By Barbara Carrellas
How about your work? Which projects make you feel giddy with accomplishment and delight? Which fill you with dread? How about your social life? Which activities and events feel fresh, new and energizing? Which have become more of a habit than a pleasure?
The secret to living a more ecstatic life is no secret at all: Do as much of what you love as you possibly can. Do as little as you must of anything you don’t like. Seek maximum exposure to people, places, and things that energize you, and minimal exposure to people, places, and things that drain your energy.
Obvious as this is, it’s not always easy to put into practice. Ask yourself:
What is stopping me from breaking a habit or ending a relationship that feels like more of an energy drain than an energy gain?
Am I worried about hurting someone’s feelings? Or losing my job? Am I afraid to take a leap into the unknown? What do I believe will happen if I do?
In which area of my life could I most easily take a step that would create an energy gain? (For example, could I keep a promise to myself to attend a yoga, Pilates, or dance class at least once a week?)
In what area of my life could I stop or slow an energy drain? (Could I limit phone calls with my well-meaning but critical mother to once a week for thirty minutes?)
Learn to pay attention to your intuitive energy meter. Imagine that you have two dials in your body that control the way you take in information and make decisions—one in your brain and another in your belly. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and turn down the dial in your brain. Take another big breath and turn up the dial in your belly. Ask yourself: Do I feel an energy gain or an energy drain in this situation, or around this person? This simple exercise will help you move out of judgements and into your intuition.
Some of the most powerful energy gains or drains we experience are caused by the thoughts we think. Ask yourself, “On a scale of one (drain) to ten (gain), is the thought I am thinking right now an energy gain or an energy drain?” In the next week, stop several times to observe the quality of your thoughts. Practice elevating the energy level of your thoughts. Think thoughts that feed you.
Handle nagging physical problems. Do you have a persistent physical issue that you have been meaning to deal with but just haven’t gotten around to yet? The physical problem you’re avoiding is draining energy that you could be using for ecstatic expression. Whether it’s poor eyesight, back pain, sexual pain, or any other chronic condition, practice self-love and self-care by getting help.
Avoid social obligations—pursue social opportunities. The rare social obligation—even if it’s deadly dull—will not prevent you from living an ecstatic life. But if you allow yourself to be lured into too many of these so-called obligatory functions, you’ll find yourself being drained of the time and energy you would otherwise have to devote to more meaningful interactions. Look for social opportunities. They can be found anywhere and anytime you have a high probability of meeting delightful people who share one or more of your passions. It could be an erotic massage workshop, an evening of trance dancing, a gourmet dessert-baking evening, or a birthday celebration at a spa. Try and arrange at least two social opportunities for every social obligation. If you need inspiration and assistance finding opportunities, search the Internet for meet-up groups in your area.
Expand your sexuality. It can be your greatest source of energy and ecstatic experience. Whether or not you have a partner, commit to being more sensual and sexual. Try something new—a new position, or toy, or activity. Re-examine your sexual boundaries with the intention of seeing if you’d like to relax some of them. Think of sex as adult play, and set up a play date.
When you focus on maximizing energy gains and diminishing energy drains, you’ll soon find more joy and ecstasy in every area of your life.