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Part flesh and blood, part stardust 

A basic axiom in Traditional Chinese Medicine is that a human existence is lived “between heaven and earth.” We have a remarkable, tangible, growing, changing, self-healing body that is animated and informed by something intangible that we might call our spirit or soul.
 
The invisible energy of life, or “Q’i” as it is termed in Chinese, interlaces our being as long as we are alive. At death, the vital energy leaves the body and returns to its source.  
 
According to traditional theory, when we are born, we bring a quantity of inherited energy with us, our “ancestral Q’i.” In the West we call it our constitution.  Some people get a lot, some get less. We cannot add to this inheritance – we can only spend it, and when it’s gone, so are we.
 
We CAN add to our energy in another way, however, and according to the ancient Chinese, this is a big part of the key to healthy aging and long life. 
 
Throughout life we can cultivate, nourish and add a level of “acquired Q’i” through what and how we eat and breathe. We then spend our Q’i, and our lives, which, after all, is all we can do with it. What you spend it on is up to you – you can fritter it away, or you can spend it on family, relationships, work, purpose, and fun.  
 
If you think of your ancestral Q’i as a savings account that can not be increased, only decreased, and your acquired Q’i as a checking account that you can make both deposits and withdrawals to, then the strategy for living a long healthy life is to live out of your checking account and try not to dip into your savings account.  
 
If you consistently spend more energy than you deposit you’re likely to end up bouncing some energy checks which may manifest as fatigue and illness.  
 
Quality food, the ability to digest and absorb it, movement and breathing, and intermittent R & R can help maintain your energy and resilience, while skipping sleep, excessive partying, and unremitting and unmanaged stress can deplete your reserves at an accelerated rate.
 
Question: If you thought of your life energy the way you think about money, would you budget your time and activities any differently than you do now? 

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