Monday, June 20, 2016

Move Into Joy

"We can never consent to creep when we feel the impulse to soar."
-Helen Keller

There is nothing like a move to challenge a relationship; actually all relationships, beginning with the one with ourselves. I am talking about any kind of a move, not just a physical one, but certainly a physical change of residence is a huge move. I just made a physical change of residence a couple of months ago, and even if you move a short distance, it is still a big change. For me, it has been interesting to watch what it stirs up in  myself. As I stayed focused on what it stirs in me, I also found I wasn’t reactive, much, to what it stirred up in my husband. As I witnessed me throughout the packing, moving, unpacking, and then trying to find things and wondering where things went and also where things go, as well as navigating through no computer and basement renovation, whew! That was quite an experience. At once I was grateful for the ability to do what I was doing and being able to move into a beautiful new place with lots of stuff, and also holding the parts of me that felt scattered, forgetful, tired, sore, lost, overwhelmed, and finally owning how chaos around me is not something I do well. Holding all of that was difficult at times, but also kind of fun in that I was conscious of my doing that and also realizing how grateful I was for the whole experience. This may sound kind of weird, but this change has helped me move more into joyfulness. 

Have you ever found a move or change helped you move into joy? There is a letting go, a sense of faith and connection, a greater sense of self and not sweating the small stuff. It does take some risk to make a change, and it is this very risk which helps to create the change. The move or change doesn’t have to be moving homes, but a movement towards something new or some wholeness or some new idea or a new job or following a new interest or letting go of feeling and thinking you need to take care of others, and so on. As we step into that new place through the journey to it, there is a sense of accomplishment, humility, and also, in my way of thinking and feeling; joy.

I was at a dinner party recently with a bunch of girlfriends whom I see every 6 months or so. It is always fun when we get together. Sometimes we are more vulnerable and revealing with each other than others, and there is always at least one of us going through major life changes or having a difficult time, as well at least one of us who is celebrating something. We go around and share with each other what is going on with us, and we all listen and comment and celebrate and commiserate and support. One friend was describing how she really just wanted to teach but found she ended up having a full business where others depend on her for work. She was feeling slightly overwhelmed and like she needed to keep doing what she is doing; yet not what she really wanted to do. As a result, she is in burnout. She goes home at the end of the day and doesn’t want to go out or do anything else. We were talking about how it is when we do something we really enjoy. My friend is at a place in her life where her move is more towards supporting old ideas and thoughts, so there is not a place for new joy there. But, when she spoke about something she is learning that she absolutely loves and is following up on, she just blossomed. We can move into old antiquated thoughts and beliefs and we can move out into something that brings us life and joy. We can move into new in an instant; with the fear and anxiety and risks, we feel when we take this other, new road. We are such creatures who can be ruled by survival, and we are also creatures who can be ruled by growth. Usually, we do a combination of both. When we move into our bigger selves, growth happens, and with growth, is often joy.


Change Your Story/Change Your Life:

Get yourself comfortable and close your eyes. Make sure you are in a place where you won`t be interrupted. Breathe deeply 2 or 3 times, and settle into your own internal rhythm. Feel the feeling of love and appreciation throughout yourself. Just allow the feeling to come, if possible, even if you may not be feeling such feelings about yourself right now. If you can`t, imagine someone who you do feel love and appreciation for or with. Feel the feeling and notice where you feel it and how it feels. Let that feeling blossom inside of you. Now think of something you really want to do or have wanted to do for a long time and haven`t done. As you think of this, pay attention to how the feeling inside of you changes. How do you begin to feel? If you can tell, where do you feel it in your body? Now imagine yourself beginning that very thing you have been thinking of, but haven`t. How does that feel; scary, exciting, overwhelming, joyful, conflicted feelings, and so on? Imagine now you are actively engaged in that activity; class, move, training, trip, relationship, etc. How do you begin to feel inside? Breathe deeply. Now, go back to thinking about it but not doing it. What does it feel like to want to do something and all the reasons you aren't?


Lastly, go back to the feeling of appreciation and love, and let's add joy to that, and let those feelings infuse you. Breathe deeply 2 or 3 times and slowly come back to your surroundings and when you are ready to open your eyes. Write down what you learned from this experience.