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An Inspirational Quote


“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”


Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Most people just think and think and think. Scientists have discovered that when people spend a lot of time worrying, their upper (in the head) brain uses a lot of energy. They say that the upper brain can use up 80 percent of the body’s energy, leaving only 20 percent for the organs.” Mantak Chia, Taoist Cosmic Healing.


Thai Yoga Massage, Catherine Carrigan With Alba Adrian

Thai Yoga Massage, Catherine Carrigan With Alba Adrian

One of the most common complaints that we hear from new clients at Total Fitness is lack of energy.


“I want to work out but I am too tired,” many people report.

You can have more energy and feel better just making a few small changes with natural healing methods.

I run scientific lab tests on adrenal gland function, and indeed, we find many clients in the advanced stages of stress. Much healing needs to take place in order to lose weight, feel happy or have the energy to exercise consistently.


Although there may be many reasons for this, including eating processed, microwaved junk food and not getting enough sleep, you may not have considered the role of your attitude. When we choose to heal our body or improve our body composition, attitude is equally important as exercise, rest and nutrition.


Just consider the body building equation: B=ExAxRxN. Your Body Equals Your Exercise Times Your Attitude Times Your Rest Times Your Nutrition.


If you remember from basic math, if you multiply any number times zero you get nothing – no result.


In other words, to be successful at improving your body, your program must include a balance of exercise, attitude, rest and nutrition. If you fail to address any of these areas, you will not succeed.


Knowing what works for your body and your metabolism is an art form in and of itself. Ask James, Nina or I to help you create a Total Fitness program that will address your specific needs in each area.


But let’s get back to attitude.


All joy is a present-moment phenomenon.


The same thing holds true for energy. If you want to have more energy – or even just enough to follow through with a consistent exercise program – you have to pull your energy back into the present moment.


That is because energy is like water. It needs to flow. If water is blocked, it doesn’t flow. If water is congested, the flow is sluggish. If water meets resistance, it can experience turbulence.


Ask yourself:


How much of my energy is tied up in the past? This is blocked energy, akin to all your money being tied up in past debts, so you can’t use it. Or it’s sluggish energy, filled with negative emotions that slow you down.

How much of my energy is available in the present? This is flowing energy, that you can use now.

How much of my energy am I projecting into the future? This is resistance, and you are creating turbulence for yourself rather than going with the flow and allowing.

Recently, I had a client whose energy picture looked like this:


Past 33 percent

Present 22 percent

Future 45 percent

Although this individual was eating organic food, taking the finest supplements, getting enough sleep and visiting Atlanta’s most accomplished practitioners, she continued to experience huge energy problems. She was overstimulated and exhausted mentally and physically. My recommendation was to simply stop doing so much.


When our energy is tied up in the past, we are lost in grief, regret and guilt. To move forward, we have to realize it is essential to let go of all that no longer serves us to make the space for beneficial change.


When we project our energy into the future, we are bound up with FEAR, also known as False Evidence Appearing Real. We imagine everything that could possibly go wrong, rather than keeping our attention on making choices in the present (experiencing the beautiful day, going to bed on time, saying no to donuts) that would actually create the future we really want.


Realize that if you want more energy, you must pull your spirit back into the present moment. Assess what percent of the time you’re actually in the NOW.

Work with a skilled practitioner on letting go. Congestion can occur physically (blocked arteries, a messy office), emotionally (sustained grief) or spiritually (inability to forgive oneself for past mistakes). Whether you require a secretary, therapist or priest, find someone who can help you release all you no longer need to create the space for change to enter.

Engage in practices that bring your energy into the present moment. These may include meditation, yoga, qi gong or any mind-body exercise that requires your present moment attention.

Ask yourself what your payoff is for remaining in fear. Most of the time, through deeper inquiry, you’ll discover there is some part of you that is trying to stay safe. That is because the role of the ego is to keep you safe. Your soul, on the other hand, requires ecstatic experience of the great richness of life and wants to continue to evolve.

Train your mind. Yogis say an untrained mind is like a herd of wild horses. This is especially true of many highly intelligent people. Many of my smartest clients are ironically too mentally quick for their own mental health and end up driving themselves crazy. Realize that any experience can be an ecstatic experience – whether you are mopping the floor, stuck in traffic on the interstate or playing with your pet – you can choose to focus on the pleasant sensations of the present moment. Practice on focusing on what you are doing while you are doing it.

Observe your pet. Even though the life of your dog or cat is probably much less complex, it will be obvious to you that he or she may be experiencing far more joy. Learn to cope like a cat – take a nap when you get stressed.

Finally, call your spirit back. If you notice yourself replaying old pictures of the past or projecting worry about your future, command your spirit back to the NOW. Wiggle your fingers. Wiggle your toes. Breathe. Know that in this moment some part of you is already experiencing unconditional love, safety and the blessing of being in a body fully alive. Even as you are healing, even if your life is not yet perfect, it is possible for you to experience happiness.

A=Attitude. Best attitude includes present moment attention.


Total Fitness Offers Cosmic Healing Qi Gong

by Catherine Carrigan, catherine@totalfitness.net


Total Fitness is pleased to offer Cosmic Healing Qi Gong, a series of simple postures and movements for absoring and discharging chi, the life force energy that permeates the universe.


Although I have been teaching qi gong for some time, I was eager to learn this form after having qi gong expert Lee Holden, author of Seven Minutes of Magic, on Total Fitness radio show.


Lee is a long-time student of Mantak Chia, author of Awaken the Healing Light of the Tao, and has ghost written or co-authored a number of his manuals.


Our qi gong class consists of:


Stretching movements, to disperse stagnant chi

Flowing movements, to regulate, balance and increase your energy

Meditation, to help you store chi and relax

In qi gong, a “form” is a term that describes a series of prescribed movements. Just as there are specific movement patterns that make up the dance forms of a waltz or a tango, and there are thousands of different kinds of dances, there are literally thousands of forms of qi gong.


Some of these forms are more vigorous and are used for martial arts. Other forms are gentler and are used for healing or spiritual growth.


Cosmic Healing Qi Gong can help you with:


Psychic protection, so you don’t absorb negativity from others

Self healing, for a variety of mental and physical ailments

Increased energy and relaxation for all those who suffer from stress and exhaustion

Increased healing abilities for those who wish to be of service to others

Long life and good health

Most of the forms of qi gong I have taught in our class have felt like traditional exercise. Cosmic Healing Qi Gong is a quieter internal art that we practice as a standing meditation at the end of class.


If you are new to qi gong and want to learn more about it, know that our practice focuses on five principles:


Relaxation, which balances the Water element in your body.

Resiliency, building a balance of strength and flexibility. Resiliency is an important concept to consider for all those who want to achieve Total Fitness. If you become too strong, such as from excessive weight training, you may become inflexible. If you become too loose, as from excessive stretching, you may lose strength. In qi gong, we strive for this balance of strength and flexibility, which we call resiliency. Resiliency balances the Wood element in your body.

Enjoyment, which balances the Fire element. It’s important to have fun no matter what form of exercise you choose because not liking what you do creates stagnant chi. Learn to play as you live life and exercise and you’ll never have to “work” in your workout ever again.

Center, which balances the Earth element. We move from the core to develop physical, emotional and spiritual balance.

Energy, which balances the Air element. We exercise in ways that give us even more energy than when we started. Does YOUR workout leave you feeling energized?

Join us every Wednesday from 5:30-7 p.m. as we practice outside in the garden at 1951 Northside Drive, weather permitting. If you are unable to join our class, ask me about private instruction.


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