I am going on holiday, and it made me relise how tired and frazzled I was – I had been taking myself and my ‘stuff’ too seriously. I was a serious child, and quite intense as a young adult. Now, one of my aims in life is to get lighter and lighter, so that when it’s time to go I will be almost weightless. Ha.
“Lighten up!” I heard this phrase many times. I was possibly a little intense! And why wouldn’t you be? There are so many problems in the world, and we are bombarded with depressing news. It is all too easy to become pessimistic and gloomy and feel as if we must try to save the world. So, it can be difficult to relax and take things less seriously.
You are a good person, with a big heart, and you care about people and the planet. You might become outraged by anything from dog poo on the pavement to climate change and this will take a toll on you and your well-being. Your body and your unconscious mind can’t tell the difference between the pavement poo and species annihilation – the results will be the same as our body registers the strong feelings and emotions.
So how can we lighten up?
It took me years, and it’s a work in progress. It began when I realised that the little things I did were making a difference – small differences, but nevertheless.
Small things and beautiful ripples
Most of us do achieve great things in our lives, but we don’t get Oscars for them and we don’t get on telly to talk about them. So what! The ripples of what we do in our own spheres are felt in the world.
The “ripple effect” is a metaphor to describe how what we do, however small, reverberates throughout the physical and social world. It is beginning to make more sense, as we increasingly recognise how interconnected and interdependent we are on each other, on the planet and on other life forms.
We move along throughout the day, busying ourselves in our routines and in our comfortable, or not so comfortable, habits. Perhaps we can just remember – now and again – about the ripples!
Make those ripples positive ones of peace and love, understanding and joy. I am starting to sound like a corny pop song or a hippy – but there is enough violence and hate around. Let’s be kind – to ourselves and others – why not?
Go with the flow and flourish
It is easier said than done. However, struggling and resisting what is, and trying to control things drains our energies.
Imagine that life is a river. Most people are clinging to the bank, afraid to let go and risk being carried along by the current. At a certain point, each of us must be willing to simply let go, and trust life to carry us along safely. At this point, we learn to “go with the flow” — and it feels good. We stop the struggle! (After Lao Tzu and Shakti Gawain).
“When I’m trusting and being myself as fully as possible, everything in my life reflects this by falling into place easily, often miraculously.”
― Shakti Gawain
One of the things I find helpful, that puts things into perspective, is to ponder ‘Deep Time’. The Earth has been around a long time, (about 4.55 billion years) a long time before humans. Watch this fun video that demonstrates Deep Time on a football field, or hold out your arm and imagine that your whole arm represents the Earth’s history, the 4.55 billion years. If you filed your nail – humans would be gone!
Go on holiday – take a holiday from your seriousness
As I said at the beginning, I am going away for a week – to beautiful south Devon. It is an opportunity to relax and to be light. Being outdoors, breathing in the green and the sea. Being with a friend and laughing at our worries for a while.This is a short video – worth a watch – enjoy!