Last week my client, "Sarah" sat across from me in my studio. As we checked in about how the previous weeks had been treating her, she tucked one leg beneath her in the comfy red chair and began to tell me how certain things seemed to not be causing her as much stress as before. The tenuous relationship with her mother hadn't changed much, but her own efforting around it had eased. Her boss was still a moody old bear, but she wasn't reacting to him as much. That needy friend who was never around when she needed to talk simply stopped calling at 11pm. She described how her meditation practice had become such a beautiful ritual, it actually made me envious! As she spoke about all these wonderful shifts, there was one thing that I kept noticing...Sarah had lost weight!
As she got on the healing table and my hands rocked along her spine, I had to ask her, "Sarah, have you lost weight?"
She giggled, "Yeah, you know I think I've lost like 8lbs since July. And the funny thing is I'm not really trying! Well, that's not entirely true, I've been exercising, eating less junk, eating healthier..but I feel like I've been trying to do those things since January, and the weight hadn't budged."
"Ahhh, you're letting go." I said, "You're lightening the load and lightening up!"
I've seen this happen so many times. Becoming enlightened is the gradual, often lifelong practice of lightening up. Shedding old ways of being and doing in order to make room for the peace, creativity, compassion and boundless energy stored within us. When we begin to let go of the things which keep us stuck, we become lighter! In other words, we rely less on the practices we use to comfort or self-medicate us through the things we find stressful. Therefore allowing us to move into practices which are more healing, more spacious. The good news is that we don't have to sit on a freezing cold Himalayan mountaintop to do it!
Here's the breakdown:
The Stressors: We encounter something stressful in our life. I know, you're saying, "Jennifer you want me to pick just one?!"
Old News: Our old patterns of how we deal with these stressors immediately kick into action. Whether it's reacting with anger, reaching for that bag of chips, reaching for another glass of wine at dinner or just pulling the covers up and over your head for another hour.
Stop! Pause, press the reset button. When you find yourself reacting all the time, you'll ultimately notice that 'something' isn't working for you, and that something has to change.
Reset Button: Pressing the rest button allows us to realize that "Hey, just because my mother says critical things about me, doesn't make it so." or "Gee, that guy who acted like a jerk on our last date must have some issues and has absolutely nothing to do with me." or "My kids have their own timing when it comes to getting ready for school and I just need to gently guide them through the morning" (insert sparkly harp music). 'Physio-logically', our adrenals begin to calm their over-production of cortisol allowing cravings for sugar, fat and the urge to curl up into a ball, subside. We begin to respond, we become solution-based rather than fear-based.
EFF: Energy Follows Focus. The practice of shifting our focus from what's wrong to what's right or what's more important. We release the constant replay which short-circuit our brains. The ideas of what we 'should' be doing opens to the inquiry of what we 'could' be doing. Our energy follows this focus and we suddenly have more energy to move forward and become more aligned with our spirit.
The practice of 'being': As we release our intense hold of what we think our reality is. We can then broaden our periphery to the entire vista before us. We realize there is so much more space around us and within us to 'be' in the world. Also reminding ourselves that 'being' is something to be practiced rather than attained.
The magic: When we practice being, we also practice feeling. Feeling what's right, what's more aligned for us. So instead of that 3rd glass of wine, perhaps we choose a cup of tea to end the evening. Instead of lying in bed an extra hour after the alarm, we have more energy to rise and join that 6am bootcamp.
Whether your intention is to lose weight, have healthier relationships, get that promotion at work or some other seemingly-lofty goal, the key is to have the energy to do it. Because we have more energy, we are able to choose healthier behaviors think clearly about our goals, align with them and attain them, ultimately bringing balance into our lives.
Want to learn more about pressing that giant re-set button and lightening up? Read more about my En-Lighten Program
Could you use some en-lightenment? Tell me about it in the comments below!
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