I've been reflecting about what I do. My work. Marci, people ask, what is it that you do? Hmm. The standard answer is life coach, energy healer, teach/train yoga, meditation, and mindfuless. But what is it that I do...really...because that just doesn't seem to capture it.
Here's the deal, I've recognizing over the last several years that my spiritual practice is really my life practice. My roadmap to how I live my life. All the time. Distilled from experiment after experiment after experiment. Moment after moment. I'm always experimenting because I'm endlessly fascinated with life. Honestly. Even when I'm watching a movie, I'm endlessly fascinated about what I'm learning about life, about the human experience, about myself through the characters on the screen. I am in love with the never-ending process of learning. And I learn because I'm chasing the one creature I love the most. The holy grail in my human experience. I bow to. I dedicate my life to. I long for. I dance for. I worship. I flirt with. I search for. I sit with. I visit. I ride with. I speak to. I live with. I cook for. I read with. I fall asleep to. I ode to. I write love letters to. I connect with. I wink to. I smile with. My heart beats for. Wonder. Play. Love. Happiness. Peace. Inspiration. But really, it's all for my One True Love. JOY.
There's something about joy and it's expansiveness. The way it makes me feel like I might just burst at the seems. Like I might disappear into a trillion atoms of light or sparkly confetti. Like I'm being held in the moments I feel I'm falling apart. It's both so electric and soothing at the same time. Like that song that moves your soul and you close your eyes to listen closer...to merge with....to disappear into. I do that with joy. Sometimes in the middle of conversations, experiences...I actually close my eyes, for even a moment, and disappear into the arms of Beloved Joy.
I think of Joy as a She. And I prefer to capitalize her name. Because it's so big in my life and really even the word Joy doesn't capture what I find myself so dedicated to, but it's maybe the closest thing I've found so far. Plus I hate word picking and prefer following what resonates. And lately that's Joy.
When Joy seems hard to find, I have faith that She's still there. I know that She's always there because She always returns. It's just in those moments that my mind put blinders on to filter the connection and the radio signal feels fuzzy. I haven't always been this close with Joy as I mentioned last week. Life changed when I became completely dedicated to Her. But I became dedicated to Her when I became exhausted from hiding from Her.
When I'm practicing to cultivate Joy, it's not that I'm trying to pull Her out. I recognize that it is in fact that I am removing all the obstacles that have come to block me from Her.
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." ~ Rumi
I hung out with Joy a lot when I was little. We were best friends one could say. Most of us are with Her. Whoever your Her is. And then we forget. Then we have all of these brilliant ideas about what it means to be an adult, a 30 something, a professional, a woman, an insert label/identity of choice and the list goes on and have strange love affairs with partners that are not really our own. They are the partners that society tells us, or we think tells us to stay with. Not the ones we choose. My journey to Joy has been noticing how I've kept myself from Her all of this time. So while it seems like I'm pulling out something that was buried deep or trying to cultivate something new, I see I'm actually polishing the mirror that has gotten foggy from obstacles. And the one fogging it is me. Joy's been there all along.
If I could write an album for Joy it would include cozy acoustic singer/songwriter songs about deep introspection, a gushy ballad that makes you cry, and a pop get up and dance song that you absolutely must move to and play for the first time 10 times in a row. You know what kind of song I'm talking about! It's through this interesting connection with Joy that I've actually come to know myself.
I always say in classes when I started practicing mindfulness and meditation I realized just how little I actually knew about myself. It was quite shocking. Joy has helped me understand more of who I am. Because when I hang out with Her I feel completely in alignment with who I am. And when I'm not hanging out with Her, I feel off. Like I've shown up to a wedding in a Halloween costume and have no idea how I got that confused.
So back to the question about what I do...or perhaps what I care about is a better question because what I do is always what I care about. What I care about is removing barriers, obstacles to Joy. About falling in love with my life all over again every morning. Every lunch time. Every evening. I care about communing with Joy when everything is going right and everything is going wrong. I care about resting in Her arms when I experience the inevitable human moments of life. I care about believing in the miracles that can happen when I'm aligned with Joy. When am I aligned with Joy? When I have the courage to be myself. But it all starts with caring about my One True Love. And I care about wanting the same for others. I care about empowering people to fall in love with their life all over again each morning. About resting with their One True Love when everything is awesome and everything sucks. When they are jumping in triumph and collapsed in defeat. I care about supporting people to find their One True Love. Their Joy. And removing all the obstacles that are keeping them from That. Which really is a gateway to finding themselves and then living courageously from that space.
I find that love affairs develop, reappear, or emerge when people experience transition. Change. It can be big life changes like changing their work, relationship status, age (birthdays), or times of year (New Year's, solstice, holidays). Or it can be created transformational moments. Mental transformations...awakening moments, where we wake up and decide somethings going to be different. We may not know how, or what, but something will absolutely be different. I care about that something different. I care so much about that something different and those transitional moments because it's in those moments I met Joy. I care about those something different moments for myself which have continued even after my first something different moment. I care about making sure people don't miss their meeting with Joy in the search for something different. And perhaps making that meeting a little bit easier than mine was from what I've learned based on my experiments.
Joy is my song. My battle cry. My heart beat. My whisper. My moment before the smile, during, and after. Joy is my everything. And yes, it's a feeling, but so much more. And so now I'm curious after hearing my love story, do you have a One True Love? Did you have One when you were little? And if you had One before, when did you loose connection with this Love? Unsure of what your One True Love might be? Love letters to you from your One True Love are often in the corners of the "what I care about most" in your life. Be curious. Curiosity has served me well in reconnecting with Joy. This week's Joy Tip Wednesday is about exploring a Love Affair perhaps you have forgotten, neglected, or never knew existed. Get ready. It's going to be an interesting ride.
In the meantime, if Joy were to have a song right now, there would be many, but one that captured my heart while writing this post was this intro song to a Barr Brothers album that I leave you with below.