A Study on Commitment and Energy

Lately I have made an in-depth study on what commitment truly is. Last year somebody shared with me that they felt I was completely withdrawn from life – not committing to life in full.

At first I resisted: “Who me? I have started up several companies, been successful in my career, have many friends, I was on television, radio, wrote columns in newspapers. How can you call me withdrawn from life?” But in truth I was. It took some weeks to fully admit this unpleasant truth.

Several things had happened in my life when I was young, then one final big tipping point event a couple of years ago and with that, I made the choice to withdraw from life. I decided that life was too painful to be in so I believed it was better to withdraw from life, even with little money to support myself, rather than committing to life in full. It was not a clear conscious choice, but I can see now it was still a choice.

In light of this revelation I decided to study how commitment really works, and return to leading a fully committed life. I had discussions with people about it, sessions with Esoteric practitioners and read inspiring articles like Commitment to Self –Commitment to Life  and A True Commitment to Work, Getting a Job… and Life.

 From here I started to re-commit to life, starting with some simple, practical things. One of the seemingly simple exercises I did to support all this was going for a ten minute walk every day. I began with focussing only on feeling my hands and my feet as I walked as a way to support myself to develop conscious presence. I also found that really paying attention to how I felt in my body when talking with people supported me to stay connected to myself – which was not my usual way as I tended to focus my attention on the other person or people I was with, or just lose myself in the story I was telling.

Another thing – and there was quite a list – was when I was sitting behind a computer, was to not ‘disappear’ into the screen. Always feeling my body, whatever part that might be.

 Recently I had a realisation of another way of how commitment truly works. I had an awful day at work; actually and more correctly, I chose to have an awful day at work by choosing to not commit. I resisted the work that was there to do as I thought of it as boring and arrogantly considered myself too good for it. I did not work with 100% dedication and I secretly started sending out and answering private emails and doing personal things for myself.

What made it worse was that I still believed I delivered good results. Basically I thought I could get away with this – and indeed management did not notice – but in truth I couldn’t, not with the energy I was allowing to run my body, which was definitely not commitment or love. I became slow in my actions, my body felt heavy, and it did not stop when I left work.

 At the end of the day I felt powerless and somehow a bit stupid as well. I walked in an unstable way and felt light in my head. This was not how I normally would feel, or who I knew myself to be, and with this I knew I had let another energy affect my body.

Later on with the help of a true friend I realised deeply how commitment really works.

I realised that when I choose to not commit to life in full, it creates an opening for ‘negative’, that is, unloving energy to enter. But when I choose to commit to life in full, the energy I feel in my body is very different – it is loving, solid and light. Therefore it is my choice that can seal off openings for this unloving energy to enter. This case at work was very huge and clear. But it also works with seemingly small things like doing the dishes, answering emails and cooking.

When I don’t commit to every aspect of my life in full, I allow unloving energy to enter. For example, when I choose to not commit in doing the dishes, but I do them anyway because I have to do them, but now slower and with an indulgence, this contains the draining and unloving energy that is not supportive to true commitment.

Therefore all of the choices I make, the quality of energy I choose to do them in, and whether I am fully committed or not, has an impact on my work, my energy levels, my relationships, my body, other people… on everything.

Leading a committed life now means for me to be fully committed to myself first, knowing there is nothing selfish about that. What this means is that I make it my priority to honour what I feel, treating my body with respect and care, as I would my best friend, and listening intently to what it is telling me. The commitment to the things I do is equally important, but always comes second.

With much appreciation to Serge Benhayon, his family and the many students of The Way of The Livingness, who show me what it means to fully and truly commit to life. Thanks for your reflection!

By Willem Plandsoen, MSc, sales professional and student of life

Further Reading:
The Ultimate Commitment To Life
Taking Responsibility and Making A Re-Commitment To Life
Commitment To Self – Commitment To Life

1,011 thoughts on “A Study on Commitment and Energy

  1. ‘When I choose to commit to life in full, the energy I feel in my body is very different – it is loving, solid and light.’ I love this Willem, it is exhausting to live withdrawn in life, through me committing more in my life I seem to have more energy to get things done.

  2. Attending to the practical things in life helps to build a strong foundation which then supports in all other aspects of life.

  3. It is an important lesson, one that I feel takes a lot of discipline, to learn how not to disappear with one’s mind in to the computer screen, so tantalising as it is with all of its lights and colours.

  4. It is interesting how we can lose ourselves in telling a story, as in the retelling of the story we can generate even more emotional reactions and reinterpretations on the original.Especially if we are identified to it in some way.

