Section One Personal Energy Crisis: Old Paradigm Problem, New Paradigm Solution 1 The Quest for More Energy: Are You Winning or Losing the Energy Game? The search for energy is the American Dream that never sleeps. Everyone wants more of it, and most people feel like they can't get enough of it. In our pursuit of energy we may take upfor a whiledemanding diets, exercise programs, and expensive vitamin and supplement regimes. But the path to abundant energy is not product related. It is not achieved through extreme efforts or eccentric programs that prey on your fears or promote obsessive concerns about fitness, diet, and health. It is a path of balance, sanity, and intelligent self-effort that supports the most complex and demanding life and leads you into simple and direct relationship with your self and the Source of life. Health and vitality require proper energy management and are a by-product of it. In nature, the basic life processes occur without confusion or dilemma. For most life-forms, managing energy is as simple as breathing fresh air, absorbing sunlight, foraging for food, resting, reproducing, living, and dying within an interdependent web of life. Ancient shamans observed these natural processes and extracted simple principles that allowed them to acquire and conduct far greater amounts of energy than the average person. By understanding and managing the simple life processes and natural forces to which all creatures are subject and using their own bodies and minds as laboratories, they achieved personal energy mastery. And they shared their knowledge, or "medicine," with their village or tribe. But in our modern world, with its stressful pace and complexity, the basic life processes have become complicated, confusing, and riddled with dilemma. The body operates 24/7, waking and sleeping, without our effort. Disconnected from nature and alienated from our natural or "indigenous self' that intuitively knows what it needs, simple functions like diet, exercise, sex, and breathing may seem like near-impenetrable mysteries. So we turn to experts to understand, and hopefully meet, our most basic human needs. We've acquired remarkable scientific knowledge about diet, exercise, sex, the brain, meditation and prayer, and more. But what are the fundamentals of human energy that, if applied, allow us to become revitalized energy beings? Here traditional shamanic wisdom is still relevant to modern life. The shamanic energy principles presented in this book confirm insights in modern psychology, modern physics, and modern scientific research. And no matter how complex the world becomes, our bodies, our minds, our relationships, and our vital energy systems will always operate on the same timeless principles. The modern rush-hour lifestyle leaves millions too depleted to get sufficient exercise, relaxation, play, or even spend quality time with their families. This energy-depleting lifestyle can lead to chronic stress, anxiety, fatigue, high blood pressure, depression, insomnia, a weakened immune system, and a host of serious physical and psychological ailments. Energy depletion is an inevitable result of unresolved life stress combined with common neglect. In our often anxious efforts to keep up the pace, we fail to do many simple, basic things that maintain our vital connection to the source of abundant energy that sustains us. And this matter of stress and anxiety is key. The Wages of Fear Today, frequent "orange alerts" and scare reports send anxiety rippling through our culture, increasing our stress, depleting our energy, and undermining our health and well-being. But even before the shocking events of 9/11 inaugurated an "era of terror," nearly two-thirds of Americans were chronically under stress and sGrauds, Connie is the author of 'Energy Prescription Give Yourself Abundant Vitality With The Wisdom Of America's Leading Natural Pharmacist', published 2005 under ISBN 9780553382549 and ISBN 0553382543.