Feelings. They're on my mind these days. How they are perhaps the truest doorway to my experience. To Life.
I always considered myself a person who was in touch with my own feelings and the feelings of others. But I never thought I navigated my life based on feelings, until recently. The concept of joy entered my life over the last several years and became a North Star of sorts for me. Most of what I thought about was how I fell out of joy and how I climbed back in. What it felt like to be far from Joy and what if let like to sit in Her arms. How much more I smiled when I was chasing Joy around every corner of life and how it became the truest anchor for coming back to how I wanted to live my life. At the time, it was just a concept, a feeling that I realized had been missing from my own path after spending many years meditating, fasting, praying, reading, and on retreat. The aliveness that Joy brought was missing. It was the zest evading my experience of life.
See life had become relatively peaceful. I wasn't as triggered as easily as I was before. I didn't find myself burning up with frustration as easily, but life had become quite dull. As I sat with myself on the subway one day I looked up as if to ask God, hey...is this it? Is this what I spent all these years working for? What I meant is, is life supposed to feel this lifeless? It was a strange feeling for a person who was a lifetime optimist and known for belly laughs, lots of smiles, and a love for life. I was suddenly out of love with life, but fully present in it for the first time. It was strange.
I knew something was off. Something in my gut told me, no this isn't it. There's more...just wait. Enter Joy. While it was something I had heard in meditation and mindfulness circles for a long time, it honestly never clicked with me in the way that it clicks with me now. I understood it as that content, unalivened feeling that I felt on the subway. The presence of seeing your mind when it moves into an ego pattern of anger or frustration. But that experience of what I thought was Joy was so disconnected. Strangely distant. Lonely.
I became curious about Joy. I don't actually know how it happened, but in a series of synchronistic events it started popping up in my life everywhere. In conversations. In magazines. In blog posts I read. Joy seemed to be calling me Home. My curiosity got me to start asking what Joy felt like. What it looked like. How I'd find it. Just this simple, innocent curiosity, set off a firestorm of Joy entering my life.
You see the thing is when we get curious, the Universe listens. We don't have to sit, analyze, and figure out the answer. Our curiosity in and of itself starts to draw things our way to make sense of a disjointed picture. We just have to be patient. And consistent. Somehow I knew, despite how lifeless I felt, that life was going to feel alive again. And it did.
Joy didn't come into my life accidentally. It was a combination of my curiosity, my open receptivity, and my experimentation. Practice. I learned above all that to bring aliveness back into my life and keep it from drifting away, it took constant practice. It took a constant turning back and turning back again into Joy. Like a meditation practice when the mind starts to wander away to thought and we turn it back over and over again to the experience of right now. Joy, the feeling I had wanted for so long, found me when I kept turning back to Her over and over again.
As I spent time this weekend continuing to take stock of where life is right now, I saw some new feelings emerging in my life over the last nine months and decided to make them my anchors too. To filter my choices, my thoughts, my actions, through these new emerging feelings that are now calling me Home just like Joy did.
So I'm curious...what feeling or feelings are calling you Home these days? How do you want to feel in your life? What choices are you making to align yourself more with that feeling? What does that feeling look like? Feel like? This week's Joy Tip Wednesday will be about getting in touch with practicing the feelings we want to cultivate in our lives.
One way I'm supporting people on that journey is through my Choose Joy Program. This Program is designed to support people through an eight-week process of aligning with Joy. Whether feeling Joy is currently eluding you, or you just want to expand your experience of feeling Joy even more in your life, I've designed this program to do both. To both spark and deepen feeling Joy. I've designed a Program to intentionally bring you into alignment through a process that I discovered through trial and error, and a series of synchronistic events that brought me to Joy. Only this time, instead of stumbling into Joy through experimentation, we'll step into it consciously one step at a time. What would be possible in your life if you felt more Joy? What dreams that feel stuck could be made alive and move forward once and for all? Let's find out together.