What Should I Be Eating Right Now?

Nutrition, digestion, and nourishment are central foundations of life. Life is impossible without the Earth Element function to receive food (and drink), transform it into Qi and blood, and transport the Qi and blood throughout the body.

Even though winter seems far away right now, Late Summer is a crucial time of preparation for the colder weather. As we follow the seasonal cycle, we focus on the Spleen and Stomach organ system during this time because it’s important that we eat in order to prepare our bodies for winter and hibernation.

Of course, in modern times, as denizens of rich western societies, we no longer must prepare ourselves for lean times and curtailed food choices or availability in winter. In fact, many of us put on some pounds during winter because we aren’t as active and aren’t going outside as much.

However, you can still follow the natural cycles and phases of nature…and you will be all the healthier for it!

So, what do we eat to help regulate and balance our Earth element – our Spleen and Stomach? The Spleen and Stomach like “sweet” foods. Late summer is a time of harvesting and gathering, so we eat late summer corn, fruits, and grains. Sweet foods that strengthen the Earth element include whole grains like millet and rice, and root vegetables such as yams, sweet potatoes, and carrots.

“Sweet” in Classical Chinese Medicine also refers to certain meat dishes, such as rich beef stews with vegetables. Think of dishes that soothe and nourish, and you are on the right track.

Most of us are still active this time of year. Yes, the kids are back in school and many of us are back to a regular work schedule, so we may feel time starved. But it’s important to continue to get outside and get that natural Vitamin D – and equally important to maintain physical activity. Physical activity helps ensure regular peristaltic activity in the stomach, intestine, and colon supporting good digestion, assimilation, and elimination.

The mouth is the sensory organ related to the Spleen. Issues such as chronic bad breath or bleeding gums could be a sign of deficient Spleen / Stomach function.

The muscles are the tissue associated with the Spleen. Think about the healthy folks you know. They likely have a strong, balanced Spleen and Stomach. The ability to maintain or build muscle mass means your digestive function is working and you can process the protein you eat into amino acids that help build and repair body structures as well as important enzymes that support critical processes.

Now think about someone you know who has difficulty gaining or maintaining weight. This person could have digestive troubles and be weak or out of balance in their Spleen and Stomach organ system.

How to Boost and Balance your Spleen / Earth Element

In addition to “eating for your Spleen” (that sounds like a wonderful tagline for a promotional campaign), you can also practice the Wu Xing / Five Elements exercise for Earth / Spleen.

Earth elemental energy rises from the level of the Spleen and Stomach and then divides as it reaches the top of the thrusting meridian (Chong Mai), which moves up through the center of the body. This yellow, dividing energy exists at the point of change or transformation of the other elements.

In the Earth / Spleen exercise, we use movement and intention to pull up energy from the ground / earth through our core, through the level of the Spleen and Stomach, up to the point at which the energy divides at the center point of change between the other elements. The nice stretch and twist of this exercise also directly activate the Spleen and Stomach meridians.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Five Elements exercises, visit the Wu Xing / Five Elements Course page.

In our next post on the Earth Element, we will go deeper into the Earth / Spleen energetics and the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of transformation.

Two Keys to Breathing Better

If you want to improve the functioning of your lungs and your ability to pull in more life-giving, energy-stoking oxygen, you need to focus on two major areas.

The first is to develop the muscles and structures that support proper, healthy breathing.

The lungs have no muscles of their own. Their expansion and contraction are completely dependent on the muscles surrounding the rib cage and the diaphragm. You need to build up the strength and coordination of the structures that support proper, full breathing.

The second major area that affects your breathing has to do with what goes on inside your lungs. This includes your vital capacity and the residual air that remains in your lungs when breathing. The size of the lungs varies from person to person. But each of your lungs is about the size of a football.

Isn’t that funny? The first time I heard that, I thought “My lungs aren’t that small!” A football just doesn’t seem that big to me.

Naturally, a larger person will have larger lungs than a smaller person. Men have larger lungs than women. So there are some natural limits to lung capacity.

However, lung size is not as important as the total capacity of your lungs that you can use. This usable portion is called your vital capacity. A well-conditioned person’s vital capacity is about 75 percent of his or her total capacity.

