When I hear those words my knee jerk emotion is the opposite of the feelings behind any of them. Something within me thinks the search for any of the above would be indulgent and downright selfish. My happiness should not be important. The only thing that should matter is that my family and friends are happier because of what I do for them. This results in an endless cycle of guilt, because frankly I can never do enough. I mean I can’t buy Bella that horse farm she wants, provide sundresses warm enough to keep Callee from having to wear pants in the winter, and build an extra sound proof room onto the house for Mark to practice his music in. Like Leigh said in a comment on Monday, I am not Superwoman!
I am learning that I can put aside the shoulds and the guilt and try to nurture my soul and my spirit by daring to enjoy my life. There are certain activities we are drawn to. When we take part in them we might just experience passion, pleasure, bliss and even ecstasy. This is OK… Experiencing those feelings is a lot like hitting the jackpot. It means we’ve connected with a vital piece of ourselves. It provides us with insight about our life’s direction and contribution to society. Right now I love to write this blog, read spiritual/metaphysical/new age books, meditate, and engage in conversations on various related topics. Sometimes I wonder where these activities are taking me. Despite the joy I get from a conversation about spirit guides and chakras, I wonder if I just have my head in the clouds. But when I stop doing these things, when I try to read normal books, lurk around on the internet, and stick my nose into other people’s drama, I find I am no longer in-joy. There is no pleasure, passion, bliss or ecstasy. All of that is replaced with agitation and unease.
The agitation and unease that comes with neglecting my soul’s desires affects me and thus affects my family. When I’ve wasted my time and energy all day without doing anything that fulfills me, I am empty and often grumpy during my time with them. When I’ve been inspired and engaged passionately in an activity I feel excited. Yesterday, for example, after going to the gym I came home and had a great meditation session, finished reading an interesting book, and worked on blog stuff. I felt incredible and the time zoomed by. Our family time that evening was truly quality time because I wasn’t in my head thinking about the things I wished I would have accomplished.
I am going to make a point to acknowledge the moments I feel pure joy. I’m also going to ask to be shown more ways to experience passion, bliss, pleasure, and ecstasy. If I have learned nothing else from the great loss I experienced last year, I’ve learned that our time here is not guaranteed and happiness is our birthright if only we are willing to claim it!! So what about you…what’s waiting in the wings to bring you joy?