you and YOU (and ME)

New to you and YOU? Or need a refresher because If all this you and You making your head spin? It may seem a tad confusing, but it seemed the best way to talk contrast the you that you think you are, with the YOU that You really are.

Who YOU really are is that expansive being you experience in peak moments of joy, bliss, awe, appreciation, and such. YOU are so large in this space that it is too big to encompass limiting things like thought, opinion, judgment, even identity, which is inherently limiting when you think about it, all those things you are not in order to isolate who you think you are. Your YOU is you without limits, without definitions, without, dare I say it, the personality you’ve probably worked so hard to cultivate all these years.

Been YOU lately? Maybe at the birth of your child, a near death experience or getting lost in the enormity of a spectacular thunderstorm or sunset? Peak moments can come at any time, and they don’t have to be attached to some huge event to overtake you, but they do all have a few things in common. The experience is so all encompassing that you are the experience and not just having the experience and reflecting about or thinking about the experience at the same time. In other words, there is no duality in the experience, it just IS. While in that experience, everything else in your mind and body and the world becomes quiet. While in that experience your everyday worries, thoughts and fears seem trivial if they exist at all. Being in the experience of YOU is, simply, being, and any action you take from this place comes out of this magnanimous part of you—if you are thinking about it, or calculating it, then you have slipped out of YOU and back into you.

This all may sound familiar to you—or maybe it doesn’t. Either way, the simplest way going from you to YOU really is to practice being YOU. Which means to call on moments in which you may have felt this way, or close to this way, to retrain your nervous system to begin to make this sense of yourself your emotional home base, because when it is, you are more apt to be YOU and act from YOU more of the time.

What’s the benefit of that? When you are acting out of the expansive YOU, life begins to flow more easily, be more fulfilling; you feel more authentic, more real, more yourself; and life gets created in a way that works for you and YOU, rather than you having to contort yourself to fit into life as it comes. The best part is that YOU are not under anyone’s control because the buttons that people push to keep you in line don’t work with YOU. Your YOU operates on a much larger stage.

So how do you practice being YOU? If you have had a few of these peak experiences, go back into them—not into the events but into how they made you feel. And just keep practicing that feeling, don’t get caught up in the thoughts or event, just keep practicing the feeling, because that’s how you retrain your nervous system to be more YOU.

If this is all new to you and you haven’t had a moment or three like this, then the fastest way to get into that expansion is with appreciation. Appreciation, or gratitude if you’d rather, are like instant hits of expansion. The key is to really get into appreciating something (or lots of things one after another) until you can feel a shift in your body toward feeling light, expansive, more free. Remember that feeling, practice that feeling, and if there are a few things that you really appreciate, keep them in a handy file in your mind so you can rocket your way to expansion whenever you want to. Just keep practicing, as often as you can. The more you practice, the more YOU you will feel, and the more You you are, the more your life will shift into what you and YOU want it to be.

If you need a few more reasons to keep practicing expansion, here are two: 1) it just feels so good, and that should make it compelling enough, but the next one is even better; 2) all that feeling good releases endorphins and other happy hormones that bathe your body in cellular healing, decrease stress, help you lose weight (by decreasing cortisol which packs on the pounds), decrease heart rate and blood pressure and just all around improve your health and well being.

The downside? Well I don’t think of it as a downside, but when you are operating from You, the brakes come off your life and the training wheels dissolve, and your life starts flowing a whole lot faster, becomes a whole lot more spontaneous and a whole lot less predictable.

Think you can handle that? I knew you could, sunshine. Welcome to YOU.

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