Yesterday I danced in the kitchen and felt JOY. Earlier this week, I watched a funny movie and felt JOY moving through me as I belly laughed again and again. Last Saturday I got sweaty hiking up a mountain and felt JOY. And who could forget the sex that left me breathless with JOY?
I think I’ve had it all wrong about JOY. For years I believed that JOY was an emotion that lives in the heart. If you had asked me what JOY was a month ago, I would have said something about JOY being a loving emotion of the heart. But now I’m beginning to think JOY is a full body emotion. JOY is embodied.
Why are little kids so JOYful? They live in their bodies! Little kids don’t think their way through life, they jiggle and wiggle and dance through life. Life is a full body experience for little kids. Why are many adults so serious and JOY-less? I’m guessing it has a lot to do with thinking their way through every experience. By adulthood, body has become secondary to brain and life loses a lot of its JOY.
When I manage to get out of my head and allow myself to experience life through every sensation in my body, JOY spontaneously bubbles up inside of me. JOY fills me.
Hmm, even the language we use to describe JOY is body centered; we are JOYful = our body is full of JOY. We don’t feel JOY so much as fill with it!
Life is a full body sport. So, now I am on a mission: I want to embody JOY as often as possible. To feel myself fill with JOY every day. My body already knows how to do this. I simply need to get my head out of the way and allow my body to do what comes naturally.
If you pass me on the street next week, I hope I’m wiggling and jiggling with JOY.
Here we are in our humanness, in our grumpiness, in our glory, in our sexiness,
in our dirty dishes, in our exhaustion, in our irritation and in our genius.
Gradually, with practice, we begin to see that the way
life shows up is not an error or deviation from Her.
There is nothing to quickly overcome so we can get back to our lives
and back to our spiritual path. The Goddess reveals that all of this is Her;
all of this is holy. There is nothing we need to get rid of.
Everything we experience is the path.
~ Chameli Devi Ardagh
“There is a deep intelligence intrinsic to all of us that we call Shakti: a creative life force pressing through all things. It wants to grow, to become. It is powerful beyond comprehension. It moves the planets; it erupts volcanoes; it allows the butterfly to burst out of the cocoon.
This same Shakti is what awakens you and brings awareness into the frozen, rigid places. It is the longing that presses through you, telling you some of your old ways of being are too small for you, like old clothes that don’t fit anymore.”