05/23/17 2:04pm

You Can’t Jinx Your Joy

Picture this…

BlackLion and I went out for a walk on a recent spring day. He’d been off visiting a friend for a couple of days, and we were catching each other up on how things were going and what was bringing us joy.

I started off my check-in with “I’m feeling really good. I mean, I don’t want to jinx it, but I feel like I’ve reached a whole new level of awareness lately.”

We both froze, realizing at the same time what I’d just said.

Jinx it? Whoa. What?!

We started exploring that whole notion of NOT talking about your good fortune or positive news because in doing so you might “jinx” or somehow negate it.

Where does that even come from?

I’m not sure exactly where it originated, but it’s a notion that I think many of us are familiar with.

What are some of the reasons you might choose not to talk about the good things in your life?

  • You don’t want to make anyone else feel bad because they’re not experiencing good fortune right now.
  • You’ve been taught not to brag or to be too “full of yourself.”
  • There might be some fear around becoming a target, perhaps that people would come and literally steal your stuff if you’re doing well.
  • Or it could be the superstitious belief that somehow you will suddenly be punished by the universe for feeling that things are going well. That’s a big one.

Wherever it came from, the concept of keeping your joy to yourself is culturally ingrained in many of us. You’ve trained yourself (as most of us have) to talk about what’s not going right, to complain and vent and fuss. All of those things are valid at times – yet what about the other side of the coin?

You’ve taught yourself to keep your joyful tidings carefully under wraps, so they (and you) will feel safe.

But that whole idea is backwards.

By focusing on the things that bring you joy, the good fortune you’re having, you attract more of it into your life. When you hide your joy or put caveats around it, you’re putting up a wall. You’re saying (and thus choosing) that the amount of joyful energy you’re allowing in will be limited.

Ironically, you’re creating these walls so that you can keep the amount of joy you already have.

But you can’t just keep your joy locked up in a room in your heart. Joy thrives on freedom.

Joy and good fortune are part of the flow of abundance that this universe is made up of – this ebb and flow is part of the life you live. Refusing to fully embrace and share your joy is to put yourself in that locked room. It will keep you from fully experiencing these positive feelings, and will also shut off or limit the future flow of good fortune that is coming your way.

In my conversation with BlackLion, when I noticed what I was doing, I was able to begin again. I told him how inspired and connected I was feeling, and how I’d reached a new level of awareness. I elaborated on how that was affecting my creativity, my daily life, and my openness to new opportunities.

Once I dropped the fear that describing my joy would somehow negate it, it felt much better not only to share it with him, but to embrace it more fully.

By opening the doors and windows wide in that room in my heart, I’ve allowed even more joy and connection to flow in and out.

What joys are you experiencing in your life? Are you keeping them behind closed doors? How might you be willing to share about your good fortune?

Speak freely about your joy and the universe will find a way to deliver even more to you. Don’t worry, you can’t jinx it!

04/28/17 8:00am

Self-Nurture Is a Work in Progress

Self-Nurture Is a Work in Progress
by Starcat

Have you ever thought that if you could just get a handle on this self-care thing, all would be well? If you could discover a consistent way to nurture yourself, everything would be bread and roses. If you got really solid with your daily spiritual practice, your stress would simply vanish, right?

Well, not exactly.

This spring I’m celebrating my 20th year of daily spiritual practice.

That’s right. Every day for 20 years, I’ve taken time out to devote to my connection with spirit.

Through full-time work outside the home while raising two toddlers. Through the chaos of my Mom’s car accident, which nearly took her life and did take her years to recover from. Through the transition to being the full time at-home homeschooling parent. Through a dear friend’s final year of life with cancer, and helping her live and die with grace. Through the years of building a business, writing and publishing books, and figuring out how my creativity could actually help me make a living. Through ups and downs, loss and chaos, joy and blessings, sorrow and fear and love.

So you’d probably figure that by now I’m a happy-go-lucky hippie chick, walking my path with laughter and grace.

And it’s true – most of the time.

But a devotion to nurturing your spirit doesn’t mean that you’re no longer a human being, struggling with life’s challenges.

The proverbial “stuff” still hits the fan.

I still have those days where I don’t want to get out of bed. I cry. I feel defeated by some failure or problem in my life. I get PMS and my hormones go on an emotional rampage. I feel envy and anger and all those human emotions that crop up when things aren’t going my way.

I definitely have times when I don’t feel like meditating.

But I do it anyway.

Because what my daily practice gives me is the gift of perspective.

It helps me to cultivate a sense of inner relaxation that has become my default.

When you nurture yourself lovingly, on a regular basis, you craft an inner balance that sustains you even when everything around you is falling apart. Your deep connection to your inner source helps you to walk with grace and forgiveness.

Then, when you have those days (or weeks) when you feel like you just can’t take any more, you become aware.

You’re aware that these feelings aren’t the whole picture. You have a bigger perspective, one in which that observer part of you chimes in and reassures you. You understand that right now you feel like crap – but that won’t always be the case.

With dedicated regular practice, you can lean on your strong connection to spirit when you need it most.

It’s a work in progress.

I heard a clip from an interview with the Dalai Lama where a guy was asking him what to do when meditation is just too hard. The man said that he’s been meditating for a while but sometimes it still feels like a huge struggle. The Dalai Lama laughed and said “me too!”

Here’s a renowned spiritual leader who has probably been meditating since he could sit up – and yet he, too, has days where his practice is a challenge.

I don’t know about you, but I take great comfort from his response.

Sure, daily practice doesn’t always come easy, but just laugh, and keep going. Don’t put so much pressure on the practice – or yourself.

Slowly, deliberately, nurture yourself daily with time to get quiet and go deep within. Make it a habit. Keep practicing.

Before you know it, your inner default mode will have shifted to one of greater peace, calm, and acceptance. When that nasty stuff hits the fan, you’ll be able to deal with it. Maybe not with joy, but certainly with more grace and less freaking out.

Take it from me, your happy hippie friend. Daily spiritual practice is a work in progress – but it’s well worth the effort.