by Andrew John Harrison
Lifeforce is one of the most misunderstood and little-known areas of life. And yet Lifeforce correlates with many of the aspects of your life, including your level of success, happiness, and potential failure.
- The force or influence that gives something its vitality or strength.
- The spirit or energy that animates living creatures; the soul.
You may be thinking that the idea of Lifeforce is absurd, woo woo, and based on ancient ideas that serve no practical use in modern day living. I can understand that point of view as the world is full of crackpot ideas, snake oil, and unproven remedies.
We don’t know if Lifeforce is a real substance or an emergent quality. It doesn’t matter. Why? Because you can’t see it, touch it, feel it, or taste it. However, you can measure, prove, and validate it by observing its effects. Results can be measured, effects can be observed. Anyone can do it.
When you have a lot of Lifeforce, your life flows effortlessly. When you have only a little Lifeforce, everything is a struggle. Can you recall days when you bounced out of bed and everything look bright? On the other hand, how about days when you had trouble waking up, dragged yourself out of bed, everything looked and felt gloomy?
Throughout history, many cultures have observed this essence and refer to it as Lifeforce, Élan Vital, Chi, Ki, Vital Spark, Mana, Silla, Baraka, Vim Vitae, etc.
When you are feeling down, lethargic or depressed — your available Lifeforce is low. When you are feeling “in the zone,” everything is going right, you feel serene, calm and at peace — your available Lifeforce is at a maximum.
Your Lifeforce is the purest, essence of who you really are. It is YOU.
When you have access to a full complement of Lifeforce, you are FULLY ALIVE, fully aware, healthy, vital, at cause over your life and operating at a high level of mastery.
This is what Abraham Maslow referred to as fully-realized, self-actualized in his theory of human motivation.
When your L
Anything alive can be measured on a scale from FULLY ALIVE at the top to NEARLY DEAD at the bottom.
DEATH is the bottom of the scale.
Most of us fluctuate somewhere from the top to the bottom, throughout the day, from day to day and year-to-year. On average we spend most of our time in one particular place or zone on the scale.
So, what makes the difference? How can we become more FULLY ALIVE? What traps and suppresses our lifeforce?
to answer these questions, let’s explore what Lifeforce is and how it works.
What is Lifeforce?
Lifeforce is the universal animating energy that is in all living things. It is the purest essence of who you really are. It is YOU.
It is that immaterial force that maintains all living things and adds that vital spark that is LIFE.
Lifeforce is composed of a number of different characteristics, components, qualities and can be measured. These qualities include; love, attention, awareness, knowledge, intelligence, intention, vision, energy, magnetism, and emotion.
The more Lifeforce you have, the more love, vision, attention, energy, and charisma you demonstrate.
The FLOW of Lifeforce manifests as your mood level or emotional state. The slower the velocity of flow, the lower your mood level; the lower your mood, the less you can get done or accomplished. The higher your mood level the more productive and happier you are.
People with a higher mood level are more productive, and people who are more productive have a higher mood level.
Lifeforce flows in one of two directions; towards or away from. This gives us positive and negative Lifeforce. If you are repulsed by certain people, you would tend to move away from them. For most people, they can easily identify what they don’t want and will readily move away from it. However, knowing what they do want is often more challenging. This is why people spend more time and energy moving away from what they don’t want, than towards what they do want.
Think of your Lifeforce as your basic power source, your energy, your dynamic power. If you have a low level of Lifeforce, it stands to reason that you would have a low level of power. An easy way to understand this is to think about the ways you can increase your power. You will find that every one of them involves an increase in your Lifeforce.
The fastest way to increase your Lifeforce is via communication.
Communication is the primary method of focusing and directing the flow of your Lifeforce. Your ability to direct, focus and utilize your Lifeforce is in direct proportion to your ability to communicate.
Improving your communication, improves your access to power.
With all of your Lifeforce available, aligned, and focused in present time you would be a fully-realized, self-actualized human being. There isn’t anything you can’t be, do or have.
What Are Emotions?
Emotion stands for Energy in Motion or in other words, it is the energy that creates our motion. It is the fuel that moves us. Just as there are positive and negative flows of Lifeforce, there are positive and negative flows of emotion.
When everything is flowing and easy, you feel light and happy. On the other hand, when you are meeting resistance, you feel more pressure, and are hostile towards the thing that is in your way. You may even feel angry and want to attack it.
Emotions range from feeling nothing or numb, all the way to feeling fully alive. Yes, fully alive is a feeling. You could describe it was joy, serenity, excitement, ecstasy. Other examples of emotions are; sadness, grief, fear, anger, enthusiasm, joy, and serenity.
