Where is the Joy?

IMG_0985When was the last time you felt happy? How long did it last? Five minutes? Five hours? Five days?

I started a 10 month leadership program in San Francisco in September. The first weekend I was so filled with joy and playfulness that I questioned what was wrong with me. My internal voices: ” I am a Spiritual Warrior. I have been actively growing and seeking my Truth since the late 80’s. I know how to dive into personal growth. Am I resisting? In denial? Am I sad? Am I angry? Why am I so Happy?!?!?”

I have had a lot to excavate throughout my life. Deaths of a brother, son, husband. A life threatening illness. Lots of real life to process. On that first Immersion Leadership weekend, I told myself, “This is serious work. People are crying. This is a personal growth program. Get to it”

Still I felt so HAPPY. By Sunday, I saw that my growth that weekend was to expand my JOY. How many days in a row could I be in a happy, JOY-filled state! (I even found a man in the program who agreed to be my Intimacy Research Partner for 10 months. What could be better than that!)

For all of the other Immersion weekends and in between, I have had my highs and lows just like everyone else in the program. I didn’t have to MAKE myself go down. It happened naturally as part of the process and I have learned and discovered and remembered so many things about myself this year. I am so grateful and honored to have learned so much from everyone. Vulnerability is a rich playground.

Now as I approach the 9th Immersion weekend, JOY has returned to me in full force again. On Monday, I had a healing and sensual massage session from a friend. He used a technique called Faster EFT and then a Sensual Massage. In the process of talking, the story about my brother, Kenneth emerged. I was 4 years old when he died of SIDS at the age of two months. In the Faster EFT, memories were accessed that I had never seen. We found the spot where my 4 year turned down her joy and pleasure button. I could feel the grief in my house and I felt the internal message that I could only be happy for so long and my joy and excitement could only be expressed when other people were happy, too.

I am the Excitement Channel as my natural state of being. In order to keep my joy alive, I learned to be really excited when I am alone or with children. Dance parties in my garage apt by myself. Cracking myself up with jokes and things I see in the world. Homeschooling my kids and being a Girl Scout leader. Driving a Suburban all over the United States. Going to Jonas Brothers concerts. And finding “acceptable” times when everyone else is happy.

On Tuesday, the day after my session, I was in the kitchen with some of my housemates. Out of my mouth came the word, ” Shenanigans.” Then the word, “Alas” and a few minutes later, someone asked me when I was going to the Dry Cleaners and I said, “What’s a dry cleaner?” with curiosity and innocence. We were all laughing so hard and I had an AHA! My 4 year old was coming out to play. This part of me is being unleashed to play and find joy in everything. Yesterday “she” got excited when she saw a light switch turned on and read the word ON and when “she” saw the word PENGUIN.

I like playing with her and seeing how all of these parts of me can bring more PLAY and EXCITEMENT and LIGHTNESS into my life.

I am the smiling child on the left.

Where do you feel the joy in your life?

Post in the comments and tell me about your journey with PLAY!scan0006

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