Monday, March 3, 2014

The Spiritual Practice of Enjoying Yourself

view of the sky through the branches of the trees
I will stand on my own making my own choices.
I am at choice and I choose joy.
I have a confessions to make. It seems that whenever I make a choice to really seek wisdom, guidance, some kind of great revelation the message is always the same. The message is "will you just lighten up and enjoy yourself."

I can't tell you how much this frustrates me.

I would like to think it was a coincidence if it hasn't happened repeatedly and consistently throughout the years. This learning and relearning to play seems to be always on the agenda. I really think my God quality from which all my lessons spring is the quality of Joy.

Joy and Gratitude
Recently I have noticed more and more that my prayers of gratitude are just not as strong as I would like them to be. Now, reflecting on joy, I am discovering that there is a direct correlation between tapping into one's joy and expressing one's gratitude.

How can you have a full expression of gratitude if you are 
not fully tapping into your capacity for joy?

Sit with that question for a little bit.

Choosing MY joy.
At first this sounds so self centered but ultimately as I look closer I don't think it is. I am starting to consider that following your joy might just be one of the wisest decisions you make, generous even. How else will you uncover what is yours to express?

Like a dowsing rod seeking for underground, unseen, unrecognized water sources, how can we find and identify the things that bring us joy?

Start compiling a "My Joy List" and list the large and the very small of the things that bring you pure, unadulterated joy.

And that brings me to another point to make, permeability and compromise.

Permeability and Compromise
I don't enjoy going to the movies with other people. The reason for this is that I am always distracted by their enjoyment levels. Seriously, I will sit there through the whole movie wondering if they are enjoying the movie and this totally ruins it for me. I blame this on my permeability. I really have a hard time enjoying things if the person with me isn't enjoying them too.

My answer in the past has been to just to do things by myself or to just do the things that bring others their joy.

I need to recognize where I am permeable and where I compromise. Making a practice of "turning up my joy detection system" to a more sensitve level and drown out the noise would be a good exercise for me.

Don't Be Scared Of Change
It has occurred to me that sometimes fear, especially the fear of change and upheaval keeps us from experiencing our joy. Don't be scared of change, it's happening all the time.

How can I quell my fear of change? Make a litany of all your fears. Answer this question:

If I fully embraced my joy ....

And just write, sometimes it's the unarticulated stuff that we most fear and once we get it out there it becomes so much more manageable.

Don't Judge Just Embrace Your Ability To Choose
This choice is a two-sided coin. I am not responsible for the decisions, actions and attitudes of others just as I will not blame them for anything which appears in my experience.

I will stand on my own making my own choices. I am at choice and I choose joy.