Living in Radical Amazement

“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement....get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”

― Abraham Joshua Heschel

These words sing to my heart.

Radical amazement helps me feel present, alive and aligned with theplace from whichI can give my best to the world.

It helps me remember who I really am and what this world can be.

Heschel was an influential Polish American rabbi, theologian and civil rights activist who lived 1907 to 1971. He wrote that as modern society progresses, opening to amazement becomes more challenging.

In the years since Heschel’s life our world has gotten ever more complex; the rate of busy-ness and distraction has grown furiously.

And yet...

 At any moment, you choose where to put your attention.

Just pause.

Free your hands and your eyes and your mind.

Look up.

Look around.

Look within.

Let yourself be amazed.

Breathe it in deeply.  

Where can you open to radical amazement?
Anywhere.  Anytime.
Steep in amazement as you fall asleep.
Stretch and breathe into amazement as you wake up.
Take a walk with amazement.
Let amazement borrow your eyes in a conversation with a friend or a stranger.  

No matter how busy the world around you,
No matter how long your to-do list or
How full your account of worries,
You can choose to be amazed.

This moment. Phenomenal. Incredible. Worthy of radical amazement.

Two words to wake up your soul.
Radical Amazement.

with love,
lea

PS Do you find it a bit challenging to open into radical amazement? You are not alone. We all get caught in busyness, in old habits of seeing and being that separate us from who we really are. Want my support in coming home to your innate wisdom, joy and creative power… and amazement? Email me today.

Three Easy Ways to Amplify Your Healing Power of Pleasure

Does self care sometimes feel like one more thing you need to add to your to-do list?

Do you feel guilty or worried because you aren’t eating and exercising the way you “should”?
 

Maybe what you really need is more pleasure.

THREE EASY WAYS TO AMPLIFY YOUR HEALING POWER OF PLEASURE

One of the most healing and transformational things you can do for your body, soul and relationships is simply to enjoy more pleasure.

Tune into your body’s natural need for healthy pleasure and it will guide you toward vibrant health and happiness.

Here are three simple ways to get started on that:
 

1. Do more of what makes you feel good.

Being in nature, walking and dancing help me feel more alive, happy and at home in my skin. These are deep medicine for me.

When I do these regularly, even for a few minutes, I feel better, make better choices, get more done in less time and am more peaceful and creative.

What are some of the simple things that make you feel alive and vibrant and more fully yourself?

    •    Ask yourself with kind curiosity how can you integrate more of these simple things you love into your daily routine.
    •    Pick at least one you will commit to doing today.
    •    Imagine the next three days and envision yourself doing one -or more- of the things you love every day, even for a few minutes.

2. Add more pleasure to what you are already doing.

Get in the habit of asking yourself a simple question as you go through your day: “How could I open to more pleasure … right now?”

How can you turn up your pleasure dial even while doing “mundane” activities and while accomplishing the tasks that need to get done?

A few things that I love that may help turn up your pleasure dial:
    •    Come home to your senses. Pleasure comes through your eyes, ears, nose, skin, tongue and inner sensing.
    •    Appreciate with all your senses the beauty and wonder of what is right around you.
    •    Play music you love.
    •    Walk outside and drink in the air and light.  
    •    Take regular breaks to stretch, breathe and wiggle.
    •    Let your eyes rest by looking out the window.
    •    Keep beautiful photos, posters or paintings close to where you work. Studies show that images of water in nature are particularly relaxing and healing.

3. Pleasure Breathing.

This is one of my favorite ways to turn up the pleasure dial even in boring or tough times.

Rumi wrote: “There is a way of breathing that's a shame and a suffocation and there's another way of expiring, a love breath, that lets you open infinitely.”

We all have experienced both of these ways of breathing. The love breath feels so much better!

Become kindly aware of your breath and notice if you are tightening around it, perhaps from tension, or shame, or anxiety… or just by habit.  
Soften your shoulders, your eyes, your jaw, your belly.
Feel the natural pleasure of letting go of tension.
With each breath in: feel the movement of the breath bringing in love and pleasure.
With each breath out: Let tension melt away and feel love and pleasure flow all through your body.  

Soften your body around your breath,  tune into the natural pleasure of easeful breathing and even boring or challenging situations become more pleasurable.

I’d love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below.

Which of these things are you going to try?

What other ways do you use to activate the healing power of pleasure?

When you do more of what you love, what changes in your life?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read more on the Power of Pleasure:

BookLove: The Pleasure Prescription by Paul Pearsall

Can a Pleasure-Deficit Make You Sick?

Five Great Reasons to Listen to Your Body

Can a Pleasure-Deficit Make you Sick?

What brings you pleasure and a sense of fun?

What makes you feel alive and happy in your body?

Identifying and regularly doing these things is powerful medicine for your body and soul and will lead you toward vibrant health, well-being and increased impact in the world.

Are you Allowing Yourself Enough Fun and Pleasure?

Several years ago I taught a series of holistic wellness workshops to health care workers in a large hospital.  As a group their health was so poor the hospital system was not able to find an insurance company that would issue them an insurance plan.

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and many illnesses were much more prevalent in these health care workers than in the general population.

Hmmm, so sadly ironic, isn’t it? These people devoting their lives to helping patients were themselves so unhealthy they could not get insurance coverage.

To solve this, the hospital system decided to implement its own health insurance plan which included an employee wellness program I was hired to help create and to coordinate.

One of the administrators frequently expressed dismay and frustration that the employee obesity rate was so high.

“ Why aren’t they eating better?” She often asked me.

Some of the reasons become obvious when I met with small groups of nurses, aides and housekeeping staff and listened to them talk about their lives. They were working so hard, for such long hours, and giving so constantly that their inner reserves were depleted. They arrived home exhausted and hungry and ate what was easiest and what made them feel a little better- even if just temporarily.  

Some things were beyond my power or theirs to change. We couldn’t decrease their work hours or their workloads or hire them personal shoppers or chefs.

I did work with them to create individualized strategies for planning, shopping and cooking that made it much easier to eat healthful meals and snacks even in hectic times.

They also learned to reclaim the healing power of healthy pleasure.

No one had ever told them that doing fun things that helped them feel more alive and happy would improve their immune function, lower their stress levels and activate their natural healing response.

Since they weren’t getting many healthy pleasures in their day, when they arrived home exhausted, depleted and often understandably grumpy,  they reached for the temporary feel-good fix of fast foods, chips and sweets.

Too often the healing, restorative power of healthy pleasure gets overlooked when we talking about preventive medicine, natural health and self care. We talk about self discipline and what we should or shouldn’t eat and we often overlook the power of pleasure.

Think for moment about what your body loves to do. 

What helps your body feel alive and relaxed and energized and happy?

How often are you doing those things?

What happens when you deprive your body of what it needs and loves?

If you are like me, and like most people, when you deprive yourself of healthy pleasure you will tend to overeat, eat less healthful foods, overspend, and may experience anxiety, frustration, fatigue, grumpiness, depression and lack of motivation.

Commit today to tuning into your body’s pleasure needs and your health and happiness will immediately begin to improve.

(Breaking old patterns and habits is much easier with support. Want to feel fabulous in your body and to create vibrant well-being? Email me today with Let's Talk in the subject line. lea@leabayles.com)