3 Life Lessons From Eat, Pray, Love

The other week I reviewed one of my non-fictional favorite movies. It might have been the third or fourth time I watched it, but it is amazing how we always find different nuggets of wisdom each time we watch or read something again. Elizabeth, the main character, has a story that always resonated with me. At first, I didn’t know why exactly but over the years I have gained clarity and insight into my own behavior and feelings around relationships.

The Book
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The Movie
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In the movie, there is a line that reasonably describes the relationship between individuals who have what Ross Rosenberg calls “Human Magnet Syndrome”. According to this condition, we either have a positive or negative charge that makes us feel attracted to people who display the opposite force. Those who are oriented toward the needs of others are negatively charged, while those who are oriented toward their own needs are positively charged. They attract each other mostly through an unconscious process and they often lock themselves into a relationship from which they feel they can’t resist or break free.

In this type of relationship, individuals have no conscious intention or choice over their mating preferences and decisions. They are ruled by the push and pull magnetic dynamic that such a connection gives them, becoming blind to potential problems and already existent red flags. This is likely the number one reason why unhealthy empaths tend to feel attracted to narcissists, and vice-versa. These individuals are highly compatible but they can never become a fully functional and healthy couple as the relationship brings a lot of suffering and dissatisfaction.

The book and movie Eat, Pray, Love offers us a good overview of the Human Magnet Syndrome in action as well as how that magnet evolves once we decide upon the path of self-discovery and seek to heal any dysfunctional patterns and traits that lead us over and over again to feeling broken and miserable in any type of relationship. The good news is that the more you keep committed to a healthy relationship with yourself, the happier and healthier connections you will build in the future. Time won’t solve all your problems unless you do the necessary work yourself and part of that work involves the following lessons, also retrieved from Eat, Pray, Love.

1. If Your Heart is Wounded, That Means You Fought For Something

They might have been foolish fights, but you did fight for something you thought to be important for you. I don’t regret the night I took a bus and did 500Km to be with a man I thought I was in love with. It was pouring rain and I had never been in that city before. Still, I wasn’t scared. Today, I wouldn’t do it. No; but at that time I didn’t want or I didn’t know how to spot red flags. I didn’t know that love had nothing to do with building castles in the sky. I don’t regret the fact I fought for something meaningful to me but I recognize today I had a wrong notion of what love is.

2. You Don’t Need a (Wo)Man, You Need a Champion

When we desperately want a relationship (or think we need one), it means we are lacking in self-knowledge and life meaning. We don’t know ourselves as individuals and we avoid doing anything that can lift the veil and tell us that we are impostors. We don’t know how to be present for ourselves and we don’t know how to live our own life. The more you know yourself though, and the more you learn how to live the life your soul asks you to, the more you will wish to share your life with a partner that resonates, accepts, and supports your true you. No one needs a partner; we choose a partner and we must choose him or her well. The likelihood of finding the right partner for you increases the more you know and act from your true self.

3. To Lose Balance For Love Is Part of Living a Balanced Life

The search for the self and the search for balance after years and years of unhealthy relationships is tough because unhealthy relationships are mainly caused by a lack of boundaries and a good sense of who you are. Setting boundaries and defining ourselves as individuals when we spent most of our life mirroring other people’s needs and expectations is a hard and fine art. When we finally think we are in a good place and that we did all the work that had to be done, the fear of going back to our “old self” kicks in when we face the possibility of a new relationship. What if you lose yourself again? What if you lose the balance that it was so hard to achieve? The truth is that life is made of experiences and we can’t live with our hearts shut down forever. Trust your healing process and use reason to assess and discern reality. That way you are likely to make the best decision for yourself.

Is Happiness a Realistic Goal?

realistic goal and a desirable one. It is rather impossible to be happy all the time, of course, and it is rather difficult to be in a pure state of bliss on a regular basis. However, we can aim to develop skills and strategies that enhance our level of consciousness.

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The 7 Spiritual Laws Of Success

I have been reading a very interesting book called Quantum Success, written by Sandra Anne Taylor, and published by Hay House. I believe it is a powerful and insightful book for anyone who likes to read and learn more about the spiritual aspects of success, happiness, and wealth. The first part of the book describes and explains the seven laws of success which, according to the author, are transversal to any human endeavor. These laws are the law of Manifestation, the law of Magnetism, the law of Pure Desire, the law of Paradoxical Intent, the law of Harmony, the law of Right Action, and the law of Expanding Influence.

