Do you feel lighter, more compassionate, more joyful, more natural, more playful?

One the most important things Eckhart Tolle has said is rarely mentioned. He said the test of being is a very simple question: Do I feel lighter and more joyful?

Ask yourself: Do I feel lighter, more natural, more joyful, more compassionate, more connected, more open, more playful? Am I coming out of the world of fear and sadness? Does life unfold more effortlessly and rightfully? Does life flow?

lighter, natural, joyful

credit: ajagendorf25

It’s taken me some practice to answer the question truthfully.

As awareness expands, and fears are released, I feel an ever-strengthening connection to to the innate sense of being. I can see this underlying nature is compassionate, joyful, natural, intelligent, curious, playful, intuitive, flowing, and liberated—I can use many words, but words break it up, and fail to convey the wholeness of it. I realize that this sense of well-being has always been there.

I find that when I can face up to negative emotions and limiting beliefs, I can easily release them. I find that it works even better when there is no judgment of ‘negative’ or ‘limiting.’ Releasing is now non-verbal and natural.

I find that with expanding awareness, it is easier and easier to notice. I can see that my ego swings between fear and desire. I can see that who I have thought myself to be, is just a thought. I can see that the opaque, petrified layers of beliefs and ideas and concepts hide true nature. I see the tendency to continue to create and cling to beliefs. I can see that expansion has nothing to do with intellect, or beliefs, or knowledge, or any particular view.

As Awareness expands, and as I release stuff, I see what is at the base is a loving positivity. This is not the the positivity of cultivated positive thinking; it’s already there, as my true nature.

I can see the entire problem with the human condition is fear. All fears are really the fear of separation—the fear that I am disconnected and separate from what is. The fear that I will die without experiencing the natural connectedness to the whole. This is why there is cruelty and sorrow and genocide and violence and abuse, and this is why most of us live in world of fear and sadness, and this is why, often, we feel desperate, insecure and unnatural.

Fear is why we are not able to see past our own foreheads.

As fear is released, I begin to connect with true nature. And from this place of deep peace and stillness, I naturally attract the good. It is no longer a practice. It is not effort. In this place there is no need to develop beliefs in complicated theories of existence or spirituality or the Law of Attraction or positive thinking or God. Because this place of awareness is already it; it is everything. It is reality, what is, the infinite present, tat tvam asi.

What a wonderful world this is, that joy is a signpost that points us in the right direction. How wonderful that the prescription for a happy life is to follow our joy, and not the opposite. -Gina Lake

Our true nature is good, joyful, curious and playful. When I don’t feel it, it’s only because I’ve covered it up with rubbish.

I have the innate sense now that what I want is a full and joyful life. We all want this, and in the past this translated into substitute desires, for money, relationships, power, status, materials and approvable success. If we look at desires, we can see they come from the wanting of approval, control, security, or the running away from fear. Test it out. What is that you want most? Does it arise from one or more of the four wants?

If we let go of these wants, we see that the desires we have are really not quite so desparate. They are rather flimsy. What we really want is to be full, expanded, joyful, natural, and connected. We already have that! When we let go of the rubbish, there it is! The natural, playful, joyful, compassionate, experiencing awareness has always been there.

I find in this place of peace and stillness, true inspiration rises.

For example, the writing that I do, does itself. It has developed on its own. There has never been a time, in the last two years, where I have had to to use any tricks of discipline or motivation to write. I notice now that the movement is towards a simpler, clearer, gentler and honest writing. It’s happening on its own.

I want to share what I have discovered about and through awakening. I want to share how to expand awareness and how to release, what it may feel like, what obstacles to watch out for—essentially, how to get back to true, natural being. I want to share how awakening can help with specific problems of living, like addictions and depression and anxiety and maintaining a healthful weight and relationships. I want to share direct experience, not beliefs or knowledge or theories.

I do want to get published, but there is no particular movement towards that. This is a naturally rising inspiration and I trust it is unfolding in the only way it can and should.

There certainly have been times, in the last two years, of sadness, longing, insecurity, a fall-back to addictions, detachment, insomnia, apathy, isolation, and low-energy. Right now, for example, I am in place of very low-energy and insomnia, and many would consider my life circumstances uncertain. Three years ago, my present circumstances would have caused me considerable fear and distress and probably clinical anxiety.

