“To become full one must first become empty.” – Lao Tzu


As a child, I got bombarded with the message that I was too much. Everywhere I turned, people said I was too loud, too smart, too heavy, too talkative, too impulsive, too intense, too happy, too forward, too silly.

My too-eager little self took those opinions as commandments, so I tried to fit the image of what others said I should be.

I made myself smaller so others were more comfortable with me….

I made myself smaller. It never worked. Our authentic selves force their way to the surface no matter how much we repress them.  

But I kept striving to be less than I was, in both body and spirit. My energy got smaller. I felt “less than.” It took me until my thirties to realize the truth.

As my energy grew smaller, my physical body grew larger. A year ago my petite frame peaked at nearly 210 pounds.

I see now that my spirit—my energy body—craved balance.

 I gained weight. I acquired possessions. I indulged in excessive behaviors.

In the past, I would numb such feelings with food or alcohol, so no one could accuse me of being “too emotional.”

Like putting a thumb over the end of a garden hose, my entire being forced its way out, powerfully fighting to occupy the space it wanted, the space I denied it.

A recent health scare illuminated this imbalance for me. I left the hospital feeling vulnerable, raw, and lonely. For the first time in my life, I made myself feel that emptiness. I didn’t have the strength not to.

This time, I consciously chose to let the emptiness fill me instead of me trying to fill the emptiness. To my surprise, my energy body loved all that space. It stretched out and relaxed.

I radically changed my actions. I intentionally let go of old thoughts and behaviors. They no longer served me.

When new things in my life fell short of my too-high expectations, I almost retreated into old habits. Disappointment triggers my feelings of “less than.”

But this time, I broke the cycle. I accepted reality, and welcomed any emptiness it contained. It’s the most empowering thing I’ve ever done.

If something is a mess and the thought of organizing it overwhelms me, it’s a sure sign that my energy body feels too small to accomplish the task.

I now understand Lao Tzu’s quote, “To become full one must first become empty.”

When people say that change starts from within, I think this is what they mean. We need to feel bigger on the inside, bigger than anything we might encounter on the outside.

Any kind of tension restricts our spirit. Space is what it needs.

Give your energy body space. You too deserve it.

Excerpt from one of my fave sites: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/do-you-take-up-as-much-space-as-you-deserve/

Image above is one of my own taken in Bermuda of my good friend.


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