When you are attracted to something or are feeling enthusiasm you move towards it. When you are feeling angry you attack, which moves the target away. When you are scared you move away from the potential threat. When you have given up you go numb and can’t feel anything.
If life becomes too difficult and we lose hope, we can feel overwhelmed. If we don’t do something to regain our hope and move up, we risk becoming depressed. If this happens in too many areas, we can slip into chronic depression.
Most of our actions as human beings are driven by our known and unknown emotions. How we feel about people, places, and events dictates how we behave. Unknown emotions are those that are driving our decisions and behaviors, however, they are not known to us consciously because they are operating on an unconscious level.
Becoming more conscious means we become more aware of how we feel about the different aspects of our lives. This awareness gives us greater conscious control of the factors that affect our lives.
All emotion serves a good purpose. There are no good or bad emotions.
It all starts with what we learned as children.
From the time that we were young, we were taught by people that we loved and trusted that there are “good” feelings and “bad” feelings. For example, we may have been told that anger was OK and joy is not OK. Other families, may have been told that joy is not OK and anger was OK. This is the exact opposite!
Consider for a moment if two people get into a relationship and one of them has anger as good, and the other has anger as bad? You would have a lot of tension, drama, and misunderstanding.
To fully understand the role of emotions in our lives requires letting go of our childhood programming, as to what is an OK feeling and what is a not OK. Our judgments of good and bad have us suppressing what we consider to be bad and over-expressing what we consider to be good. Whenever we are over-expressing we are not being our authentic self and are acting. Acting takes a lot of energy to maintain. This is why people who are inauthentic tend to get exhausted easily.
If you want an abundance of energy, try being as authentic as possible.
Whenever we suppress a feeling, it stays locked within us and denies access to a part of our Lifeforce. This is because emotions are a vital component of Lifeforce. Whenever we block an emotion from flowing or don’t allow ourselves to feel it, we are blocking our Lifeforce.
This does not mean that we should express all our emotions inappropriately, or in a way that abuses others. What it does mean is that we allow ourselves to experience the feeling by allowing it to flow. When our feelings flow, so does our life. When our feelings are blocked our lives are filled with struggle.
This means that to the degree you have struggle in your life, you have blocked emotions in the way. To create more flow, open up to expressing your feelings in a healthy and productive way. You will be amazed at how quick your struggle can switch to flow!
The mastery and understanding of your emotions are essential to the understanding and mastery of life.
The OPTIMA Zones of Life
All of life can be measured on a scale from FULLY ALIVE at the top to NEARLY DEAD at the bottom (in fact DEATH is the bottom of the scale.) We call this scale that OPTIMA ZONES OF LIFE as it is divided into seven Zones, or categories.
Each Zone is represented by a color. The colors are GOLD, BLUE, GREEN, YELLOW, ORANGE, RED, and BROWN.
Most of us fluctuate somewhere from the top to the bottom, throughout the day, from day to day and year-to-year. On average we spend most of our time in one particular place or Zone of the scale.
Different areas of our life can be in different Zones. For example, your relationship could be in the Goldzone, and your career could be in the Yellowzone.
The scale explains a lot about human nature. You will see the entire cast of characters in your life and what you can expect from them.
Accompanying each Zone is a predominant emotion. Each emotion is a complete unvarying package of attitudes and behaviors.
The higher a person’s position on the scale the better they survive and thrive. They are more capable of obtaining the necessities of living, are happier, more alive, more confident, and competent. They are winning at life.
The lower a person drops on the scale the closer they are to death. They are losing, are less happy, less alive, less confident, less competent, and are losing at life.
A person in the GOLDZONE, BLUEZONE or GREENZONE doesn’t settle down on this scale; they maintain a high interest and enthusiasm for living. Although they may become upset and drop down in a REDZONE environment, they are resilient and recover quickly once they are free of the lower Zone influence.
Conversely, a person in the YELLOWZONE, REDZONE or BROWNZONE can have a moment of winning or success, however, it doesn’t last long and quickly return to their original Zone.
Learn more about Lifeforce and the OPTIMA Zones > here.
What Traps Lifeforce?
Trapped lifeforce is lifeforce that is no longer available to you. This is like a car with less than all of its cylinders working. While it still works, the car is running on less than its full potential.
Lifeforce is trapped by one or more of the following:
- Abuse Episodes
- Repeat and Multiple Abuse Episodes
- Failed Goals
- Paradigm Crashes
An Abuse Episode leads to Repeat Abuse Episodes, which leads to Failed Goals, which leads to a major Paradigm Crash where your life, performance, and relationships decline.
A Paradigm is a set of ideas, rules, beliefs, values, theories, experiences, feelings and assumptions that make up your reality, how you perceive the world and how you create your outcomes.
Here is an example of the entire cycle in action with a composite story.
