Maintaining an ideal weight based on your gender, age, and height is crucial to optimal health. People usually achieve this through attention to appropriate nutrition and adequate exercise. Excess weight can lead to health complications such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. Not enough weight, and the habits and conditions that lead to it, can negatively impact immunity, energy levels, and mood.
A good rule of thumb is to consider whether you’ve gained more than 11 pounds in adulthood. If this is so, it may mean some extra attention to food choices and exercise regimens is warranted. But what if our weight and our relationship to weight are about so much more than that?
In Shamanic traditions, they speak of “energetic weight.” This is the residue of emotional, mental, and spiritual occurrences over time, which have stayed with us and made their way into our physical bodies. Our inability or unwillingness to effectively understand, process, and release these events may be responsible for the extra pounds that seem to gather here and there.
This is the grief we have never let go of that “weighs us down” and prevents us from knowing joy again. It is the “weight” of anger on our throats, chests, and stomachs as we blame others for our circumstances. It is the shame and guilt - the “weight we carry” - throughout our lives, never allowing ourselves self-forgiveness.
These events get stuck somewhere in our minds and hearts. Think about those moments as a child where you were introduced to extreme pain that you could not understand. Maybe you stuffed it down deep, putting it somewhere that was safe for the time being, until eventually you forgot about it. Those times where you chose not to cry your tears or scream your screams because you were scared to. Where did they go? They are still somewhere in there – in you.
Energy carries with it a frequency that determines our well-being. If that frequency is overloaded with low-vibrating emotions (fear, sadness, grief, etc.) and we do not clear ourselves or intentionally recalibrate to something higher, we end up with the remnants: the weight of it all.
I once met a woman in the Peruvian jungle. She was in her sixties and had not eaten solid food in seven years. Just water. Yet she was very “overweight”. Through her work with the Shamans and a supportive community, she came to understand that her weight was purely energetic. She had spent years being a trauma counselor and listening to story after story that she had held on to. She didn’t know how to process them, how to be a vessel for another person’s pain without taking the pain on as her own. Her real healing work and attaining an ideal weight was more emotional and spiritual than it was physical.
How much do you really weight? Consider the upsets that need letting go, how you can clear your blockages, and what healing need needs to happen.
Billy Rosa is a Registered Nurse, Integrative Nurse Coach Visiting Faculty, University of Rwanda.