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Monday, September 12, 2011

The Joy of Spontaneity

Last Friday I was surprised by unexpected joy – aliveness – an inner dance of Light and lightheartedness. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to write about it until Now :). I felt an inner excitement that I know all too well comes and goes, just like the sad feelings, or any other for that matter – but I was delighted and amused by this feeling of spontaneous joy rising. Honestly, sad to say, it doesn’t happen that often. I do not have what might be considered a “joyful” outlook on life. :) In fact my mother called me “the dark cloud” most of my childhood. So an effusion of “joy” is not normally expressed here – we were not a band of “joyful souls.” There was a darker cloud that loomed over us, and it wasn’t mine. But I’ll spare you that story. Suffice it to say, there wasn’t an environment that nurtured joy. So when it arose within me I *knew* it had to come from a place of pure Being deep within.

It seemed to me that by honoring and giving space for the sadness to express the day before, it freed the space up for joy to spontaneously arise. I think the same is true with all our shadow aspects – our “darker” feelings. When they are acknowledged and recognized, it frees them, releases their hold on us, and opens the door for the heart to play - spontaneously…

Everything became spontaneous; every action, every idea, thought, movement – eliciting a sense of joy. I spontaneously went for a 2 hour walk at 12 noon, which I never do; didn’t think about it, just did it, and rediscovered a new place to walk and take pictures. I had driven over to my “regular” walking path, but there were two huge dump trucks blocking the road to the parking area, and many cars were already trapped there, waiting for the trucks to move, so I decided not to chance it. Feeling a little bummed that my moment of joy was about to wane, I spontaneously remembered there was a little park right near our house. So I went there, with anticipation and curiosity.

This inner joy thrived in my new surroundings as I walked down winding concrete walking paths through a small, tree-filled park with a small pond, manicured gardens still in bloom. As I strolled along with my new friend, Joy, taking it in, I spotted a big yellow and black butterfly fluttering around one of the round gardens that happened to be quite fragrant. I have no idea what those little pink flowers are, but they were potent. I tried to get a picture, but the butterfly’s wings just kept fluttering and “he/she” wouldn’t sit still – of course. She was just doing what a butterfly does – thoroughly enjoying herself. She moved from flower to flower and I’d chase after it trying to capture “the moment”, leaning into the flowers as far as I could, camera extended, to get the right shot, and she’d move on to the next blossom, and me with her - trying to keep up with her joyful dance. I was in the moment *with* her – completely focused, although having trouble keeping the camera focused on her. Somehow magically I managed a couple of fairly good shots! The dragonfly was more cooperative, as I caught him resting on a stem.

I thought of how contemplative photographers must be soooo patient, so mindful, so still, just waiting for just the right moment to snap the shutter; skills I have yet to learn – particularly patience and contemplative photography. I was having too much fun playing with Joy to be patient! I completely lost myself in the experience, in the fun of it, in the presence of nature’s joy. Life should be like this everyday – a nurtured sense of natural Joy! For some I know it is… It is our natural state of Being after all… But it seems to come more naturally for some…

Even in this new Now today - new day, new feelings - I remember how I *in*-joyed the experience whole-heartedly – spontaneously. Spontaneously knew when it was time to leave, and spontaneously went about the rest of my day – in an uncontrived, natural state of joy... I could say my entire being was purely joy-ing that day. :) Yes, I know, it’s called enjoying… I did that too…

Remember Joy!

8 comments:

  1. What a wonderfully uplifting, well, joyful post!

    Reading a book right now by Rick Hanson called "Buddha's Brain" which encourages us to incline our mind toward these joyful moments by remembering the feeling tone and various aspects of these moments. He talks about how we can build new neural pathways that then create the opportunity that we will be more likely to experience these feelings in the future.

    Like you I wouldn't consider myself a "joy bunny" but like the idea of working with my mind to make myself more inclined toward joy!

    May more joyful moments be yours.

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  2. ZDS ~ :) Well, it was that kind of an experience. I hope to have more! And thank you for sharing about the book and neural pathways. I resonate with that. It feels true. I also like the part about remembering the feeling tone of the moment. I had a sense of that too in the moment - a different feeling tone, vibration, etc. I can see that putting ourselves in more joyful, uplifting experiences/environments, like being in nature, in loving environments, or maybe group meditation, helps create these new neural pathways and feeling tones in the brain... At the very least it would help us to remember that Joy is our True Nature! In-joy :) C

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  3. Christine, I loved the butterfly and dragonfly, and your words resonated with me so beautifully - there have been not a few "down" days recently, and I so need to remember Joy. Thank you for this.

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  4. Cate ~ Thank you too for your presence here and your welcome words... I understand the "down days" as well, for different reasons. Seems we all need to remember Joy :) Wishing you Wellness...

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  5. sounds like a wonderful day. the part that clicks with me especially is just doing things in the moment, spontaneously. without debating and doubt. I have days like that when things just flow one activity to the other. when I am not angsting over what I am going to do next and where i can live cheaply etc.

    I love that dragonfly photo. many dragonflys have been flying around the meadow lately. they certainly look joyful in their swooping seemingly purposeless flight.

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  6. Such an uplifting, inspiring post, Christine! Spontaneous...that's something I've been allowing more room for too... to spontaneously flow, to allow the feelings, emotions, happenings occur, let them go, and they roll over again. Joy feels all the sweeter for the sadness that came before it... And I like your notion of *in*-joyed! I learn so much here...And love your images today, the butterfly and dragonfly seem just the ones for your words today. More joy to you... :o) ((HUGS))

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  7. Hi Suki :) Yes, it was such an amazing feeling to just be spontaneous. Kind of like being a child again... Just the innocence of playing... Just free to fly! Not constrained by thoughts of what I "should" be doing... :)

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  8. Hi Tracy! Thank you... Yes, it's all a wonderful adventure isn't it!? :) Just allowing everything to be the way it is. Living spontaneously :0 Joy to you too.

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