Life is about flow.
Like a river to the ocean, it is meant to deliver us to our greater truth. A greater experience. A greater love. Anything that diverts from that path is resistance and resistance feels ‘heavy’. Resistance is what is felt as ‘suffering’.
Resistance shows up as anger, depression, bitterness, fear, anxiety, indecisiveness, judgement, hopelessness, frustration and disappointment for instance. These are not ‘bad’ feelings. It is not for us to avoid these feelings. It is for us to explore these feelings and move through them, NOT live in them.
They are important…and they are important because they contain messages.
When you experience any of the above, notice if it feels ‘light’ or ‘heavy’. Whatever makes you feel heavy -or whatever feels heavy of itself- has a message. The message is ‘this is not your highest self’. This heaviness is a sign that you are not following your own path. The heaviness tells you ‘not this way’. Our Path always feels ‘light’.
So, what do you do?
First step is noticing this. From there it is simple (albeit maybe not easy) to change your experience:
- take a breath and ask yourself if this feels heavy or light
- if it feels heavy ask yourself what thought would feel lighter
- explore with different thoughts until you find one that feels lighter
- when you find one that feels lighter then find the next lighter one
- keep reaching for lighter thoughts that feel true and light to you – this is resonance
This is moving up your Light Ladder.
When you are in anger for instance, don’t justify your anger, ask yourself what in you is being triggered to anger. What are you resisting? Angry at being stuck in traffic? You are resisting that you are exactly where you need to be. Frustrated that things are not going the way you wanted? You are resisting that everything works exactly the way it needs to for your highest good. Depressed that you are not (fill in the blank)? You are resisting being present in this moment. Feeling anxious? You are resisting being in flow. Feeling hopeless? You are resisting that you are the hope. Feeling hate? You are resisting that you are the love. Feeling fear? You are resisting that you are the Creator.
Another approach is to re-create your experience.
What you’ve created you can re-create.
When you are in the midst of a situation and feel yourself having a ‘heavy’ reaction, stop a minute. Collect yourself and take a moment to ask yourself these three questions.
- What is the story you are telling yourself about this?
- What part of this experience do you know is true (vs what you’ve told yourself)?
- What is the message?
What IS the message?
This is highly individualized and varies greatly from person to person.
You suffer the effects of anxiety, depression, anger, bitterness and judgement. You discover that others have been talking about you, without you being present and you fear it is not a positive discussion. You tell yourself a story about this. You don’t have all the facts so your imagination fills in the blanks based on the experiences of your anxiety, depression, anger, bitterness and judgement. This story grows and grows and you feel heavier and heavier with each telling of it (even if the telling of it is to yourself).
What part of the story holds truth?
Is this reflective of a part of you that feels heavy? Is this reflective of a part of you that you wish you would change? Does this highlight a flaw you have or imagine you have? Does this highlight an insecurity?
Take that part as the message. Now find a lighter thought about it. If it highlights a behavior/habit that is heavy, explore with your mind what a lighter experience would feel like. Is it your weight and this highlights your emotional eating? Explore in your mind what a healthy relationship with food would feel like. Heavier or lighter? Really feel that. Notice how it feels in your body, in your mind and to your soul. From this place then begin researching a plan to develop a healthy relationship with food.
Or maybe it has nothing to do with eating and it is just your body image you need to learn to love. Ask yourself what it would feel like to have a healthier relationship with your own body. Would it be heavier or lighter? What can you love about your body right now? What can you do to cultivate a healthy love relationship with your body now?
Without this dissonance (heaviness) you would not have distinguished that a specific habit is not serving your highest self. That is why all these ‘bad’ feelings are important. They are like ‘wrong way’ signs posted on the exit/entrance ramps of expressways.
Here’s the tricky part. What if IN the moment it SEEMS as if a specific activity feels ‘light’. I’m speaking here of addictions, and there are many. It isn’t just recreational drugs or alcohol. It could be anything. If something is truly light for you, it has no heavy consequences. It does not leave you with a hangover -either physical, emotional or spiritual. If you are experiencing heaviness and you do something that ‘relieves’ that, but it only relieves it for a brief period of time then it is not truly light.
Partaking of alcohol is one of the most controversial activities under this topic. One can imbibe on a regular basis to escape the pain in their present moment and that is addictive. Once the alcohol wears off you physically, emotionally and spiritually are left feeling just as heavy as before, if not more so. Another sign its addiction for you is if you make poor decisions under the influence.
If, however, you imbibe on an infrequent basis and even overindulge while engaging in a social situation and the next day you experience a physical hangover, however you are left filled with joy at the good memories made during the process, this might leave you feeling lighter. And you assess the physical hangover as ‘heavy’ and decide the next time you have the occasion to imbibe, you will reduce your intake to experience more of the joy that left you feeling lighter and none of the heaviness. This is also working yourself up your Light Ladder.
If you find yourself unable to moderate your intake, then clearly you have a physical or emotional addiction to the substance/activity. NO addiction ever moves you up the Light Ladder.
Let’s take a less obvious addiction. One that is often actually seen as ‘healthy’. Diet and exercise. If you monitor your food intake and that makes you feel in control, you might have an addiction. ‘Controlling’ your food intake, watching every morsel, counting every calorie, making very strict choices may be a sign that you fear being out of control…which of course would feel heavy. If you choose to indulge in something and then feel guilt, regret, anger, fear or disappointment then indeed you are not actually in control but your addiction to control (resistance to flow) is. Oh, see how that is so tricky?!
One way to determine if your ‘healthy’ habit is an addiction in disguise is to measure whether it enhances your life or if your life revolves around it. Again, simply asking yourself if you feel lighter or heavier after engaging, then ALSO asking if you feel lighter or heavier when you don’t engage. Some people report when they miss a workout they feel irritable. Missing one workout should not launch you into dissonance. That is much like missing a dose of a drug. It is known as withdrawal. Now, noticing that you feel heavier overall when you no longer engage in working out at all, indicates that you are self-aware and utilizing working out in a healthy manner. That is telling you where your optimum is.
Note that this means that meditation can even be an addiction! If one meditates every day for 2 hours, one’s life will revolve around meditation. If the focus/goal is to meditate for two hours because one feels lighter while meditating and afterwards, but when one session is missed and they obsess all day about that missed meditation, then they are addicted to the process. In addition, if quality invitations with loved ones are declined in favor of meditation, then one’s life is revolving around the meditation. If however, one meditates for a shorter length of time daily, perhaps one feels lighter during and after, the day goes smoothly and while one might not feel quite as grounded and centered on those days that meditation is missed, they certainly do not feel ‘miserable’ without that meditation. An addiction’s ‘high’ is short lived, followed by a ‘crash’, while a healing practice’s ‘high’ is sustainable, though reduces in intensity and levels off after the actual session ends.
Call it whatever you want, moving up our Light Ladder is the Soul’s natural direction of evolution. It is the sole purpose for our experience in Life. To move us towards the Light, not away from it. Any resistance is taking us in the opposite direction.
We are in charge of our emotions. They are the products of our thoughts and our beliefs. It is our job to listen to them, make a move up our Ladder of Light and then let them go. They’ve done their job. They have no right to residency in our lives. They are guideposts and transient messengers who need to stay only until we head in the right direction. As we do so, we will experience anger, depression, anxiety etc. far less often.
And as we climb the Ladder of Light our future will be so bright we won’t need shade.
I love you.