of likes our posts generate, how many followers we have on our feed. What exactly are we feeding on these feeds? Are we feeding ourselves?

In that moment, I knew the only way I could truly feed myself was to honestly introspect, carefully examine, and courageously change. No matter how many followers or likes or favorites I generate, the quality--the DEPTH--of my most important relationships would continue to slip. And everything had to start with the most challenging and longest relationship I've had: the one with myself.

We are all a bunch of energy sources. And we all have a finite amount of time to make the best use of our energy.

Every day, our energy contagiously emanates in ways our logical minds cannot comprehend. It's crucial that we see ourselves as the powerful energy sources we are, and that we take fierce responsibility for how we expend, conserve and replenish.

The first month of the year is behind us. It's time to ask some important questions to help calibrate our momentum and look within for answers.

Are you getting the right return on your energetic investment in everything you do, and from those you're around? Do you feel fully useful, or are you running on empty? Do you even know what you feel inside? Do you share these feelings?

Here's a basic truth: if you're reading this, you probably live in a world where people and things place demands on your time. Maybe you run a business, and you can't stop worrying about your social media presence. Maybe you're concerned that if you don't stay current you won't hang with the best of them (whoever they are). Perhaps you've cast your net so wide that you've overlooked people and activities that actually bring depth to your life.

The more consumed we are with width, the more likely we'll overlook the quality, depth and meaning that replenish and recharge our souls.

Rather than accept the "reality" that we're all dealing with post-modern attention span challenges, I believe we sometimes fall prey to this dilemma of width vs. depth. The connections that seem to offer us security are illusions. Groping for them spreads us thin. It's a modern form of running, defending and shielding from deep pain. Our fear blinds us. We end up in a cycle of sophisticated denial, focusing on false consumption, overlooking the things that truly feed us.

Our relationships are why we're on the planet. If we don't pay attention, then what's the point? Our energetic legacies will fall short.

Here's my invitation: find a spot in nature where you can be alone. It could be a park bench, a rock near the ocean, an open field, even your chilly winter backyard. Just give yourself space.

Take a panoramic view of your life. Consider your relationships, your physical activity, your mental engagement, and your emotional state. Break things into three categories related to energy: how you expend, conserve and replenish.

Search your mind, soul, veins and very cells. Break your daily life into segments. Uncover what truly fuels you. Think of where you save wasted energies, and where you might be wiser in counteracting the drainage of certain realities.

Be honest with yourself. If one of your friends winds up in the "expend" column, but doesn't balance the scales in the "replenish" column, rethink how you address it. If your heart pumping workout leaves you exhausted in a negative way, perhaps you need some soul cycling group energy to fire your insides up, or even some replenishing yin yoga to balance things out.

This exercise will give you a chance to view your life as the force of energy that you are. When you're done, you'll have a clearer view into the things that cost and feed your energy, along with things that help you conserve it. This kind of awareness is the essential beginning of any change.

Take the PLEDGE: here.

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