Journey of a Lifetime

Hello. Welcome to the “Unfolding” community..it is a pleasure to share energy with you here!

This is on the  cover of a National Geographic magazine that I keep prominently displayed on my shelf in the living space of the boat.  I pass by it numerous times as I move throughout my day.  I love this particular phrase “journey of a lifetime” because it reminds me that my life is not this small forty-foot space on the boat–it is far larger than that– encompassing time, space, connections that span the universe and realms within the universe.  If I allow the busyness of life to fill each moment, I may forget that World exists outside of my small space..and that my life’s purpose is not to invest my precious energy in such minutia; rather to open my heart to flow and experience World. 

The word “journey” reflects to me: movement, adventure, exploration, experience. 

In my personal life, this same statement applies to my practice of yoga, so journey to me is much like my practice of yoga. I show up on the yoga mat (or sand on the beach, or grass in the park..wherever I happen to “be”) and I open my heart to the process.  Sometimes I enjoy being led by a teacher, sometimes I delight in sharing with a friend, sometimes I stand alone.    But, I am *there*…mindfully aware of my surroundings and full of gratitude for being *there*.  I embrace the process of *living* in the same way: I show up, open my heart to the moment, and celebrate with gratitude. 

Yoga for me is as spiritual as it is physical..as I move my body and honor each individual piece that allows me to be me and to connect with you..I also honor namaste to the core.  I have recently begun carrying this heartfelt namaste with me as I move through life.  I generously offer namaste to everything and, in return, I graciously receive namaste back from everything.  Magical.  In this space, I recognize the interconnectedness, I feel the expansiveness, I celebrate All; I am fully tapped into Universal Flow.  *Everything* truly is possible.

In yoga, and in life, there are moments that I do not “feel like” showing up; I feel something less than that allows me to hesitate to be mindfully present.  There are also moments that I feel I’d rather be comfortable with what I “know” than to stretch fully into the unknown.  There are many different ways to process this: some deny, berate, hide, bury, deflect the Feeling.  I choose to allow for unfolding..to Feel the moment as it is..because the depth of that moment is perfect for me and the space I am in. If I do not feel like showing up, I open my heart to the discomfort and stand there until grace guides me to move..I practice familiar movements that lovingly, gently stretch into the unfamiliar movements (almost effortlessly bringing me from known to unknown)..then I thank my self for stretching. 

(A quick aside: as you move through life, please take the time to thank your self.  So often we ask self to ‘open up’, ‘push through’, ‘carry on’..yet do we stop and acknowledge the step?  Does self feel loved, accepted, and cherished? As you thank those around you, please honor self with gratitude as well.) 

I also recognize that when I become most comfortable within my space, I tend to allow “clutter”.  Over time, this clutter may accumulate and begin to distract me from the idea of journey..this clutter may even weigh me down so that I feel the idea of journey is not possible.  Clutter takes different forms..old ideas or thoughts that no longer fit, material possessions that are broken or in disrepair, connections that are stale. I notice that when I begin to feel too comfortable, I also begin to relinquish my creativity and my dreaming process..I may still be creative and still dream, but not as often or as vividly or as boldly.  I love the idea of ‘journey’…and I live the reality of my dreams..so when I Feel too comfortable that is my sign to look into my space to see where clutter may be present and to lovingly release that clutter as I simultaneously celebrate the new space. 

I am Aware that standing still and stillness are quite different. 

When I choose to stand still, it is due to fear…

when I choose to honor stillness it is due to reverence.  

Mainstream society would have us stand still..miss the journey..by convincing us that what we “need” in life is comfort: usually layers of something (clutter if you will) that weight us down.  And, then in order to move..we “need” this latest and greatest, or this self-help book or therapy process..or this golden ticket. I believe that when I choose new and different I am given new and different results, so in my life I have chosen to release this mainstream belief.  I celebrate stillness each morning by reflecting at water’s edge, yet I then move through stillness as I embrace my journey.  When I allow for unfolding, there is an effortless fluidity to movement..not “pain” or “struggle” or “exertion” as many believe; rather: excitement, curiosity, joy, peace. 

This is the space I am in as I share with you today: I have shown up; I am lovingly, gently stretching from known to unknown; feeling immense gratitude for the process of embracing journey and the abundance within my life..and in this space I would like to thank you for all that you share with me: your emails, comments, prayers and love inspire me to move..and I appreciate all of it..

My life truly is as magical as I allow it to be.

As you celebrate all that is in your life, may you consider the journey and all that allows it to be so…

Much peace,

Joy

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  1. #1 by Sandra Pawula on July 23, 2011 - 8:23 pm

    Joy,

    There’s so much wisdom in this piece! I love the way you use yoga as a metaphor for life and the whole idea of a journey. This is a great reminder, “If I allow the busyness of life to fill each moment, I may forget that World exists outside of my small space..and that my life’s purpose is not to invest my precious energy in such minutia;…”

    What you said about mainstream society would have us standstill is amazing. It’s so like that isn’t it! The way we clutter ourselves into a small space. So insightful.

