Last week in staying with theme of paying attention, I talked about about the many ways our habits define us. I shared examples of how this happens and what we can do to make a shift. What did you notice?
This week I want to talk about how we walk the path of life, feeling JOY, unencumbered, once we open our eyes to the reality of LIFE, including our amazing habits...and our not so amazing habits.
Pause, Exhale, Read the next few sentences out loud. Your voice is a powerful transmitter of energy and information. You must listen to it and feel it.
So...Unencumbered = not having any burden or impediment...
How do we walk the path of OUR unique life, feeling JOY, as we ALSO face what seem to be the burdens and impediments of life?
Here's what I will share.
Those of you who know me personally have insight into my love life! Fast recap: I fell madly in love with a man, David who lives in Chicago. He has 2 beautiful kids and all. I have myself, 2 cats and a thriving business in New York. Hmmm..
Joy? Yes! Burden/Impediment? Yes, at times!
It's no coincidence right after I met David I began writing my first book, Reclaiming JOY. The theme being, reclaiming myself, by being who I am...really going after my deepest hearts desire. And yes, in the process I received that in David.
Fast forward almost 2 years later and I see the book writing as preparation for this present time in which I am navigating a long distance relationship. Lots of travel. Lots of what seem like impediments and burdens to my JOY: conflict from my heart being in 2 places, my body adjusting to the very different energy of 2 places. Separateness!
Truth: Living half of my life in Chicago, and half in NY has been tough. I am a person who gets ALL in. Fully present. I want what I want and I usually get it. Oh boy. Control freak coming out.
And now, I got what I want, LOVE, and yet the distance...(burden/impediment? or gift?).
Don't misunderstand me. I am filled with joy. Grateful for love. Grateful for all of it.
I am able to see the gifts in the 2 lives I am leading.
And yet- when I am being totally honest with myself, in my truth, in the center of my being, I long for the two lives to merge in one physical location. To ease some of the "burden".
Since all we have is the present moment, and it's uncertain how/if/when a merge will happen, I am frequently reminded of what I wrote in Reclaiming Joy. Specifically, joy is a way of being. Joy is a choice. So, while I have my heart, body, mind, split at times...or at least that is what it feels like, I am also learning how to travel lighter, free of burden, unencumbered. To find the freedom and the FUN.
1. By choosing to continue being myself (reclaimed JOY) and honoring my truth which is my desire for partnership that is "merged".
2. By shifting my perspective so that I am open to really really really practice what it means to live as joy, unencumbered.
Meaning, to see all of it as an adventure! To find JOY in the distance even when it seems like separateness. The separation is in my mind (ego), not in my heart (divinity). Very different.
The truth is-- YES! There are many days I fall to my knees and ask God, why? What is the lesson in this? Haven't I struggled long enough? Carried enough burden already? Why can't this be easy? Show me! Tell me! Please. In the end, I exhaust myself to the point of letting go...of surrender.
And then I hear that still voice within that reminds me, this is all part of the journey. JOY isn't the destination. JOY is the journey!!! I must see it this way in order to feel joy, unencumbered. Powerful. Freeing. Beautiful really. Tears of gratitude flow. A second book coming?
So, while the distance is a challenge, it is also the sweetest of gifts. I get to learn, yet again, how to live what I teach. I get ample time to play in this garden of the unexpected, letting my walls crumble, putting down my sword down and bowing to the love that is in my heart and flowing, no matter where I am and who I am with. In fact, the challenges force my heart open even more...to survive, I must to find more ways to give my love. Fascinating. A paradox? I play the polarity. More on that another time.
I also get the chance to express myself, here with you. I give voice to my feelings as a way to encourage you to give voice to that which you are holding so tight that it keeps you burdened...encumbered...unable to experience the JOY of YOUR life.
A long writing today, I know!
So, let us remember that in the expression, the depression lifts. As my shaman brothers and sisters have taught me, we must tell our story and also retreat to silence...and this process, this polarity frees up our burdens so we may sing and dance again...traveling lighter...experiencing joy...unencumbered.
Invitation for YOU:
What choice will you make, right NOW to experience JOY...unencumbered?
Will you reach out to a loved one? Say I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you?
Will you tell your story? Will you retreat to silence?
Will you commit to song, dance and our Tulum retreat :))?
And then, how will you continue to make choices on a daily basis to experience joy...unencumbered?