When you exhale, you breathe out all the air you can from your lungs. The remaining air is called the residual volume. This is air that remains fixed in your lungs. You may have heard it referred to as “stale air”.

Too much residual volume is unhealthy. If you are inactive for any length of time, or you have a respiratory condition that is not well-controlled, the unusable portion of your lungs may increase. This physically blocks off more of your airways, which leaves less space for normal breathing – and makes it even more difficult to breathe when exerting yourself. You may get to the point that just climbing a flight of stairs leaves you breathless.

Unless you do something, this breathlessness and chest tightness will keep getting worse and worse. These two key areas – developing the structures that support proper, healthy breathing and improving your vital capacity – are the same areas we work on with the dynamic energy exercises I teach in my classes and through my programs. We’re talking simple, ancient, time-tested breathing and energy exercises that work – AND leave you feeling great!

An effective fitness program can help you improve your ability to breathe, build your vital capacity, and reduce the residual volume. However, many people do not breathe correctly when they exercise. In fact, unless you seek out this information, you likely have not been taught how to breathe to maximize the results you get from exercise.

Increasing the efficiency of your breathing and your ability to allow things to open up in a relaxed manner is a surefire way to target, develop and maximize the work performed by your lungs, as well as the structures that support proper breathing. If you’re serious about improving your physical condition and your health, you should make it a point to focus on expanding your vital capacity and ability to breathe properly. This type of dynamic breathing exercise will help you get fit more quickly. And it provides the foundation for robust health and longevity. AND – key point – it makes you feel great!

If you’ve thought about exploring breathwork…you’re interested in developing your breathing ability…or you’d love to enhance your health and energy levels, try my Introductory Program, “Breathing & Qigong for Health and Energy – 4 Week Introductory Course“.  This program will introduce you to a proven health and energy cultivation method impacting body, mind, and spirit. It’s easy to do and only takes a few minutes per day. I personally send you a new lesson each week, but you can learn and enjoy at your own pace. Click here for more details or to order.

You Can Do It!

Dr. Karen

Resilient Edge Wellness Featured by the North Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce

I was delighted to be interviewed and featured in a recent BizBuzz video published by the North Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce. Our Chamber is based in Lago Vista and does excellent work within the communities of Lago Vista, Jonestown, and Point Venture. These towns are little gems located on Lake Travis in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, and just a short ride from Austin.

Local BizBuzz: Resilient Edge Wellness

The current episode of Biz Buzz takes the NLT President, Tim McClellan, to the office of Resilient Edge Wellness. Dr. Karen Van Ness (DMQ,DCEM,CPT, MS) specializes in Medical Qigong (pronounced chee-gong). Tim will take you on a quick visit with Dr. Van Ness to learn more about the traditional aspects of this ancient medical system now available on the North Shore. Used as both alternative and complementary to Western medicine, there is a lot to learn about this fascinating practice. (Click on the image to view the video.)

Visit us at our website to learn more, download our most popular special report, or schedule a free, 30 minute consultation.

Resilient Edge Wellness

7400 Lohman Ford Rd Suite E

Lago Vista, TX 78645

Ph. 512-267-3915



Forget About Resolutions. Do This Instead

Each New Year can feel like a new beginning. This man-made structure of the calendar, with its ritual ending of one year and beginning of another, serves most of us as a cue to take stock and reflect on the past 12 months…and think about what we want to manifest in the coming 12 months.

Many people make a New Year’s resolution – or multiple resolutions – at the beginning of each year. The expectation and potential of the new year combines with the reality that we came up short the previous year and propels us to think optimistically. “This year I will do it! This will be my year! This time I will stick to my diet / fitness program / new work habits / stop procrastinating / stop yelling at my kids” etc. etc.

Typically, these resolutions involve things we want to change about our lives in the coming year. Many folks start out strong. Unfortunately, as studies (and our own experience) have shown, most people drop their resolutions by about mid-February. In fact, it’s a truism in the fitness world that most gyms make their money on the people who sign up in late December or early January. The gyms are super crowded during the first four to six weeks of each new year, frustrating the regular gym-goers who now must compete with the newbies for the equipment or the spot in the group fitness class. However, by mid-February, the gyms are noticeably less crowded. Most of the newbies have stopped coming or come only occasionally. The regulars get back to their own routine and can snag the fitness class spot or piece of equipment they want with no problem.

