Remember the days when your biggest concern was what to play with next? Or how am I going to style my hair for school today? Or, what should I watch on TV?
What happened since then…..life. Life happened. As we grew older we began to have experiences. These experiences include the experience of love. Ahhh love…. Sweet love….
Since then, life became enriched yet more painful, exciting yet heartbreaking and fulfilled yet empty.
So what is the relevance of this you ask? My recent trip to Hawaii brought this subject to the forefront of my mind, so I would like to share what I learned with you.
The past 6 months of my life has been a whirlwind of experiences including the creation of my new product Think for Fitness which has taken me to Hawaii twice in the past two months. The first trip I was able to take my husband and my daughter stayed with family, but on my latest trip, I was there on my own.
Before I left for Hawaii, I was excited about the thought of having some ‘me’ time. No husband to cook for, no child to wait on. As much as I love and adore them, a little ‘me’ time was an exciting concept.
I boarded the plane with mixed feelings. On the way to the airport, I was feeling excited about the journey ahead, however once I reached the boarding gate, feelings of trepidation, longing and fear enveloped me. I boarded the plane, tears rolling down my cheeks with the sound of my daughters cries for ‘mummy’ ringing in my ears. Suddenly those painful feelings of desire and longing to be with my family overwhelmed the feelings of excitement and self indulgence I had only moments before.
So what is love? The answer to this is open to opinion and interpretation, however I believe love to be a blend of chemical addiction and spiritual connection.
Chemical addiction? I hear you say. Yes, that’s right. Chemical addiction. On the way to Hawaii I started to read “The Brain that Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge. It is a highly thought provoking book that looks deeply into the power of the mind on a new scientific level. On reading this book on my return home after 9 days of pining for my loved ones, I learned the following:
This book states “…when we commit in love, the brain neuromodulator oxytocin is released…” Oxytocin is a hormone and is released in mammals (including humans) after giving birth and when feeding to reinforce bonding. It is also released in both sexes during orgasm. Oxytocin induces feelings we have when it comes to love.
In addition to this, we also release a hormone called dopamine when we feel pleasure. Dopamine is known to be the reason behind addiction to drugs such as cocaine because cocaine lowers the threshold at which our pleasure centres will fire enabling everything to feel more pleasurable. Studies have shown that the brains of people feeling pleasure by looking at pictures of their loved one (and releasing high levels of dopamine as a result) look the same as the brains of people on cocaine. Interesting right?
The book goes on to say that the pains of love are also a chemistry. When we are separated from our love for too long, we experience withdrawal and we begin to crave them. We also experience a loss of energy, feel run-down and often depressed. Something as simple as an email, telephone call or a message from that person can alleviate all of these negative feelings…at least until the next withdrawal.
What I found even more interesting is that, like illegal drugs, we also develop a tolerance to the levels of dopamine we release when we are with our loved one and as a result, we look to find ways of ‘spicing’ up the relationship. Now we can understand why when we begin to date someone new, we experience a ‘honeymoon’ period but about 6 months later, it seems the ‘honeymoon’ is over and we are looking for more.
After reading this very interesting, scientific version of love, I was overwhelmed with feelings of…well….relief! I DID experience all of those miserable feelings. Ones I never expected to have. I was in one of the most beautiful places in the world, feeling miserable. I kept trying to snap myself out of it but this dark shadow just seemed to follow me everywhere. Now I know it was just my withdrawal symptoms kicking in.
Have you ever wondered why you have these feelings? I would love to hear about your experiences by. Simply make a comment on this blog.
Now for my version of the spiritual connection of love………..
Tune in for part 2, coming soon………
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Have you ever sat and watched the ocean gracefully build momentum as it rolls effortlessly towards the rocky shore? Have you ever noticed that once it reaches the shore, all hell breaks loose and all order and grace that it once had is lost? Have you stayed long enough to see that after crashing into the rocks, most of the water flows into a place that is easiest for it to go and the remainder of the water flows back into the next round of turbulence? For the water that flows into a place that is easiest to go, there is peace and stillness – the serenity of finding a new home, a new direction a new existence. For the water that doesn’t, more turbulence awaits…
Does this represent the chaos in your life?
As I sit at Honaunau (a historical royal grounds that once provided refuge and absolution) on the Big Island of Hawaii, I watch the waves bring life to the seemingly lifeless lava that flows into the sea.
I watch the waves and I begin to feel as though they know me, understand me and they are telling me the story of life. This becomes more evident as each wave creates a new, unpredictable pattern of chaos and eventual calm.
How many of you are now starting to understand the similarity of the ocean crashing onto the rocky shore and your own life?
I don’t know about you, but I have spent the vast majority of my life searching. Searching for ‘who’ I am, searching for the ‘right’ career, searching for ‘acceptance’ and searching for ease, peace and calm.
So what is the purpose behind all of this searching and how do I know when I have found what I am searching for? Some people say, when you have found the right thing, you just know… Well I believe this to be true, but I also know that what is right at one point in your life seems so wrong at another point…
And so comes the lessons I have learned today simply by watching and listening to the story of the ocean…
The here and now is a beautiful place to be. You have the choice to make it as beautiful as you choose and upon reaching the point of chaos and disorder, it is time to realise that this is a significant transitional point in your life that will soon propel you forward to another beautiful calm place – if you let it. The less you resist the ‘flow’ of tansition, the more peaceful it will be, but should you resist, you are swept back into the chaos and turbulence of the wave.
The calm water in a new destination showing new signs of life
I guess the ocean is really finding a way to tell us that it is possible to get out of the turbulence, if you just let go of the reigns, trust and allow yourself to be ‘taken’ to a place of tranquility and peace. At least until it is time for another new direction or transition and the chaos starts again.
Initially after observing the story of the waves, I became fearful of the constant inevitability of the chaos and turbulence. I began to wonder if each transition had to be quite so turbulent? But then I watched a little more and I listened a little harder and I learned… Not every transition has to be chaotic. Sometimes, the transition is a perfect, uninterupted flow of nature and other times, waves can come in from the side and surprise you causing greater turbulence than expected. Sometimes the waves are gentle and loving and sometimes they crash into the rocks with violence and vigour. The difference between the two is the more turbulent the wave, the greater the propultion of the water to it’s final peaceful destination. How profound!
Overall, the waves told me that no matter the type of wave, peaceful or turbulent, the water ALWAYS reaches a place of stillness and peace.
I found this realisation thrilling and looking back on my life, I realised the oceans story is absolutely true because although my life has been wonderfully colourful, after each crashing of the wave, I have always managed to find peace and stillness. The waves continue to crash onto the rocky shore in my life but I now know there will always be stillness and peace awaiting.
I ask you now to apply the story of the ocean to your life. Ask yourself, what were the waves and where was the stillness and peace that followed? Did you resist and stay within the turbulence or did you allow the ocean to propel you to where you needed to go?
I hope you have drawn as much wisdom of the ocean as I have.
Until next time..
Live life, dream big and TRUST!