Enlightenment means to lighten up. – Deepak Chopra
The ebbs and flows of life are unending. In an attempt for stability in a constantly changing world, we cling to philosophies of enlightenment for guidance: No attachments. Do unto others as you would do unto yourself. Cultivate gratitude. Embody the qualities you seek in others.
These ideas are beautiful and relevant, yes. But sometimes they just feel like more work. With all the responsibilities of our jobs, bills, families and friendships, the idea of “inner-work” may feel troublesome and heavy. Here are 5 ways to enlighten up:
- Jam to upbeat music. Whether drumming on the steering wheel during your drive to work or dancing in the living room with your family, music activates the body on a cellular level. We are affected by these frequencies, whether we consciously listen to them or not, so we might as well use them with intention (and have a dance party while we’re at it).
- Laugh. Go see a live comedy show, watch your favorite sitcom, listen to humorous podcasts or read a book of jokes. Laughter releases endorphins, which reduce stress hormones and induce optimistic feelings. It’s a unconscious vocalization that develops in babies before speech that can express relief and joy in addition to the physiological effects it has on our bodies. So, an empath walks into a bar…
- Change your routine. Sometimes we act out of habit instead of consciously. We eat the same meals over and over, take the same routes to and from work or have the same conversations with little variance from day to day. Drive a different street on your commute, visit a new place once a month or learn a new word to incorporate into conversation. Inviting variety and amusement into our lives can be a fun way to facilitate lighthearted change.
- Eat the rainbow. There is plenty of information online that outlines the benefits of eating a wide variety of vegetables and fruit. Or just do it because it looks cool on the plate.
- Take your shoes off and bathe your feet in nature. Taking time to play in nature may seem frivolous, eccentric or (for those who live in metropolitan cities) unsanitary. But consider how it feels to cool your toes in grass, wash your feet in the ocean, warm them with the comfort of the sun or wiggle them mid-air. Not only is going barefoot good for us, grounding (walking barefoot) electrically balances us!