A lot of people are worried about their “carbon footprint,” which is really a catch-all term for the general price they personally exact from the environment. That increased awareness is great news. Likewise our consciousness is our psychological and spiritual environment so it’s a good idea to also consider our weight and impacts there.
You eat food and breathe oxygen and the mitochondria who live within you then convert those things into the energy that you use to move your body and to think with. You then use that energy to think thoughts that are turned back into chemistry that you then experience as an emotion. If you want to understand your psychology you must understand that important energy creation and expulsion cycle.
You can take food and oxygen and make the energy. You can use that energy to think of a route for your bike ride, then your leg muscles can burn energy moving you through that route. Or you could sit still and use that energy to create more physical weight. Likewise you can use that energy to think sad, angry or fearful thoughts that weaken you. Negative emotions will burn your energy on circular thinking instead of moving you forward through the world.
Focus on appreciating the world around you–not so much in words but in direct appreciation, like the way we enjoy an instrumental song or the taste of ice cream. Those are experiences before they are turned into words. Treat the whole world like ice cream and you will very efficiently translate your personal energy into an energy that connects with and flows into others around you. This is why some people are said to have a commanding presence or that they’re very compelling. They are giving off a lot of this energy and when people see it they generally refer to the person as confident.
In the end it’s simple: do you spin thoughts and burn your energy that way or do you use that same energy to move through the world? Because the pain isn’t because you went this direction or that; that’s just life. Pain is inevitable, but when we sit still and do not live at all we are volunteering for suffering. You were meant to be active in this world. You have more to offer than you realise, but you cannot own that capability until it is revealed through motion. Your life must have some direction and some intention to get anywhere or you will suffer.
Remember that when you feel great others can literally feed off of your energy. We’ve all done this sometimes so that you proves to you that you can do it. At the same time we can all bring an entire room down if we suck up the energy of everyone we encounter. Make your spiritual footprint light not dark, because the same cycle that can make things look darker and darker can also make them lighter and lighter.
Free yourself. Understand how your energy flows and start using it in your favour. Because the great part is, what’s truly good for you is what’s truly good for everyone around you. You’re creating the energy anyway. You can use it to crush yourself and darken your world or you can use it to free yourself to experience greater joy, love and connection. That is why it is important to practice mindfulness because in the end, no matter what you do, the road will always be defined by its ditches so it’s always important to be a conscious driver.
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.