All of the practices I share with you in these pages are from the pages of my own life. I often write about embracing the moment *exactly* as it is, not as I wish it would be. I often write about choosing joy, peace, abundance; growing the good; filling my space with gratefulness for all that I *do* have…
I tend to lead with my heart, so not all moments are joy filled–some contain other emotions. In those moments, I let the feeling wash over me; I choose not to numb it or avoid it or bury it, but to *feel* it. Well, last night while at work, staff was speaking about one member who is most cunning, manipulative, knows how to work the system to somehow best everyone else while cutting corners. It makes me sad to know that a person may allow fear to lead, then somehow “get their way” so will continue to operate in such a manner….
I then read an article written by Dylan Klebold’s mother. Dylan Klebold is one of the teenagers who was a shooter in the Columbine massacre. Dylan’s mother wrote about her side–her shame, her disappointment and how she is trying to heal….It hurt my heart to realize that I had never really considered her side. The pain that she must have endured knowing her son was involved in such horrendous violence, the pain as she wished she could erase the hurt to those involved, the pain that if she could go back in time she would somehow be able to ‘save’ her son…Where is the Love????
And then I read a few blogs. A writer I trust wrote about being enraged at a situation and the process of ‘justification” and the commenters agreed. Still fear based…and I thought, wow–where is the Love???? Another writer I trust wrote an essay with words that sounded amazing on paper, but were far different from the choices truly made in life. Where is the Love??? In the midst of deep fear and all that it morphs into…then where is the Love???
When my shift ended in the middle of the night, I walked home down the dock with a heavy heart. It was a cloudy night, so the moon was not visible although I knew it was there..and there were a few stars. I spoke with God, the moon, the stars…I will allow my heart to remain open even though it hurts…but please show me, where is the Love??? I believe in Love, I base my life on Love, please show me where it is….
See, this is how I deal with pain…I acknowledge it. I feel it fully. I bring it to God/the Universe. I learn the lesson in it. I release it. So, I asked for a sign, because I want to believe Love exists…abundantly. Walking down the dock, I began to give praise for my harbor, my neighbors, the night sky, God, the moon, the stars…and right in front of my boat were three ducks. Sitting on the dock. I knew that was a sign. I’m never first to comment on any blog, and it was just past midnight so I knew Lance’s Sunday Thought would just barely be posted…and it was the most beautiful Love Story. If you desire to know abundant love, please check it out. When I woke, I opened the hatch, to find a duck in my cockpit!!!! First and only time there has ever been a duck in my cockpit…sitting right on the cushion outside my hatch. I was going to take a picture because my children will not believe it, but I knew it was a Divinely placed sign, so I quick thanked God and the Universe, then thanked the duck and observed–quietly asking what is your message?
Of course, I looked up the symbolism of ducks: honesty, simplicity, resourcefulness, sensitive to their surroundings, beauty, agile, and adaptable to nature. *There* is the Love…..abundant Love, exactly as I know it to be. Love is in honesty, simplicity, resourcefulness, sensitivity to my surroundings, beauty, agility, and being adaptable to nature. Exactly how I live. For a few moments I let external make me doubt my internal, I gave it to God and the Universe, filled my heart with praise…and got the Answer I needed. It was my choice to be aware and open to the Answer….
The Answer is in my heart, my life, my actions….Abundant Love. Last Monday, I told you I would share today my wonderful adventure filled weekend with my children. The gist of that weekend is my Answer from within my own life to where is the Love??? The Love is *right here* in lazy days in which my children and I allow for unfolding, for the day to progress as it will, for our hearts to remain open to delight and wonder. The Love is right here in the simple way that we live, the Ease and Joy we share with each other, the way our moments just naturally flow and we delight in them. The Love is right here in our love of nature and the Energy we feel when sitting under a canopy of huge trees, basking in the sunshine, playing on a farm with a variety of animals. The Love is right here in our hearts as we have compassion for those that have less and share what we have so they feel they have a bit more…
I grew up in Upstate NY among trees, hiking trails, huge expanse of fields and property….I grew up with horses–riding and training them–many many hours at the horse barn, stables….I grew up working at a family friend’s produce stand at the local farmer’s market during season…So I may live on a boat now, but I completely appreciate Nature in all forms and love to be out in the hills and at the Farm even as much as I love my backyard islands and all that the harbor offers…
For last weekend, I was still quite ill, but I put that aside to enjoy the time with my children. The first day we headed to the hills of Ojai..
