Advice for Couples
Parents need Energy!
Once upon a time there was a farmer who had a goose. One day he went to his goose’s nest and found a beautiful golden egg. “Could it really be gold or is someone playing a trick on me,” he asked his wife. The local village expert confirmed it was indeed gold. Every morning the same thing occurred – another golden egg. But as he grew richer he grew more impatient and thinking to get all the gold the goose could give, he killed it and opened it to find nothing.
Aesop’s fable certainly warns against becoming greedy, but it also contains an important lesson for parents.
Being a parent involves two important capabilities:
Producing golden eggs
The golden egg are the results we get as parents. And getting results is an important aspect of parenting. As parents we want our child to succeed – to be happy, fulfilled and to achieve success in all areas of their life (relationships, career, financially, enjoy good health, being a good member of our society). One of life’s greatest tragedies is when a person has the potential to succeed but something prevents it. The golden egg is a symbol for children.
Preserving the goose
The goose is the means of producing the golden eggs. If the goose wears out or burns out it will affect the production of golden eggs. The health and well being of the goose is vitally important if you want golden eggs! The goose is a symbol for parents.
Insight: If you don’t nurture and energise the goose, pretty soon it’s going to affect the golden egg production. And translated that means that if you, as an individual, don’t take the time, effort and intentional will to nurture and energise yourself, it’s quickly going to affect your child. Effective parents don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg; they take care of it.
How do you look after the goose?
Here are five areas where we fight our energy battles. These are also the areas where energy leakage occurs! If you can get on top of these challenges the energy flows:
- Is what you are doing giving you a sense of meaning in your life?
- Are you getting all the love you need in your life?
- Do you have enough time to do what you want without being stressed out?
- Are you achieving a balance between your personal and professional life?
- Are you finding your way to success – not fame and fortune, but true success?
Here are some practical ways to energise your life. As you look over the list reflect on how many of these factors you currently have in your own life. If any are missing take the time to design a plan to bring them into your life. See these factors as your energy shop – the more you purchase the more energy you’ll have.
1. Taking care of your PHYSICAL health
Our physical dimension of life is the fundamental source of energy. Physical energy is caused from the interaction between oxygen and glucose. Accordingly, how you eat and breathe determines the amount of energy your body receives. Here are some powerful physical refuellers:
- 50 – 70% of your diet should be fresh / raw fruit and vegetables
- Eat a variety of foods and cut down on heavy fat foods
- Avoid fried, fatty foods. Salt, sugar are also addictive – the more you eat the more you want
Water, water, water
- You need between 6 – 8 glasses a day (2 litres)
- In an Australian study of 20,000 people researchers found that those who drank 8 glasses of water a day were significantly less likely to die of coronary heart disease compared to those who only drank two glasses of water or less
- Tea, coffee and fruit juice won’t give you the benefits like pure water will
- Twenty to thirty minutes of continuous exercise, 3 – 5 days a week
- Get your heart beat up to 120 beats per minute and keep it there for twenty minutes
- Short, intense aerobic activity (each one 60 seconds or less) followed by complete aerobic recovery is highly beneficial too
- Find creative ways to get more exercise – park your car further away from the office, take the stairs rather than the lift – every little bit helps!
- Most of us need between 6 – 8 hours to function well. Some need more
- A regular sleep pattern is beneficial – try to go to bed at the same time each night
- Having a nap during the day is excellent for energy recovery. NASA researchers have found that a short nap of just 40 minutes improved performance by an average of 34% and alertness by 100%. Winston Churchill took a nap each day!
- Deep abdominal breathing oxygenates the blood
- Try and breathe clean, fresh air – a good walk in a park
- Breathing in to a count of three and out to a count of 6 lowers emotional arousal and calms not just the body, but also your mind and emotions
Taking a break
We can only maintain high focus for about 90 minutes. After that our energy levels drop significantly. Schedule into your day recovery breaks where you check out for a few minutes to recover energy – take a nap, a walk around the office, stretch, climb the stairs . . .
Recovery breaks should be taken every 90 to 120 minutes
2. Taking care of your EMOTIONAL health
Self confidence, self control, social skills and empathy are the skills that fuel positive emotions. How much time each week do you devote to activities purely for fun and relaxation? Many people live their life like a Star Mart – always open for business. But that’s not healthy for your energy reserves. It’s good to make time for the things you really enjoy – people, hobbies, walks, reading a book, playing sport, attending a concert.
An important energy exercise: DOING WHAT YOU LOVE!
Have you noticed that when you do something you love you feel great? People don’t say after doing something they love, “I really like doing this, but I always feel lousy after doing it!” Being involved in pleasing activiites releases positive feelings of well being.
Make a list of 7 things you love to do. Then every day try to incorporate them into your life.
3. Taking care of your MENTAL health
Mental disciplines help us organise our lives and focus our attention. Brains need exercise so reading, writing and taking the time to reflect, learning something new, all exercise our mental lives. Also visualisation (dreaming up ideas), positive thinking and creativity – doing new things in new ways – all stimulate mental capacity. Also make sure that you are not using artificial stimulation which dull the brain: drugs, alcohol, tobacco all dull the brain and sap energy and joy out of our lives – and kill brain cells!
4. Taking care of your SPIRITUAL health
Finding a noble purpose is a great source of spiritual energy. People are spiritual beings who search for meaning and purpose for their life and work.
Each one of us has something special that we’re here to do in the world. When you find that place you begin to live with total passion because you focus on the things that truly matter in your life.
“Most people die with their music still within them.” Thoreau
“If you fix your course upon a star, you will be able to navigate any storm.” Da Vinca