A powerful and insightful book for anyone who likes to read and learn more about the spiritual aspects of success, happiness, and wealth.

The Law of Manifestation

This law suggests that we create our own reality from our consciousness. This means that whatever happens in your life can be traced back to your own stream of consciousness and most people are not aware of such human capacity. In fact, many of us perceive reality as something totally random and out of our control. According to this law, we can manage our lives better if we consciously choose where our awareness and attention go. In other words, if we choose to prioritize what is truly important, and life-enhancing, then we are shaping and creating our future.

The Law of Magnetism

This law tells us that we attract the same type of energy we emit. This energy is imbued with what we think and feel about ourselves, and it is always flowing outward from us. We are continuously broadcasting information about ourselves and the way we perceive life. Based on the Law of Magnetism, it is within our control to change our energy. If we don’t like the situations or life events we attract, then we must pay attention to the signals we have been broadcasting and change our frequency in order to be more aligned and in tune with what we desire. To produce effective changes, there are three aspects to be aware of: your emotional energy (the vibration of your feelings), your cognitive energy (the vibration of your thoughts), and your physical energy (the vibration of your body).

The Law of Pure Desire

The Law of Pure Desire states that if your intention is pure and therefore not manipulative, fear-based, or desperate, then you are in the right energetic vibration to attract and manifest what you desire. Negative emotions and intentions cloud all the potential positive energy you hold toward the accomplishment of your goals and wishes. This happens because negative emotions tend to be more highly charged, a fact that has been demonstrated by science countless times. It has been even proposed that we need at least three positive emotions to counteract the impact of one negative.

The Law of Paradoxical Intent

This law resembles the previous one, the Law of Pure Desire. It suggests that the emotional state driven by the reason why we desire something dictates whether we will be successful or not. In other words, this means that if we desire something and yet we feel desperate about it, then we are generating a repulsive vibration and will push away the desired results. If we trust, however, we will generate a more peaceful vibration and therefore pull in the desired results.

The Law of Harmony

By consciously choosing to create balance and alignment in your life, your intuition and personal energy are almost automatically aligned with abundance, opportunities, and precious insight – or, what Jung called, synchronicities. When we are out of harmony, however, we remove ourselves from such a blissful current and we start to stagnate and find too many hardships. As you may guess, harmony starts with you and your daily choices in terms of thoughts, feelings, and actions.

The Law of Right Action

This is one of my favorite laws and, if you are familiar with Buddhism and more specifically with the Eightfold Path, it will ring a bell for sure. According to the Law of Right Action, every bad or good thought or action you engage with will become part of you and leave an impression in your energy field. In order to have a clear energy field, you must listen to your heart and look for the option which resonates with your own personal sense of dignity. It is not always easy to do what is right, but doing what is right is always the option that generates the best outcome for everyone involved.

The Law of Expanding Influence

As you now know from the previous laws, our vibration depends on the quality of our thoughts, emotions, and actions. The Law of Expanding Influence basically states that our vibration or resonance influences others and vice-versa. This means our thoughts, moods, sense of well-being and choices have an impact on other people’s vibrations and energy. Don’t think you are a prisoner of other people’s influence though. Use this knowledge to create and generate what you desire most. For instance, if you want your family’s life to be more peaceful, you must start working on yourself first and become more peaceful. Your energy will then have an impact on your family and you will see that your family’s dynamic will inevitably change as you change as well.

Concluding Thoughts

I believe by understanding and applying these laws, we can achieve greater well-being. These laws may be unfamiliar to many but they do seem to resonate when we think about past situations and experiences. The quality of our consciousness and the way we look after our five koshas, or bodies, is key to living a life in which we can accomplish what we most desire and thus live happier. These are not easy laws to put into practice but the more mindful you are about them, the easier it will be to respect them and obtain the outcomes you wish for.

Is Happiness a Realistic Goal?

realistic goal and a desirable one. It is rather impossible to be happy all the time, of course, and it is rather difficult to be in a pure state of bliss on a regular basis. However, we can aim to develop skills and strategies that enhance our level of consciousness.

