Have you ever felt listless, drab, or tired as you consider a decision to make, not sure what would be best for you to do and maybe even resistant to finding out? This could be a sign that you need greater vitality, the second of three touchstones that ensure you are in alignment with Nature and your highest good. Because feeling alive and vibrant is inherent to your natural state, it helps you live with greater effectiveness. Choices that support your highest good will always feel rooted, vital and expansive. Vitality puts a spring in your step and a smile on your face.
Last week, we explored the gift of rootedness in helping you to feel a greater sense of solace and clarity. From a strong foundation of rootedness, you can experience healthy, vibrant vitality. Vitality is an experience of qi, life-force energy, also known as prana, moving through your body-being. It is fluid, potent, dynamic, electric, alive. Vitality is like the juicy sap of life that pulsates through a tree to bring minerals up from the roots and sugar down from the leaves, uniting the stability of the ground with the freedom of the air. Just as the tree’s sap keeps its leaves strong and lush, vitality energizes every cell of your being. Its upward movement ensures that the downward flow of rootedness does not turn into entropy. In short, it keeps you from becoming stuck. When you are vital, you feel a vibrancy through your body/being, as though every cell is saying an enthusiastic “yes!” to life.
Don’t Wait Until You “Feel Like It”
Just like a growing plant, your vitality depends on healthy roots. You could find a minimal amount of vitality without rootedness, simply because your innate state is alive, and some vitality is inherent in this. But vitality without roots, in the long run, is not sustainable.
Aliveness has a fiery energy to it. It is warm, sometimes even hot, dry, quick and upward moving, whereas rootedness is cooling, tapping us into the moisture of the soil. When we practice developing vitality, we must balance it with rootedness. Without the level-headedness of being grounded, enthusiasm can quickly turn into burnout.
When you think about a decision, if you feel like a plant that is wilting, or as though the fire in your belly is going out, your body is showing you that this decision does not move you in a direction of vitality. That is a sign to pause, take a moment and go deeper. Tune into what you are feeling. Then ask yourself, what would feel more engaged, vital and alive? Go there.
Feelings of listlessness, sullenness or despair are ultimately anti-life. They are an expression of being out of balance with the whole. There is no judgment in this. It is simply something to note, because our ultimate mentor is Nature and Nature is in a constant state of balance. Feelings that are expressions of disconnect show you that you have momentarily lost touch with the gift of being here, alive and willing to evolve.
When you feel indecisive and heavied, vitality is the remedy to reactivate your spirit and re-ignite your enthusiasm. Getting physically active is an excellent way to cultivate vitality. Confession: I have a rebounder (mini trampoline) near my desk and I get on it when I need to shake things out, look at things from a fresh perspective… in short, experience greater vitality. If you don’t have a rebounder, no problem. Jump up and down. Change your environment and go for a brisk walk, cycle or swim. Dance. Do martial arts. Intentionally laugh until your belly aches. Sing, and sing out loud! The possibilities are endless, as long as you get your body moving and you feel balanced and joyful.
Sometimes, when you most need to integrate vitality in your life, you may have a strong sense of “oh, I don’t feel like it” around the very actions that would make you feel more vital. Without vitality, your will could feel limp, like leaves that have lost their sap. If this is the case for you, first, tune in to your roots. Feel your connection with the Earth and the cosmos and your place within the whole. Then take a few long deep breaths and tune in to the gratitude of simply being alive in this moment, on this planet. Wow! Then, make a concerted effort to get yourself moving. It can be as simple as one step in front of the other. A little effort goes a long way. Be kind with yourself, and clear about the detriment of listlessness. Love yourself enough to choose the vitality of life.
Tune In to Vitality
Between now and next week, try this exercise that builds on last week’s, to help you tune in to the feeling of vitality.
Begin as you did for the rootedness exercise last week: stand tall, with your feet hip-width apart. Your knees are neither locked nor bent, simply relaxed. Let your navel move gently back towards your spine so that your core feels engaged, but not tense. As this happens, your tailbone naturally tilts slightly inward toward the front of your body and releases like a plumb line towards the Earth. Feel your shoulders soften and release towards the ground as your chest relaxes. Your eyes are fixed on a point in front of you, as the crown of your head broadens and floats gently upward towards the sky. Take a moment and feel this natural realignment.
Take a long, relaxed breath in, then breathe out with ease. Allow your awareness of your breath to deepen. Enjoy breathing and sensing. Let your breath be natural, not forced. As you breathe, scan your body. Where do you hold tension? Where do you feel relaxed? Just notice, letting go of any impulse to fix. Keep breathing and sensing.
Feel the soles of your feet broaden. Sense the contact you have with the ground. Imagine that your feet are growing roots and anchor into the ground. Feel energy move through your legs and out your feet, downward, towards the core of the Earth.
Now, notice that as your feet release into the ground, the Earth meets you, and a wave of energy flows up through your body towards the crown of your head. Feel that energy charging your every cell with vitality.
Imagine that your spine is the central channel of energy that runs through your body/being. It connects the sky and the Earth through you. There is a beautiful two-way moving flow of life-force energy that travels through your spine: downward from the heavens, into the crown of your head, down your body, through your feet, and into the planet; and upward from the ground, through your legs, up your body, and releasing outward into the heavens. You are a conduit for life-force energy.
Feel how this two-way moving energy awakens your heart and balances your belly, bringing vitality to your body. Feel the vibrancy of life-force energy as it pulses through your body-being, until every cell feels like it is glowing with life and joy.
From my heart to yours,