As some of you know … on Friday night I went out to the Vancouver Art Gallery Fuse event. I went with friends, there were lots of people of all shapes, sizes and ages, interesting venue, things to do and see all built right in. A perfect place to practise the Lost Art of Flirting. Or so I thought.
Over the last number of months, truth be told, the last year, I have not been ready for, or in the space of growth. I have been in a wintertime – the wintertime of grief. Knowing that my father was dying, being with him when he died, and then grieving him once he was gone, took all of my spare energy. But now (hopefully) that the winter of my grief is lifting along with the winter of 2016, and as spring approaches, I’m moving energetically into a place of growth and new life. And it’s become so clear to me, that to open a space for growth, you need to be in the right frame of mind, you need to be ready. And at long last, I am.
So how do we create the right space?
This is the month that it is the darkest time of the year (in the northern hemisphere, that is). It’s dark, cold, and our instinct is to go inside, cozy up by the fire, hibernate … and it’s the perfect time to go within yourself as well and be reflective.
Legacy is one of those loaded words. We all know we’re supposed to want to have it (at least when we’ve worked our way up Maslow’s hierarchy to the top). But what is it, how do we create it, and how do we create a legacy that’s actually true to who we are, not just one that looks good on paper?
So, so much is written about gratitude. That’s the case because it’s so important. But when we do it from a place of “have to” (as in it’s a “good idea”), when we do it a from a place of “doing” gratitude instead of “being” gratitude, as in being grateful, it’s actually empty and can cause more harm than good. When we cheapen gratitude by using it only for what it can give us, with the thought that “if I express enough gratitude I will be rewarded with good things”, we’re not actually in gratitude, we’re using it simply as a means to an end…as a tool…as a way to get what we want.Read More >>>
If you read my last post and got inspired to take some time off, hopefully you are feeling at least a little bit rejuvenated. Because, it’s now time to kick things into action!
September is one of those months. Such that even though it is two-thirds of the way through the year, it feels like the beginning. I’m still reminded about those first days of school getting new crayons, new books, new classes, and new teachers. And those nostalgic memories always inspire me to get into new action and re-commit to life!Read More >>>
Joy is such a precious gift. And to me summertime is just filled with joy. Everyone is out, having fun and really enjoying themselves and the beautiful sunshine. Last week I introduced the idea of fun leading into joy with my new word – foy. But we still need to do some more investigating…what is joy, really?
For me, joy can be seen in that childlike sense of wonder and curiosity, the delight we see on a child’s face (on their good days), and their overflowing enthusiasm when they get excited about something. A happy child is joy incarnate. Children are filled to the brim with it. It is their default position.
Think about it, we don’t wait patiently, coaxing out a baby’s frown. No, we are waiting for their smile and their laugh, because that is what comes first. Not just to some babies, but to all babies, and not just to some human beings, but all human beings. Joy is our birthright, our natural state.
Joy is like an exaltation—an interesting combination of gratitude, awe and happiness. But it’s beyond happiness.
Happiness says, “Wow, I have so many of the things I want. Life is good.”
Joy is about revelling in the absolute assuredness and certainty that everything is exactly the way it’s meant to be (even when something is a bit off, it is about finding the rightness in it – more on that next week).
The experience of joy is unique to each of us—from what brings us joy, to what qualities it encompasses to how we recognize it in ourselves or others. Yet there seem to be some common elements:
- Feeling engaged in life
- Being in the flow
- Having a sense of connection, to our hearts, our communities, something bigger than ourselves, or to the whole
- Being aware, being tuned in to ourselves and our environment
- A sense of awe and wonder at life
- A buzz, an excitement, an anticipation
- It is self-referencing: we feel it inside ourselves and have to be tuned into ourselves in order to know we are in that place.
- We are engaged in activities that fill us up, that strengthen us, and have us feel very much alive.
But over time we seem to migrate away from joy. Why?!? There seems to be a bit of a myth in society that we have to work hard. Therefore, if something comes to us easily, it must not have value. More and more I’m realizing that when we are in our natural state (of JOY!), life is easier.
There’s a cost to not living from a place of joy. The cost is that we get ourselves stuck in a non-flow place. We’re actually slowed down in our lives. It’s just like putting an obstacle in front of an oak tree that is trying to grow. It will most likely still be able to grow, but it’s going to be slower as it negotiates its way around the object.
Joy is about being fully yourself and fully expressed. Don’t let life drown out the joy. Find ways this summer to bring joy back into your life.
Okay over to you:
What does joy feel like for you? What are you doing to keep joy in your life? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.
An’ the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
An’ the cotton is high.
Lazy afternoons with a book, digging your toes into lush grass or gritty sand, sitting beside cool waters lapping at the shore, eating an abundance of fresh fruits, crisp salads and delicious barbecue (yes, my mouth is watering as well)… It’s July and summer is in full swing!
But in amongst all of those summer activities, how many of us actually take advantage of this time and truly let the living BE easy? I know the old tune reminds us to, but with the constant pressures to take on and achieve more, it has become increasingly difficult to really just let go and let things be easy. And I’m telling you, I’m a BIG fan of easy!
Ease is about choosing the path of least resistance. It’s about doing the thing that you are going to be best at, most comfortable with and the happiest while doing. It’s about stepping away from the overwhelm of taking on more and more. The saying “Do less, and accomplish more” is perhaps the simplest way of summing up easy. Sometimes, easy can mean saying no to certain tasks, other times it can mean branching out in a different direction. Ultimately though, ease comes down to maximizing who we naturally are. Read More >>>
This month’s theme is …connected. While I know that connected means different things for different people, for me it means being connected to everything: my higher power, myself, my own inner truth and voice, my community, my dear friends, my family (in particular my father, who recently passed), the planet and ideally, one day connected with my partner. (Not because I’m not connected with him currently, but because I don’t have one!).
Recently, I’ve been re-reading The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s all about refocusing ourselves to orient our yearning or experience towards a feeling, rather than a goal that is outside of us. Connected is my most Core Desired Feeling.
The experience of connected is one where I feel a sense of oneness. Where I don’t notice the separation between me and the ‘outside’ (whether outside is the earth, my higher power or someone else). I feel gratitude and inner-peace. My heart feels open to anything and everything and I fully trust how things are unfolding. I buzz with joy and bliss! It’s pretty freaking sweet!
The value in being connected might be self-evident, but when I remember that I’m one with everything my world opens up and I become of true service. Read More >>>
Fully Alive, it’s like the entirety of my message got bundled up into two punchy little words. Fully. Alive. Such powerful words, singularly and then together…and an even better life choice. So what is it and what will makes you actually be a Fully Alive person?
Just hold tight while I overload you with metaphors.
So many of us are just living a half-life. It’s like we’re on auto-pilot. We’re calling it in. We’re not really paying attention, just being carried along in the current. We’re coasting. (Did you get them all? I count 5! Metaphor speech is now over. Thank you for rolling with me.)
While this is all well and good and anyone can get through life like this, where the hell is the fun?! There isn’t any spark; there isn’t any deep engagement. What a waste!
Read More >>>