If resolutions don’t work so well, what is a solution? What’s an alternative that works?

I encourage you to switch from making resolutions to setting intentions. An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the idea, the form of what you wish to create. Based on quantum physics, it is thought that each of our ideas or intentions broadcast out into the quantum realm of possibility, like the ripples or waves on the surface of the water that emanate out in all directions from the rock that you throw into the pond. Those waves of possibility move out to the future, charting a potential path for manifesting the reality of the intention into your life.

Some waves “bounce back” to us in the form of a material change in our lives. How successfully we manifest our intention depends on the strength of the wave we send out. The strength of the wave – whether a small ripple, a large surfing wave, or a tsunami – depends on two things: (1) How definite and clear our intention is – in other words, we have a clear, well-defined purpose or achievement or way of being; and (2) how much desire or emotion we have invested into that intention.

The wonderful thing about intentions is that they are not tied to the calendar. You may have an overall intention of getting into better shape, or feeling more energetic, or finally achieving a goal that has eluded you. And that’s great! Define it clearly AND allow the feeling associated with the intention to wash over you. Get enthusiastic about it. Feel as if you have already achieved it, or it has already come to you or happened to you. Bathe in that feeling and that vision regularly.

At the same time, set smaller intentions for each day that help support or feed into your larger intention. This is akin to setting “process” goals – or things you will do daily, weekly, or monthly, on a consistent basis – that help you accomplish your more substantial goals. When you link your bigger intentions to your daily activities, you keep that intention front and center. Each time you complete a task or smaller goal that supports a larger intention, you send out additional waves into the realm of possibility, further strengthening the probability that your intention will come true.

To have a momentous year, you don’t have to” set the world on fire”. You don’t need “massive action”. You simply need to go inside, take stock, consider what you really want – the thing or things with the most meaning to you – set the intention, and imbue it with feeling. Then set your supporting intentions and take the small, daily, consistent steps each day to help bring to fruition that which you wish to manifest in your life.

You Can Do It!

New Year. New Body. New Life

Happy New Year!

The New Year provides an annual milestone and impetus to improve in the areas of your life that you are not satisfied with. It also provides a nice starting point for pushing to greater heights in those areas that are going well.

Despite the most heartfelt resolutions, many people don’t get off to a fresh start in the New year because they allow themselves to remain mired in the past. Past failures, past shortcomings, past heartbreaks. It’s easy to hold on to these and assume they are indicators of what the future holds.

It’s important to free yourself from the internal binds to the past. What happened in the past year, or in previous years, HAS happened. It is gone. Learn from your experiences, yes! But don’t let what has happened in the past – good or bad – prevent you from crafting the best possible now – and future now’s – for your life.

In the spirit of the Fresh Start, here are some thoughts to help you break loose and think with freedom, feel with optimism, and move with a light and joyful step through the coming year.

At a physical level, you are a BRAND NEW person. By the time you read this sentence, 100,000 cells in your body will have died and been replaced! Your entire body – all the tissues and structures – regenerates itself every 6 months. You are constantly dying and regenerating at the cellular, indeed the molecular level. Every new day brings new growth.

Whatever trauma, heartache or so-called failure that happened last year happened to the old you – the you that existed then. But why is it that we so often remain captive to the emotional hurts and bad habits of the past? Mentally and emotionally, we remain tethered by guilt, shame, and blame. When we should be following the lead of our physical selves and – let go.

The Bible says, “You are wonderfully and powerfully made.” You are a completely new you. You are wiser, more powerful, more capable. You are a survivor. So don’t remain chained to the emotional or physical hurts of the past. A new you greets this year. A future new you will finish this year. Let’s kick it off in fine fashion!

You Can Do It!


This “Lost Art” Is Still Accessible to You

Breathing as a daily practice is mostly a lost art in the Western

I first became aware of the power of breathing through my martial
arts training and study. The first art I studied was a fairly
traditional, intensely taught style of Kenpo, which had both
Chinese and Japanese influences.

Later, I studied other traditional arts of both Okinawan and
Korean origin, which also integrated breathing practices and
specific breathing techniques. This provided me with yet another
angle on the practice and power of breathing.

However, my first attempts to practice breathing as a health
practice were actually inspired by my grandfather.

