Energy is a precious resource for entrepreneurs.
Like with our earth’s natural resources, our human tendency is to extract, extract, extract until we reach a crisis point. We’re so focused on the amazing things we can do with those resources that we forget to think about the long term impact of heavy extraction: exhaustion, getting stuck, poor health, suffering relationships and feeling like crap.
I struggled with entrepreneurial exhaustion for many years – and I don’t recommend it!
When I was growing my first company, as tasks and responsibilities grew, the more I worked and the less I took care of myself.
This eventually led to burnout, which played a big part in the sustainability of my first business and has been the motivation behind my shift in career to health and life coaching. I never want to go through that kind of exhaustion again.
I see the same pattern in entrepreneurs all the time and it doesn’t have to be this way.
One of the keys to knowing how to use our entrepreneurial energy resources sustainably is to understand what our energy is, where it comes from and how it works.
What is Ojas?
Ojas means vital energy. It’s a concept from Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine from India that has kept humans healthy for thousands of years.
On a big picture level, Ojas/vital energy comes from:
- Inputting nourishing substances (foods, thoughts and sensory experiences)
- Efficient digestion of food
- Efficient digestion of all mental and sensory input
- Your body’s organ systems working efficiently
How Ojas works.
Imagine you have a bucket with a spigot (faucet) on the bottom. The bucket is filled with liquid Ojas. Every time you need energy you open the spigot and pour some Ojas into your cup. As you use it, the level of Ojas in the bucket goes down.
However, there is also a garden hose that pours fresh Ojas into the top. It refills your bucket.
You have enough Ojas as long as:
- You’re filling your bucket with enough fresh Ojas
- You’re not taking out more Ojas than is in the bucket
Signs you have low Ojas
- You have enough energy to make it through the day without caffeine or sugar
- You get stressed out or overwhelmed easily
- You get sick easily
- You often push through tiredness instead of resting
- You have a hard time getting up in the morning
How to improve your Ojas.
- Optimize input, digestion and body efficiency.
- Eat well.
- Heal any digestive issues you have.
- Be mindful of what you see, hear, taste, touch and smell.
- Get out of negative thought patterns.
- Invest in yourself.
- Make sure you’re keeping your Ojas bucket filled and not taking out too much. This is where self-care comes in.
- Soothe and support the body.
- Reduce stimulation.
- Give yourself space and time to rest. Often. (like every weekend)
Sometimes being business owners requires that we take out a huge portion of Ojas – and that’s ok. If our Ojas buckets are fairly full, we can do this without causing undue stress on ourselves. But if it’s not, then there can be uncomfortable consequences. AND when we overuse Ojas as strategy for how we operate in our business, we set ourselves up for problems in the long term.
If this is you, know that by giving a little bit more attention to yourself, each day, you’ll start filling your Ojas bucket back up. Every drop counts!