What does it mean to lighten up? These are words we use all the time but do any of us really know how to lighten up? In our wellness series we have been talking about many different concepts in relation to wellness. We have explored letting go, getting unhooked, self-worth, refraining from aggression but lightening up seems different somehow. For something so simple it seems to entail a number of different skills. For example, first, we have to recognize that we are burdened or heavy. Then we have to find the strength to allow ourselves to put that burden down. That is easier said then done. We live in the information age where we are constantly bombarded by more and more stimulus. Just try leaving your cell phone at home one day or unplugging from all your technology. The constant reminder that your email and messages are piling up doesn't float too far from your thoughts.
Similar to our energy conservation day we should have a turn off your technology day. This might help us to feel that we can give ourselves permission to lighten up. It would definitely be easier if we knew that we didn't have to email or message anyone and that they weren't going to message or email us. Alas that probably isn't going to happen. This means that we have to create opportunities to lighten up, which sounds like the opposite of lightening up. However, if we see that it is essential to our wellness then perhaps we could create opportunities to do so.
Back to how to lighten up. We need to make it a priority. We need to give ourselves permission to put down our burden what ever it is, even if only for a few hours. We need to connect with others and or with nature and ourselves. We need to find a way to be in the moment like connecting to our senses. We need to recognize the relative nature of suffering. In other words, we all suffer. In fact, none of us get out of here without suffering. We just need to stop being so serious about it. There will be plenty of time for that but much regret if we don't find time to lighten up.
Even if we do prioritize our need to lighten up, recognize the relative nature of suffering and connect to our senses there is something un graspable about lightening up. It is ineffable, unable to be expressed in words. It is experiential not cerebral or intellectual. It is a moment in time when we are able to stop the chatter, let go and laugh spontaneously or see the beauty in the way the sunlight bounces off an object, or really hear the notes of a favorite piece of music. It really is about opening up and allowing our hearts to actually be touched.