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The 5 Bodies: Your Roadmap For Great Transformation

In Yoga Literature, we find the idea that we have not one but five bodies or koshas: annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, vijnanamaya, and anandamaya. Koshas are energy layers that surround our core essence or soul. These layers are nested within each other, like a Russian doll, and they vary in frequency and vibration. They can be used to guide you towards great transformation and spiritual development. If you use the koshas as a roadmap, you can achieve greater inner awareness and wholeness as your body, mind, and spirit become more and more connected.

Our goal must be to balance the koshas (bodies) and therefore not identify ourselves with only one aspect of them.

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This approach is one of the oldest conceptualizations of how energy is manifested in human beings. It was first described in a Vedic text dated from the sixth century before Christ and it can certainly impart wisdom and inspiration on our journey towards greater well-being. Our goal must be to balance the koshas (bodies) and therefore not identify ourselves with only one aspect of them. For instance, we are not meant to pay only attention to our emotions and neglect our physical and mental bodies. To experience well-being, we must act coherently and create resonance across all our energy bodies.

Annamaya, or Physical Body

This is our densest body. It is made of food, flesh, and bone. Imbalances in other bodies are manifested here and what you do with your body also has an impact on other subtler layers. Paying attention to what we eat, how much we exercise and sleep, and the extent to which we minimize environmental toxins are some of the aspects that can directly affect this kosha.

Pranamaya, or Breath Body

We are used to taking the breath for granted but the breath plays a huge role in how the life force or prana circulates throughout our physical body. It has the power of giving us vitality. To pay attention to this kosha is to pay attention to our breath and the health of our circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous systems. We are not meant to hold tension in the physical body for great periods of time as that blocks the flow of energy. When prana is not flowing right, we tend to be restless, stressed, and anxious. Relaxation techniques are paramount.

Manomaya, or Mental Body

This kosha comprises not only our thoughts, but also our emotions, and behavioral tendencies. It holds our perception of the world, of others, and of ourselves. Some say it houses our Ego. It works as a messenger between our inner and outer worlds. When this body is out of balance, we can feel disconnected from what lies beyond it or we may be overwhelmed with the flow of information that’s occurring.

Vijnanamaya, or Wisdom Body

The Wisdom or Astral body is the energy layer where our intuition resides. This kosha allows us to see reality as it is and have access to a greater sense of balance. It deals with knowledge from a higher perspective and it requires us to be the observer of our own experiences. It’s where we overcome the Ego by committing ourselves to accept both our Light and our Shadow.

Anandamaya, or Bliss Body

This kosha is the subtlest one and it houses our pure Consciousness. It’s where we feel one with the universe and realize our True or Higher Self. To develop and nurture this body, we need to elevate our consciousness and be committed to our spiritual practices. In today’s fast-paced and inverted world is hard to achieve this stage of great well-being but it is possible to have glimpses or flashes of such blissful experience if you remain committed to doing the necessary inner work.

Concluding Thoughts

Whether you subscribe to more eastern approaches to human life, or not, I believe this 5 koshas system can be helpful in the sense that it provides us with a roadmap to direct our journey towards greater happiness and well-being. We often want to improve our well-being and feel more whole as a person but there are so many aspects that influence such a process that we can feel overwhelmed or even confused about where to start making a change. Approaching our well-being through the five koshas or bodies can make our journey less complex and more feasible.

The 4 Jewels of Well-being

According to neuroscientist Richard Davidson, well-being is a skill, and it can be developed with practice. It’s like learning to walk or playing the piano. The more you practice it, the more you strengthen the neuronal circuits associated with well-being, and the better you get at it. These neuronal circuits are plastic and thus can be expanded and trained. They are awareness, connection, insight, and purpose.

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What is Well-being? The 7 Circles of Well-being

From my point of view, approaching well-being from only a psychological point of view is somewhat limited. Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being play an important role in the maintenance of our psychological health but there are other equally important aspects. Physical well-being and spiritual well-being are two of them. I like to tap into Eastern Psychology because it identifies us as being made of energy (or light) and it describes a model of our human energy field based on seven different layers or bodies.

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