  5. When we withdraw the energy that comes in abuses our body and leaves us feeling depleted and exhausted. It is not sleep that restores the energy, but love for people and our universe.

  6. ‘I did not work with 100% dedication and I secretly started sending out and answering private emails and doing personal things for myself’. How many of us have done this, I know I have in not being 100 per cent dedicated. But truth is we do not get away with anything, although our mind likes to convince us otherwise, therefore, it is our own responsibility to live in such a way that we are connected to our body and our innermost, in order to bring presence and quality to all we do, without perfection.

  7. I can really relate to that heavy, dragging feeling that we experience when we are one foot in and one foot out. It takes a lot of energy to straddle life and live divided; always keeping back the parts of you that you actually love to be with. This restriction on our fullness in life is painful. I am particularly thinking about work and can relate to all the reasons that we create for not committing- work is too hard, I don’t get paid enough to do x,y, and z, I don’t like my job, it’s just a job. Before we know it we have convinced ourselves that half hearted ness is the easiest and best way to get through life. But it is a complete drain on us.

  8. Thank you for these practical examples Willem. It’s in the details of how we are in each part of life that we build commitment. How much more of ourselves can we bring to all aspects of life? I immediately have pictures of saying yes to everything- more activity at work, engaging more with colleagues, expressing more etc but your blog reminds me – am I doing this with presence? Am I taking my connection with me? Am I remembering not to try to be perfect also?

  9. Love to come back to this blog Willem, for I was someone who had huge lack of commitment and as a result always felt life was a struggle and complicated – go figure! I have noticed a remarkable difference in energy levels and vitality as I have committed to work, and how life flows much smoother and life has become simpler and I have a deeper sense of purpose, have more clarity and focus – such is the power of committing fully to life and to oneself. Great blog Willem.

  10. I have been pondering on the word commitment and what that actually means in my livingness recently. I have been observing others in that in the ‘outside’ world they seem to be committed doing this and doing that yet their body is saying otherwise eg. being diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. The belief that ‘doing’ equals commitment is a big one society falls for, I have fallen for this too however I am sensing from my body that unless there is commitment to self there is zero commitment in anything I do.

    1. Yes Caroline, I fell for that too, going into the doing and getting lots done, mrs busy body I was in the past, constantly rushing and squeezing more into my day. I was in no way committed, nor did I have any self-care and was always exhausted. In fact all the rushing about kept me disconnected from my body, which meant I did not have to feel my huge lack of commitment to life, and I how created all the struggle and complication!

    1. A powerful sentence Viktoria, and absolute true. When we get the small self that likes to control out of the way, we often see the bigger picture and just get on with what is needed at any given moment – committing is being in service.

  11. Adding to this article 2 years after, I can see how much my commitment to myself and then the rest of my life still needs and can be deepened as I have started to be honest and see how much comfort I still attached to.

    1. Ah those comforts… it is great to nominate and call out our comforts for they do get in the way of committing to life in full – but the magic is, with having the intention to commit, the comforts get exposed, and with this awareness, we have a choice of what we are going to choose next; more comfort or more commitment?

  12. Commitment to life begins when we open our hearts and allow ourselves to feel all of that which is there; the good, the bad and the ugly and do not shy away from bringing exactly what is needed so that truth is restored to all aspects of life.

  13. I have been working with this too, doing something 100% in full is liberating as I realised it took much more energy to do things half baked.

  14. It’s so common that we give life less than 100%, but life is such a different experience when we start to initiate commitment and give it everything we’ve got – rather than just dipping a toe in. It’s like we send out a wave and it comes back ten-fold.

  15. Thank you Willem, it is good to read through this again and be reminded and confirmed that simplicity and consistency is the key and to be simply very honest with oneself.

    1. … yes, honest enough to say immediately ‘I have dipped and so therefore I have allowed an energy that does not support me in.’ Being absolutely honest with ourselves does require a consistency which I am exploring at the moment but with this consistency comes a vitality and a continuous flow of commitment to life.

  16. It is easy to believe we have commitment when we don’t truly have it because we measure in some way, when we are fully committed we know the value of what we do and the quality in which we bring it.

  17. If more people committed to life as you share here Willem, I have no doubt that the sales of energy drinks, coffee, and chocolate would see a stark decline as we would no longer need this to prop up our exhausted state.

  18. I can relate to how you describe the feeling of committing to life in your body: “the energy I feel in my body is very different – it is loving, solid and light”. I can also add for me, that I have a ‘spring’ in my step, an openness in my heart and a very joyful feeling right through my body. So, it’s very noticeable when I let go of that commitment, as my body begins to speak in a very different way.

