How to increase energy and focus?
"The average person puts only about 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for the few and far between souls who devote 100%." ~Andrew Carnegie
Many of us say that we want to live all parts of our lives at 100% — full out whether we’re at home or at work. But do we? Can we? Two of the biggest complaints I hear these days are 1) I don’t have enough time and 2) I don’t have enough energy. Can you relate?
We’re constantly on the run, trying to juggle all the things we have to do with all the things we want to do. We’re constantly trying to balance active social/family lives with dynamic work lives. Oh, wait! What about personal health and fitness? Oh, and don’t forget our spiritual/ personal growth! The dog needs walking, the goldfish needs feeding. When did you last change the oil in the car?
Yep. Our energy crisis isn’t just about prices at the pump, fracking and off-shore drilling. Many of us feel like we’re personally running on fumes. We’ve got personal energy shortages that we try to shore up with vitamins, lattés and “power drinks.”
By the way, according to a recent study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the use of “high energy” drinks like Red Bull, Monster, 5-Hour Energy and Full Throttle resulted in 13, 114 ER visits in 2009, ten times the number of such visits in 2005! Uh oh. Maybe not the best way to get more juice?
What is energy anyway? Even before quantum physicists proved that energy is at the deepest level of everything in the universe, we’ve all experienced it. We know when we have too much (as in, can’t settle down to sleep) or too little. We know that certain activities seem to require more energy than others. We know that some situations feel like they sap our energy.
I think many of us think of energy as something finite, limited. It’s as if we have a certain ration of energy we’ve been given and when we’re out, we’re out. Some people seem to have more energy than others. We assume that we’ll have less of it as we age. But is any of that really true?
In Huna, the energy of the universe is believed to be unlimited. And since we are connected to that universe, our energy is unlimited as well. Huna also says that nature abhors a vacuum. So even if you deplete your body of its energy, the universe is standing by and eager to fill it back up.
The issue we have with energy isn’t about whether there’s enough of it or not. It’s our ability to access it and let it flow through us. In Huna, the goal is to control your energy, not let it control you. And one of the main ways I was taught to do this is through the breath.
Breathing is emphasized in many practices and taught in many different. But the breathing used in Huna is called “ha” breathing. It is simple, but takes some focus and concentration. To begin, inhale through your nose to a count of 3 or 4. Next, exhale through your mouth to a count of 6 or 8 making a soft “haaaa” sound. The inhale/exhale relationship is always at a 1 to 2 ratio (i.e.3 counts of inhale = 6 counts of exhale). As you do this, you may want to stand with your feet shoulder width apart solidly connected to the earth. Extend your arms out to each side with palms facing upward. (Put your arms down to your side if they get tired.)
How long should you do this? In ancient times, the kahuna would gather and do continuous “ha” breathing for days at a time, taking turns, to build up energy for any big project. To increase and balance energy for yourself, I recommend doing this breathing for several minutes each day and longer if you are facing a situation that will require more energy from you.
“Ha” breathing is a simple practice but a very powerful one. As my kumu (teacher) Uncle George said, “The breath is the basis of life. If you want to learn to control anything — energy, higher self, mana (life force), your thoughts — you’ve got to start with the breath because the breath gives you life. If you can’t control your breath, how can you expect to control the most powerful universal energy around you?”
Dr. Matt James
About the Author: Matthew B. James, MA, Ph.D., is President of The Empowerment Partnership, where students learn Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Huna and Hypnosis. To find out more about Huna and energy, listen to Dr. Matt’s free webinar Huna and Energy Explained: How to Increase Your Personal Mana/Energy - Part I.