Paa Paa (as we grandkids called him) was a vital, active,
energetic man well into his 90s. As a kid, I used to wake up
early with him. And I mean, EARLY! Paa Paa usually woke up about

When he first got out of bed, he would do what I then thought
were funny stretching exercises. He did them from a standing
position. I would get up and imitate him. As I followed along, I
would also try to follow his breathing pattern. Each movement
had a distinct pattern which aided and enhanced the way the
movement felt.

After that, we would get cleaned up and go to the kitchen to
get some early breakfast. I would sit on his lap and he and I
would read the paper together and get the news from around
the world.

Years later as an adult, I discovered that my grandfather was
actually performing some pretty powerful breathing and energy
exercises that were taught back in the early 1900s as part of
physical culture practices.

Turns out, breathing as an art and a health practice is not
just an Eastern or “Oriental” invention. There actually is a
rich Western tradition of integrating breathing practices and
techniques into specific disciplines, including health and
fitness, as well as religion and spirituality.

It’s probably a direct result of my early mornings with my
grandfather, but….my tendency even today is to spend at least
a few minutes each morning, either at or soon after arising,
on breathing and energy exercises.

It’s such a powerful way to start each day.

The way I see it, this precious time – whether it’s a few minutes
or a half hour – is MY time devoted to self-cultivation and
improvement. I get it done early so that, no matter how crazy
or hectic my day may get later, I’m assured of fitting it in.

Then I get a cup of coffee and start my day.

These first minutes provide a sense of energy, control, calm
and balance that can be difficult to describe. Truthfully, any
time you go inside yourself – whether through meditation or
prayer, introspection or daydreaming – is valuable, creative
and soul-satisfying time.

But there are more concrete benefits as well.

For example, learning how to breathe properly and fully,
using your entire breathing apparatus, can help you quickly
and easily focus on any kind of mental or physical work you
are about to engage in.

Learning how to calm, slow and deepen your breathing can help
you overcome feelings of anxiety, stress, or anger which may
impede your ability to solve problems or overcome the typical
stresses of modern life.

Couple breathing with specific types of visualization and
imaging can be even more powerful, serving as the foundation
for incredible improvement in specific areas of your life.

I’ll have more to say on this subject in coming messages,
and will even share a few of my favorite breathing techniques
with you – ones that are simple and easy to learn and do,
but come packed with deep layers of benefits.

You should devote part of your time each day to the cultivation
of breath control and power. Making a small investment of time
in dynamic energy exercises – like the ones I teach you in “The
Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course, Volume II”

will enhance the results you get from exercise, as well as your
internal energy and focus.

Breathing is the direct and instantaneous way to tap into the
life force, the vital energy that flows through each of us.

Performed properly, deep breathing coupled with dynamic
exercises is a powerful method for accessing and flowing your
internal power.

Doing these exercises strengthens your body from the inside
out, and has a more profound and lasting effect.

From a purely practical standpoint, this type of dynamic deep
breathing helps develop breath control, expand the capacity
of the lungs, and build stamina. It improves posture. It also
develops the diaphragm, abdominal and other core muscles in
such way that they are strong and coordinated – a key to
developing power for movement, as in athletics, martial arts,
even activities of daily living.

This type of dynamic exercise creates harmony between the breath
and the physical. Not only are you strengthening the muscles
associated with breathing. You also are creating and
increasing a sense of harmony and relaxation across both mind
and body.

It’s health-giving and life-extending, and I strongly encourage
you to tap into the benefits that await you from investing just
a few minutes a day – or a few minutes at the start of your
regular workouts.

To learn more, visit

You Can Do It!


“Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2014

What Are You Waiting For?

My high school motto, highlighted during our graduation ceremony,
was “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Not an original thought. We’ve all heard that one before. I’m not
sure where the quote came from.

In fact, I’m not sure why it was our class motto. I don’t remember
ever voting on it. I don’t think any of my classmates even knew we
had a class motto…until we saw it printed on the commencement

At that point in our lives, we probably had a buoyant, optimistic
take on the idea. Yes of course, it’s the first day of the rest of
my life. Duh! And I still have many more days to come. Days, weeks
and years for that matter.

Life has yet to unfold. I expect I’ll have many more great adventures
and experiences. I’ll go out into the world and make my mark. I’ll
meet lots of interesting people, I’ll do lots of interesting things.

