Just As I Am: Practice L.O.V.E.
What is L.O.V.E.?
I recently stumbled across this quote in David Richo’s book, How To Be An Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration, “Love is ineffable. We can never adequately put our love into words because words are categories of our minds and love is a living experience.”
I just LOVE it! “Love is ineffable… love is a living experience...” It brings so much possibility and curiosity into the word. So in this blog, I’m not going to tell you what love is or how to love, because that can look and feel different for each of us. I would like to share, however, an intention that I am setting for myself and offer some suggestions for exploration if it interests you.
As we continue to reflect back, move forward, and transition into the New Year, one of my intentions or aspirations is “I want to L.O.V.E.” (Live On Vital Energy). I do believe that deep within each and every one of us there is this vital energy that guides us, and that there are several conduits available to help remove obstacles that get in the way of feeling L.O.V.E. Below, I’ll share what has been helpful for me. Remember, that what works for me may not be a fit for you, and that’s okay! I encourage you to be open, know that you have options, explore and see what feels true for you. Only you know and you get to decide.
Movement such as exercising does so much more than just strengthen muscles; it is also a wonderful way to get stuff moving inside the body. When we move, blood and lymph circulation increases which helps to eliminate wastes. My movement practice changes from day to day. Some days I run on the beach, go for a slow walk in a park, take a spin class, indoor rock climb, yoga, or dance!
2. Eating real food
The body is made to eat food. However, most of the stuff found on the shelves in today's grocery stores is not "food" but "food-like products". This can require more energy for the body to digest and can block our natural vital energy. I usually stay around the outer perimeter of the store when I do my grocery shopping. However, I do enjoy my sweets and just try to remember that moderation is the key.
I started meditating years ago because I felt “stuck.” What I’ve learned, and continue to learn, is that much of my pain and suffering is a result of the mental chatter that occurs in my mind, which can be overwhelming. I was not even aware of all the clutter that was sucking up all of my energy. The practice of meditation itself does not make the clutter disappear or go away. It simply makes me aware of it; and from this awareness, I realize that I have a choice: continue habitual patterns and continue to suffer or use this awareness to create change.
You are not alone. Surround yourself with those that support, encourage, and allow you to just be YOU. If you’re feeling stuck, reaching out to supportive friends/family members, spiritual guides, a professional life coach or therapist may help guide you. My therapist does not refer to herself as a “therapist”. Instead, she sees herself as “support”; and her support and guidance helps me recognize obstacles that may get in the way of L.O.V.E. such as my own habitual patterns or unhealthy relationships. I have learned that those who truly love me are those that help me love and befriend myself.
To me, the practice of L.O.V.E is a practice of getting back to HOMEostatis... It's a practice of coming back HOME. We'll keep getting lost or feel stuck from time to time. However, that is why it's called "practice"; and I practice so I remember.
"We're all just walking each other home." - Ram Dass