It is probably quite obvious to most people that it is very difficult for us to experience deeply positive states while we are experiencing tension or stress. So the very first step to take if we wish to experience more peace, more happiness, more joy and so on, is to relax our body.
As our body relaxes, we simply feel more good feelings in our body. As tension and contraction are released, more space is created in our muscles, in our organs and in every part of the body that relaxes. As a result, blood can flow and circulate more freely, and oxygen can be delivered more easily to more parts of our body.
Not only do we feel more energy flowing through our body (as a result of improved blood circulation) but because more oxygen is reaching the cells of our body, we experience increased sensation, greater bodily awareness and a heightened sense of consciousness within the very cells of our body.
This is simply because oxygen feeds consciousness. The more oxygen we have in our system, the more consciousness we experience. The less oxygen we have flowing through our system, the more sleepy and unconscious we become. It is easy for anyone to observe this.
If you go for a walk in nature, as you are breathing in the fresh air you will feel more alive. When you get back home you will feel more alert, more bright, more awake. You will be more energised and more conscious of the physical sensation of energy flowing through your body.
However, if you spend several hours in an office, breathing very little fresh air and not using you body very much, you are likely to feel sleepy, sluggish, de-energised and not very alert. Your brain and your body have not been receiving their prime fuel, oxygen, so they start functioning at mediocre levels. And if this is happening day after day, problems can develop. The body and the brain lose their ability to function at optimum levels, and mental or physical illness can easily begin to occur. Whenever there is a lack of oxygen, you will find there is a lack of health, a lack of vitality and a lack of consciousness.
So what about the opposite situation? What if all the cells of the brain and the body are receiving an abundance of oxygen, through plenty of outdoor activity and conscious breathing practices such as yoga and meditation? It is simple. You have excellent health and radiant consciousness. The cells are receiving that which they most need in abundance, thus they thrive. And when the cells of your body are thriving, they allow for greater consciousness to flow through them.
I have written many articles about how to nutritionally provide the body with an abundance of oxygen, so I won’t go into great detail here. Suffice to say that essentially our diet should be comprised of an abundance of alkaline foods (essentially fruits and vegetables) which encourage the pH of our blood to remain alkaline. In this state, the blood can most efficiently carry its maximum capacity of oxygen around the body and deliver it to all the cells. Add to this plenty of dark green foods, rich in chlorophyll (especially healing superfoods like wheatgrass juice and spirulina) to enrich the blood with oxygen, and you will be doing well.
Of course, there is not such great benefit from enriching and increasing the bloods capacity to carry oxygen if we do not provide it with plenty of fresh oxygen, through spending plenty of time outdoors and through conscious breathing practices such as yoga and meditation.
Conscious breathing is a very important and effective way to clear the mind of accumulated debris. Thoughts and images flood into our mind everyday from a variety of sources, and many of them are not as healthy and positive as we need them to be. So when we sit (or move), and we breathe consciously – which means being fully aware of every single breath – we create a strength of focus that helps us to value the life-giving quality of our breath over the thoughts and images that enter our mind.
We see that each breath brings the gift of consciousness, of aliveness and energy. Thoughts cannot do this. So as we simply sit and take each breath fully, slowly and consciously – always alert to the mind’s many distraction techniques – we begin to see where life and love truly flow from. It is not from thoughts, but from each breath. This is why conscious breathing / meditation is such an enjoyable practice. We are getting back in touch with the source of our life energy, the source of our consciousness; the essence of our spiritual self; our breath.
So, when we choose to consciously nourish our body and our brain with an abundance of oxygen, we start to feel more alive, more conscious, more joyful and more connected to the beautiful planet upon which we life. This is a process of re-attuning to the natural and deeply harmonious energies of the universe, of relaxing back into being who we truly are. It is a process of healing.
As we heal our heart and our mind of all their dis-harmony and dysfunction, we realise that being alive is a truly blissful experience. No effort is required to experience life’s bliss. Quite the opposite. We see that all our striving for something more, something greater, something better only ever took us away from experiencing the delightful depths of our being. This more expansive and deeply peaceful state of awareness is always available to us, if we fully bring our attention out of thought, into our sensory experience of this moment, and allow the body to relax deeply. As we do this the heart naturally relaxes also and allows more spiritual light – the light of consciousness – to flood our awareness.
Deep relaxation and oxygenation (i.e. conscious breathing) are the keys to experiencing the natural bliss of our being. The more deeply we relax our body, the more that deeply held tensions are given the opportunity to be released, and where there was once tightness and contraction, there is now space. And then consciousness can flood in, awakening our cells on a deep level to the beautiful energy of life, to bliss.
This process is a deeply enjoyable one, because as tensions leave the body harmony and ease are restored. We simply feel more at peace, while simultaneously feeling more alive. We have more energy and more joy. We feel lighter and more carefree. Life becomes a totally pleasurable experience, and not because of what we ‘do’, but because of how we feel. We realise that to enjoy life we do not need to go here and go there, to buy this and that, to improve ourselves or become more successful. We just need to relax our body fully, so that there are no barriers of tension. With such barriers removed, we can easily enjoy the feeling of life’s innate joy flowing effortlessly through the cells of our body, not just sometimes, but all the time.
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