Today, there is no longer a desperate feeling to any of this. What is, is, and it’s all simply a natural part of the whole experience of awakening. The painful stories that I had attached to these ‘negative’ feelings are falling away. If annoyance or frustration come up, they are just momentary feelings in the vast fascination of being alive!

And through this, I have asked myself many times whether I am truly lighter and more joyful.

In the beginning, I lied.

We get into this thing—some call it spirituality, awakening, enlightenment, advaita, zen, or non-duality—it doesn’t matter what we call it. It’s a thing we do to be natural again. I had a fundamental realization, from Eckhart Tolle, that I was not my mind. And so the practice and chase started. I talked about it to my friends; I couldn’t help it, this is such a wonderful life-shifting truth, and it can change the world. I turned my life upside down, I read, I learned, I traveled, I practiced, I wrote…there were many changes in my internal and external life. Some were very uncomfortable, some fundamentally shifting, all of them unfolded towards a deeper peace and well-being.

In the beginning, when I asked myself, do I feel lighter, more natural, more connected, the answer was always, yes, of course. It was a lie. With some time and practice, a gentle honesty developed. And then the answer was true. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, I don’t feel lighter or more joyful.

When the answer is no, well, that’s what it is. Notice and accept and release. And it clears away.

It’s about being present and releasing. Here’s a good awareness technique, and here’s a good release technique, and there are more in the books Awareness and Release and Beyond.

What about you? Do you feel lighter, more natural, more curious, more playful, and more joyful, than you did a year ago? Are you in flow?

39 thoughts on “Do you feel lighter, more compassionate, more joyful, more natural, more playful?

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Josten,
      “Since i put a bunch of things behind me that were basically a bunch of baggage.” With releasing, I find that everything is a bunch of unnecessary baggage!

      “Also i stopped worrying about things i cannot control.”



  1. Avani Mehta

    ‘Do I feel lighter and more joyful?’ – wow, I like it when things are made really this simple. It’s kind of getting to the core of things leaving aside all superficial layers of complexity.

    To answer your question, I think these feelings of being light and joyful are like waves. Sometimes there’s progress and sometimes there’s none. When I work on myself and meditate daily, I see a distinct difference in my being. There’s a natural grace and love in my being all day n night at that time.
    .-= Avani Mehta´s last blog ..Hold On To Your Dreams =-.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hey Avani, yes like waves, beautifully said. Like waves they go up and down and the whole thing is a fascinating part of the joy of being.

      “I see a distinct difference in my being. There’s a natural grace and love in my being all day n night at that time.”

      That’s wonderful! and this is really is the only thing that’s important.


  2. Lisa (mommymystic)

    Hi Kaushik – thanks for highlighting this question – am I lighter, more joyful, more compassionate? It is so simple to see if we are in touch with our natural grace, but sometimes so hard to remember to use that simple standard. I find in the West especially, and myself being a very ‘mental’ oriented person, I can get myself caught up in some external philosophical or intellectual standards.
    It’s interesting, I had a Buddhist teacher at one point who always had dogs as pets – small, fun, happy dogs. I have always loved and had dogs myself, and talked about it once with him. He said something that was so true for me also – that he could just walk in his door, and the dogs were always so joyful to see him. And he could instantly see if his mind was trapped in anything other than that same awareness of joy within himself. I don’t mean everyone should have a dog of course, but hopefully we all have something like that. – Lisa
    .-= Lisa (mommymystic)´s last blog ..An Interview with Gangaji =-.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Lisa,
      I think very question itself can help us center ourselves in presence. It really is that simple. As you say, it’s simple but sometimes hard to remember our natural grace. Good example of pets–it seems pets and children can often help us find that playful, present-moment curiosity we all have. Thanks for the insight!

  3. Liara Covert

    The questions you raise invite readers to remember how easy physical existence truly is. When some person or force outside yourself exerts efforts to “push your buttons,” you always have the choice to react or not. You have the choice to learn lessons, gain insight into the self, or not. You have the choice to wish you were somewhere else, at some other time or, you can choose to just be happy and completely present right now. The simplicity about it shocks people who falsely assume everything worth having or doing must be hard. To realize happy feelings are the gauge for an incredible lightness of being, changes everything.
    .-= Liara Covert´s last blog ..How does external change empower you? =-.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Liara,

      You’ve said it very well, “The simplicity about it shocks people who falsely assume everything worth having or doing must be hard.” Sometimes I say awakening is very simple, and this often brings up resistance. But it really is, what we can do is be aware and release, and after a point it works on its own. Happiness is a choice, but the seeing of it can be a little delicate.

