Partaking In Joy Is Part Of Our Daily Grind

Wisdom food for thought:

Do we define joy by achieving a desired outcome? Or is the joy on the path itself?

soul food 1

I don’t really feel like chewing on that, because like the rest of the human race, I just want to feel the joy whenever I want, which of course, is always. But it doesn’t work that way for the majority of us, so I’m trying to figure it out.

When Sir Husband received the news that he was getting his dream job a couple of months ago and we would be moving back home, we felt this burst of joy coming through us at light speed. Ironically, it was exhausting and we experienced some weird physical symptoms that are typically signs of distress. Bathroom issues…GERD…headaches…and both of us stopped sleeping.

It was weird because we were so excited that our path was finally changing for the better, so why were we so wiped out? Years of heavy stress finally lifting, and cloud nine was wearing us down. Oh we were definitely happy, we just didn’t expect the process of executing the joy to feel different than how we defined joy itself. It didn’t seem to make sense. Joy after all, is a feeling. Or is it?

joy

When I mentioned this to local guru Dr. Christiane Northrup, she laughed and said, “Correct – your body and mind don’t know what to do with all the toxic overload from the past now that it’s over.” As we know, emotional toxicity can cause physical symptoms from stress, and we’ve had plenty of that. So turns out feeling joy is actually a process. Who knew?

pathAfter a few weeks on our new path of joy we noticed something else. That joy doesn’t always override the daily stressors. Life still happens in all of its grit and glory no matter what. That also tripped us up. Hold on – we have joy now, why is sh*t still happening that feels stressful? First we’re joyful and tired, then we’re joyful, stressed and tired, doesn’t joy win out and erase life’s other junk? Easy answer, no.

Intellectually I guess we knew this, but when you get a taste of pure joy, you don’t want it to leave. So things had to become a matter of perspective.

We habitually went to feeling sad or bad when anything went “wrong,” but interestingly yin yangthe joy of our new path was still happening. Is it possible to experience both things at once?  Stress and joy linked in a yin yang circle bouncing like a super ball through our daily existence?

The goal I’m told, is to experience joy as the constant undercurrent that rises to the surface – and here’s the key – when we let it. So that begs the wisdom question again, is joy in the desired outcome or is it on the path? Only we can know.

 

no guts no glory

(Notes from the Universe)

Take A Chance And Open The Door When Opportunity Knocks

moon dustWe can’t deny when life gives us opportunity after opportunity to evolve. It’s just do we listen, and if so, how do we proceed? That’s the theme of the day for a lot of people I know.

My artist friend called me in tears because she cannot stand one more day doing what she does for a living. It was her original calling, her passion, her purpose. And now more than 10 years in the creativity zone she is ready to strangle her entire business – or technically it’s strangling her.

Another friend – also productively exercising her innate talent, her passion-driven purpose – has finally reached the cliff’s edge on whether to teeter or leap. Burned out and feeling devalued, she’s tired of her depletion.

There are a couple more drained souls I know whose lives keep tapping them on the shoulder to consider other options – not just about work, but about all kinds of relevant aspects of their existence.

The question becomes how many opportunities (and we’ll call it opportunity) are we given by life to shift before we pay attention? When we are banging our heads against the wall with our jobs, our relationships, our circumstances, our inner demons – when do we take action to change our course? And more importantly, how.

candy landThat is the dilemma we face as humans. Life is hard, there’s no way around it, and sometimes feels like an obstacle course through Candy Land – that vintage children’s game. Instead of strategy you just play the game and the person who wins has the right colorful cards. Real life can so feel like that.

Every time I log onto the national blogging website that I gratefully was featured on twice, I see the same people getting their blogs premiered and introducing their freshly published books. It wears me out because I wonder how they actually live their life beyond knocking down their goals and stacking up their accomplishments. I can do a lot in a day but apparently not that.

LifeFortunately (or unfortunately, whichever applies,) nothing stays the same, ever – like the Game of Life. This one takes out some of the element of chance and lets players make choices, after spinning a wheel of course. It was more like checkers in its original form, and then was revamped through the years seven times. Even Life evolves.

changeIt’s navigating our external path while honoring our inner feelings that seems to trip us up. It’s not easy to take our “opportunities” seriously when the change they present is uncomfortable. We get the signs over and over but to make any change – especially a radical one like closing shop on a seasoned career – is so insanely hard. Our psyches and egos get in the way, our minds muddle our visions, our hopes, our dreams, our desires, it’s easy to be afraid, especially when the future isn’t tangible.

This is what it comes down to. How badly do we want to change our lives, and how uncomfortable are we willing to be to do it. It takes a whole lot of belief, courage, determination and self-dialogue to step out of our status-quo comfort zone and into the discomfort of we don’t yet know. It requires absolute trust in life and our path. It requires a whole lot of self-soothing when when we are up all night sweating what to do next.

We can start by honoring our feelings. Letting ourself off the hook. Lightening up. Laughing. Visualizing…Breathing. Really breathing. And paying attention to what beckons and calls. Because even though it’s real, it’s just the game of life.

 

old ways