Ciao Amica Mia,
Greetings to you on this Sacred Sunday. I hope that you’re continuing to feel the auspiciousness of last weekend’s full moon and eclipse. It’s a perfect time to gain clarity on the vision you hold for yourself and the world.
Earlier this week I posted on social media a photo of a rock I spied while hiking. Tucked up in the trunk of a ginormous evergreen tree was a sweet rock painted with the sentiment, “choose joy”.
In the post I asked people if they too, along with me and the unknown rock painter, were willing to choose joy. Most people responded, hell yes!
But it got me thinking – does choosing joy mean that I’m turning away from suffering in the world? Does choosing joy mean that I’m not facing my own shadow? Does choosing joy mean I’m indifferent to the chaos and conflicts that can no longer be swept under the proverbial carpet?
Hell no! Choosing joy is what I call, the handstand in the middle of the room. You know, that one challenging pose you’ve been working on for 10 years and just can’t seem to get. Choosing joy is, advanced yoga practice. On the mat or in the boardroom. With your significant other, child, friend or adversary.
In tantric yoga, joy is associated or a sub-category of the nine rasas. Rasas, you might remember, are the flavors and textures of life that inform your experiences. What the rasas offer you is the full spectrum of emotions and feelings. From love and wonder, to anger and disgust. As spirit beings living in human form, we’re subject to an array of feelings. It’s the good news/bad news concept.
We’re gifted with emotions in order to fully engage life through many different lenses. The work we’re here to do is to learn how to navigate the myriad of positive and negative feelings. While maintaining a steady inner sense of well-being. It’s called sthira in Sanskrit.
Choosing joy doesn’t negate empathy. Choosing joy while opening your heart and allowing the emotions of anger, sorrow, fear, wonder, peace, love to also move through you is your dharma.
The capacity to “hold” any and all emotion, no matter how challenging, and still reside in the sacred space of joy, is a learned skill. Just like building a muscle at the gym or straightening your legs in down dog, choosing to feel joy is learning to live from your legacy self.
Choosing joy is a daily practice, like meditation. Granted, some days are easier than others. But what I want you to know is that we have the power to choose to breakaway from fear. To breakaway from what’s keeping us stuck in our stories of pain and suffering.
Better yet, we have the power to choose a path of legacy living built on a foundation of joy.
With love and joy, xoxo Paulette
Ciao Amica Mia,