      Thanks for the great comment!

  4. Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord

    What an interesting viewpoint. I resonate with many things you said, having noticed in my own life a lesser desire for attainment overall. It hasn’t totally disappeared, but it’s not as marked as it once was. It’s as if – like you said – some rubbish has fallen away and my true nature has been able to peek out. My true nature has all it wants and needs already; it seeks nothing else. It results in a lighter feeling, yes. Much freer and naturally joyful. And then sometimes I shift and new debris covers the awakened parts… But now that I’ve sensed truth, my life feels expanded somehow. Like there’s no going back. The ego-driven wants and needs aren’t as extreme or frequent as they used to be. Middle ground is easier to find…
    I love coming here and learning more about myself through your writings. Thanks, Kaushik!
    .-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last blog ..Priceless Gift Giving =-.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Megan,
      I love your openness.

      Our experience is similar. The desperate desires for attainment diminish, true nature peeks out, and this can go in a swaying dance for a while. Overall life expands. Wonderful. Thanks for the lovely comment!


  5. Masouma

    Hello Kaushik,

    I am so happy to tell YOU that I am feeling much lighter, more joyful, more curious, more playful, more natural, innocent, alive, AND in flow 🙂 I AM. And once again, you have put in words my experience and feelings as of late. It was just a couple of days ago, that I remembered you and how you were there for me during one of the darkest times I’ve experienced. And, from the bottom of my heart I am thankful to you.

    with love,


    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Masouma,
      I am so very glad to hear that! How wonderful! You were literally the first person I talked with after starting this website. It is so very gratifying and energizing to hear how well you’re doing now. Please stay in touch!

      with love,

  6. Evelyn Lim

    I definitely resonate very well with what you have written here. As the veil of illusion drops, I find myself losing my fears, resistances, worries and limitations. I discover that the awareness or empty space has always been there all along! From it arises much joy, peace, light, serenity and beauty. Yes, I am definitely much happier than ever before!
    .-= Evelyn Lim´s last blog ..Align with Abundance =-.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Evelyn,

      You’ve summarized the article quite nicely in this comment.

      “Yes, I am definitely much happier than ever before!” That’s it! How wonderful!

      Take care,

  7. Paul Maurice Martin

    “Lightness” sounds like a good and important indicator. I experienced it that way and right away – my own spiritual growth in adulthood was also initiated by a spontaneous experience that changed my perspective suddenly. The lightness included going from depression to depression-free, and for the rest of my life it looks like – the experience was close to three decades ago.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Paul,
      That’s wonderful that your beginning into awakening was at an early age and spontaneous! It took me two decades of suffering before I was open to it. “depression-free, and for the rest of my life…” Beautiful!

  8. Brenda

    Hi Kaushik

    I’m getting better at using your advice when a fog settles on my spirit — notice it, accept it, don’t judge it, give it its time and space and like you say, it will clear away. I like your emphasis on playfulness here. I am happiest when I notice a playful spirit in myself and others. My grandfather had a playful spirit. I recall seeing him do somersaults in his late fifties. I love the meditative tone in this piece. Lightness and joy to you!

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Brenda,

      How well you put it: notice it, accept it, don’t judge it, give it its time and space and like you say, it will clear away.

      You said it better than I did, and fewer words! That’s it exactly.

      I hope you are really well, my friend.

      1. Kaushik Post author

        UPDATE: Here’s a pertinent and beautiful quotation form Gina Lake:

        What a wonderful world this is, that joy is a signpost that points us in the right direction. How wonderful that the prescription for a happy life is to follow our joy, and not the opposite.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi again Jonathan,

      Our true nature is a playful, joyful, curious intelligence. We’ve all had a momentary taste of this in life–those occasions when we are in flow are rare, but we do remember them. Most of the time though, most of us live without joy. And we resign ourselves to believe that well, this is what it means to be human.

      Awareness is really all we need. Awareness is simply coming out of the thinking mind, into a higher dimension of consciousness.

      Releasing can help us with this, because releasing can help make us feel better right here, right now. We can start with releasing the obvious negativity in us–anxiety, worry, self-criticism, fear and so on. Once we have some practice with the release technique, it becomes natural and quick. And as we release, we find deeper and deeper levels of negativity and limited beliefs, just like peeling an onion.

      In this process of expanding awareness and releasing, it can help if we can develop a gentle honesty, and it can help if don’t allow the mind to fixate on any particular ideas or views.

