Life Lessons from a Light Chaser
As I spend more time on this earth and exploring every crook of this body, I have become increasingly aware of myself – of the way my energy rises and falls with the season and the moon; of the tendencies that bring me safety and the habits that lead to disconnection. The more time I have spent with myself, the more I have become aware that I (like you) am complex and ever-changing. Nothing remains the same, and nothing is as simple as it seems.
Hours digging through dark corners with my coach, fleeting moments in meditations, and seconds of awareness while in community have led me to a place where I finally feel free to try, to fail, and to fly. It is from here that I am finally ready to embark on a project that my soul has long been dreaming of. And it is from this place that I share with you the three biggest lessons I have learned so far.
We don’t grow through the tellings of others. We must instead learn, explore, and conclude on our own. However, from the experiences of people around us, we can gain a sense of direction – new places to look at inside ourselves. May these three lessons give you a new lens through which to look, and may you discover something rich in your search.
The biggest lessons I have learned (so far – because I am confident there will be many more to follow):
The body we were born in to is the only one we will ever have. When we begin to love it as it is, it begins to love us back. I spent so many years trying to be smaller, fitter, more beautiful. I would look in envy at others, and in doing so, the disinterest and frustration in my own body grew. I would stare at my thighs and wonder why I had to be born with such thick limbs. Poke at my freckles as I tried to hide them. The change to loving my body was slow. It began with vocalizing something I loved every time I thought something negative. Quiet thought – I hate my hips in these jeans .. Loud thought – My strong legs make me fast and powerful. Doing this day in and day out, my mind began to shift. Body positive became my normal. And believe it or not, as my mind shifted, so too did my body. Because exercise became a way to reward and test the strength of my body, rather than a way to punish it. And food became a way to nourish my beautiful home, rather than starve it. And this shift makes you healthier, brighter, and more beautiful.
Our energy exists in flow – it will rise and it will fall. Listening to what your body is asking for will lead to far greater satisfaction than pushing through and forcing activity. Today’s world is a non-stop kind of place. You can always do more, be better, work harder. But some days you just don’t feel like it. It’s a struggle to put your feet on the ground; to move your body or work that brain of yours. I used to force myself to continue to strive forward. But the outcome was exhaustion, resentment, and lack lustre effort in everything. One of my greatest lessons came from realizing that if I lay off when my body is feeling low, I end up coming back more productive, powerful, and creative than I could dream of. Yes, we live in a world where everyone is always going – and while you may want to lay in bed all day, I appreciate that we can’t all do that. We have work to tend to, obligations to keep. But make space where you can when you need it. Take time off of those hard workout routines and go for a quiet walk instead. Put the development books away and reach for a book that lights you up (Chic Lit anyone?!) Break your no wine on a week day rule and kick your feet up in a bathtub. You deserve it and you will be thankful when you get that energy surge again.
Our pain comes from attachment. Accepting that things will change brings great freedom; and with it clarity, space, and a greater appreciation for what exists in this moment. Every heartbreak and sadness stems from something changing – from it no longer being what it was. The chains we place on our relationships, material possessions, and life circumstances feel so permanent; and yet, as the world changes and the chains are ripped away, it becomes clear that in fact – everything is completely impermanent. The day will come when your career changes, your wealth shifts, your loved ones pass, and relationships you once counted on become obsolete. Just as you can bet that the ocean will always come back to kiss the shoreline, you can bet that everything in your life will eventually change. When we begin to accept this truth, we are able to grow an appreciation for that which we have in this moment. Knowing that it will change doesn’t mean we need to be sad and mourn it now, or protect ourselves from being vulnerable. It in fact means the opposite. Love deeper, cast your net wider, and soak in every glorious moment – because it will always be shorter than you wish it to be. Breaking lose of the chains gives you space for opportunity, and you deserve what is in the moments you never counted on because that’s where the gold in life is hiding.
These are my most important lessons. What are yours?