…and we ended up at a healing festival held on the grounds of a metaphysical store where we enjoyed looking at a variety of products got some cool temporary Energy tattoos, and Kevin enjoyed painting something he titled “Diving Into Life”….
We then decided to go to our favorite park in Ojai..Libbey Park..known for it’s giant trees and amazing Energy…also the site of one of my drum circles…We splurged a bit and got some chips and salsa to add to our picnic in the gazebo….
Amazing Energy….Amazing! On the way home, we found a most delight filled treat–an outdoor bookstore! The sign says it has over 100,000 books all outdoors…avid readers that we are we had to check it out…indescribable!!!
The next day we went to a Farm about 90 minutes away called The Gentle Barn. This Farm is a rescue center for severely abused animals. We went from the lush green hills of the day before, to brown, dusty dry hills in the other direction…
All three of us fell in love on the Farm. The animals range from horses, pigs, cows to exotic such as emus, peacocks and such. We were there hours. Kevin found his niche that we will explore in the future; Kaitlyn loves animals so went from one to the other just loving on them all. My experience was pure joy at watching my children open their hearts and allowing their peace and joy to touch each animal that they interacted with. We read the biographies of each animal and were touched by their stories. Touched by the Energy of the place. I felt so sad that this particular animal (whatever animal I was interacting with) endured so much. I felt so sad that people could allow fear to enable them to be so cruel to inflict such pain. I felt so sad that the biography of each animal also mirrored biographies of people that I personally know. I felt grateful to be there. Grateful to be in the day. Grateful to share as we did. My Spirit soared….We took a few photos available here at Photo Slideshow , but mainly we were focused on the animals…And *grin* when you see the photo of me with the emu–they said don’t look him in the eye, so I surely did not 🙂
*There* in the day, our hearts wide open…*there* is the love…with my children, in nature, simple, peace filled, joy filled…pure and abundant Love…
May you allow your heart to feel each and every emotion
Presented to you.
Allow it to wash over you
Give it to God/The Universe
May you realize that Love
Pure, simple, strong
And Love is External
if you allow your eyes to observe
your ears to listen
your senses to respond to the Answer
May you feel Abundant Love
May you share Abundant Love.
#1 by Simon Hay on June 14, 2010 - 11:56 am
I find conversations about love intriguing. I have a deeper understanding for life and human interaction and action because I’m more aware of myself, but I must confess love is still a mystery to me. I can say I love you, and my entire being sighs with the feeling. I do love you, but I can still slide into the reactive habits and thinking of a rich and often complicated life. I find simplicity in understanding me, but I deviate from the path of an enlightened journey with love. I discover myself and love differently. I don’t often look for a sign; the sign is internal. I more compassionate, but I’ve had moments in my life of violence and anger. I didn’t need either to experience peace. Spirit tells me I was chosen, and if that’s the case I didn’t choose this life. I’ve become this life. By my reckoning and what I’m sharing I’ve sometimes been a poor partner and father. Will those moments happen again, and will love be absent? The truth – I’m not sure. One day at a time. It’s possible, because of the nature of my work and life, I will let someone down. Thank you for allowing me to think out loud. With love, Simon.
#2 by Jay Schryer on June 14, 2010 - 11:59 am
To me, Love is in everything. I believe that it’s an invisible energy field (like the Force from Star Wars) that binds us all together. Through love, we are all connected – to each other, and to the world around us. When a flower blooms, it blooms because it receives the love of the sun and rain, and even the soil which provides nutrients as well as a place for the roots to take hold.
When it rains, I see that as God/The Universe telling us, with every drop that falls, that we are loved and cared for. When the sun is shining, I see it as God/The Universe shining light on us, reminding us of the warmth and beauty of the other side.
I see every tree, every flower, every animal, and every person as a Divine expression of Love. The rain, the sun, the wind, the earth beneath my feet are all taking care of me (of all of us), supporting me, and guiding me. Every breath I take is a reminder that Love is all around me, all the time. No matter where I am or what I am doing, Love is surrounding me, flowing through me, filling me up and washing over me.
Sometimes, I forget, and I lose my way. Sometimes my fear or internal pain shuts down my heart, my ability to feel the Love, and creates the illusion of separateness, loneliness, confusion, and sadness. The feeling can last for moments, or weeks. But then a miracle comes, in the form of a child’s smile, a gentle breeze at *just* the right moment, a phone call from a friend, or the splash of the ocean waves washing over me, and I am reminded of Love, and my heart is opened once again.
