True joy lives abundantly inside each of us, inside our "home;" we simply need to rediscover our way home.
An ideal home connotes security, love, and connection and fosters a sense of hope and joy. Our earthly journey prevents many of us from realizing truth: home is more than a man-made structure or temporary dwelling but rests eternally within our soul.
We want to see it to believe it. Our senses keep us seeking outside of ourselves. It seems we are perpetually searching for ways for satisfying our desire for the comforts of "home." In an ever-changing world nothing endures, nothing sustains.
The way to happiness exists in this very moment if we open our hearts to feel it.
Many of us put off living in wait of accomplishing or acquiring some abstract goal or material item. We may convince ourselves that once our home is in order, we can begin living . . .once that new BBQ is installed, we'll begin entertaining or once the kitchen is remodeled, we'll begin cooking and enjoying life more. Maybe we'll feel more secure by earning that lofty degree that will win us that reputable job paying enough money to sock away for our future. We anticipate, save, hoard, push, and compete all in the name of securing a future; a future that may never come to be enjoyed if we're sending out messages filled with fear and lack.
We work hard, punish ourselves and strive for more because many of us feel undeserving of joy and happiness. Believing that our fun will come at some later time is setting ourselves up for disappointment. We can't seem to just let go: our expectations, our goals; they're all we've got. Holding on to that anger, the resentment, the pain; that's what's driving us. How do we let that go? Accepting things as they are isn't as easy as it was when we were kids. The world did a number on us. Life's fast. We have to keep up, keep challenging ourselves. After all, slowing down might require feeling. Facing ourselves. Forgiving ourselves. Loving ourselves. We might just have to become aware of our judgements preventing us from receiving. Our past traumas, beliefs, and stories are who we are. They define us. Yes. And they're keeping us stuck, unable to flow with life, and preventing joy.
Have you ever closed your eyes, thrown up your hands, and surrendered to the thrill of a roller coaster ride? Do you recall each unexpected twist, every head-jerking turn, those long, anticipatory uphill climbs, and those belly-dropping breathtaking downhill drops? Frightening, but invigorating. We experienced something . . . a feeling; and it took us out of our comfort zone . . . it uplifted our soul. That short time spent without limits, just letting go, surrendering, blindly trusting brought joy.
When have you ever experienced joy? Real joy. What were you doing? Have you ever experienced being. . . just stepping out of your head, time stood still . . . you were fully experiencing the ride. When was that? Were you a little kid playing kick ball? Where were you? Were you playing football? Dancing? Were you overlooking a breathtaking sight like The Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls? Were you flying in an airplane for the first time, fighting for the window seat, to take in the beauty that lies below? Were you nursing your newborn? Moments of bliss take our breath. We lose a sense of time and feel connected. We feel alive.
Awareness of our authentic self or inner "home" not only re-connects us with our true essence -- our soul -- but guides us into discovering our true purpose, connecting us with life. Connecting reawakens our sense of oneness, our realization that we are not separate; we are part of Creation, one with mankind. We don't have to compete anymore.
A purposeful life invites gratitude, allows love, and brings joy. Life comes alive when we feel grounded, connected, and grateful. A grateful heart takes us away from preoccupation with self and opens space for hope, for faith. A trusting, faithful heart gives without expecting. In doing so, life provides abundantly. This is real joy.
A few quiet moments reserved each day for reflecting, mindfully aware of breathing, with body awareness and stillness give much-needed rest for our overworked, exhausted, weary minds. Time spent nurturing ourselves, provides safety, ease, and space for just noticing what our body is saying. The body has been carrying us and holding our pain. Feeling the body, simply noticing it, letting it speak to us, awakens and excites our hearts . . . bringing joy.
A united body and mind can open the door for hearing Spirit when it knocks. Our gatekeeper is our breath. Spirit enters on our breath and it's the key for merging the body with the mind. The breath bathes our body lovingly, opening up space . . .
Space provides us freedom. Freedom encourages listening with our entire being; listening with our gut, using our heart, recognizing and respecting our inner voice for hearing the whispers of our soul. The soul waits for us to awaken; we only need to turn within to unlock an abundance of unconditional love ready and willing to direct and serve us. Mind-body-soul connection provides that vital presence that is sure to bring more joyful flow with life.
Turning inwardly for re-discovering our true "home" by listening with both our hearts as well as with our minds opens us to feeling and seeing in a more expanded way; a way that breathes new life, bringing blissful joy into all of our homes.
Where do I begin? Let's start with some mindful breathing, just noticing our breath.
Sit in a comfortable chair and take a few deep cleansing breaths - deeply inhale on a count of four, followed with a forceful exhalation from the mouth. Repeat 3xs.
Next, gently close your eyes and notice your breath. Simply breathe. No need to force anything. Just observe the smooth, circular motion of the breath-- followed by natural out breath. Stay here as long as you feel comfortable; until you feel calmly grounded and prepared for the day.
Repeat this breathing in the evening followed with a period of quiet reflection and stillness, starting with fifteen-twenty minute segments, to decompress and relax from the day's events. With consistency and practice, noticing the breath may expand to noticing thoughts, feelings, actions . . . keep consistently carving time for yourself and you will crave these quiet moments of sweet peacefulness sure to rejuvenate and nourish your soul -- bringing you "home." Enjoy. xo