The Key to a Joy Filled Life

I have been going through another transformative period in my life this past year.  I started pursuing a Bachelors Degree in February and spent a lot of my ‘free’ time in the first half of the year training with dear friends and running races.  By June, I was noticing that running was adding stress to my life and not relieving it.  An invitation to consult with James Miller at Adamantine Yoga came into my inbox from a kindred spirit who knew my stress and suggested I give it a try.

I started my practice like I started everything else until that point.  Full force, with all my might, focused on a goal of being flexible, healthy and filled with inner peace…as quickly as possible.  Between classes, I thought about what I didn’t do right and what I could do better.  I emailed James what was going through my mind and he was not impressed.  He, like so many others before him, told me just “show up” and stop thinking so much.  I took this feedback as another challenge to “work” on.

Then, one day, while not working on my shoulder roll, my shoulder roll happened.  Of all the things I was trying to accomplish, that pose was not one of them, yet, it was the first to come.  James told me he has observed that pose signifying the the most psychological change compared to other poses.  I could tell he was happy for me but I didn’t care.  Most of the time, I care if people are happy for me or if I accomplish a goal.  That day was different.  Something significant changed, I could feel that, but I didn’t sense my usual level of pride or excitement for another item checked off my endless list of tasks I intended to accomplish as quickly as possible.  In a way, I felt reborn that day.  It changed the way I see “effort” and “trying” to do things.  Like Yoda said, “Do or do not, there is no try”.  He is right about that… That day, I tasted what those words meant for the first time.  I’ve been just showing up ever since.

Around one month ago, another kindred spirit who knew me as a teenager crossed my path.  She gave me “The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz.  I read it.  Cover to cover.  I absorbed it’s contents and gave myself permission to experience the world in a different way.  I released yet another layer of “need to suffer” and committed to practicing the Toltec path.   The connection with her gave me the strength to call together a women’s group that I’d only dreamed of previously.  The right people showed up and we had an incredible time sharing our stories and building each other up.

This past week, I have been meditating, reading and practicing Adamantine Yoga daily.  I am not stressed although stressful things are happening.  I have felt irritated and angry for a few moments here and there but I have not carried them with me beyond the moments they were experienced.  I felt my emotions, let them go, and decided to make different choices.

In my yoga practice, I’ve stopped comparing today to yesterday or where I want to be tomorrow.  I have started embracing this moment, this day, and being grateful for it.  When my legs shake or something is tender, I ask, “what are you trying to tell me today?” and I usually get an answer.

I have come to understand that we have choices in every moment.  Every…single…moment.  The past is over, the future is not yet here. I have a choice as to how I live my life in this moment, right now.

I’ve been reading about how to want things but not be attached to how things come or in what form.  I’m asked to drill down to what it is I REALLY WANT and be open to it being fulfilled.  I’ve come to realize that the key to a joy filled life is letting go of expectations but being wide open to possibility.  I realized that is the element I have been missing. I either set expectations for the positive or expect nothing positive will come. I have just now come to understand the freedom of letting go of expectations, positive or negative!

As I experience this new level of joy and freedom, I hesitate to share it because of old tapes telling me “don’t let your head get too big” or “there are starving children in Africa”….  Yes, there are some really shitty things that happen in the world and many, many people are going through some tough stuff right now but unless I can do something about it in this moment, it has no consequence in my life.  Those are old tapes.  They do not define me.  I can choose the life I want to live.  I am called to share my experience.  My intention is that by spreading more love and joy in the world, more can be created.

I’ve sought freedom my entire life and freedom is here, now, inside my soul!  I wish the same for you!

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

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