    1. And to add to that : ) I feel a physical warmth in my feet and recently more in other parts of my body, the more I am committed the more I guess the energy of love flows through my body and it feels like a warm bath.

  19. Such a brilliant blog about commitment. I used to have a problem with 2 words – responsibility and commitment, I now can feel how important they are and when I began to live these 2 qualities everything became more simple, I felt more energised and built a solid foundation that has supported me in many areas of my life.

  20. What a fabulous explanation of what happens when we pull back from life and the unloving energy that has to step in to fill its place. This is the way all energy works, there cannot be nothing or neutral space. Its either the love of the soul or anything else that the spirit conjures up.

  21. I noticed that keeping a layer of protection in my body already creates an opening for forces to get through. We can not live our love when we are protected.

  22. Very well expressed – any angle effects the other.. Hence dropping the ball on one point makes the other loose its power too. I am aware that staying present is therefor our deepest form of attendence to all things we do.

    1. So true as there is a large level of awareness at play when we are willing to understand that the responsibility lies with us all for the all.

  23. Yes, Willem, the commitment to stay with the body and honour it’s constant communication is something I am still very much working on, and the more I do the more authority I build in what I feel, what I choose and how I navigate through everyday life.

    1. I agree there is a definite authority that comes from being present and correct in our body. I find I am much stronger, and much less easily swayed by things happening around me.

  24. If motivation is truly intrinsic it does not need any carrot, If we are not looking to be recognised, if we’re not looking for an outcome but are simply committed to doing our best – anything that comes our way will be a motivation, an inspiration and we will jump at doing it, not to get something out of it but simply because we love moving in the grace of our love.

  25. Disappearing into the screen is a big one especially when our work involves the computer from start to finish of the work day. I tend to feel my fingers when I have to work on the computer and try to take breaks by walking to the bathroom, making a cup of tea, or getting up for the photocopier. I noticed that if I have a deadline of figures that have to be entered by a certain time then I can go into drive to get them finished if I am not careful and this feels terrible in the body.

  26. I can relate to not “committing to life in full”, but at the same time thinking that I was. This realisation was a big wake-up call but one I knew I couldn’t ignore any longer as it was definitely time to truly commit to life, – but where to start? And like you, instead of being overwhelmed by the many things I could see waiting for me, I started with one step at time and made the choice to make the first commitment to me, after all without a commitment to me how can I commit to life?

  27. Being committed to ourselves is huge as for so many of us, we put ourselves last and everyone else. First I feel this caps us from knowing who we are and then moving from there. Understanding myself first has made a huge difference to my outlook on life.

  28. There is a strong and very important message in this article about commitment, as it is always to do with your body and the quality of your presence within it. This is where the roots of true commitment lives.

  29. I appreciate far more how listening to our body is key as it constantly communicates and guides us when we have disconnected from being present to come back to ourselves and the truth and wisdom of our body.

  30. It’s great to take the concept of commitment and look what it truly means, to take it beyond function and doing but to the way we are in all of our life. Very inspiring.

  31. What I am getting from this is how commitment is about bringing love into my action, or at least that intent. To do that, I have to be present with my body, be aware what I am doing. Very simple, yet I can get comfortable in familiarity, or like your example, measure how much of myself I would bring in and withdraw to balance off my reaction to the task or situation thinking, but really, I might be thinking that I am protecting myself from hurt, but I am actually hurting myself further by saying no to love that is actually very natural and innate.

  32. It is silly but when we don’t commit to life and bring everything we have to it it becomes boring, which then further makes us check out. And all along the true remedy is actually to commit more to ourselves and life.

  33. We like to compartmentalise life so that we can own and control parts of it we are good at. It creates the imbalance of being absolutely on fire in one part of life and completely held back and contracted in other parts. This is not a healthy way to live.

  34. “I became slow in my actions, my body felt heavy, and it did not stop when I left work”, a great example of how non-commitment affected the way you felt, which equally suggests that when we are committed we are much more ‘switched on’ and light in our approach, and this then comes with us after work. After all, commitment can’t be switched on and off – as you describe Willem, when commitment is not there we certainly feel it in our bodies.

  35. Having read this this morning it has really deepened my understanding of commitment and highlighted all those areas in life where I do not commit which has supported a completely new level of commitment.

  36. Doing daily activities around the house with purose and commitment is a joy no matter what the activities are or whether we have done the same activity over and over again, it is the quality we are doing that activity in that makes the difference to whether it feels ordinary and mundane or not.

