Step onto the Pathway of Love, part 3.
This morning at 5 am, rumbles of thunder woke me. I lay there, listening to this uncommon sound and the hush of the rain falling, counting the seconds before flashes of lightning lit up the room.
I'm glad I woke up. I needed to witness the coming of the rain, as much as the land needed the water. I have truly enjoyed the hot weather, the first sustained Summer weather I have seen in at least a couple of years. But the land, and its humans, needed a break from the heat. I was happy to witness this change.
The thunder and lightning made me feel alive. Opening up to the power of the storm, it felt exciting to be present, to take in its wild music. I love the dance of Nature. It fills me with the joy of living.
Being creative does much the same thing for me. Whether it's serious DIY or making a square of crochet in the evening, I love seeing the physical result of something I have done. It's rewarding, and gives me a simple kind of joy.
Another joy in my life is truly connecting with another human being. Having a real heart-to-heart with a good friend, where we both feel heard and understood, is a special kind of blessing.
I could go on, and I am sure you can think of a few things that light you up.
All these sources of joy, all these things that remind us that we are alive, that being alive feels good, are important sources of strength. They weave us into the web of life and give us reasons to get up in the mornings.
Here are a few things you can do to identify and strengthen these threads of power that feed your hungry soul.
At the centre of the web
Get a large sheet of paper and some felt tip pens. Put your own name at the centre of the sheet. Start creating a mind map of all the things, activities, people and places that give you joy, that spark your enthusiasm, that make you feel alive.
Look at what you have written down. Make sure to draw links between yourself and each of those things in bright colours. Even if there aren't many connections there, these are the threads that stitch you into the life of this world. See yourself at the centre of the web, fed by this much joy.
Let yourself play. Celebrate these connections with decorations and doodles. And hang the result in a visible place, so that on sad days your eye can always catch something that gives you joy.
Joy is a priority
Take out your diary and schedule something joyful for yourself. In the next week, find a gap in your diary where you can strengthen your connection with one of your sources of joy.
This could be as simple as coffee with an old friend, or as adventurous as climbing the nearest mountain. Just stick it in the diary and commit to it. Don't stand yourself up. Treat your source of joy like a lover and it will feed your soul to overflowing.
Give yourself at least an hour or so per week, purely to feed your joy. And once a month, make it a whole day. Stop making excuses. Joy is a priority. This is how you keep your soul strong. This is how you nourish yourself so you can nourish others.
Do you know of any other practices that connect you to your joy? Please share in the comments below.
This blog post owes a lot to the teachings of Caitlin Matthews.
Previous posts in this series: