A Paradigm Shift – Conserving Energy Drives Growth; not expending energy!!

Twelve months ago, I was a senior corporate executive of a public listed company in Bursa Malaysia. I was trained throughout my corporate life to create growth through investing in good technologies and assets, looking for good companies for mergers and acquisitions, forming strategic partnerships, raising funds through the stock exchange, avoiding bad debts and hiring good employees. That was how I believed the economy should be operated in order to expand, in terms of growth. One has to invest one’s energy and be hard working in order to reap yield for one’s efforts. Well, that belief hit a wall!  I worked so hard that it took a toll on my health - injured my back and had difficulty moving the lower half of my body and I could hardly walk.

Certainly it was a worrying period for me then.  I could not see what had gone wrong. Luckily, I had a flexible work arrangement.  I decided to take a rest and not get involved in any matter in the office that brings me stress until I could figure out what had gone wrong. The School guided me during this period and gave me two very important points: conservation of energies and way to connect.  If you wonder what these mean, so did I at that time.

The School has taught me that at the fundamental level, conservation of energies means working and resting in sync with the rhythm of Earth (many do not know how to rest without losing energy).  Many of us have forgotten that Earth has a structured rhythm. The farmers understand this very well. They know the right time to sleep, to wake up and start work, to eat, time to work on the land, when to stop working and start to wind down to rest.

The farmers are actually working according to the rhythm of the planet. It is intangible but the Earth rhythm has an unwritten time structure for everything.  So I just followed that rhythm. I eat at the right time, wind down at the right time, sleep and wake up at the right time. I realised that I was minimizing wear and tear by not going against that rhythm.  Within a couple of months, my lower back started to strengthen. I noticed I was gaining back my energy and I could walk longer distance but it is still a far cry from what I could do because I was a physically active person.

Next was about connection. I was baffled by that word when I first heard it. I could not understand what it meant and what I was supposed to do to connect.  In the corporate world, we tend to focus on our objectives / work goals. So when we narrow down our waveband to achieve these targets/goals over a prolonged period, we do not realise that we are actually disconnecting ourselves from all of life creations around us.  There is no appreciation and admiration for the plants, animals, the air, the sun and everything else around us that is collaborating with us to keep us alive and kicking.

We do not realise our human body is part of an orchestra and rhymes in harmony with Nature. When we take notice by appreciating and admiring how they are created and the role they play in the ecosystem, we are actually starting to reconnect to them. I started notice the bees in my garden and how they feed on the ixora flowers, the smell of lemongrass keep the mosquitoes away, how birds feed themselves on berries of the curry leave tree and so on. I see that everything collaborates with everything else. I begin to see my role as a CLT practitioner on how I could fit into that collaboration. In my future decisions, I have to take into consideration their wellbeing which I have not done during my corporate days.

What I did not expect was that when I conserved my energies and started to learn to connect. Everything in my garden started blooming at the same time. The banana trees that were dying and had been infected with disease for more than 8 years , started fruiting and gave us abundant yield. Flowering plants such as ixora, jasmine, curry tree and chrysanthemum are blooming beautifully now. Most remarkable is that my back injury is almost back to normal now. I chose not to see a doctor because I wanted to understand what went wrong from Nature’s perspective. Now I understand my back issue stemmed from my disconnection from nature. How profound this is!

Conservation of energies and collaboration appear to be the principles that drive growth and rejuvenation. It is not about consumption, depletion and destruction of resources (by using more resources and energy) as advocated by the economists. We are connected to Nature and vice-versa.  Together we form an orchestra. Only as an orchestra, we can create real growth and evolution.  My garden and my spine are evidence of that. It was not a health problem but merely a disconnection from Life. 

Alex Fong