Over the years, I’ve moved thousands of people through a mix of trendy workouts and ancient practices — and each of them arrived with expectations of getting fit, losing weight, building six-pack abs, and finding peace.
I’ve always sensed, however, that there’s a deeper reason for all the striving and searching than just having a great body and a stress-free life.
I’ve sensed that at the root of the search is our innate desire to feel fully alive.
On the Search to Feel Fully Alive
We go to great lengths and great expense to feel fully alive. We’ll jump from fad to fad searching for the next best way to feel more empowered or energized. We open our hearts and wallets to what the hippest experts recommend and what the hottest celebrities are doing — all to feel fully alive.
I know this because I’ve been on the same path, searching for ways to feel better, look better, and be better: when underneath all the forcing and fixing I’ve really just longed to feel more alive.
After a few decades with no earth-shattering results, I called off the search. I let go of needing to feel any different or look any better and gave myself permission to live my life, raise my daughters, teach yoga, and enjoy my husband and friends.
It was an incredible relief. My shift in perspective — from seeking to allowing, from doing to being — enabled me to experience space in my life beyond busyness and drama, a space where I experienced an incredible sense of freedom. It felt like falling back on my bed and resting my head on my pillow after a long, busy day.
I began to pay attention to my direct experiences, and more and more I began to glimpse a more natural and authentic way of living. Shifting my perspective from searching to simply living allowed me to get crystal clear about what was necessary to fully participate in my life — and not to waste one more second doing anything less. The trees looked greener, food tasted better, I felt happier.
In this space, beyond the search outside myself, I unleashed a new sense of joy that touched every area of my life. Letting go of the need to figure out my life liberated me not only to show up and experience everything, but to feel fully alive. Beyond the search, I became familiar with how to live my life in high definition and with high-voltage energy.
Seeing Your World in High Definition
Right here, in this moment, you have the opportunity to fully engage in what’s happening, to participate in reading these words, to feel the couch beneath you or the sun on your face.
Show up right now beyond busyness and actively pay attention, and you directly experience more of, well, everything. You feel awake to what’s happening around you and alive to what’s happening inside you. Beyond your busy mind you experience life in high definition.
High-definition living is a way to engage in the world with all your senses. It feels crisp and clear. It’s like seeing life as if you were a child again, when you stared at clouds in the sky and devoured books and movies (along with cookies and candy) with gusto.
Directly experience life in high definition, and you recognize the smallest details of life — the touch of wind tickling your neck and the smell of wood burning from the fireplace next door.
Now, decades after my final college race, I still vividly remember the details. I clearly remember calmly standing on the starting line waiting for the gun to go off, the smell of spring in the air, and how my spikes felt on the track. I remember everything about that moment — the high-definition experience that redirected my life.
You have your own high-definition moments.
Perhaps it was the intense emotional high when you got married, or the profound disappointment when you didn’t get the job.
Sometimes these moments are easy to identify, and sometimes they’re not as clearly defined. Strengthen your ability to recognize direct experience in the ordinary moments of daily life, and they all go into high definition.
The practices you’re learning will help you do so — to refine and expand your ability to recognize such high-definition, high-voltage experiences all of the time.
Trying to explain what it means to directly experience life in high definition is like trying to explain how it feels to swim in a cold lake or sing in front of a crowd. It goes beyond words and explanations.
As you become more aware of these experiences, you’ll ultimately recognize high-definition moments from more of a visceral place, in your body and beyond words.
This is important. Remember: your body always experiences the moment directly. Your body senses life firsthand beyond your beliefs, judgments, and conditioning. Your body reveals what’s real and true.
This is why direct experiences feel precise and complete, and why they often emerge with a resounding “aha!”