“We build on foundations we did not lay.
We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
We drink from wells we did not dig.
We profit from persons we did not know.
We are ever bound in community."

Rev. Peter Raible (paraphrased from Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 12 of Spiritual Practices and Reflection: Joy in my own life

So here's what truth: it's hard to post every day. It's a discipline. This "post a day" exercise has really become my morning practice. I still make a bit of time for prayer and writing, but these posts get most of my attention right now.

I love that so many of you are commenting and reflecting on these posts. I feel like I'm getting to know some of you in deeper and different ways. Reading your comments, and imagining you at your computer, or on a laptop in a coffee shop, or thumbing away on your cell phone - well, that has brought me joy.

This morning, simple things are filling me with joy: my morning routine, fresh coffee, time to sit, think, and get grounded.

But the biggest surge of joy I've felt recently? We were in Durham, NC, over the winter break. The weather was mild. One afternoon, I want for a walk. The sun was out, warming my face. A gentle breeze was blowing. I didn't have a destination; I was walking because it felt good and I wanted to. And I felt profoundly happy, joyful, even, to be alive, to have a chance to spend some time on this earth. And as I walking, the idea to blog during the month of January came to me. I felt a pull to write about some of the spiritual practices I'm doing, to explore new ones, and to see if I could actually post once a day for a month. And in that 45 minute walk, about ten different posts began to write themselves in my head, as I breathed in fresh air, watched birds circle overhead, and felt my body in motion on a warm December day.

I don't quite know why I was so "joy-filled" during this walk - perhaps because the moment felt timeless, or because I was in a creative mindset, or because I wasn't needed anywhere else other than right where I was, or because I let the problems of the world fade away for a moment...but something happen, and joy took up residence in my body. .

1 comment:

Arif Mamdani said...

This sounds a bit like a joy journal! And I love that idea - in the same way as we journal on gratitude or forgiveness, we can bring the same attention to noting and noticing joy in our lives.

What I've found with that kind of awareness and attention practice is that actually opens me up more to the thing that I'm paying special attention to. So, perhaps, if we want more joy in life, a first step is pay more attention to when and where this is joy in our lives?