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Each of us has our own unique GPS system... Truth-telling is the most thorough navigation tool.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Choosing Joy Instead

In the third class I was exposed to the concept that we live in a pain-oriented society and pleasure is a questionable goal in life. I’d never quite thought of life in this way. I have noticed that it seems for most of society the only time to have fun is when they can get drunk on the weekends or holidays and get beyond their daily mask. I’ve never liked having a mask, or living under a label.

When I was young I was introverted and listened very carefully to what was going on around me. I trusted who I was told to trust. I didn’t question those whom I was told to trust. It never dawned on me. Three experiences in my youth inspired me to become less introverted and I learned successfully how to become more externally motivated. I won awards and the admiration of peers at that time. I soon discovered that having won (repeatedly) a top office the responsibilities involved necessitated I become entrenched with commitments. I didn’t have the freedom to explore in the moment what my deepest self wanted.

After toeing the line for 22 years I broke free. Tonight’s class asked us to write up a gratitude list. I wrote the basics like my wonderful home, friends, family, improved health, successfully ruled legal attack, and the gift of having found wonderful dance and yin yoga classes nearby. I’ve known for a long time that focusing on what feels good brings more good feelings than focusing on what hurts. I remember hearing a Maori healer once tell a class I got to attend the year before he died, “Give thanks when you stub your toe.” The next time I stubbed my toe I remembered and gave praise. It amazed me how much more quickly the pain of surprise and real pain dissolved.

When I was young I was vexed being confused. Elders told me to enjoy the chaos of not knowing. As I look back, I think this applies to the gift given in tonight’s session. You can focus on how others prefer pain and find pain acceptable, but you yourself, in your own heart and soul can smile and avert your eyes. There is bliss inside, a humming of internal joy that the body is alive and needs nutrition, movement, and loving attention. Life can be fun solving the dilemma to acquiring those needs. It doesn’t have to be a drag. It can be a joy.

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