“You look younger.”
I’ve been hearing this recently, from people I haven’t seen since moving back to Los Angeles. Some of them I haven’t seen in 2 to 6 years, and yet, these are often their first words after recognizing me. Sure, I could easily attribute this to losing 30+ pounds a year ago, but I believe it’s more than that. I feel younger. In fact, I feel timeless.
This time, I heard this phrase from a friend I reconnected with at the pool. He began to explain to me all the reasons why he couldn’t swim like I do, because he was told by his cardiologist this, that, and the other thing. This specialist, like all others, was dispensing advice based on an average of statistical data. In this case, it pertained to the “maximum heart rate” one should exercise up to, and no further. And while I am no cardiologist, I have learned a thing or two about muscles, even the heart. More importantly, I’ve learned about the power of our focus.
I do not propose that we should push ourselves far beyond our bodies’ known capacity for sustained lengths of time. But we cannot grow and become stronger unless we push ourselves some of the time. Whether it is strengthening the heart muscle through cardio exercise, or purposefully stretching ourselves beyond our comfort zone, if we put a cap or a ceiling on what we believe we can do, that ceiling will become real to us, and it will begin to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If I resign myself to believing that I can only go this far, and no further, I have effectively ceased my growth. Before long, I stagnate, and ultimately, I will likely stop reaching for that ceiling anymore at all – I become accustomed to playing well below it. But if I listen to my inner guidance instead, and the signals my own body is giving me, I can make specific, in-the-moment decisions about when to slow down, to stop, or when to keep pushing myself into greater and greater challenges.
Yes, I understand and I’m cruising through this physical world in a body that is, as of now, a finite expression. I understand that there are innumerable systems at work within it that are constantly moving, shifting, and rebuilding me anew. I know for instance, that even something as seemingly fixed as our skeleton is completely renewed at a cellular level every 10 years.
I know that despite what we all may agree upon about better health options for diet and exercise, that there are some who do all of these and may still fall ill, while others may smoke and drink every day and live well past what the statistical data would suggest is possible. I also know of individuals who inexplicably heal others with a touch, and that there are people like Anita Moorjani (-if you haven’t heard her story, I invite you to search for her name – you’ll be glad you did).
Anita had “end stage” cancer, fell into a coma, and with her body riddled with tumors, her organs shutting down, she was given a little over a day to live. During her coma, she had a remarkable near death experience that instilled within her a deep sense of spiritual knowing. She chose to return to her physical body imbued with the knowledge she had gained, and in doing so, Anita’s body completely healed itself of cancer in under two weeks, completely recovering to full health shortly thereafter.
“The amount of love I felt was overwhelming, and from this perspective, I knew how powerful I am, and saw the amazing possibilities we as humans are capable of achieving during a physical life.
… I became aware that if I chose life, my body would heal very quickly. I would see a difference in not months or weeks, but days!
I seemed to become aware that this applies to anything… I became aware that everything going on in our lives was dependent on this energy around us, created by us. Nothing was real – we created our surroundings, our conditions, etc. depending where this “energy” was … It’s all about where we are energetically. ” ~Anita Moorjani
What stands out to me in her story is that upon returning to consciousness, she knew that her body would completely heal itself. And she trusted that inner knowing beyond all medical and scientific data to the contrary.
We’ve come to a place where authorities guide and shape our very lives. Somewhere along the way we stopped listening to our inner guidance, our intuitive knowing, and began to listen to someone outside us tell us what to do – even pertaining to something is uniquely personal as our own bodies.
If we focus instead, as Anita Moorjani has, on the limitless nature of what is truly possible for us, we open ourselves to the miraculous, to abilities we have within that baffle the most brilliant specialists. And, as in her case, we may even shatter the statistical data from which these specialists derive their advice.
When we tune back into our inner guidance, and tune out the white noise of other so-called authorities, we align more fully with the greatest version of ourselves, the joyous creators we were always meant to be; we unburden ourselves of the generalized data that may or may not have anything at all to do with us as individuals – data that most certainly cannot take into account the power and direction of our individual focused thought.
When we have begun to let go and trust in this way, the truest light of that which we really are cannot help but beam through us – just as it did so naturally and easily as when we were children, playing to our hearts content, free from the things we had not yet been told to fear; free from the limits we were told we have.
One of my favorite things lately, as my girlfriend aligns more and more frequently with her joy and bliss, is in seeing the little girl in her shining through. I did not know her as a child, nor have I seen pictures of her actual childhood yet, but I already know what they will look like. That little girl’s spirit is unmistakable. And as she and I play together, she has said with increasing frequency how much she enjoys seeing the little boy in me smiling back at her with a trademark mischievous grin.
I saw the same thing in my grandmother when she found her old tap shoes a few months ago. Here is a woman who does not walk without some degree of struggle and discomfort, but when she put on those shoes, she became – for a few brief minutes – the beautiful woman she was in her 20s, smiling from ear to ear, dancing like her whole life was still ahead of her. We celebrated her 90th birthday a few weeks ago.
No matter how many years our bodies may have been on this earth, the freedom and the fun we lived so effortlessly when we were children is available to us, today. And if we were to listen to that voice within us more often – the one that wants so desperately to come out and play – it would light up our faces. It would enliven our bodies. It would allow joy to beat in our hearts and guide our lives, and it would inspire others to do the same.