TAKE A JOY PILL

PillWe’re all so caught up running around the CatchUpKeepUpGetAheadeFallBackCatchUp wheel of work and life.  We face so many problems in relationships, health, and money from annoying and irritating to deeply grave.  And we deal with them somehow, God Bless Us One and All.

So, with all that.  We need to take our joy pills.  It’s the vitamin we need to give us the energy to do the other stuff.

Of course, a great vacation is like taking a whole regimen of joy vitamins, but what about the little joys that one can take in a day.  Unusual joys.

For me, a joy pill is sitting on a bench at the river in Westport watching the sunset as the Canada geese, ducks, and swans converge to exchange news of their day’s events.

Or, taking a drive by myself to the elegant Mayflower Inn in Washington, CT, ordering the $17 soup (because a whole meal there would put a huge dent in my fun budget) and then, taking a walk in their beautiful, formal Shakespearean garden.

Or, playing bridge with friends on a Sunday night.

Or, meeting someone for breakfast.

Or spending a long time watching a spider in her miraculously constructed, nearly invisible web, as she waits for dinner to come to her.

Or getting out my kayak and paddling around the Saugatuck river until the peachy full moon comes up, as I did last night.

Joy pills are very individual. I have a dear friend who takes trapeze lessons.  It gives her a kind of joy that lasts for days.  For me, that would be like taking a terror pill.

What’s your joy pill?  Share it.  Maybe it will inspire me and my readers.  We can always use a little more joy.

THE WASHING MACHINE

washingmachineOne of the most fun things I do in life is help people get present.  I do it almost every day.  It’s surprising, inspiring, creative, and healing.  I’m eternally grateful and amazed by this simple process that was dropped in my lap by the Big Whatever.

A dear friend calls.  She’s really frightened—scared about money.  (I have observed in the past that fear is attracted to money like mosquitoes are attracted to blood.)  My friend goes on for a bit about her desperation and talks about some not so good solutions she is considering based on this fear.

After a moment, I ask her if she wants to “get present.”

“No,” she says, “I don’t have enough time.  It’s late.  I have to get to bed.”

Right.  NO ONE really wants to get present.  I understand that completely.  Who wants to feel deeply—to go into the body and discover what is really going on?  Getting present takes willingness and courage.

But, she’s done my Creative Explosion workshop, so after a bit, when I gently ask again if she wants to get present, she says, “Okay.  Let’s do it fast, though.”  I laugh to myself and ask the familiar, dreaded question.  “So what sensation are you experiencing in your body right now?”

“Fear.”

“Where?”

“All over.”

“Is there any predominant sensation?”

“In my heart.  I feel a lot of agitation in my heart chakra.”  (She does yoga.)

“What does it feel like?”

“It’s like a washing machine.  It’s agitating too fast.”

“What does the washing machine look like?”

“It’s not like mine.  It’s old fashioned.  Loads from the top.”

(Just like mine! I think but do not say.)  “Can you go to it and touch it?  Don’t do anything.  Just be with it.”

“Yeah.  I can feel it vibrating.  It’s going very fast.”

“Anything else about it?”

“Yeah.  The top is open and the water is filthy.”

“Okay.  Just be with it for a while.”  She’s silent for a spell then says.  “the water is all draining out.”

“Okay.  Just let it.”

Another pause.  “I feel much calmer.”

A moment.

“Oh, now I see myself standing on a crack in the earth.  There is a chasm below me.  On one side is negativity and fear.  On the other is all my spiritual work and trust.  They are moving apart and I’m doing the splits.  I have to choose which side to go to.”  It takes her a moment, surprisingly, but eventually she chooses trust.

She is present and calmer so I ask her to invite her Higher Power or Higher Self to be with her.  (This is an important part of Getting Present.  It’s not necessary to believe in God, and she says doesn’t.)  Her Higher Power turns out to be a guru who gently laughs at her fear.  He is full of good, calm, heart-centered advice.  In a very short time, she has moved from fear to peace and sees her life rationally and calmly.  She decides to continue with her creativity, do the work she has, and if it really becomes necessary, in the future she knows she can find a supplemental job.

That probably took no more than five or ten minutes.

I just love this Getting Present process.  I don’t have to advise anyone or listen to a long story or harangue.  People find their own peace and wisdom inside once they have moved into and through the uncomfortable sensations and feelings.  The images and what happens is usually surprising, healing, creative and entertaining.

I get present too with partners.  We generally laugh a lot.

What could be more fun than that?