Oh, and reading blog posts like this one help, too 🙂
#3 by The Exception on June 14, 2010 - 5:20 pm
“Where is the love” is a great question. Sometimes, when dealing with this or that person, I find myself wondering where the love is in this interaction. Is it in me? (I hope more often than not) Is it in the interaction itself? Is it in the other person? We might be surrounded by love and the beauty of life in so many forms, and I am as full of love as I can be, and yet I have challenges dealing with this or that person at times. I haven’t figured out how to reconcile this – giving love working with love, seeing and accepting myself and others and the abundance… and yet looking and talking to a person who sees love to be something else entirely – only for one person and a property of sorts… and that person could be anyone but me.
Sometimes it is fear or ego that provide the lessons for growth… and other times it is those with whom I deal, those who ask me to accept limited definitions and labels and the idea of fear and lack…
Love is in everything… it is everywhere, whether we open our hearts to see it or not… it is there waiting for us and loving us.
#4 by Talon on June 14, 2010 - 7:11 pm
Joy, how amazing is that – an outdoor bookstore! That would be on my list of perfect things. Sounds like you and your children had a bliss-filled day. Isn’t it amazing how much there is contained in the simplest pleasures? Beautiful post. Thank you.
#5 by Sara on June 14, 2010 - 8:00 pm
This is beautifully expressed post about love and compassion. I had to really think about this topic and your question, “Where is the love?” It’s not an easy topic for me.
I see love as a self expanding emotion. It allows us to open ourselves beyond our humanness. However, in my case, love is also one of my life lessons:~)
Sometimes I enjoy the abundance of love and other times I step out of it for many different reasons.
You are absolutely right that fear is one of the reasons I step out of the love. Then again, there have been times in my life when fear was useful…it got me moving into action. Someone once told me that a “leap of faith” seldom happens without a slight push from fear.
Also, since fairness is very important to me and I will fight what I believe to be an injustice, it’s a given that there are, and will be, times when I’m not centered in love.
As I see it, my job is to keep working at it. A major part of this lesson is trusting that love is abundant, discovering where it resides inside me, as well others, and learning how I can get myself back into it when I slip out.
Needless to say, this is an on-going lesson and one I will hopefully will get better at:~)
Thank you for this thoughtful post:~)
#6 by Wilma Ham on June 14, 2010 - 9:35 pm
I keep coming back to hearing the lyrics ‘Love is all you need’.
Love made you day, nothing else ever will. Love will keep these memories for you and your children, love is what they will remember best.
Love will override the bad memories of your working day, love heals.
Love cannot be attacked, love cannot be destroyed, oh Joy love is life isn’t it?
Sometimes it gets snowed under but like a flower, it will find a way through, at least that is my experience.
Much love, Wilma
#7 by Lance on June 14, 2010 - 9:41 pm
Abundant + Love…what two great words to go together! I believe very much that it is within us…this abundant love. And – that is so evident in the words (and pictures!) describing your weekend with your children. What a wonderful thing – to experience the joy of each other and of your surroundings!
So…where is the love? Or, why is it that we sometimes lose sight of that love? Do we become hardened by “life”? Do we focus too much on “I” and not enough on “you”? Do we forget, sometimes, what abundant love feels like? I know that when I do these things, I am NOT coming from a place of abundant love. And, I’m not being the LOVE I desire. (and don’t we all, at a some deep level, desire LOVE?)
Joy, I’m reminded as I read this to focus more upon being from a place of LOVE. For that, I thank you immensely…
Much peace (and LOVE) to you,
#8 by Justin Dupre on June 15, 2010 - 6:38 am
Awesome post! It’s my first time at your site and I’m already liking it a lot. Very nice layout and background. Life would not be meaningful and lose it purpose without love. Outdoor bookstore is way cool! Thanks for sharing your pictures with us!
#9 by Tony Single on June 15, 2010 - 12:35 pm
Beautiful post, Joy. 🙂
I believe Love is something you can’t hold onto for any great length of time. Why? Because as surely as you receive it, it is something that’s meant to be nurtured and then passed on. That way it snowballs… becomes bigger and bigger so that everyone can share it. 🙂
#10 by wifsie on June 15, 2010 - 3:40 pm
First, let me tell you that Love is in your name. Just pronouncing it makes me feel all the good that’s around me.
Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. What a love-ly surprise!
I believe we feel pain and sorrow (even despair) because we love and we care. Love is in those emotions too. We are beings of love. It’s everywhere. In a pancake made for breakfast, in tears shed over a lost loved one, in weeds growing in the garden, and yes, in a duck.
