Greetings to the Morning, and Greetings Dear Universe!
I awoke to the briefest burst of fine snow out the window. Not lasting, but just enough to fill the sky like a shaken snow globe.
Some people are bemoaning the fact that we are now getting winter weather, here in April. I wonder if it is the sign of a long-term change in the patterns of the seasons. And, if so, I wonder if we will recognize the behaviors that have created the resulting change.
And, within all of that, there is a discussion about accepting the change that comes, as well as taking responsibility for our part.
But, I’m not going to talk about that today.
My Guides are leading me down a different path, about tracking Joy and nourishing our Soul, and what that has to do with “hard work.”
I walked last night, and it was cold, with a chilling wind. My sensation and awareness of the cold of my body seemed to keep me within my body. Kept me in me.
As I walked, I looked up at the stars in the mostly clear sky. Orion has moved lower in the sky, and I spotted the Little Dipper and the North Star.
As I walked, I remembered the summer when I slept out each night in a tent in my parents’ backyard, because I wanted to practice camping out and using my equipment. I also bought a book on the constellations and night sky, and I would read each night. On clear nights I would lay out, uncovered, staring up at the big, beautiful universe.
This morning, I’m remembering when I decided to hike on the A.T. Each day, I would walk with my partially loaded trail pack to and from work, a few miles each way.
And I remember my years practicing judo, especially when I was uke for my friends who were preparing for their black belt tests. We would get together for extra hours of practice, even on weekends or any other time we could. I got thrown hundreds of times, taking hundreds of falls.
I think of these things, and I remember people inquiring, using the language, “Isn’t that hard work? Why would you do that?”
Certainly with each of these practices, there was some physical challenge and discomfort. Sleeping outside on the ground, in all kinds of weather and temperatures, had its challenges. Walking home after a full day at work, carrying a thirty or forty pound pack in all kinds of weather, I’d sometimes have people who recognized me stop and offer a ride. They were shocked when I declined. All the judo practice and falls kept my body sore and tired, but I truly deepened my technique and my understanding and sense of my body – how to move fluidly and efficiently, how to fall effectively.
It was all deep practice – the choice to put myself in an experience, and, well, experience it.
Lying out at night in a tent felt extremely vulnerable at first, but I learned that I was okay. I could feel the summer breezes and hear the crickets chirping, I could sense the shift of breeze when a storm was approaching, and listen to the rain on the fly and all around. I enjoyed all the stars as my ceiling.
Walking with my pack to and from work each day, I assured myself that I was capable. I found enjoyment in the walking, in the different pace of life. I enjoyed the weather and being out in the elements. None of it subtracted from my experience; it added to it.
My judo practice showed me I could develop and improve with practice. I strengthened my ability to be a partner. I began to understand the connection between my mind and body.
All these things could be seen as “hard work.” It just never felt that way to me, and I never thought of it that way.
Is there something you do that other people think must be hard, but you don’t find it to be? Make note of that!
Is there something you’ve desired to try, but you’ve convinced yourself it’s too hard? Find a different story you can tell yourself about doing it. It’s an opportunity to ask yourself, “What’s the best that could happen?”
Thank you, Dear Guides, for helping me to track my Joy!