    1. Yes, it is the quality that counts and the daily activities are a great support to deepen this quality.

  37. We move in a specific way. That has consequences regarding what we encounter as we walk in life. Yet, we do not like it. And, we complain about life, of course, seeing life as something completely external to us. At some point, we cannot take anymore and we withdraw from life but not our movements that led us to renounce us. When our movements are not about claiming us back, we are moving at the music of withdrawal even before we withdraw from life.

  38. Thank you for your honesty and a great example of how we can be very expressive and active but underneath or behind that actually be withdrawn, and not truly bringing who we are to the world and to the quality in our expression. So we can’t measure our commitment just by the volume of our activity but by the quality we bring to it as well.

  39. Commitment to life is committing to be love and integrity we are and to not waiver from that. But so often, as of my own experience, we tend to lessen this love, and lessen this integrity because we like to endeavour with all the ideas that are given to us by our deceiving mind and it makes us think we ‘can come away with it’. Unaware of what we allow into our bodies when we submit to these thoughts and let in the energy that does not belong to us as we are from a different order.

  40. Who would have thought that such ‘little things’ would have an effect on how you feel overall. It is this level of detail in our relationship with our body and everything we think, say and do, that offers us an incredible insight into why we do what we do and indeed why we don’t do what we know we should or could do!

  41. We have to bring our All to every part of our life and not just areas that we feel comfortable to bring our All. This is what bringing true care is about.

  42. We can do everything, tick off all of our to do lists, but if it’s done in the wrong energy we may as well do nothing.

    1. For sure Victoria, it does not add to the whole if we are working with the ‘wrong’ energy and therefore it would be better to do nothing at all. But that is not how the human spirit works as it knowingly likes to add to the ‘what is not’ as it will keep us longer entrapped in this life it has created for experiencing what it is capable of creating on its own.

      1. Yes, so well said Nico, it’s incredibly convenient to set ourselves up from the start of our days to function in a way that is not true or honouring of our bodies and when we do this we can use all sorts of excuses to justify why we are doing what we are doing in the way that we are doing it.

      2. Yes and with that too, to enforce it as the normal we all have to conform too because it allows us to stay in the comfortable lives we have created.

  43. What’s interesting Willem is that we can still be withdrawn from life even though we have this outward appearance of being outgoing, successful and have a lot of the boxes ticked. So, I should imagine there would be a lot of people shocked to find out that there are areas in their lives where they have retreated due to past hurts.

  44. There is something so powerful about being consistent with commitment – not doing it a couple of times, but actually honouring our bodies enough to bring it into our everyday routine. This then provides a foundation and a standard from which we won’t drop.

  45. We could see commitment like a tank, if we give 100% of us then the tank and everything we do is full of us, but if we only give 40% then what is the rest of the tank full of – if it’s not us?

    1. This is a great picture you are giving here. We accept that we are not at our fullest but we never question what we are then filled with, because in truth we cannot be empty.

  46. Willem this is such a brilliant blog because you have shown that it is in the little details that we give ourselves away by not committing in full. Your example of not committing to doing the dishes; but doing them instead in a way which drains you. We do this all the time all day in the smallest of details and so is it any wonder by the end of the day we are so tired that we reach for the glass of wine or bar of chocolate.

  47. I love what you are sharing here Willem, it makes so much sense and is super important for all of us to know. Everything we do either supports us to be more present and vital or distracts us to then drain us.

  48. What are we commiting to comes up for me? Are we commiting to being and bringing our all? And what does this ‘all’ look like? It is the ‘all’ that society wants and demands us to be so we can be super successful or is it the ‘all’ that is simply us being ourselves and bringing this innate love and joy to everyone we meet and everywhere we go?

    1. Yes, I like that James, because we can be so called committed, and very much so even, but what are we committed to. It is the love that we allow in our lives that counts, nothing else, as love will then be the determining factor in everything we do.

      1. Yes, make love our basis and foundation and then anything that is not love jumps out and so we have the opportunity to say no to it. The more I say yes to love the more I appreciate everything I have and everything around me.

  49. It’s fascinating how we can make it look as though we’re super committed to life from the outside, but withering away on the inside, or using a huge amount of effort and control to mask the fact that our inner lives are a shambles. But everyone can see, more or less, what’s going on, because you can’t hide energy: it speaks for itself. So when we’re over-working to make it look like we’ve got it all going on, the only person we’re generally fooling is ourselves, and if no one else tells us, at least we can rely on our own bodies to tell us in no uncertain terms what we’re doing to ourselves. True commitment is about showing up and being ourselves in full, bringing the quality of who we are, to what we do. Results and outputs are like a bonus of having committed to bring our all to something in the first place.

    1. Control is a hidden factor that masks itself as commitment personalised but at what levels does this control support the all.