Then maybe I’ll settle down and get married and have a family. I’ll
buy a beach or lake house to hang out in. I’ll live to a ripe old age
and enjoy my kids and grandkids.

The world is my oyster!

OK….maybe we weren’t all that specific about how our lives would
unfold. But for most of us, there was the satisfaction of completing
an important milestone – graduating from high school (maybe I should
phrase that as “getting through high school”) – coupled with
anticipation of the new journey about to begin.

Today, as I contemplate the idea that “Today is the first day of
the rest of my life”, it resonates a little differently.

Even with my optimistic way of thinking, my good health and
abundant energy, and my intention to live – healthily and fully
engaged – til I’m at least 100 years old, I can’t shake the thought
that, possibly, more of my days are behind me than ahead of me.

That open road that could lead just about anywhere, through limitless
possibilities and adventures….is not so open anymore. Some choices
and adventures are probably behind me, just not possible anymore.

On the other hand, with my greater awareness of the passage of time,
I’m starting to better appreciate the value of MY time, here today.

How I’m spending it. Who I’m spending it with. How much of it am I
wasting. How much of it am I putting to productive, constructive use.

I don’t mean that in a negative or scared way. It’s actually

Someone once said, “The greatest invention in the history of mankind
is the deadline”. Pretty profound!

Without deadlines, nothing would get done.

Well, the end of your life is kinda like the ultimate deadline, isn’t
it? (At least in this dimension, in this earthly realm.)

So I’m not taking a melancholy view of getting older. Of possibly
having fewer days behind me than in front of me. Instead, I’m
taking a positive view and leveraging the thought of that “ultimate
deadline” to help me make some changes, make some decisions that (I
trust) will lead to continued health, productivity, and enjoyment of
life….AND be sure to fill it as full as I possibly can with love,
laughter and some new adventures.

Having a young kid around – my little man, Miguel – and a partner
who makes me laugh and loves me for who I am, just the way I am,
definitely helps me in this quest.

How about you?

Is there a decision you’ve been mulling over? Something you’ve
been wanting to do, meaning to do, but just can’t seem to pull the

Is there some adventure or new endeavor you’d like to embark on,
but you’re unsure or maybe a little afraid?

I know from brutal experience that it’s much easier to just continue
going along on the same path, doing the same routine, thinking the
same thoughts.

And if you’re life is going great, keep on doing what you’re doing.

However, my sense is that each one of us feels like we could be
doing better, at least in some areas of our life.

And each one of us still has a lot of exploration and adventures
ahead of us…if we are willing to open our minds and hearts to
the possibilities.

Well, what are you waiting for?

You Can Do It!


“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with
Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2013

Exercise as Good as Medicine for Several Ills

Hey – some exciting news!

Just the other day, a report from the Harvard Medical School came
out confirming something that scientists have been trying to prove
(or disprove) for some time:

Exercise is AS EFFECTIVE as drugs at preventing diabetes and repeat
heart attacks.

AND….exercise is potentially even BETTER THAN medication for
preventing additional strokes, if someone has already had a stroke.

One of the study authors at Harvard said, “Exercise is a potent
strategy to save and extend life in coronary heart disease and other
conditions. We think exercise can be considered as a viable
alternative or in combination with drug therapy.”

We already know that exercise is very helpful in improving other
conditions, such as high blood pressure, depression, cognitive
issues – even response to cancer treatments.

And when it comes to overall health, energy levels, mood, feelings
of confidence and wellbeing, exercise wins out any day over any
drug or prescription med.

So why is it that so many people don’t take advantage of nature’s
best medicine? Why do so few of us exercise regularly and

Why, as a nation, is our overall health getting poorer, our waist
lines getting larger, our butts getting wider, our rate of chronic
lifestyle diseases – such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood
pressure – getting worse and worse…even as the number of medicines

And by the way, if I see one more commercial pushing one of those
erectile disfunction drugs while I’m watching football with my 9 year old,
I’m gonna scream. Sorry guys, but I just don’t want to have to explain
that subject to my son. He’s a little young for that discussion.

And, as you can imagine (and probably remember), as a 9 year old
boy, he doesn’t have any problems in that area. In fact, I’m sure
he could never even imagine having any problems in that area!

