Joy

I know what peace feels like. I didn’t always.  But now I do, and I don’t want to go back.

I didn’t realize that I lived life with a knot in my stomach. Like I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like, I couldn’t really catch my breath, even when I was breathing deeply.  I found joy and peace through my yoga practice. And once I found the things that brought me joy and peace, and started moving toward them, my heart opened up in ways I never imagined.

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I mean, come on. . .

My daughter has taught me joy. With abandon she exclaims, I love to sing!!! I love your shoes!!! Oh, I just love my mommy!!!!  She squeals, and screeches and doesn’t care who hears or sees, she simply feels it. She practices shock. . . exclaiming, Oh! and stepping back. . . and then doing so again, just to get the right inflection and graceful movement in her moment of surprise. . . She is one hundred percent in the moment. My daughter, who is three, does not really multi-task.  She is generally engrossed in whatever activity she’s engaged in (whether that’s the activity she is supposed to be engaged in or not. . .le sigh).

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Joy is defined as a feeling of great happiness; and, joy, your happiness, is important. And sometimes we have to look for it. Sometimes we have to cultivate it. Every day is not going to be a good day, but if we aren’t careful, we can go many days without inviting, or experiencing joy. This can lead to a lack of balance, where life is serious and somber and urgent. . . rather than joyful, blissful, and fun. And nobody has time for that.

I find joy in a walk on a beautiful day. I find joy in singing one of my favorite songs. I find joy in sunshine on my face, or wearing my favorite outfit. . . or dancing and singing with my little one. I find joy in cuddles and snuggles, and in hearing my precious girl tell me she loves me. This is joy. This is life. And I don’t want to miss it because I’m distracted, or too busy for the things that give me pleasure.

Try this meditation to help you remember that you are worthy and deserving of happiness and joy. You can do it as often as you like, and anywhere. The hand placement is optional 🙂

Meditation: Spend some time thinking about the simple (or big) things that give you joy. Breathe deeply in and out, maybe placing your hands, one over the other over your heart. Let your heart fill with love and gratitude for these things, maybe visualizing them in your mind. . . See if you can imagine how these things make you feel. . . Stay here, breathing this emotion, and meditating on these things that bring you happiness for as many minutes as you like.

When you are finished with this meditation, your heart may tell you what to do next. Follow it. Maybe that’s a call to a friend, or maybe you decide to pick your baby up early and get some ice cream. or maybe you decide to go get some ice cream right now. . . 🙂 Be happy. You’re worth it.

follow your heart

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