    I’m so glad to be on this journey with you.

    • #2 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on July 24, 2011 - 2:36 pm

      Hi Sandra,
      Thank you!
      My practice of yoga mirrors the way I choose to live my life; and my practice of both often differs from mainstream society.
      When I choose to live from my heart space, I am choosing to allow each step to be a conscious, purposeful step from a centered spot; thus choosing to live a conscious, purposeful life. I find that clutter in all forms distracts me from this intention and keeps me standing still rather than allowing for mobility..

  2. #3 by Adrienne on July 26, 2011 - 6:22 pm

    Dear Joy,

    Wow, as Sandra has said, you share so much wisdom here! From the idea of “journey” to “showing up and being fully present” to the effects of “clutter” and the “needs” imposed on us. Very similar to a great yoga practice, your writing is very centering for me.

    A reverence for stillness does not come at all natural, as I always tend to “busy” my mind with something. I often start to get somewhat antsy if I feel like I’m being unproductive. Yet, I know the times when I am happiest and most fulfilled are those when I do let go and unfold into the moment. When my mind is in the same place as my body and not floating off in some distant day dream or worrying about my to-do list.

    I experienced this sort of inner peace on a very deep level while at an “Inner Quest Intensive” retreat, and I was able to ride those waves for several weeks afterwards. Now, I’ve noticed the waves have long since crashed onto shore. It’s funny how it’s very easy for me to find that sort of stillness and peace when I’m with a group of people, but much more difficult to do when I’m alone. I guess now that I’m out of the Air Force, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your light and love with the world!

    • #4 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on July 30, 2011 - 2:28 pm

      Hi Adrienne,
      Thank you:)
      I am glad that you mentioned the feeling of “unproductive”..in general, mainstream guides us to “busyness” on all levels..we tend to think that to show our productivity we must have a to-do list with items crossed off, or a finished product to show that this day was well lived..I Feel my day was well lived if I may review the moment and find that I’ve shared a heart smile..if throughout the day I Feel peace filled and gratitude..and if at the end of the day I am open to viewing the sun set or the night sky..*that* to me is a very productive day! And, as you share, is not achieved amidst clutter…
      I think we so often get trapped in the details of life, rather than allow our self the pleasure of the experience of life…
      Your light is so radiant, Adrienne, you inspire me in so many ways..thank *you* for all that you share!

  3. #5 by Evita on July 27, 2011 - 1:46 am

    Dear Joy,

    You know there was a yoga class I was once invited to by a dear friend, which has become etched in my mind as one of the most special yoga classes ever 😉

    Joy I love what you share. Yes, you have shown up and opened yourself to life fully. What a gift and inspiration to others who are able to observe your life.

    I haven’t been practicing much yoga lately as I have been outdoors doing other activities. I think canoeing has become my daily practice of stillness and showing up to take in life in its most precious state. But of course it, nor anything else will ever replace yoga. I may take breaks from it, but my heart is always in this practice, which I know will be with me forever.

    Hugs!

    • #6 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on July 30, 2011 - 2:32 pm

      Evita,
      Thank you:)
      I am glad the energy from that yoga class stays with you..how special to share such a practice with a friend:)
      In my life, yoga may be as simple as remembering to honor my breath in full cycle…and as complex as allowing for different positions on the mat…I take yoga with me..as do you..when we enjoy nature, appreciate the sun set, soak in the beauty of all around us..that is *living* yoga..
      I love that as I have begun my daily kayak loop around the harbor, you are canoeing..still connected in our different ways:)
      I Feel your hug..enlivening…

  4. #7 by Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord on July 28, 2011 - 1:37 pm

    Joy, I could feel the peaceful energy with which you wrote this post. It was evident in each word I read, which then instilled in me great peace.

    I like the idea of “the journey,” not as a destination, but more, as you said, as movement. Forward movement at that. Like you, when I get comfortable I begin to lose touch with inspiration, passion, excitement. I sort of forget how to dream bigger, because comfort has me ensconced in its arms. Then the Universe (in the form of a friend like you, a prompt, an event) moves me forward and encourages me on my journey once again, and in that movement I come alive!

    I honor you, dear friend, and your peace-filled, magical journey. From where I stand, you’re running the Universe right now. Keep it up!

    • #8 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on July 30, 2011 - 2:36 pm

      Hi Megan,
      Thank you:)
      Although I am in the midst of an incredible journey, almost everything in my life is currently very new and different, I Feel much peace.
      When I read your comment, my thought is that so often we “fear” the idea of a journey..what shall I pack, am I ready, where will I go, what will I experience…that we tend to hesitate to journey..Yet, movement comes naturally, easily..invoking passion, inspiration, excitement with each step…
      As you share, Universe is there with a guiding hand, a prompt..which is reassuring to me..I quiet enough to listen and Universe reflects…
      I do Feel like I’m running with the Universe..and everyone around me is running along:)

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