But I digress. Actually, not too much, because a proper, regular
exercise program can help with ED.

OK, back from my rant….

As with any new self improvement effort, when it comes to improving
our fitness and health by embarking on a regular, consistent
exercise program, I think most of us get overwhelmed by the thought
of how much we will need to do, how much damage we have already
done, how far we are from where we want to be…and how much
work and effort it will take.

We psyche ourselves out, fling up our hands and say, “Maybe I’ll
start on this some other time”.

Then we rationalize our procrastination….with reasons like “I’m
just too busy right now”. Or “But I’m so tired, I just don’t have
the energy right now”. Or “I need new workout clothes, or new
running shoes.”

Yet deep inside, we know our “reasons” are a bunch of bullshit. We
are copping out, plain and simple.

Remember, you don’t have to solve your whole life problem today.

You don’t have to lose all 40 of those excess pounds today. You
don’t have to walk three miles today. You don’t have to do 50
pushups today. You don’t have to eat perfectly today.

All you have to do today is….a little. Take it “one day at a
time”. Move some. Make some healthier eating and drinking choices.

Keep it simple. Go for a walk. Do some pushups and situps. Stretch
and breathe.

Get moving immediately. Don’t give yourself the chance to start
coming up with excuses.

Just get started today. No matter how small or brief the step,
take it!

Taking action immediately helps you begin to build the momentum,
satisfaction and pride that comes from successfully following
through on a challenge.

As Goethe said, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

All you have to do to get going toward substantial changes in your
life is to take that first step. This simple thought is one of the
keys to how I have structured my programs.

I know from experience how incredibly difficult it can be to
put aside the head baggage and laziness and self-doubt…and
just get started. So I’ve organized my programs to be easy and
fast to learn. And I’ve structured the sequence in each one so
that you can complete it in about 10 to 15 minutes – yet still
benefit mightily from it!

You see, when you discover how to harness and leverage your
breath, you know how to make any type of exercise or activity
easier to do, while giving yourself much much better results.
You unlock inner powers and abilities you didn’t know you had.
(Or maybe you suspect you have, but don’t know how to put them
into play.)

Approaching exercise and a new fitness program – or improving
on what you are already doing – can be fun and exciting, not a
reason for dread or self-doubt. See what I mean, check out
the Best Breathing Exercises programs and put one to work for
you right now.

You Can Do It!


“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with
Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

P.S. If you’re interested in improving your fitness, enhancing
your health, and rocketlaunching your energy levels, you’ll
want to check out my programs. To help you get off to a quick
and easy start, I highly recommend two of my most popular
programs: The Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course,
Volumes 1 and 2. You can learn more about them at the
Best Breathing Exercises website.

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2013

Use the Power of Three To Accelerate Your Results

For most of us, the ideal number of things to focus on seems to be

Not sure why, but when we exceed three areas of focus or attention,
we tend to get overwhelmed.

Three is a “magical” number. From ancient times, it has been imbued
with mystical qualities.

You see it in many facets of life today. For example:

-In Christianity, we have the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy

-Sanchin kata – meaning “three conflicts” – is a fundamental form
in certain traditional martial arts, including Uechi Ryu (a
fighting art I have a black belt in and have studied over the
years) and other Okinawan and Southern Chinese styles. Sanchin
also refers to “mind, body, spirit” and the three basic conflicts
we each face in our lives on a daily basis.

-Here in the U.S., our Republican government is organized into
three branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial.

-The rule of thumb for delivering an effective presentation or
speech is to organize it around three key points.

-The other rule of thumb for delivering an effective presentation
or speech is to convey your three key points at three different
times: tell them what you are going to talk about; talk about
your key points; then summarize what you just presented.

-My lucky number has always been three. My birth date is a
multiple of three (including the month, the date, the year…
AND all three combined). When playing sports, I always wore a
number which was a multiple of three. In high school and college,
this was “21”.

The number 21 was lucky for me EXCEPT FOR junior year softball,
when I dove for a tough hit (I played left field), fell
awkwardly, and broke my left arm. (I caught the ball though!)

Despite this one “exception that proves the rule”, I have
many other examples of how the number three imbues luck,
certainty and advantage into my life. That’s my story and
I’m sticking to it!

Now, how does this apply to you?