Tell me here!!!
Last week I shared with you a brilliant short video about mindfulness and how it empowers us. I reminded you that where our attention goes...our energy flows.
Staying with this theme of paying attention, I want to talk about habits.
In a recent conversation with a friend, she told me for Lent she gave up Facebook.
She admitted it was very hard. She wasn't 100% "successful" yet she learned a valuable lesson about habits.
Specifically she learned that her habit of incessantly checking Facebook was both an energy/time drain, and an emotional roller coaster. In giving up FB, while she may have felt more disconnected at times, she also felt more at peace. Interesting huh?
She noticed that each time she checked FB, she was emotionally triggered - either positively or negatively. This habit of checking FB was something she created and therefore was something she could change. The realization of this habit gave her a new interest in bringing greater awareness to her habits in general.
In the space of disconnecting (with discipline) from FB, she realized other habits in her life (the positive ones too!) that she engaged in. This recognition felt empowering for her. Why? It reminded her she is always in choice about how/where she is investing her energy/time.
Naturally this conversation got me thinking about my habits and how they define me. Meaning, if I am unaware of certain habits, I am living in somewhat of an asleep/unconscious state. I may be moving from one thing to the next because it's what I "always" do. This automatic behavior - habits - may be causing me to miss out on a more enjoyable and easier path!!!
AHA: The ability to step back and notice our habits gives us the awareness to choose consciously. Think of it as another form of meditation-- an active one!
Below are some examples of how my habits have dictated my thoughts, words and actions...and therefore have defined my life.
Thought Example: When I see a person being unkind, my habit is to think, "wow, that person is mean".
Habit Breaking Idea: Perhaps this person is having an awful day and they need my positive thoughts with a smile...and if I give my positive vibe, I feel better too!
Word Example: When someone accuses me of being unkind, my habit is to rush and defend myself...ME!? Unkind!?
Habit Breaking Idea: Perhaps I am having a bad day!! And I am being unkind in that moment. And my being "unkind" is a sign I need to be still, rest...nourish myself in some way.
Action Example: When someone I love doesn't acknowledge me when I do something generous for them, my habit is to withdraw emotionally.
Habit Breaking Idea: Perhaps it's about me learning (again and again!) to be generous without expecting something in return. Or about honoring that perhaps I need to do something for myself or ask someone I love to do something for me :)
Oh the wisdom to be learned in noticing our habits!!! The invitation is for you to notice your habits. Be gentle with yourself. Have fun with it :)
Last week I invited you to meditate or journal about self love- and how it connects to what you are afraid of...
What did you notice? I would love to know! Feel free to share with me here.
This week I want to keep it simple and share with you a brilliant short video about mindfulness and how it empowers us.
As I often say, and wrote about in my book Reclaiming Joy...where our attention goes, our energy flows. We must pay attention and be mindful in order to live fully and experience JOY.
Watch the video here.
Last week I wrote a poem for you, Baby Let Go, in honor of our commitment to practicing non-attachment and more importantly, self-love, self-care, deep nurturing, gratitude...
Have you been loving yourself more fully into who YOU are?
If not, why not?
This week I invite you to meditate or journal about this topic- self love- and how it connects to what you are afraid of...
Meaning, many of us are so hungry to speak our voice- to say "no" or perhaps to say "yes" to what will help us step fully into our authentic self.
We are hungry, starved really, and so afraid!!
We are afraid to embrace who we are because if we do, others may have such an intense emotional response we fear them rejecting/abandoning/ridiculing us.
So, we stay quiet. We hide. Perhaps we pray to be rescued.
The truth is, until...
1. We realize and accept that we are the only ones who will rescue our self
2. We get clear on what we are afraid of, why and how to use that energy for manifestation
...We will miss the opportunity of a lifetime-- that of being our self...
Be gentle with yourself in the process.
As I often say, awareness is the first step to change.
If you want my support, let's connect.
Sometimes we must fall, to let go of it all;
Oh how we weep, this illusion we keep;
My cry is the song, it's the truth all along;
My prayer is the highest and best for all;
If it's not for one, it is for none.
Don't you see? I am you and you are me!
How sweet to have faith,
knowing it's worth this excruciating wait.
And when the time comes, oh how we will see --all of it was exactly meant to be.
At last together, we will sing our sweetest song.