      At some point, the whole thing is effortless.

      This is my experience.

      And of course, you’re absolutely right, it is my experience as well that “releasing negativity and just enjoying the simplicities of life are truly one of the way to lighten the mental load.” And, what a wonderful thing it is, that releasing is quite easy.

      Thanks again for expanding the discussion in a wonderful way!


  9. PapaJon


    You hit me with Mr Tolle’s words on the same day I was listening (again) to his audio book…….. I am not sure how many times I have read then read and listened again…… It is light, joyful, aware, releasing more each time! ET says it soooo simply that if you do not get still it will not be appreciated…… I did not get still last year…. But it has been a great start……

    Last year??? Gee. When was that??? Yes, a beginner then and still now but the awarenes has become sooooo much easier! There is baggage and a history of mental habitual thought reactions does not want to let go…… It has no choice…. Watching the mind, aware of freight train of thoughts, is my awakening and gives lightness…..


    1. Kaushik Post author

      Ah PapaJon, very well put! yes, Tolle is great, and for anyone, the Power of Now is a simple, clear start. All we have to do is stop identifying with thought. “Watching the mind, aware of freight train of thoughts, is my awakening and gives lightness…” Beautiful!

  10. Lance

    Hi Kaushik,
    It’s interesting that the more I’ve written, the more I’ve connected with my deeper self. And through that, I have also felt deeper and lasting joy. Joy that has come from someplace deeper. Joy that has more meaning. And I really believe that it all goes back to how I’ve become more connected with my inner soul.

    So, so good to read this and be inspired…
    .-= Lance´s last blog ..Tri-ing Life =-.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Lance,
      That’s a great way to put it. I find as well that joy is already there, when I dis-identify with the mind. That’s the obstacle–most of us believe we are our thoughts.

      Writing has been greatly helpful and cathartic for me. I’ve always kept a journal, but in the last two years, writing has shaped liberation.

      Thanks for an insightful comment!

  11. Jodi at Joy Discovered

    Hi Kaushik!
    Wonderful post! You are right, the question you post (via Eckhart Tolle) is a great guidepost to evaluate where we are on our path. Personally, I am more joyful, playful, etc. than a year ago but I still feel like I have a ways to go. I am in the process of recognizing and releasing, as you write about here. It’s hard work! Awakening isn’t all bliss! 🙂 There is a lot of “stuff” we must shed in order to accept the moment for what it is, and not be constantly resistant to the flow. I am currently reading “The End of Your World” by Adyashanit. It has been so very helpful–I think he is a natual follow-up to everything we learned from Eckhart Tolle about the process of awakening.
    .-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s last blog ..Inspiration Pages =-.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Jodi,

      Ah, yes, Adyashanti is wonderful! There’s a credible rumor that Jed Mckenna, the rebellious voice of awakening, is actually Adyashanti. “Awakening isn’t all bliss!”…you’re right, it seems to go in waves, up and down, but always getting deeper, and always the right things happen. You’re more playful and joyful than a year ago, and that’s all that matters!

  12. Liara Covert

    Kaushik, to forget to be playful is to realize the body mind and spirit have forgotten how to relax, forgotten how to permit energy to flow freely. The emotions are not the only guage which measures inner balance. Lightness is a wonderful topic that reminds every spirit how transformation is constant and can always become more conscious than it is at this moment.
    .-= Liara Covert´s last blog ..5 ideas as food for thought =-.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Liara,
      “Lightness is a wonderful topic that reminds every spirit how transformation is constant and can always become more conscious than it is at this moment.”–that’s a beautiful way to look at it. Lightness and playfulness is when transformation is conscious. Great!

  13. PapaJon

    Hey Kaush!

    I have read some Jed M and if the rumour is true what is your Adyashanti reccomendation?

    Awakening is HARD WORK!


    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hey Papa! How are things in China?

      I think a good place to start is and Both sites have examples of writing–a good way to see if it resonates with you.

      Awakening was hard work in the beginning, but there comes a point where we are able to release effort. And then we’re in the flow of it, and awareness expands on its own, and releasing is natural, and it all works on it’s own–we simply have to get out of the way!


  14. Mark

    Excellent post! Yes, I do we feel lighter each day as my consciousness expands and as I allow my true self, love to be.
    Interesting I used hot air balloons in my post yesterday.
    .-= Mark´s last blog ..No Ends =-.

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