I woke up this morning with joy as my companion. With joy, gratitude comes naturally. Today I am grateful for the opportunity to listen to and hear my inner voice, jump in, paddles up, to float downstream on the path of least resistance. I am so thankful for the opportunity to start new, every day. I can hear the collective sigh and feel the proverbial eye roll now. Life is not all unicorns and rainbows, I know that, but, what if it could be? How do we know it can’t be?
I write in my journal regularly. Three pages (almost) daily. When I began this practice earlier this year I was encouraged to write anything that came to my mind, anything. Small petty grievances, whiny complaints, happy memories, not so happy memories, fun experiences, health issues, hopes and of course dreams. Anything.
There was a lot to complain about, there always is, right? Everything from being late to work, bad drivers on the way, problems with work, no work, not enough money, aches and pains, illness, friends in trouble, drama with family. The list is endless. In the beginning I felt apathetic about the exercise. Who has time to write all this down and what good will it do anyway? At the same time I had this nagging feeling of having “lost my voice” in all the noise of life. I was gently and firmly encouraged and proceeded to write. I wrote a lot about politics, my concern for the country and the world. I quickly warmed to the process and just “dumped” my thoughts onto the page. Every random thought, concern and worry. All the second guessing I do (did), fears and anxiety found their way onto the page. Once it was on the page it was out of my brain! Wow! Revelation! And so over a period of months this continued and it really wasn’t long until I was waking up and looking forward to writing. Soon enough, I was bored focusing on what had already happened, realizing that the past is the past, be it ten years ago, last week or a few minutes ago. Writing about it, more importantly, thinking about it was wasting precious time on the page. Also, it all had a very negative feeling about it. It felt good to get it out, however slowly but surely I began to feel a pull to a more positive outlook.
My writing changed. At first, I wrote affirmations, some shallow, some silly and some profound. They blended together and soon I was smiling when I was writing, experimenting with positive thinking, setting intentions, looking beyond what was or what is to what could be. This is heady stuff! Giggles sometimes ensued. The point is my focus turned inward, to hopes, dreams aspirations and a deep down desire to be happy, to be free of constraints. In this process I realized with stunning clarity that the choice on what to focus on, to set intention on, to pay attention to is mine and only mine. Powerful stuff. We all know the saying or sentiment, “it’s not my business what anyone else thinks of me”, but in practice, when practiced, it is a truly stunning realization. By selfishly focusing on my minute, in my day, in my month, in my year, in my life, there is no time to worry about what anyone else thinks or what others may think is right for me. There is no time to think about, worry about, succumb to other’s expectations of me if I am singularly (and some would suggest selfishly) focused on me. That act of taking care of one’s self, mind and body is actually in itself a gift to the ones we love. When we are taking care of our dreams, hopes desires and needs, loved ones around us are free to do the same. The very definition of unconditional love.
I was living in a pretty negative space, mind and body for some years. Don’t get me wrong, it takes some doing to flip that script. In the process of writing I was able to examine the idea of playing. Playing on the page but more importantly, playing in life. I wondered, when was the last time I played? Felt the rush of swinging on the swing set, running headlong down the road, riding a bike, not a care in the world, wind rushing by? Dancing, truly, like no one was watching? Being present, thinking only of myself, daydreaming about the future. This is what creating reality looks like and it is not only possible it is a requisite of a happy, joyful life. As part of the process of writing it down, I realized that thinking and then writing negative ideas is only giving the negativity more life. What we pay attention to, water and tend grows. Why not grow happiness and well-being? I stopped writing the cons and starting only writing the pros. In doing so, my thoughts turned in that direction as well. Only the pros. Why focus on the cons at all?
So here I am today, waking up in a state of joy and gratitude. Not because there is no bad in the world, not because I have no issues to overcome but because I can choose. I now have the knowing. I know that I can choose in every minute, with every issue, in any situation how I want to feel. And, if I trust myself and listen to my inner self, my true north, I can choose joy. Now that I know, I know, I can never accept less than the best thoughts. With the best thoughts come the best feelings and with the best feelings comes joy. Unicorns and rainbows abide here.