Meet Dr. Jones
Dr. Jones is an accomplished 42-year-old surgeon working in one of the country’s most well-known and respected city hospitals. Years of hard work have got him to where he is in life. He is popular, successful, and to any observer, happily married with a beautiful wife and two gorgeous children. The family lives in an upmarket neighborhood in what anyone would describe as a dream house.
The doctor works in a fully functioning, high-productivity department of the hospital. He enjoys life, and after working diligently for years, is promoted to a new department that is barely functioning at a minimum level. The department superintendent has worked there for years with a history of successful leadership in the past. However, the results of the department have steadily declined, and the superintendent is resistant to change. The doctor’s charter is to improve the efficiency of the department.
The doctor looks forward to joining the new team, feels excited, enthusiastic, and can’t wait for the challenge. As soon as he starts with the team, he observes how stressed, overworked, and on edge everyone is. Each team member is working separately, afraid of losing their job, competing with each other, and the department runs on drama.
The doctor meets with the superintendent with a well thought out list of suggestions to improve the department and to enhance the working conditions. The superintendent isn’t impressed and, in a loud and angry voice, informs the doctor to mind his own business, stick to being a surgeon, and leave administration alone. The doctor is shocked, feels rejected, and can’t believe that the superintendent is so reactive!
Here we have an Abuse Episode.
The doctor doesn’t like it but makes excuses to justify why this happened. After a while of keeping his head down, he becomes concerned about patient safety and working conditions. Building up the courage, he approaches the superintendent on several occasions, each time trying different approaches to get his point across. He is rebuked and told to “mind his own business.”
Secretly, the superintendent is feeling threatened by the doctor and undermines him with the team. He deliberately sets people against each other and ferments gossip and distrust. Envious of the doctor’s good looks and popularity, he is friendly to him, but behind the scenes spreads gossip and rumors that are unfounded.
Here we have Repeat and Multiple Abuse Episodes.
Feeling defeated and losing confidence in his ability, the doctor doubts he is capable of improving the department, and with declining team relationships, the doctor feels like a failure.
Here we have a Failed Goal.
Feeling more and more out of alignment with his values, the doctor’s level of stress steadily increases. He eats more junk food and stops exercising. He gains weight, slowly at first and then more and more over time. He doesn’t sleep very well, and his health declines. To deal with his feelings of failure, and to alleviate the pressure, the doctor turns to alcohol. One night, after a heavy drinking session, the doctor gets up late with a terrible hangover.
Rushing to the hospital, the doctor arrives late for surgery. The smell of alcohol lingers on his breath. The team is horrified by his attitude and lets him know in no uncertain terms. Sadly, due to inept handling combined with the lack of preparation time, the surgery is a disaster, and the doctor makes a significant error. The patient is enraged, demands compensation, and after tough negotiations, files a lawsuit naming the doctor and hospital as codefendants.
The superintendent fires the doctor without notice, citing reports of multiple issues from the team. The lawsuit is complicated, long drawn out, and expensive. The cost adds up, and little by little, the doctor is late with his minimum credit card and mortgage payments. Insurance policies lapse.
In a desperate financial position, the doctor sells his house, and under immense pressure, becomes more and more abusive towards his family. Alienated from his wife, the doctor drinks heavily and stays out late. Eventually, she has had enough of broken promises and financial ruin, leaves and takes the children.
Here we have a Failed Goal, which leads directly to a significant Paradigm Crash.
If the doctor does nothing to see the truth of what happened, track down the root causes, and reclaim his Lifeforce, he may never reach the same level of success and happiness again. He may also become stuck in a repeating pattern of experiencing variations of this same theme, over and over.
There are five primary ways to recover trapped Lifeforce, detailed below.
What exactly is an Abuse Episode?
An Abuse Episode is defined as anything that happens to you, or any situation, occurrence, communication, action or event that YOU DID NOT WANT. In other words, you are victimized. It also includes what you have done to others as a victimizer.
Abuse Episodes begin during prenatal times and continue through adulthood. The cycle of abuse is ended when we exercise our self-determination and become a fully realized, self-actualized human being.
Most people live at the effect of other people’s actions and decisions. As a result, they are at “effect” and not fully at “cause” over their life. Anytime you are at effect, you are a potential victim of abuse.
As a dependent child, we had no choice. However, as an adult we have full choice over our environments and relationships. Full choice requires total responsibility for yourself.
Abuse Episodes include:
- Broken love affairs
- Codependent relationships
- Controlling relationships
- Emotional manipulation
- Forced Labour
- Forced values and beliefs
- Lack of love
- Sexual violation
- Sleep deprivation
- Substance dependence
- Suppressed communication
- Toxic environments
- Verbal criticism
How Does the Lifeforce of Those Around Me, Affect Me?
