The First Summer Sunrise
NOT TO DENY THE PAIN
BUT TO GIVE US THE COURAGE
TO GO THROUGH IT
I confess upfront; this blog is rooted in a memory-based in my assumption about how I was perceived.
A slippery slope, indeed!
During the last few years at Kripalu, I believed I was seen by the new administration and my new boss as being hardcore, a Teacher of The Heavy, that my tendency was to teach dense and scary and internal stuff, aiming to make people cry.
Yes, I love the deeper work.
Yes, I have been long branded a deep-diver.
Yes, people have been known to shed a tear or two in processing my programs.
And damn, friends, I am funny.
If you know me, you know I have the capacity to soften and lighten and relax the air in a group.
We know that.
Slightly offended, I did my best to hold ground and ignore my suspicions, in a mature, avoidant fashion.
It was an era in my department of—let’s not get too heavy for our guests, GOD FORBID—or so I thought.
I felt fussy and righteous about my commitment to The Deep.
During this epoch, my boss asked me to create a workshop on joy.
It seemed—God forgive me—frivolous.
What the heck is joy, anyway?
Before the pandemic?
That was hard enough.
Who can imagine?
Truly, I am more suited up to live into, to teach the hurt, the angst, the Grit of Life.
Give me a good crisis.
Nevertheless, I obliged my boss’ request, with some silent snickering. I created a seasonal program, Leaning Toward Joy, A Summer Primer.
Or, An Autumn Primer.
And, A Spring Primer.
No, I did not prime us to enjoy winter.
I did not.
Simply said, I believed that angst was more “spiritual” than joy.
Little did I understand their interwoven connection.
You all taught me that. I learned so much from you guys, our guests.
Opening the topic, hearing your ideas……listening to our memories of joy, of summer joy…….
Here’s what I discovered about joy with you, our Kripalu guests, pre-pandemic.
- Our capacity to feel joy is contingent upon our willingness to feel grief, loss, transition, & pain.
- The practice of being present with whatever is happening truly is the doorway to joy.
- We get it all, all the feelings.
- Deny the hard stuff? Joy slips further away.
- Commit to being present? Joy offers herself to us.
Other discoveries—Joy is:
- Our opening to the flow state
- Flushes though, comes and goes
- Available sometimes when a physical limit is reached
- Alive in nature
- Will live in deep body memory
Listening to people’s summer joyful memories was a teary, touching thing—the preciousness of those shared experiences moved me deeply. I could no longer feel huffy about “being given a topic.” The topic of joy, filtered through your insights and your memories, opened my heart.
For you, I ask:
What memory do you have of summer joy? Perhaps it was decades ago, perhaps minutes ago. Consider. Write it out. Send it out. To me, to somebody. Share it. Remember it. Live into it.
For you, I ask:
What were the circumstances that you created that helped the joy to come forth?
What did you do then—to allow yourself to be available to the flow state, to the fluidity of joy?
For you, I ask:
What can this summer be for you? What do you choose?
In this time of so much loss, how can you create the circumstances in which you are available to joy?
Here is Rumi on joy:
No one knows what makes
the soul wake up so happy.
Maybe a dawn breeze has
blown the veil from the face of God.
A thousand new moons appear.
Roses open laughing.
The body turns entirely spirit.
Leaves become branches in this wind.
Why is it now so easy to surrender,
even for those already surrendered?
There is no answer to any of this.
No one knows the source of joy.
A poet breathes into a reed flute,
and the tip of every hair makes music.
And because my psychic told me I must listen to music daily, I’ve been dancing around the house to this oldie, but, oh, so goodie. If you choose, here is Joy to the World by Three Dog Night:
- Grief, Loss and Renewal
Please save the dates, Wednesdays in August, (5, 12, 19, 26) from noon-1:15.
Join me in a live streaming program, through Kripalu Center, that will offer us strategies for exploration, integration and healing.
- Sharing/Teaching Circles
Through the art of mindful communication, we are sharing our world views and looking to core teachings for practice, to get us through, to offer us support in living. Please consider joining us. No registration is needed; donation is appreciated. https://www.paypal.me/CoachAruni
This week our circles will be: