“ . . . Re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul and your very flesh shall be a great poem.” –Walt Whitman, taken from his Preface to Leaves of Grass
Too often we live from our pain stories, while thinking and acting habitually. As a result, we carry more weight on our bodies than is healthy, are not active, cycle in and out of difficulty, find ourselves confronted with the same old problems (may be different faces but the same issue) and repeat and see the past. A key to losing weight, of increasing activity, of experiencing less difficulty and freedom from the past are to practice techniques that move us out of habitual ways of seeing, being and thinking. Freeing ourselves from one habit can begin to unravel the tapestry of habitual states we have created from childhood.
And a little freedom can go a long way.
What you might notice now is that extra pounds are not just about “eating too much.” Rather our extra weight is about the emotions, habits, storylines and agreements that result in certain eating behaviors. We can change a habit that seems unrelated to our food intake and consequently lose weight and find increased energy.
In order to change a habit we need the energy to do so. Habits you may say eat up our motivation, our personal energy and so our desire to change a habit losses power because we don’t have the energy to follow through on our intentions. So claiming energy back is a key to a healthy life-style. Have you noticed how in the evening you may be all enthused about going for a walk in the morning but then morning comes and you just don’t have what it takes to actually go for a walk? This “lack of motivation” is a sign that you lack enough energy. (Your habit basically has more power than your intention). So, you need to claim energy back. Here are a few ways to claim back your vital energy.
1. Spend time in nature. Sit up against a favorite tree. Talk to the tree, journal under the tree. We need to spend at least 15 minutes in nature a day.
2. Walk mindfully. Take a short walk in the morning outside where your step is in synch with your breath. Keep your attention on walking, letting thoughts come and go . . .
3. Practice mindfulness meditation first thing in the morning.
4. Notice places and people where you feel drained of energy. Write about these experiences in your journal, gain insight as to the dynamics (and agreements) that cause you to lose energy.
5. Practice recapitulation exercises, such as the Toltec Breath.
6. Write a poem, work on some art project, get creative in the garden.
7. Do something out of character.
8. Let someone think something that is not true about you while you do nothing to change their mind. Don’t spend time proving yourself to others, or explaining your self. (You will get a lot of energy back on this one).
Within your pain story (last couple lessons) you will find habits, beliefs and agreements that keep the pain going. Simply go through your pain story and find one belief in this story. (“Getting approval will make me happy.” “He will leave me too.” “Things never work out for me.”) Then find agreements (energetic contracts) that keep this belief active, that keep this pain story going (“I need the approval of others.” “I need to be in a relationship to be happy.” “I don’t know what I want.”). Be willing to give these beliefs and agreements up. Realize that where they served you in the past (the old pain story), they no longer serve you now.
Consider journaling about the following . . .
Now begin to write your authentic story. Transform this particular pain story into an authentic story. What do you want your life to look like, feel like, and be like? Describe in as much detail as possible about this authentic story. Take this week to write on it, tweak it and imagine it.
Write about the four elements, fire, water, air, and earth. Write about fire as an element that you represent. “I am fire . . .” Then write about being water, “I am water . . . , ” and so on.
Write about a favorite artifact/collectable breaking. (It cannot be fixed).
Off the page . . .
Give something away that you still enjoy.
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here.
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying, Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you. –David Wagoner, educator