This is a big question! A question that is so important, so beautiful, and so potent.
Let me tell you about my dance with it.
I've been so wrapped up in my plan for life the last two months. I had this beautiful vision of how I want my website to be. I wanted to make the last tweaks in my meditation course so it can be introduced to the world again. I wanted to write this. Just three things of the big list I had made.
All the while, my body was having a really tough time with all the winter bugs going around. I was ill five times. And I was fighting it every inch of the way. Not the best way to deal with it of course.
This is a familiar dynamic for me, living with chronic illness. There is a part of me that feels giving into healing time only will never result in getting anything done. I'm learning about this, step by step.
You will have your own dance. It plays out differently for all of us, but we all know it. We have these things we think we should do -- and then there is our body, our soul, our inner wisdom trying to tell us something else.
We have the thoughts that tell us how to manage everything and how to make the things happen that we really want.
And we have the deep longings and the desires that have their own agenda. We might not be familiar with this agenda, because we are not used to listening. Sometimes it seems that it is only taking us off track (as it did for me), sometimes it just seems "not so important" compared to the things we "have to do," or it might seem "irrelevant."
I remember when I miscarried, all I wanted to do was sit behind my sewing machine and sew. I couldn't explain it, but it felt so soothing to be touching the fabric and creating little things of beauty. That time, it was easy to listen to my soul's voice. I was hurting so much, I didn't have to fight myself to be able to listen to what was really calling me in the moment.
That is what the voice inside is. It is the voice of our soul. And our body knows.
Sometimes we are longing so deeply for the answers to the big questions: Why am I here? What am I supposed to do in my life? What is my purpose? How can I make it reality?
These questions can make our heads spin. And all the while, there is a simple, so-often-overlooked solution:
The answers we are looking for, they come from that voice within our bodies.
It takes practice to listen. And to keep listening, even when things are not going your way.
And this is how I practice. With that beautiful question of:
Where is my aliveness now?
What is it, that makes me feel fully alive right now? Where is the delicious thickness of possibility, of playfulness, of potential?
I was asking myself this today, when I was cycling home from my daughter's daycare. And I could feel my body shouting: Don't go straight to the computer and on with your to-do mode! Let's take a walk in the forest! And feeling into it, there was no way I could ignore it. I am lucky, because all I had to do was stop at the forest that I pass, and take the time to walk, and meditate. (Listen here to what happened.)
Going with that flow, just for 30 minutes, allowed me to fully tap into the energy of aliveness, of happiness, of gratitude.
And I take it with me. Now, I sit and write this for you, and my heart is singing with happiness.
That sense of aliveness can be in little things: a beautiful flower. Allowing yourself the time to catch the first rays of the early spring sun. In dancing in the street. In singing. In playing and laughing with your child.
The aliveness is not only in the good and beautiful. It can be in having that good cry that is long overdue. It can be in having that confrontation, in speaking your truth, so that the energy in your relationship can start to flow naturally again. It can be in expressing your anger, in guarding your boundaries.
And staying with the aliveness in the little things leads us inevitably to the answers to our big questions. With practice.
Where is your aliveness now?
The potency of this question is that you don't have to think about it to answer it.
Your body and soul already know.
You only have to stop, ask the question and hear, feel, see the answer.
Maybe right now, the voice is soft, so you have to listen well. Another time, it will be stronger, that's okay. It is always there.
And whatever comes up, take the chance and honor it. This is a practice that leads us straight to our deepest longings, our greatest pleasures and our warmest love.
It leads us home.
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For more by Annemiek on her website, go to www.redrobinchange.com