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What do you do when life unfolds with ease?

June 17th, 2009 · No Comments

wave-on-beachSometimes good fortune arrives in our lives so effortlessly that we can’t believe it.  We hesitate and hold back.  Surely it can’t be this easy, we tell ourselves.  Our smaller, more painful interpretation of life is so much more familiar so it seems safer and more real.  We shrink from the beauty and magic unfolding before us.

Rumi urges us to seize life fearlessly, to let go and merge with it, and to embrace with ease the joy and opportunity as it comes to us:

The Seed Market

Can you find another market like this?
Where,
with your one rose
you can buy hundreds of rose gardens?
Where
For one seed
you get a whole wilderness?
For one weak breath,
the divine wind?
You have been fearful
of being absorbed in the ground,
or drawn up by the air.
Now, your waterbead lets go
and drops into the ocean,
where it came from.
It no longer has the form it had,
but it’s still water.
The essence is the same.
This giving up is not a repenting.
It’s a deep honoring of yourself.
When the ocean comes to you as a lover,
marry, at once, quickly,
for God’s sake!
Don’t postpone it!
Existence has no better gift.
No amount of searching
will find this.
A perfect falcon, for no reason,
has landed on your shoulder,
and become yours.

Has a perfect falcon landed on your shoulder?  What do you want to do with it?  Do you welcome it wholeheartedly?  Will you honor yourself, believe it, and allow it into your life?

Or are you thinking “this can’t be real if it comes so easily”?  Or “this can’t be valuable if it has come so easily”?  Are you believing that struggle is a necessary component of your life?

Where can you be more open to the rose gardens, the divine breezes, and the magnificent oceans which come to you?

Tags: fear · happiness · noticing · risk

Rejecting Others While on Mental Autopilot

November 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

In this charged atmosphere four days before the elections, it’s really easy to judge and criticize those who disagree with us.  We build walls of safety around the rejection of large groups of other people, and seek companionship and comfort with those who believe as we do. Those with other viewpoints become strange and clueless.

For the last few days I’ve been trying to fully accept the other side.  Not to adopt their beliefs or positions or candidates as mine, but to let go of my judgment about what it means to believe differently than me.  It hasn’t been easy. I’m struggling with years of habitual thinking. But it does feel lighter and freer.

Going off of mental autopilot feels risky because it shifts our identity in a dramatic way.  But the joy diet requires it, at least my joy diet does.  Carrying my habitual judgments around feels like a heavy burden, draining my attention and compromising my joy.

Are you flying on mental autopilot?  Is it a burden?  How would it feel to let it go?

Tags: joy diet · risk

What Are You Doing “Just in Case”?

October 29th, 2008 · No Comments

I knew what I had to do today.  The thought was scary.  I was really, really hesitant.  Is this the right decision? Can I be sure?  What if I make a mistake?

I’ve held a license as an educational therapist for about 10 years.   I thought, “Well even though I don’t want to do this work anymore, I should maintain this license, just in case….”

Just in case what?  I’ve spent so much of my life doing things just in case.  Now that I’m on the Joy Diet, just in case is not a sufficient reason to do something.  Just in case does not come from desire, it comes from fear.  Just in case is, in this situation, a joy killer.

So I just sent an email notifying my certifying company that I would not be renewing.  Simple.  Straightforward.  Direct.  It was scary to push the send button on my email.  My hands trembled a bit and I caught my breath.  And it feels fantastic.  Clean, honest, clear.

What are you doing just in case?

Tags: joy diet · risk