Maybe you also believe that three, or some multiple of three,
is your lucky number. Maybe you too have seen this pattern
play out in weird, wacky, sometimes wonderful ways.

Whether you have or not, you can put the power of three to work
for you at anytime, to help you achieve better results in any
area of your life.

As an example, I organize my life around three major areas:

-Family and community (I further subdivide this into my
immediate family, extended family, and community involvement);

-Business, career and finances;

-Personal development and improvement (which includes health
and fitness, self improvement and learning, AND spiritual

Although I have many interests, I find it easier and more
effective to use these three areas as the focal points for
my life. Something has to fit in these areas to get attention.
Often one or more areas overlaps.

Similarly, I organize my programs and the way I teach with
three primary areas in mind: body, mind and spirit.

Each of these is critical to a happy and successful and
meaningful life. Each intersects and interacts with the other,
to the point of being dependent on each other. I mean, you
can’t have triangle without all three sides.

Likewise, any health and fitness program should address all
three of these areas, so you’re doing more than just moving
around and sweating. You’re improving from the inside out,
as well as the outside in.

(Plus it’s more fun when you’re fully engaged in what you are

Now, let’s talk more specifically about your health and
fitness program. A powerful way to organize your efforts is
around these three areas:

-Aerobic and anaerobic capacity (heart and lungs)
-Strength and power
-Flexibility and resilience

This construct provides a very effective way to organize
your program. If you touch these three areas in each workout,
or cycle through each area a couple times each week, you
have yourself a well-rounded and highly effective program.

I’ve found that the power of three works in another way –
in the dimension of time (the “fourth” dimension).

When you embark on a program of improvement – be it physical,
educational, work-related – you’ll typically experience a
delay in results.

It’s been my experience that it generally takes about three
weeks – 21 days – to begin to see and feel significant

I’ve experienced this in my own training and also seen it
with those I’ve trained or worked with.

With a well constructed program, you may begin to FEEL
better early on. But you may not see results right away,
in terms of pounds lost, reduction in waist size, increase
in strength, and so forth.

This is one of the main reasons people get discouraged and
don’t stick to their fitness or health programs.

Don’t let this derail you! Give it time – give it at least
three weeks.

I promise, if you stick it out and work your program, within
three weeks (21 days) you will begin to see – and FEEL –
significant improvements in your health, energy levels and

This also pertains to work and educational settings. For
example – and this is going back years now, but….

When I first started out in the financial services industry,
I worked for Citibank as an account executive. Our job
was to win new customers, as well as keep existent
customers happy. We were paid a small base salary, so most
of our compensation (which could be quite good) was

This basically meant that, if I wanted to make good money,
I had to get off my duff and do a better job prospecting for
qualified leads, talk to more people, get better at sales,
provide excellent service so my customers loved me (and
recommended me to others), and so forth.

Whenever I got serious about this, I focused on an area to
improve, buckled down an dgot to work…it took about three
weeks – 21 days – to begin seeing the results of my renewed
effort, or of the new strategy or technique I was testing or

I knew if I just stuck with it through those first few
weeks, I would get results. Results in terms of new deals in,
happier customers, more closed deals, higher commission checks.

It never failed. It always happened.

This was a critical experience for a young lady just starting
out in the work world. It held the seeds of a very important

The virtues and rewards of working hard, being willing to
take a risk or two, and being willing to push yourself
to get better and better.

Put the “Power of Three” to work for you, starting today.

You Can Do It!

“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with
Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

P.S. Whether you want to lose weight and look and feel
better…or improve your breathing and stamina so you have
more energy…or take control and transform the stress
in your life….I’ve got the programs that can help you.

For more information on specific programs available at
the Best Breathing Exercises site, visit
http://www.bestbreathingexercises.com – and get started

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2013

Three Easy, Simple Ways To Maximize Your Energy and Focus

In my previous blog post, I extolled the benefits of taking time
off every so often to get away, have some fun and rejuvenate.

But what do you do when you can’t take time off?

This is pretty common these days. People in Europe have it better
than we do in the U.S. – they typically take 5 to 6 weeks of
vacation every year. Here in the U.S., people have been taking
fewer vacations, and fewer days off when they do go on vacation.
This has been a trend for quite a number of years.