  50. Commitment starts with us, in the way we loving care for ourselves, in listening and honouring what our bodies are feeling, then we can bring all of us lovingly to what we are doing.

  51. I have been a non-consistent commitment person (bit of a mouthful) for most of my life. The days I commit are easy, joyful, productive, connected and just easy really. The days I struggle to commit are hard, long, tiring and disconnected. It’s pretty clear on what days I’m working on living more of me.

  52. Commitment is totally up to us. No ifs, buts, maybes….it is up to us. And we either do it or we don’t. And when we do it, we can always deepen it. And it is quite a blessing when we are thinking we are doing it but we are not, and a loving friend points that out for us.

    1. Yes indeed, why react, defend and blame, if someone points out to us there is an opportunity to deepen our relationship then it is worth considering rather than throwing out without consideration of the opportunity to see something we might not, to that date, have been ready to see.

  53. Commit in full, leaves no space for anything else as you committed in FULL. No gaps. Partly commit, and there is gaps. Simple, wise, powerful.

  54. When we commit to something and bring our All to it the amount of space that opens up for us to complete what is there to be completed is enormous.

    1. Yes Elizabeth, I have found the same although the prevalent idea about older people like myself is that they should do less and rest more and take it easy which really brings a slowing down of everything and the level of vitality drops.

  55. I love what you are sharing here Willem, the more we commit to life the more energy I feel we are given to complete everything that is needed. Much of the world’s exhaustion would not exist if humanity understood how powerful it is to commit to life in full.

  56. The message here is that being committed is being committed to staying connected with our bodies. I am finding that this is indeed the way to enable me to stay committed, open and loving without allowing other energies to enter. A great confirmation.

  57. It is the same with people – I have noticed how I feel with a particular person I usually meet once a week and I can feel an arrogance within me, a feeling of better than. It is easy to say that talking to someone or a particular job is boring and not supporting us but what is going on within to feel this way? Maybe, I am to support this person in some way and by choosing to avoid connection I am resisting the responsibility this brings or if I am bored in my work, maybe I am not valuing and appreciating myself and what I bring to my work? It can be a number of things but whatever it is, it always stems from the relationship I have with myself.

  58. Making it all look good on the outside by seemingly committing to life through multiple responsibilities, yet feeling empty in the inside.. even if we believe this lie ourselves, it’s not long before the body starts to show us the lie that we’re living, through a lack of vitality and exhaustion after all the effort involved. When we do things with true purpose and with full commitment, we feel rejuvenated and revitalised.

  59. The body as my best friend as the way to commit deeply to life, beautiful Willem.
    We can think we are committed when we doing a lot, working a lot but if those actions don’t include ourselves, our bodies, we lose. There is no evolution and like Willem shared from his experience energies flow through the body what is not love.

  60. Beautiful Willem! And a support to read… thing I do come second. First is the commitment to be with oneself, to bring the body in every movement.

  61. A great reminder Willem that we can go about our lives and it looks like we are committed to it we are in actual fact just going through the motions without the fullness and quality of our potential being lived.

  62. I really liked your practical examples, Willem, of how you have boosted your commitment to life by connecting to your body during all those everyday movements, like being at the computer, walking, and talking. Sometimes I take for granted just how simple it is to not only commit fully to life, but to commit fully to love by staying connected to my body which is the ultimate conduit for love when I do so fully.

  63. I really understood from your blog Willem how we can’t commit to life in parts, it has to be in full and in every area of our life. We tend to think we can have our little out moments here and there of letting our thoughts wander, or escaping into the TV or the computer and not see this as being harming or lessening our commitment to being fully present in life.

  64. This article clearly breaks down that commitment to life is not about having the big show as in the best job, or biggest house, or unmanageable loans. It is about the simple every day task that we do to live. How we perform these tasks and with what presence we do them is where we again build true commitment and a way of being with ourselves that naturally seeps into all areas of our lives.

  65. “treating my body with respect and care, as I would my best friend, and listening intently to what it is telling me.” Our body is our best friend as it always tells the truth.

    1. We might not always like what the body exposes in terms of the quality of our choices, nonetheless it never stops communicating for it has had to live everyone of our choices loving or not.

  66. Sealing the door where energy can get in is absolutely key and I am inspired by your tips on how to remain fully awake, focussed and committed.

  67. “I realised that when I choose to not commit to life in full, it creates an opening for ‘negative’, that is, unloving energy to enter. But when I choose to commit to life in full, the energy I feel in my body is very different – it is loving, solid and light.” Becoming aware and feeling the difference between the two energies is liberating and empowering as then one can choose the energy with which one wishes to live.

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