The Joy

I want to know if you can be with joy, 

mine or your own, 

if you can dance with wildness

and let ecstasy fill you to the tips of your

fingers and toes

without cautioning us

to be careful, 

to be realistic, 

to remember the limitation of being human.

This week on the mat (or in the chair) we will be looking at joy and the choice we have to feel the smallest and greatest moments of joy in life without cautioning us to be realistic or careful or limited. To actually FEEL the joy that is within and who we are.  To say yes to the moments in life that bring complete joy.

Are you paying attention to joy? Tell me about a moment of joy in your life.

The moments of joy that stop you and pull you from the daily tasks that have become mundane and automatic.  Those moments that fill you with ecstasy and consume your entire being.

“…..Moments of mystical union can tempt us to spend our lives searching for those peak experiences and leave us unable or willing to receive the same joy where it is offered in the simpler experiences…” (Oriah Mountain Dreamer)

Joy finds us in the moments of elation when we feel a connection; to another, to ourselves, to the world and to the greater Mystery of life.  When we touch that part of ourselves that brings us directly into the face of our purpose.

And yet, as humans we so often deny our joy.  Our lives have so accustomed to feeling pain in the form of disappointments, resentments and past hurts.  We have lost the connection to the inner joy that is who we are. And what is our divine birthright.

For me, I want to cultivate and grow a deeper sense of joy in my life.  If it comes in the beauty of the sunrise or the sensation of another person’s touch, I don’t want to miss a second of joy.  I want to savor the moments of joy and fully embrace the pleasures of being alive.

I also know for me one source of  deep joy is found in my work.  Somehow we have been taught that to have too much of sense of greatness we will not have the concept of humility.  I disagree.  I choose to not diminish my abilities and my gifts.  I refuse to shrink back again.  I refuse to play small.

Small and joy do not coincide.

Sometimes we find that we expect too little joy in life and we settle for less.  In doing this, our soul is stifled.  Our soul becomes submerged in the litany of excuses that make up reasons as to why we can’t, or shouldn’t.

But life is so incredibly short.  And ultimately joy is a choice.

So tell me about a joy in your life.  Maybe one that came unexpectedly. A moment that you did not know was coming. The joy that caught you by surprise.

This is the work of the soul.  To find those inner caverns of ourselves and be willing to seek how we fit into the world.  It is searching to find that which we are made for and to say yes to joy.

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Calling 

About 15 years ago, I began to listen to my intuition and to what my soul was calling me to do. I knew I was here to do great things, as we all are. 

It is my belief that we are all here to serve and make a difference in some capacity. Sometimes we get caught up in the thinking that it has to be something grand or famous, but the truth is even the simplest of lives can be the most impactful.  It isn’t about being seen, but rather meek in your actions to create a world that is more peaceful and more full of compassion and unity. 

When I began to get the nudges to look deep inside, I did so without an intention of a return. So often our culture teaches that you give to get. I was certain I was not going to fall into that. Instead, I listen to my gut and lived in a way that served my highest food with zero attachments to an outcome. 

Eventually, I was able to leave my day job (and a dysfunctional relationship) and now I do what I am called to do, and that is share yoga and wellness with people who are living with a disability. I specialize in brain injuries and seniors but I enjoy all types of people and my client base includes a spectrum of abilities and interests. 

My services include adaptive yoga, wellness coaching, essential oil education and level 1 healing touch.  Each day I head off to work I realize that this isn’t work, it is soul. 

Have you found your calling? If  you are still seeking, stop thinking so much and instead try a few of these ideas: 

  • Ask yourself this–“I am best when I am ________”. Be truthful. 
  • Journal about the things that bring you joy. They may be subtle like children laughing, making sure neighbors are taken care of, cooking, nature, laughter, etc. 
  • What are you passionate about and where do you speak up? Sometimes those “triggers” lead you toward something. 
  • Start to identify your everyday actions and interests that could lead you to a life of meaning. Cooking, sharing success with others, natural living, yoga, teaching others a skill, and more. 
  • Practice gratitude.  Just you being you is a worthy adventure. Celebrate who you are by identifying things about yourself you are grateful for. 
  • Stop comparing yourself. Your life journey is yours and yours alone. Remember that when we fall face down, that is often when we come up even stronger. Wipe off your dust and keep at it. 

Seasonal Stress Tips

For many it is impossible to not feel stress during the holidays.  Shopping, wrapping, cooking, the expectations of others, holiday parties, and staying healthy are just a few of the common stressors of the season.

It is a common misperception that one cannot have holidays without stress.  Certainly the time of year can be chaotic, but maintaining your practice can be what holds you steady.  Try this:

  1. Start your day off with gratitude.  Breathe into the simplicity that you are alive and all is well.
  2. Prioritize yourself.  Make time each and everyday for at least thing that serves your soul.  A walk around the block, a bubble bath, time at the gym, time alone, a good cup of tea, or read a chapter in a  book. Make the time.
  3. See the joy.  It is everywhere.  Smiling children, sparkly lights, couples arm in arm, excitement in the eyes of others.  This may be one of the few times of year when people are experiencing more joy than any other….take it in.
  4. Be generous.  With your time, your energy and your actions.  Give to others that have less without judgment, offer to help someone, and be willing to spend time with someone who is lonely.
  5. Stop and observe. Take time to actually look around. Observe others, observe yourself. Look for goodness in others.  Truly look.