I went for a 10 km hike yesterday along a trail that leads deep into the woods. It was one of those perfectly magical weather days. Not too hot. Not too cool. Puffy white clouds. Striking blue sky. Butterflies fluttering. Dragonflies flitting. Blue herons gliding. Hawks soaring. Deer grazing. I hadn’t done a hike like this for ages and I was blissed out from the start.
Is Joy A Result Of Conditions?
Hiking for 10kms leaves lots of room for our inner being to wander and ponder and we pondered about joy. I was definitely feeling a magnified sense of joy being immersed in nature, bathed in sunshine, and moving my body, but what if I lived in a concrete jungle without trees where the sun did not shine very often? Would I still feel joy? Could I?
Do You Believe You Are A Creator?
I think the answer is, it depends….and it all depends on whether you believe you are a creator or not, and we all are…belief or no belief.
Imagination or Reality?
For example, I live on the edge of 1200 hectares of urban wilderness, and not by accident. Living in, and being immersed in nature as much as possible is something I think about a lot because it fills me with such joy. I can see nature from every window, and just looking at it brings me instant calm. Whether I am viewing it from my window or from my mind’s eye makes no difference. Both evoke good feelings. I love imagining my walks on the trail, in the woods, and into town. I have such positive expectations of how it will feel and what I will see. In my mind, I see myself unrushed with loads of carefree time to walk as slowly as I wish, to notice the beauty, and to relish every step along the way.
Thinking Creates Conditions
Naturally, the more I think about this or anything else that feels like joy, the more it will become the experience I will have, but I didn’t always know this and I certainly used to live a much different life.
The Soul Speaks
I think we all have longings that come from deep within our soul and that we are given many opportunities in life to pay attention to and honor those longings. When we don’t, we know it by the feeling of emptiness inside, a loss of joy.
Manifesting What We Long For
For me, my soul’s longings were for nature, spaciousness (of time and thought) to contemplate, write, feel, and move my body outdoors. My soul wanted loads of natural light and sounds, an easy, joyful pace to living and working that wouldn’t leave me feeling depleted and empty. All of these things became a reality because I thought about them often, felt deep joy around the having of them, and did not resist when the winds of change moved in to blow my then current reality away to make room for the new.
Creators And Awareness
That’s the thing about being a creator. We can smash things up, change things around, and build something completely new if there is enough awareness, healing, attention, self-belief, and joyful expectation that we can create what we want.
Willing To Accept
So it really does depend….on whether we are willing to accept the changes that will inevitably be necessary to grow into our new life, because the transition hardly ever comes about in the way that we imagined it would.
All Rainbows Are Beautiful
Most people won’t surrender their comfort zones and allow the old to fall, and that’s perfectly okay because we all get to choose the colors of our rainbow, the depth and intensity, the brilliance and vibrancy, and I have never seen a rainbow that I didn’t love with all my heart. We are the artists holding the pallet and the brush. Our life is the canvas. We are in charge of the picture we paint.
The Winds Of Change Are Blowing Again
Currently, I am in another transition phase in life. All that I love about what I created and lived for the past 10 years is changing now. Nothing ever stays the same and I can see this as a natural evolution of the soul. The winds of change are blowing in again…
Grow Or Stagnate?
We either grow or we stagnate. One way feels vibrant and alive…the other dead and empty, and life will always let us know where we are standing by how we are feeling.
Nothing Stays The Same
Lots and lots of growth can take place over 10 years, and as our energy changes and expands, so our circumstances must also if we are going to advance, flourish, and bring forth all that is new and matured within us, but it’s always difficult to let go of, or consider changing, what has brought us such peace, comfort, stability, and unshakeable beauty.
Allowing The Next Chapter Of Life To Be Written
I think the challenge comes from finding it hard to imagine that something greater and more expansive is waiting for us. We feel so proud of what we’ve created, or in my case, attached to, the calm and quiet life I’ve led while raising my daughter into adulthood, but my inner being knows I have outgrown my current container, and life is urging me to let go and allow the next chapter to be written.
Flowing Our Thoughts Towards Blessedness
The true gauge of our success in creating a life we love has got to be a deep sense of inner joy, and if that inner joy can be created from a pure thought of beauty, love, devotion, stillness, acceptance, celebration, or gratitude, then it begs to prove that we can live a joyful life regardless of circumstance when we learn to flow our thoughts towards the basic blessedness of life.
We can create a joyful life by flowing our thoughts towards the basic blessedness of life, the blessedness of Existence itself.
The Natural Order Of Things
Not the blessedness of material wealth or possessions, career or health, relationships or family, though these are blessings indeed. I’m talking about the blessedness of Existence…of I am here, I’m still standing, I am breathing, I AM life…and change is the natural order of things…
Trust That You Are Being Led
Even through those fragile, fearful, vulnerable feelings that growth, expansion, and change often produce, it behooves us to gently guide compassion home to ourselves and to remember, if our intentions are to create a life we truly love, then we must trust that we’re always being led to the next level of our greatest success – that of our deepest inner joy.
Has Inner Joy Become Your New Measure of Success?
I would love to hear from you. In the comments below, let me know:
- How do you define success in your life?
- Is your feeling of inner joy a guidepost for you regardless of circumstance?
Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. The more you share, the more your words and your comments may help someone else. This is why I share much about my own life. And, if you have friends, clients or colleagues who might be questioning or struggling with the meaning of success, share this post with them.
Warmest love and joy,