Opting in — choosing the fullness of life
by Lisa Angelini —
In this very moment, your body is being nourished and blessed by life. With every heartbeat and every breath, your body takes in the energy of life and connects with nature. Whether we notice or not, we are always connected through our breath.
In today’s achievement- and survival-oriented culture, it is common to have dulled senses while pushing through tasks, making us immune to the rich details of the tapestry of life. Moments begin to pass into minutes and minutes pass into hours, all of which seem benign enough until the hours pass into days, the days into years and so on.
What is generally noticed at this point is what did not get done on our to-do list. We are trained to look for and expect quantifiable output, much like a factory worker or student taking a standardized test. What is the score? But, I ask, what is the cost? What are we charging ourselves and what are we giving up in exchange? By the end of a day, plenty of people are noticing that they did not get enough done.
We are so programmed to do, that we forget to be. Rather than push through to completion to reach an end, we can slow our senses to capture the fullness of life. The benefit is that this actually opens and increases our experience of time. Imagine one breath traveling in through your nose and down through your chest and back up again.
Feel the contrast of a deep breath in through your nose, expanding your airways, opening up your chest and filling your abdomen with air. That is still one breath. Feel that fullness like a pendulum in full swing. Sip in air until the moment it will shift to make its return swing.
What have you turned yourself off from in order to place full-focused resources on task for the sake of efficient work? When is the last time you checked on yourself as you would a child you love? Are you OK; do you need anything? Are you tired, hungry, fulfilled or happy? It is not necessary to trade where you are going for where you are right now for the sake of efficiency, only to end up ignoring your needs, wants, happiness or the moment. The ride is where the richness resides.
The fullness of life is now, not just in the feeling of accomplishment and looking back. We tend to get caught up in the relationship to our goal or where we stand in proximity to our goal, rather than centering on ourselves. Sometimes we are so busy trying to survive that we have even forgotten what the goal once was.
Our relationship with ourselves is the foundation of our relationship with all others and the world. We draw experiences to us based on how we feel and what we focus on. Focus on hardship or lack and you get more of that. Focus on gratitude and you get more of what you like.
Keeping a simple gratitude journal to reflect upon that for which we are thankful can open us to the fullness of life. When we are thankful for that fullness, we come alive. We activate our awareness with all of our senses and can align fully into the moment, into now. An exciting aspect of attending to something that has been neglected is our awareness, and senses are heightened toward that area for a period of time. Enjoy this post-shift time into your new awareness and use this novel expansion to create life in your present.
Here are some simple invitations for choosing fullness. Create a home space you love that is comforting and reflects your preferences. Go outside, take your shoes off and really feel the grass and your connection to the earth. Look up at the sky and remember the patch you stand on is a small speck, though an integral part of a vast universe. Gaze into your own eyes in the mirror and really see yourself. See your face and feel your soul.
Lisa Angelini, MAPC, LPC, is a holistic psychotherapist, life coach and certified clinical hypnotherapist in Scottsdale, Ariz. She specializes in healthy weight loss, divorce, addictions and trauma. email@example.com, lisaangelini.com or 602-330-6378.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 33, Number 6, December 2014/January 2015.