As I sit here flying first class to CT for a funeral, I am overwhelmed by gratitude and appreciation for living in joy. I decided at one point in my life to live in joy. No matter what circumstances, no matter what life brought me - joy was the energy that I would give all my time to. I'm reading "The Universe has your back" by Gabrielle Bernstein. A great book so far, and I'm on chapter 4. A few sentences in the book explains exactly how I'm feeling. It's synchronicity at its best. She talks about living with joy and expressing it. In it she says "when the tragedies of the world seem overwhelming, you'll recognize this feeling as separation from the love of the Universe" - man this so resonates with me right now.
I am drinking a glass of ok white wine as I was reading this. I stopped reading because dinner was brought to me. If you haven't flown first class, let me tell you, it's an experience. Some people may say it's over rated. And maybe for them and their life it is. But for me and my husband - who is over 6ft tall and a wide shouldered man, it's a wonderful way of traveling. It gives him some shoulder and leg room, which to some may not be so important. But for him and the burly stature that he is, it's pretty damn important. When we fly coach his legs are bent up to his chest in an incredibly uncomfortable way of sitting for any length of time. He also is unable to move at all, given his shoulders are wider than most. But traveling like this is something deeper for him and me. It's lots of work with affirmations and belief that we can experience all that is good, in what WE personally define as good. We get to travel comfortably and we get some extra amenities that make our life and our experience enjoyable. It's something I didn't know I could experience prior to this work of living in joy. Joy is something that defines many things for me. It's not just the finer things in life like flying in first class. It's being able to go to the grocery store without worrying if I can afford it. It's taking a moment with my family and being able to laugh. It's seeing Christmas lights on my house for Christmas. It's having the ability to order not 1 but 10 sleeping bags for my cousin who does a Christmas drive for the homeless each and every year. It's being able to have a beautiful moment appreciating a full moon, or a moment where I'm overwhelmed with gratitude because there is a dragonfly near me. I'm grateful for so many things, so many moments and so many people.
And all of this brings me back to - living in joy no matter what. That doesn't mean I never experience sadness, loneliness, anger, or anything like that. It means that I let myself experience any emotion that comes up and then I start looking at where my joy is. What can I appreciate in this moment? Because no matter what we go through we can always search for the joy. And when we focus on that, there are so many examples and so much affirmation that there is indeed joy no matter what happens in life. Some days we don't find it, but it doesn't mean it's not there. It means we are honoring the part of ourselves that is experiencing our emotions in the moment and not denying what we truly feel. But what I've learned is to always refocus on where the joy is. Because I can tell you that living a life where you are committed to finding joy, my God how you will find it expansively and without any work on your part other than the commitment to focus on it. I'm living proof, my life is a living, breathing example of focusing your energy on joy. It's always there, no matter what. And what I'm learning is to love and revel in these moments where we feel complete and utter joy. Like sitting in first class feeling comfortable and roomy and drinking wine and eating lovely food next to my best friend in the whole world, my hubby. It's possible, it's real, and dear god it's not hard. Just choose to find the joy. Honor your emotions but don't hold tight to the ones that aren't joy. Come back around. Make a commitment to always finding joy. You not only heal yourself but you help others heal by simply showing that joy is attainable and real, no matter what. Namaste :)