Yes, There is Joy!
If you've read some of my blog posts you might be wondering if I'm more than often locked up in serious thoughts. You might be thinking, "man, this dude's a drag!" This may be true for a portion of my waking time during the day. But, one of the reasons I've always been drawn to the forest, and further in helping people get unstuck in whichever way I can help, is that I simply enjoy it! It brings me that sense of fullness, much like when you lend someone $5 and they truly, and sincerely, thank you for it. Your day has shifted. It just makes you feel good, and you don't need to explain that feeling to anyone. It just is.
It's no secret or joke that we are living in dark times, so yes, much of what I ponder is dark by nature. Even so, I feel as if we really need to begin shifting our focus towards what is good. Let's begin there for a change folks! Seriously. There comes from being out in the woods, or in the park, or even sitting in a chair on your back patio, this sense of awe that begins to wash over you. Think of the first time you ever walked over the dunes and witnessed the ocean for what it was...this immense body of water, having waited for you to come and see it. This sense of wonderment comes naturally and without effort - you don't have to be a swami or this wiz-kid to "conjure" it. (Emerson and Thoreau have covered this at length, and I suggest you read them, along with Whitman - truly trailblazers of their time. Mary Oliver is also wonderful if you're looking for good nature writers. Their sense of refusing this "tamed" world in favor of what has been given to all of humanity to experience and share was very much radical thinking at the time of their writing.)
Most people have this fear of what slowing down might mean for them. A sense of wasting time, which therefore brings a sense of shame? We all know what sort of behavior comes from shaming or being shamed. I wrestle with that all the time. Just ask my wife. But, I've found more often than not, that when "knowing" is allowed naturally and without force, people first feel this sense of awe and wonder, and then what happens next is pretty amazing...they begin to notice a sense of gratitude, connectedness...and then, love, which is real and whole.
Just think of what happens when you allow yourself time to sit and gaze at the stars, or to journal, or to even work on that old motorcycle in the garage without putting the pressure on yourself of having to "do it right," or feeling the need to post something later for instant reassurance of your online community? Creativity abounds! The artist sees things she hasn't seen before; the weekend mechanic's mind is open to solutions he hasn't considered before. Notions and ideas come naturally when they're not forced. Your "mind machine," so to speak, "turns" over, it springs to life and rumbles down the road, taking you places you haven't been before! Your mind and your intuition, working together, and not separately, is a powerful thing!
When true "open-ness" is experienced, I know it has a profound affect on my capacity to be kind, mostly to myself. And if I partake in the journey of being kind to myself, what impact might that have on my relationships with my fellow humans, and then further, with respect to the natural world? What possibilities might there be, for all of us?