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This is Why You Feel Like You’re Running on Empty


Do you feel like you’re running on empty? Occasionally? All the time? Rajshree Patel — meditation expert, self-awareness coach and author of the new book, The Power of Vital Force: Fuel Your Energy, Purpose, and Performance with Ancient Secrets of Breath and Meditation — is fascinated with why some of us thrive while others of us just get by.

A former federal prosecutor who discovered the ancient spiritual tradition of Vedanta by accident, Rajshree has taught thousands of people in more than 35 countries the power of meditation, mindfulness, breath work, and other ancient tools for accessing the innate source of energy, creativity, and fulfillment within. And today, she’s sharing an excerpt from her book!

Running on Empty by Rajshree Patel

As you are reading this, there’s a good chance that your energy system is running close to empty and that it’s impacting everything else in your life. When you are exhausted, tired, stressed out, impatient, dull, unmotivated, distracted, or burned out, your brain is sending you a clear message: YOU ARE OUT OF FUEL! Your battery is dangerously low.

The one thing I’ve observed over the past 30 years in my work is that most people spend the majority of their lives living in a state of personal energy crisis. They are stuck in permanent survival mode with barely enough fuel to make it through the day. That’s like hoping your smartphone will last for another eight hours when your battery is at 10 percent and there’s no charger in sight. You can get by this way for a short period of time, but you will eventually burn out. We add caffeine, stimulants, and adrenaline on top of a depleted system to keep us going for a little bit longer. It might even feel like real energy, but in the long run, it’s only depleting your inner energy reserves even more. Before long, your system will crash.

Your energy levels have a profound effect on the way you think, the way you feel, and the way you act, which, in turn, affects the way you move through the world and experience your life. Everything you do is infused with energy, and the state of your life will reflect the state of your energy. If you’re alive and vibrant, then your life, your relationships, your business will be dynamic, radiant, and exciting. But if you’re dull and drained, life becomes lukewarm. If I were to state the most precious lesson I have learned through the years, it’s that where you are not thriving in life, there is always a lack of energy … always.

There was a time in your life when you had more energy than you knew what to do with. If you observe any child, you’ll remember how much energy and vitality you had when ​you ​ were young. Take a look at a child’s face: it’s full of mojo. You can see it in children’s eyes, in their smiles, and hear it in their infectious laughter. You can feel it in the bounce of their movements. You know from experience that the amount of vital energy a child has — the amount of energy YOU once had — is far greater than any adult in the room. One child has enough power to wipe out all the adults in the family. You can hear the power of this innate energy in the simple, effortless gurgle of a baby that quiets an entire room. The scream of a little kid is powerful enough to bring the house down! Just imagine what you could do in your life with this kind of raw power.

Toddlers barely eat more than mashed carrots and milk, and they certainly don’t walk 10,000 steps a day. They don’t have drugs, protein shakes, Red Bull, or Starbucks — just plenty of rest and an abundance of this power called “source energy,” or vital force. Once upon a time, we all had this power. You don’t need a scientist to prove this to you. You know what I’m talking about because you have personally experienced it.

You were born with all the qualities that you require to be super successful in every aspect of your life. You entered this world as a bundle of joy, enthusiasm, confidence, resilience, agility, positivity, love, acceptance, power, energy, alertness, awareness, determination, and much more. You were made up more of vitality and energy than body mass. It’s a great irony that we’ve built multibillion-dollar industries around self-help, spirituality, therapy, and leadership development, filled with tools, books, workshops, and programs on how to cultivate the very qualities that we were born with.

All of this can be boiled down to one simple key: vital force. Learn to tap into the innate power of life within you and you are home free. –Rajshree Patel

This excerpt was published with permission from Hay House and The Power of Vital Force: Fuel Your Energy, Purpose, and Performance with Ancient Secrets of Breath and Meditation (October 2019).

Resources for Managing Your Energy and Tapping into Your Life Force

What’s your favorite way to connect to and harness your energy or vital force? Quiet time in nature is always huge for me. –Jenn

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