I allow my darker emotions to shine these days because they will always lead me back to the light. They just need to be.
Thanks for a great post filled with vibrant energy!
#11 by Chania Girl on June 15, 2010 - 5:45 pm
I love your beautiful, from-the-heart posts, Joy, and hope you will always share these with us. I enjoyed the way you took this post from a search for something outside to a discovery of that something within. It reminded me (in a peripheral kind of way) of Gandhi’s “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” When we are looking for the love, we should start with us: are we being it?
Sending love to you today from Crete. x
#12 by Evita on June 15, 2010 - 11:48 pm
Oh wow – this was incredible!
I loved all the examples you provided and asked “where is the love”? It is so true. People will think there are excuses, there are times, when they can justify the absence of love. But in truth, there is not one time, not one moment that need be devoid of love.
Gosh how beautifully you went about this topic. Your energy is just incredible in these posts!
And yes, seeing that love story on Sunday on Lance’s site – yes – there is the love. And it is in that beautiful time you had with your kids. And it is within each one of us. May we shine it brightly and stop dimming the nature of who we are.
#13 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on June 16, 2010 - 12:43 am
My Dear Friends..
Thank you for these comments, this dialogue about my essay…
I needed to take some time to process the replies. I am replying from a place of love..I may send a few individual emails because I would like to hear more and want you to feel comfortable expressing to me…but I didn’t want to respond individually here to each because it is so heart based….*Thank you* for that!
I think Evita summed up my thoughts the best….”I loved all the examples you provided and asked “where is the love”? It is so true. People will think there are excuses, there are times, when they can justify the absence of love. But in truth, there is not one time, not one moment that need be devoid of love.” Thank you Evita!
I believe that Love is Energy/Faith/Force…and I may interact with the world from two places: a place of Love, or a place of Fear. One is not present in the other. It is an either/or choice. When I am lamenting an experience devoid of Love, when I ask “where is the love” I am not judging, I am questioning so I may know. When I act from a place of Fear, that is a lack of Love/Faith/Force…and I often feel quite alone in my belief that my goal in life is to *always* act from a place of Love..a place of quiet grace…I am not a doormat, I do know how to set boundaries; but I don’t think that my Love is golden and pure if I am interacting with you out of a place other than Love, and I don’t want to make excuses for my behavior–when it is fear based, then I am wrong and I am sorry. My own journey is one where I am learning to interact with pure Energy straight from my Heart.
Each of you shared a piece of yourself in your comment, and my heart leaps with joy at the safety and comfort you feel to do that…please keep on sharing in such a manner..the Energy is amazing. We are all exactly at the point we are meant to be, and what I learn from you *inspires* me to keep my own heart as open as possible, to look within and heal my wounds, release my own inhibitions, knock down my own barriers. You allow me to embrace fully, and for that I thank each of you…
#14 by Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord on June 16, 2010 - 1:30 am
Such beautiful comments to such a beautiful post.
I read, perhaps from Byron Katie, that love is even in those moments when it looks like love is lacking. It’s just a form of love we haven’t recognized yet. Perhaps that is so, especially if “all” is truly love.
Yet when I see or hear people turning away from love, and embracing fear, I, too, become fearful and turn away from them. Maybe somewhere down the line my lesson will be to actually see what Byron Katie talks about: to see love in its many forms, including the ones I used to think were fear.
Regardless, I remind myself each day that I am love, and that LOVE fills my eyes, ears, mind, mouth, chest, limbs, etc. Love is all around me, and when I practice the graceful art of praising (thank you, again, for that), love is magnified.
Therein is the miracle of life: that we can grow whatever it is we focus on. So by all means, let us focus on love.
Joy, I love your blog, and I love you. I praise your presence in my life. You’re always “right there” when I need you most… So tuned in, so generous, and so inspirational.
#15 by Hilary on June 16, 2010 - 6:50 am
Hi Joy .. you’re right we so often look at one side of a challenge and don’t see what’s happening to the others around us. Love is everywhere .. and love is all. You really embrace life to the full and the places you visited and shared with your kids is wonderful.
It’s wonderful to read your words .. thank you so much for sharing your life with us .. may I send you peace and a quiet respite .. that you can heal a little more and be able to embrace life fully restored as life beckons us on .. with thoughts and love Hilary
#16 by sheila on June 17, 2010 - 3:57 pm
Wonderful post! I handle things in much the same way. And I’ve always felt heartache for the shooters parents in the Columbine tragedy. Oh the pain they must feel. I hope they heal.