Aristotle is quoted as saying “The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” Our awareness and perception of life is the reality of how we extend our energy outward. Where we focus our attention, and how we focus our attention, is how we interact with the world. Think of days when you walk with a smile on your lips and a skip in your step and how everything is wonderful and great on those days or the opposite when you are grumpy, rushed and hostile and see only the annoyances of your day. Our thoughts are energy and consciousness precedes matter. To live our life in a state of mindful consciousness we must move with awareness. Yet, many of us shy away from awareness because through awareness comes knowledge. I believe this is because awareness is often intertwined with a degree of turbulence. When we realize we are not happy in a relationship, job, or current life situation, we have two options: 1) stay as we are or 2) change. If we chose option 1, usually we get to the point of complete unhappiness that change is forced upon us. Whether we chose option 2 or get caught in a forced change, we venture through a series of events: some chaotic, some heartbreaking, some exciting, but all altering.
Earlier this month, I attended a lecture by Eric Shaw, a scholar on the philosophy, history, and science of yoga. During the lecture, Shaw touched upon the connection between energy and space. According to Shaw, space embodies pure potentiality. Energy moves into space and when something is empty, anything can be created from the emptiness. If you fill up the space, there is little room for awareness. We need to create space in order to maintain flow in our lives.
When we are busy in the affairs of our life, filling up every nook of our being with something to do, or with anxiety that we are not doing something, we are unable to grow and to manifest into our supreme self. In gardening, we are asked to prune plants. When the foliage becomes dense, the plants produce little to no flowers. The same is true for us. When we are cramming our days with busyness or minds are constantly bombarded with thoughts, images, sounds, clicks of the phone, internet, and texts, we produce little to no flowers. As we fill up the spaces of our life, there is less room for awareness. We are no longer able to grow and expand our consciousness. We need to prune our lives in order to blossom.
Give yourself permission to be idle, to do nothing. Feel the effects of space in your life, of clearing out the boxes you carry in your mind, heart, hips, and on your shoulders. We are all brilliant beings that get weighed down with anxiety, stress, and to-do lists. Instead create space for your energy to radiate through and experience your life with clear awareness. Make the time to stop, smell the flowers and bask in the bright essence of your life.