Saturday, June 6, 2009

Don't Postpone Joy

A few years ago my friend Bonnie gave me the perfect gift....a T-shirt that said "Don't Postpone Joy". Whenever I wear it, I think about how elusive JOY can seem to be sometimes. This morning on my walk I experienced my latest thought-filled response to this T-Shirt's deep wisdom.

What came to mind for me today was that the greatest obstacle of JOY is an inability to forgive. If we are holding a grudge, resentment or anger towards someone, then the impact of those states of mind would postpone JOY.

The truth is we cannot feel joy and anger simultaneously. The reason for that is because anger is not in alignment with who we "really are". We may feel justified in our anger, but it is still not a match to our spiritual make-up and therefore postpones joy until we are once again in alignment with the truth of who we are.

What matches our spiritual make-up is love, forgiveness, kindness, understanding, patience, gentleness and compassion. When these are the components that we are practicing, then JOY will be profoundly felt.

So when you find yourself complaining about someone or something, stop for a moment and ask yourself if holding on to your upset is worth postponing JOY. If the answer is "no" then I suggest taking a closer look at that which you are unhappy about and see if you can find peace with it. Can you look beyond the actions of another, or a situation, and find some level of understanding and compassion? Can you simply accept "what is" and stop resisting? Can you forgive?

Postponing JOY just doesn't make sense to me. I cannot imagine any situation that would be worth giving up my joy in exchange. What I know about forgiveness is that it creates freedom and with freedom always comes JOY.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

At a Glance

I am frequently amused by the way my mind works (or doesn't work) and this morning I laughed out loud at a source of inspiration while walking in the cemetery.

I was finishing up my third lap and was listening to my i pod. I was a bit distracted by what I was listening to, but noticed a tombstone that I had not seen before. There it was in full view, straight ahead. What I saw at a glance was Kates Button, which made me smile. As I looked closer, I saw what was really written, which was Kate S. Button.

I decided to play with my initial interpretation of Kate's Button and what that meant to me. First of all, I thought about what or who, pushes my buttons. There have been a few people in my life, thankfully none at the present time, that I have allowed to get my goat. I allowed them to steal my joy and upset me, which I would consider button pushing. Having my button pushed in that way does not feel very good. In fact, it is a feeling of being victimized. Over the years, I have become quite adept at identifying button pushers and have learned to keep my button off limits.

From there, my mind went to thoughts about what pushes my button that makes me feel on or that which takes me from dullness to aliveness. Many things came to mind such as the company of certain people, travel experiences, some challenges, my work, dancing, yoga and many other activities that I love to do. My own thoughts can even push my on button.

This little error at a glance kept me entertained for the walk home. I'm grateful for Kate S. Button for keeping me alert and tuned into that which creates joy and that which takes it away.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

High Flying

At 6:00 this morning as I drove to Yoga class, I made a request to God for inspiration for a blog post. Within a moment, two birds flew into my sight. What was inspiring about this scene was a very small bird was egging on a much larger bird. It really caught my eye since typically I'd expect to see a larger creature picking on a smaller one.

My first thought in witnessing this scene was how confident this little bird was. Perhaps he/she did not know they were small. Perhaps it just had a greater sense of self-belief than what the larger bird had.

I immediately applied this lesson of high flying to my own life. It reminded me that I can only create experiences to the degree I believe I can. I am only limited by my own beliefs. If I assess a situation to be "too big" for me, than I play small. If I see whatever it is in my sights as absolutely possible, then all I have to do is go after it.

The inspiration I am holding from this little encounter is to not compare myself to those that appear smarter, more savvy or more experienced, but rather to simply soar through life believing I can always fly higher.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Peaceful Relationships

Over the course of our life times there are many people that will cross our paths. We will see some of them as friends and some as enemies. We will be open, kind and respectful to some, and rude and antagonistic to others.

Of course, we will feel justified in our unkindness and rudeness if we see the other as non-deserving of our respect.

When I first saw this picture that a friend sent in an email this morning, it struck me that this cat and eagle were not likely to be friends, however this shot depicts some level of tolerance, perhaps even openness to take a closer look at the other. Perhaps these two species are overriding what may be an instinct or are possibly even taught, and are willing to meet, eye to eye and get to know one another.

I admit, I'm making up a story here, but it is a story I enjoy imagining. It's a story that does not anticipate conflict, but looks closer and more deeply to see goodness and commonality in one another. My story has characters that are secure enough to assume the best, rather than the worst in those around them. My story does not depict wars, but rather peaceful conversations. My story respects all and simply by pausing to reflect on the feelings of their enemy, creates trust in the other.

This cat and eagle have inspired me to pause before I be open to see the best and to sit with those that I typically would avoid. Perhaps I will learn something that will make my life even more of a joy to live.