"...keep knocking, and the Joy inside will eventually open a window
and look out to see who's there."
On Monday, I struck the bottom of my creative barrel. It was a hot day. I had no inspiration, enthusiasm or appetite for any of the projects I am working on. The well was empty. I had nothing to draw from. Zero. Nada. Zip. Do you ever have days like this?
Creativity and joy I find go well together. I started exploring joy.
In addressing myself to the day, here is what I discovered:
1. Let go and surrender
When things are not going the way I want, it really helps me to let go of expectations and be open to the unexpected. I am part of a much larger picture than is immediately in front of me. Truly, I am not in control, although sometimes I try to be.
2. Call for help
Sometimes, I find it helpful to talk to a good listener. Other times, I simply ask for a friend to send positive thoughts my way while I move through whatever is bothering me.
"We need Joy as we need air.
We need Love as we need water.
We need each other as we need the earth we share."
- Maya Angelou
3. Clear space
It was a good day for housework. Doing the laundry, washing the floors and yes, in the heat, ironing. I went round like a living sauna - any of the toxins of negativity and doubt were surely being flushed out. I drank a lot of water.
The good news about working "hands on" is that it brings me right into the present moment. In the present moment, all is fine. At the end of the day, the house felt good. Laundry was clean and put away. The space felt clean and clear.
"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.
When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."
- Gautama Buddha
4. Be prepared to be entertained, touched and moved
Partly in response to my call for help, I was sent this video:
Suryia and Roscoe
5. Do something you LOVE to do
I have begun to enjoy reading novels. Friends often pass on their paperbacks to me. I have a shelf of "to be reads". One had been staring at me for some days. So I picked it up and sat outside for a while to read. The book was riveting and took my mind off into other worlds, away from my own "empty", somewhat judgmental, one.
"From joy springs all creation,
By joy it is sustained,
Towards joy it proceeds,
And unto joy it returns."
- The Upanishads
6. Notice the extraordinary
In the past few years, I have designed and conducted a number of wedding ceremonies, but none have had the exuberant bride's processional chosen by this couple:
Jill and Kevin's Wedding Dance
7. Invite good into your life ...
.... good news, good food, good friends, In a recent post, Dr Cara Barker shared this exercise:
"At the very moment you believe you cannot afford the time, write out, in one sentence, the problem that's got you stumped. Lay it down, and go for a 15-20 minute walk, and notice the unexpected. When you return, if you are open, you'll find a clue to your situation."
I put it into practice and went for a walk. On my walk I happened to pass a palm tree and as I walked by, a frond tickled the top of my head. It felt like God reaching down to reassure me, much like a parent would a toddler finding its way around. I smiled.
Later in the day, I went for another walk and a toddler drifted in front of me. It gave me great joy to gently touch the top of his head to let him know I was there.
"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your JOY."
- Thich Nhat Hanh
8. Be giving
Many years ago, I read: "When feeling lack, find something to give. Give of yourself." I found several small ways to give. A day later, I felt the difference. Something opened up for me. I felt freer, more connected and resourceful again.
"Love is the unifier, the motivator and the source of joy
for every being."
- Sai Baba
What do you do to recover from an attack of the "blahs"? Do you have any special remedies for getting back on track? How do you get back in balance when life throws you a curve ball?
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