Lifeforce flows in one of two directions; towards or away from. If for example, you are in the Greenzone and your partner is in the Redzone, you will be pulled down the scale and they will come slightly up the scale. If you were to remain in the Greenzone, you would be expending a lot of your Lifeforce to pull them up. This takes a lot of energy that could be going into other areas of life.
Either way, your partner is feeling more positive emotions, and you are feeling lower emotionally as a result. In the business context, if you are the leader and you are in the Greenzone and you have a team who are predominantly in the Orangezone, you will be pulled into the Yellowzone and will be communicating in an angry, dominating way. This may not be your natural style, however, it is unavoidable with an Orangezone team. The team will feel scared of you and will respond by becoming “yes” people, all the while complaining behind your back and feeling resentful.
As you can imagine, this is very draining of your Lifeforce!
The solution is to hire only Greenzone and above team members. This will save you a lot of time, money and energy.
As you can see your choice of partners and team members is very important.
How Does Lifeforce Affect My Health?
There is a direct correlation between health, fitness and the OPTIMA Zones.
Many health problems stem from a chronic lack of available Lifeforce. In traditional western medicine, a lot of attention is placed on the disease and the symptom, paying attention only to the physical.
However, it is now widely accepted that healing has a metaphysical component which is as important as the physical causes.
Lifeforce is a vital ingredient in the healing process. This is why children often heal so quickly; they have more available Lifeforce.
When you are in the Goldzone, you are immune to the most common viruses, colds flues etc. You very rarely get sick or have any health problems. If you do get sick you recover quickly.
On the other hand, in the Brownzone people are prone to catching everything that is going around and often
How Do I Recover Lifeforce?
There are five primary methods of recovering, building, and enhancing your Lifeforce.
1. Self-love and Nurturing
The basis of all Lifeforce recovery is to love and nurture yourself. This is the beginning, as it is the opposite of an Abuse Episode. Making positive changes that remove all abusive situations, people, places, and environments are the basis of self-love and the key to recovering, building, and enhancing your Lifeforce.
2. Change of Environment
There are positive Lifeforce environments and negative Lifeforce environments. Your environment is either adding to and enhancing your Lifeforce or it is taking away from and depleting it.
Air quality, lighting, noise level, sanitation, colors, aromas etc. are all environmental factors. Living in a chaotic inner city, without green living plants and with a lot of noise pollution is very depleting of Lifeforce. If you are living in the inner city, there are ways to infuse your environment with life-giving properties.
3. Positive Major Life Change (career, health, relationship)
Making a self-determined change to improve the quality of your career, health or relationship can make a dramatic impact on your available Lifeforce. Sometimes, when you are stuck and not sure of your next move, a complete change can release the pent-up energy and give you an immediate boost.
4. Upgrading Knowledge via Lifelong Learning
Acquiring new knowledge and skills through education and practice can free up and boost your Lifeforce by creating new solutions to old problems and putting order into confusion.
Let’s bring the joy back to learning!
The best education is where it is a process of self-discovery. Rather than learn right answers, you learn the true meaning and how to apply what you learn in your life, career, and ongoing activities.
Most traditional education is based on the teacher as the authority, and the student is graded on right and wrong answers that are based primarily on memory. There is no practice or application to real life. This suppresses and traps Lifeforce making the student duller and unresponsive. They lose that twinkle in their eyes.
5. Following a Formal System
If you are looking for a fast-track method to enhance and recover trapped Lifeforce, following a formal system is the quickest and most efficient. You identify stuck areas, key leverage points, and learn ongoing methods of infusing your life, environment, career, relationships, and health with Lifeforce.
The process begins by identifying which Zones your major areas of life are in and then moves you up the Zones area by area. Because it is a system, results are predictable and relatively consistent.
After working with thousands of people from all walks of life we developed a comprehensive system called the OPTIMA Program, augmented with OPTIMA Coaching. Both the program and coaching use a systematic process that is repeatable and predictable.
How Do I Protect My Lifeforce?
Your Lifeforce is equivalent in value to your “GOLD.” It is your most precious asset, your power source, your élan vital. We live in a world that is filled with abusive people, environments, and situations. What we eat, how we live, what we watch, what we read, who we spend our time with, and what we listen to all have an impact on our Lifeforce.
Everything is either adding to or depleting this vital energy. The key to protecting and enhancing your Lifeforce is to be aware and vigilantly protect it as your most valuable asset.
Give Yourself a Quantum Leap
No matter how successful you are today, there are always higher levels of success and fulfillment possible. Perhaps you have excelled in one area of life and are motivated to extend this success to all areas of life without compromise? An OPTIMA Coach can help you get there faster!