The recent economic crisis and very slow, almost impossible to
detect recovery has made this even worse. For many working people,
it can be tough to get away. You’re expected to “do more with
less”; in fact, you’re probably doing the work that used to be
performed by three people.

Plus, in many companies (including a few I have worked at), it’s
an unwritten rule or expectation that you check in with the
office, or check and respond to email, even while you’re on

The reality is, the business world ain’t gonna give you any
breaks. You have to give yourself your own breaks. You have to
find ways to manage your energy and maximize your powers on a
daily basis.

If your energy is not well controlled, you may experience
significant levels of fatigue, malaise, and even depression.

Revving up your energy levels and giving yourself the
opportunity to rejuvenate and replenish each day, every day,
is important from a productivity standpoint…and from a life
management standpoint.

When you are manage your life, you feel more in control. When
you feel more in control, you enjoy life better.

So, here are a few things you can do to rejuvenate and
replenish each day.

First, make sure you get enough sleep. Easier said than done,
I know. But it’s worth making the effort.

I find when I get a good night’s sleep…or better yet, have
had two or three nights of good sleep in a row…I blast
through each day like a steamroller over hot pavement.

Second, tune in to your own natural energy rhythms during the
day. There are specific times during your day when you are at
your best.

Identify these times and try to schedule your most challenging
work or home related projects or tasks during this time.

Third, get regular doses of exercise. I speak about the benefits
of exercise often, so no need to repeat here.

Even if you don’t have time for exercise, you can always spare
10 to 15 minutes for some deep breathing and light stretching.

For an instantaneous energy blast, one that lasts all day long,
I highly recommend the exercises from the Secret Power of
Dynamic Energy Exercise Course, Volume II: The Dynamic Energy

Breathing and movement are natural, internal, intuitive and
awesomely effective ways to wake up your internal energies and
power. Tap into them regularly.

Here’s one more area to consider: your use of technology.

Most people I know in the work world have become slaves to

Once upon a time, I briefly worked for a guy who had one of
the worst Blackberry addictions I’ve ever seen. He couldn’t
get through a conversation – even a relatively brief discussion
– without checking his “Crackberry”.

When traveling, he was on it the entire time to, in and from
the airport. I think he probably was on it while he was peeing
in the men’s room.

I was in one too many meetings with him – including important
meetings with clients – in which he had that thing in his lap,
clacking away with his thumbs.

At one meeting, where his lack of attention to the discussion
was clearly – and embarrassingly – apparent to the client, I
felt like asking him if he was having fun playing with himself.
But I thought better of it.

Turns out, the Crackberry addiction correlated to a number of
deficiencies in his skills and attributes as a manager or
“leader”, as he fancied himself. He wasn’t at that company
much longer.

You can’t really lead your people or your clients if you sit
and play with yourself – ahem, I mean play with your Crackberry –
all the time.

OK, enough with the rant.

My main point is NOT to be a slave to technology. Establish
specific times you will check and respond to email or texts.
Turn the work device off when you are home. Put down your
smartphone or iPad and actually look at your spouse or your
kids when they are talking to you.

And by all means, especially if you value getting a good night’s
sleep: don’t keep the thing on your nightstand, turned on and

Email, cell phones, texting, etc., are meant to be tools, to
help you do your job better. They help keep you in touch.

But you have to turn that stuff off for specific periods of
time, so you can actually sit, concentrate, and get your most
critical tasks and projects completed. Or spend some quality
time with yourself, your family or your friends.

Sometimes, to get more done of higher value to your business
or your life, you have to stop doing things of lower value.

So keep asking yourself, “What’s important here?”

Do I have to answer every email that comes in immediately? Or
should I carve out two hours to complete this project that will
push my business or career forward. Or should I take the time
to exercise, or play with my kids?

By giving your mental and physical batteries time to recharge,
you will become more relaxed, aware and alert…and achieve more
with less effort.

That’s a prescription for a more successful and enjoyable life.

You Can Do It!

“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with
Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

P.S. Remember, breathing and movement are natural, intuitive
and awesomely effective ways to wake up your internal energies.
You can tap into the power, motivation and abilities you already
have – easily and consistently – through specific types of
breathing and exercise.

Tap into your own source of energy with the Secret Power of
Dynamic Energy Exercise Course, Volume II: The Dynamic Energy

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2013